Traditional Sprint Car FanSite

See You At The Races!!!

by Gary "Hammerdown" Costa

Michael Faccinto Wins Kings Bandit Opener!  

-Photo courtesy Brian Ratzlaff from

Hanford, CA – April 25, 2008…Frank Dias’ Kings Speedway played host to the non-wing 360 Bandit Sprint Cars on a fast and tacky 3/8-mile surface. The rare Friday night show would have a nice 21-car turnout.

With a nice crowd on hand, they would be treated to an exciting and drama filled evening of “back’n it in” non-wing Sprint Car Racing.

Surprise entries on the evening included the always-exciting Davey Pombo, who hails from nearby Kerman. Kingsburg’s Austin Mero and Orange’s Henry Clarke, piloted sprinters for Cory Kruseman. Kruseman, the popular non-wing warrior from Ventura, was on hand to mentor his two young drivers. All of whom towed the next day to Perris Auto Speedway to compete with the USAC/CRA 410 Sprints.

The evening started out with Pombo besting the 21-car-field in qualifying with an impressive 15.702. Davey averaged 86mph, in the #27 Southwest Contractors, Praxair, ITI Viper chassis around the well-prepared speedway.

Three 10-lap Heat Races would be on tap for the evening.

Heat Race #1 was all Rusty Carlile who was absolutely hooked up and flying in the Southwest Contractors #51 Stinger. While Bakersfield’s Carlile was in another zone, a blanket could have been thrown over the rest of the field, as Steven Williams, Michael Faccinto, Davey Pombo, and Wes Gutierrez all battled for position.

Heat Race #2 was another entertaining one. Henry Clarke took “Krusers” advice and did a masterful job by winning the fast paced event. Fresno’s Kevin Barnes and Peter Murphy followed the Lucas Oil, Sander Engineering #2 entry. Murphy made some fantastic moves to finish 3rd in the Tarlton & Son, Inc. #21 after starting 6th. Jace VanderWeerd, a young masher from nearby Visalia, took the 4th spot in the 10-lapper.

Young female gasser, Justyne Hamblin was all business in Heat Race #3. Hamblin ran away from the rest of the field in the Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino, KB Motorsports #8 Stinger. Ricky Kirkbride, Jerry Wise, and Albert Pombo battled for the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th positions, eventually finishing in that order.

The 4-lap Trophy Dash was picked up by Heat Race #2 winner, Henry Clarke.

Faccinto and Richard VanderWeerd paced the 20-car field. When the green flag flew, cars got together on the front straightaway. Outside front row starter VanderWeerd, Wes Gutierrez, and Heat #1 winner Carlile were eliminated.

When the green came back out, the racing was intense. Davey Pombo was on Faccinto’s rear bumper as Hanford’s Jonathan Logan was on the gas and making moves. Faccinto, Pombo and Logan were waging war up front, while Murphy was closing in. On lap-10, Logan moved into the 2nd spot and later wrestled the lead from Faccinto.

On lap-17, Logan jumped the cushion going into turn one. He fought his way back onto the racing surface and proceeded to do a wheel stand. Still charging, Logan drag raced three wide down the back straightaway with Faccinto and Pombo. Just as this battle was heating up, the yellow flag flew allowing the fans to catch their breath.

When racing resumed, Kirkbride made a bonsai move on the 4th place running Peter Murphy and contact was made in the north turns. This left Murphy, the 2007 SCRA Champion, stopped on the speedway and able to restart at the tail of the field.

When the green was unfurled, again it was Logan, Pombo and Faccinto going at each other. On the 24th circuit, Logan, who was running 3rd stopped on the track.

On the restart, it was Pombo leading with Faccinto on his tail. However, heartbreak came for Davey as he left the racetrack on lap-27.

As all this was unfolding, Murphy worked his way into the 2nd position. A shootout for the Tom Tarlton owned Sprint Cars was shaping up. Drama unfolded on lap-28 as Murphy was making an outside move on Faccinto in turns 3 and 4. The cars got together, resulting in Murphy stopped with a folded front end on the racetrack.

Michael Faccinto cruised the rest of the way, taking the win in the Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino #21T Maxim. Rounding out the top 3 finishers were Justyne Hamblin and Albert Pombo.

“All I can say is that I’m glad that it’s over.” Faccinto said in victory lane. “Luck went our way tonight, and we’re going to keep this Tarlton & Son car up front.”


1. Davey Pombo, 27- 15.702, 2. Peter Murphy, 21- 16.044, 3. Jeff Gardner, 51T- 16.149, 4. Wes Gutierrez, 007- 16.242, 5. Jonathan Logan, 32- 16.378, 6. Richard VanderWeerd, 10- 16.482, 7. Michael Faccinto, 21T- 16.645, 8. Jace VanderWeerd, 88- 16.678, 9. Jerry Wise Jr., 23- 16.683, 10. Adam Frith-Smith, 62- 16.700, 11. Jake Hodges, 32X- 16.719, 12. Albert Pombo, 35- 16.730, 13. Rusty Carlile, 51- 16.832, 14. Kevin Barnes, 36B- 16.920, 15. Ricky Kirkbride, 87- 17.017, 16. Steven Williams, 93- 17.071, 17. Henry Clarke, 2- 17.266, 18. Justyne Hamblin, 8- 17.568, 19. Dave Knott, 28- 17.790, 20. Rick Eberhardt, 4- 17.18.091, 21. Austin Mero, 1- NT.

HEAT RACE 1: (10 laps)
1. Rusty Carlile, 2. Steven Williams, 3. Michael Faccinto, 4. Davey Pombo, 5. Wes Gutierrez, 6. Dave Knott, 7. Adam Frith-Smith. 2:55.708.

HEAT RACE 2: (10 laps)
1. Henry Clarke, 2. Kevin Barnes, 3. Peter Murphy, 4. Jace VanderWeerd, 5. Jonathan Logan, 6. Rick Eberhardt, 7. Jake Hodges. 3:04.108.

HEAT RACE 3: (10 laps)
1. Justyne Hamblin, 2. Ricky Kirkbride, 3. Jerry Wise Jr., 4. Albert Pombo, 5. Richard VanderWeerd, 6. Jeff Gardner, 7. Austin Mero. 2:56.847.

TROPHY DASH: (4 laps)
1. Henry Clarke, 2. Ricky Kirkbride, 3. Justyne Hamblin, 4. Rusty Carlile.

FEATURE: (30 laps - With Starting Positions)
1. Michael Faccinto (1st), 2. Justyne Hamblin (13th), 3. Albert Pombo (9th), 4. Adam Frith-Smith (15th), 5. Jace VanderWeerd (7th), 6. Jerry Wise Jr. (8th), 7. Rick Eberhardt (20th), 8. Peter Murphy (5th), 9. Davey Pombo (6th), 10. Jonathan Logan (3rd), 11. Ricky Kirkbride (12th), 12. Jeff Gardner (16th), 13. Jake Hodges (18th), 14. Steven Williams (11th), 15. Henry Clarke (14th), 16. Richard VanderWeerd (2nd), 17. Wes Gutierrez (4th), 18. Rusty Carlile (10th), 19. Dave Knott (17th), 20. Austin Mero (19th). NT.
May 3 - Santa Maria Speedway - Santa Maria, CA






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