Vander Weerd’s Oval Nationals Ends On A Sour Note


(Chucko’s Photos)

PETERSEN MEDIA- Putting together a strong Oval Nationals against the USAC National Sprint Car Series, Saturday night’s feature event would be hard on the Visalia, CA as he would see contact with end his night early as he was credited with a 26th place finish.


“We did some good things over the weekend, but Saturday night when it counted I got into the wall and stayed out hoping for a red, but it didn’t work out and I ended up pulling off,” Richard Vander Weerd said.


Kicking the famed event off on Thursday night, Vander Weerd would get off to a nice start as he timed the Vander Weerd Construction/Stonegate Development/Mid-Valley Pipe backed No. 10 machine in seventh quickest in qualifying time trials.


On a narrow surface for heat race action, Vander Weerd would be one of the many top qualifiers to fail to transfer to the feature event and would find himself in the ‘B’ Main.


In a very challenging semi, Vander Weerd would hold his own, and flex his muscle a little as his third place finish moved him into the Thursday night feature event. Lining up in the fifth row, the track would prove to be a bit challenging to go forward, and Vander Weerd would take home a 12th place finish.


Admittedly not turning in two great laps in time trials on Friday night, Vander Weerd would get off to a sluggish start as he timed in 20th quickest. Finishing third in his heat race, Vander Weerd would avoid the semi on this night as he moved into the feature event where he took the green flag from the 16th starting position.


Friday night’s track surface would see much of the field rum the high scary side on a curb that ate up some cars. Able to make clean laps, Vander Weerd would pick up a few spots to attrition and would find himself up inside the Top-10. Getting better as the race clicked off laps, Vander Weerd would bring home his best finish of the weekend as he was able to charged from 16th to seventh.


The final night of the Oval Nationals saw Vander Weerd time in 11th quickest in time trials, and race his way to a heat race win to solidify his position in the Oval Nationals feature event.


Lining up ninth in the finale, Vander Weerd would make it a couple of laps before his machine biked and caused him to make hard contact with the wall. Causing extensive damage to the right front and right rear corners of his car, Vander Weerd would stay out for a few laps hoping for a red flag, but the opportunity never came up and he eventually pulled off and went to the pit area.


“It was a bummer way to end our season, but we have a lot to look forward to this winter,” Vander Weerd said. “I am looking forward to my wedding here in a few weeks, and looking forward to working towards 2018.”


Richard and his Vander Weerd Racing team would like to thank Vander Weerd Construction, Stonegate Development, Mid-Valley Pipe, Basic Industries, Factory Kahne Shocks, Steve Watt Enterprises, FK Rod Ends, PXP Racewear and K&N for their support in 2017.


2017 BY THE NUMBERS: Starts-27, Wins-1, Top 5’s-8, Top 10’s-16.


ON TAP: Richard Vander Weerd has wrapped up his 2017 season.


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