NASCAR & Auto Racing

Liggett gets past Faria for opening-night sprint car win in Hanford

Danny Faria Jr. of Tipton led the first 28 laps before Austin Liggett of Tracy got past for the final two to win the U.S. Auto Club West Coast Sprint Cars feature, highlight of opening night at Keller Auto Speedway at Kings Fairground in Hanford.

Liggett was running fourth late in the race when the top three made contact. Liggett was able to quickly jump to second and Faria was left struggling with a damaged car. He held on for second.

Richard Vander Weerd of Visalia was 10th and his brother Jace was 16th.

The USAC series is next in action April 22, part of the Peter Murphy Classic at Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare.

With dominating 2016 champion Blake Robertson of Visalia sitting out, Chris Ennis of Bakersfield won the 25-lap Western RaceSaver sprint car season-opener. Cole Danell of Visalia, Zane Blanchard of Hanford, Jared Faria of Tipton and Albert Pombo of Easton rounded out the top five in the 17-car field.

The 20-lap Stocks feature got off to a wild start when James Elliott barrel-rolled his car off the back of turn 1 on the banked, three-eighths-mile clay oval. He was OK. Steven Johnson passed Chad Johnson on lap 18 for the win. Craig Moody (Mini Stocks) also turned a lap-18 pass for the lead into a 20-lap victory.

The RaceSavers return with mini sprints as the undercard to the World of Outlaws race March 31 in Hanford.

World of Outlaws – Brad Sweet of Grass Valley held off Donny Schatz to win Saturday night’s feature at Stockton Dirt Track on the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds.

Tim Kaeding of San Jose in an Easton-based Roth Motorsports car had the best passing job, from 24th to finish 10th. Cory Eliason of Kingsburg was 11th, Carson Macedo of Lemoore in the Easton-based Tarlton Motorsports car 12th, Dominic Scelzi of Fresno 19th, Bud Kaeding of Campbell in the car owned by Morrie Williams of Oakhurst 20th and Kyle Hirst of Paradise in the other Roth car 22nd.

Friday’s first night of a planned doubleheader was rained out.

The series is in Placerville on Wednesday, Hanford on Friday and Perris on Saturday to finish its California swing.

Madera Speedway – Matt Erickson (Late Models), Zack Green (Southwest Tour Trucks), Chuck Aguirre (Hobby Stocks), Bert Stephens (MSTs) and Eric Woods (Toyota Sedans) won main events Saturday night.

The annual Al Pombo/Marshall Sargent Tribute open-wheel race is April 1.

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