Race Photos by Donna pic
King of the West: Round nine at Placerville Speedway
Placerville, California – Saturday June 29
After a month off from competition the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series is eagerly anticipating getting back at it this Saturday night at the always action packed Placerville Speedway. The quarter-mile bullring located on the El Dorado County Fairgrounds routinely produces great racing and is a fan favorite among many in Northern California.
“The fans at Placerville are always great and really get into the racing,” said King of the West 410 Series Operations Manager George Hague. “They all have their local favorites and it’s a lot of fun to see so many people that love Sprint Car racing. The track itself is as action filled as it gets. Any time you are turning low 10-second laps you know it’s going to be wild and we always like to call it jet fighters in a gymnasium. We’re looking forward to Saturday and I think everyone is ready to finally get back to the track and resume the KWS season.”
So far in 2013 there have been eight King of the West 410 Series events contested with five different drivers visiting victory lane. St. Helena, California youngster Rico Abreu has been a consistency machine and leads the series standings on the strength of two wins and top-five finishes in every single event thus far. The 21-year-old however, is scheduled to compete in the Midwest over the summer months in both Sprint Cars & Midgets, which will hand the point lead over to second generation driver Kyle Hirst when KWS resumes action on Saturday.
When the King of the West 410’s last competed at Placerville Speedway in late-April it was Hirst that made a late race pass of Shane Golobic for victory in the main event. The 25-year-old Sacramento resident goes into the upcoming Placerville outing sitting 39-markers up on his brother-in-law Willie Croft, who ranks third in the series standings. “Placerville Speedway is always one of my favorite places to race at,” said Hirst. “When it gets slick & has that big cushion there aren’t many places more fun to drive a Sprint Car. Hopefully on Saturday we can park this Roth Enterprises 83jr on the front stretch again.”
Croft will head into the night on Saturday looking for his third King of the West win of the year at what is the home track for both he and car owners’ Clyde & Marion Lamar. “Double Down” opened the season in victory lane at the Antioch Speedway and then scored his second triumph on May 11 at the Petaluma Speedway. Croft has had a consistent season thus far and will be searching to continue that on Saturday aboard the famed Tri-C Machine.
Ranking fourth in the standings, but less than a handful of points back of Croft for the third spot is Chico’s Jonathan Allard, who is fresh off a $20,000 victory last Saturday at the Skagit Speedway Dirt Cup. It was the three-time KWS champs’ fourth career Dirt Cup win and he’ll look to use the momentum from that triumph as we head into a busy stretch of races. Allard has one win on the year with the series and will look for number two this weekend.
Completing the top-five in the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series standings is former Rebel Cup & USAC West Coast Series champion Craig Stidham. The Fresno veteran has had a good start to the year with a number of solid finishes throughout the first eight events. During the time off over the last month Stidham also captured a Rebel Cup Series victory at the Kings Speedway in Hanford. In April he brought home a sixth place result at Placerville Speedway.
Rounding out the top-10 in the KWS points coming into Saturday are 2004 King of the West 410 champ & past Placerville Speedway winner Jason Statler; 13-time series champion & Hall of Famer Brent Kaeding; Sydney, Australia’s Peter Murphy; Auburn’s Richard Brace Jr. and Rookie of the Year contender Cory Eliason from Visalia. Murphy is coming off his personal best weekend of the year, having finished runner up at the Dirt Cup, which also included a preliminary night victory.
Other drivers expected to tackle the high-banked quarter-mile include multiple-time Placerville champion Andy Forsberg of Auburn; co-track record holder of Evan Suggs from Scotts Valley, four-time Placerville feature winner this season Andy Gregg of Placerville, runner up finisher in April Shane Golobic from Fremont, Fresno youngster Dominic Scelzi, former track champ Doug Gandy, along with Carl Droivold, Chad Compton, Geoffrey Strole, Pat Harvey, Scott Parker, Eli Deshaies, Bud Walberg, Jimmy Trulli and more.
The pit gate at Placerville Speedway on Saturday opens at 2pm, with the front gate opening at 5pm, cars will be hitting the track for wheel packing around 6pm, qualifying is scheduled for 6:30pm and racing is anticipated to begin around 7pm. Fans are encouraged to arrive early as the grandstands always pack in at the Placerville bullring.
The Placerville Speedway is located on the beautiful El Dorado County Fairgrounds in Placerville, California. Take Hwy US-50 to Forni Road/Placerville Drive exit. Then go north on Placerville Drive to the Fairgrounds. The physical address is 100 Placerville Dr., Placerville, CA 95667. The fairgrounds offers a great grass area for tailgating, so everyone is encouraged to make a day out of it and come have some fun with many of your fellow race fans during the afternoon.
Adult tickets on Saturday will cost just $20, seniors will be $16, juniors $12 and children $6. All seating is general admission during the night.
On the Internet:
King of the West Sprint Car Series-
Official Website- http://www.kwssprints.com
You Tube- http://www.youtube.com/user/kingofthewe … ature=mhee
Official Website- http://www.placervillespeedway.com
Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/pages/Placervil … 6478558924
About the track:
The Placerville Speedway is a high-banked quarter-mile oval with distinctive red clay and features an all-time track record that stands at a blistering fast 9.913. The mark was set in the spring of 2004 by San Jose’s Tim Kaeding and then was amazingly matched by Scotts Valley’s Evan Suggs in March of 2009. The tight confines of Placerville Speedway offers a perspective very unique in Northern California and makes it one of the most popular tracks throughout the region.
Recent history of 410 Winged Sprint Car Racing at Placerville:
The King of the West 410’s competed at the Placerville Speedway on April 27 of this year and it saw Kyle Hirst win a thriller over Shane Golobic. Hirst stalked Golobic for a number of laps before making his move on the high-side off turn four with just a couple of laps left in the feature. Tommy Tarlton came home third with Rico Abreu and Jonathan Allard rounding out the top-five.
Last season saw the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series return to the Placerville Speedway after being absent during the 2011 year. A pair of events were held with the early season showcase being captured by Tim Kaeding after fending off his father Brent Kaeding who started 12th on the grid. The top-five was filled out by Willie Croft, Shane Golobic and Jason Statler.
In the June event last year it turned out to be a huge night of racing, as 13-time series champion Brent Kaeding made a glorious return to victory lane and break a Golden State/ KWS winless streak that dated back to 2009. The packed house on hand showed their respect to the Hall of Famer during one of the most memorable front stretch celebrations in recent memory. Kyle Hirst gave Kaeding everything he could handle and came home second, with Andy Gregg, Golobic and Croft completing the top-five.
In 2010 Tim Kaeding won a pair of Golden State/ King of the West 410 main events at Placerville Speedway, with Jonathan Allard earning a single win. In 2009 Brent Kaeding scored one victory at Placerville and eventual series titlist Tyler Walker scored two triumphs. The second victory for Walker also capped his championship year and was his ninth win during the season, which stands as an all-time record for the series in one year.
Top-10 in driver standings after eight rounds of competition:
1. Rico Abreu 1239; 2. Kyle Hirst 1211; 3. Willie Croft 1172; 4. Jonathan Allard 1162; 5. Craig Stidham 1130; 6. Jason Statler 1042; 7. Brent Kaeding 1024; 8. Peter Murphy 1012; 9. Richard Brace Jr. 965; 10. Cory Eliason 871
Winners so far this season with the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series:
Antioch Speedway April 20: Willie Croft
Placerville Speedway April 27: Kyle Hirst
Silver Dollar Speedway May 4: Rico Abreu
Petaluma Speedway May 11: Willie Croft
Reno Tahoe Fernley Speedway May 17: Rico Abreu
Reno Tahoe Fernley Speedway May 18: Jonathan Allard
Tulare Thunderbowl Raceway May 25: Jason Meyers
Tulare Thunderbowl Raceway May 26: Jason Meyers
Upcoming King of the West events:
Following the Placerville event the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series will then make a return engagement to the Reno Tahoe Fernley Speedway over 4th of July Weekend for the “Cherry Bomb Classic” on Friday & Saturday July 5 & 6. The previous outing at the blazing fast Fernley, Nevada based three-eighths mile oval saw Rico Abreu & Jonathan Allard score victories, with Abreu’s being a final corner thriller over Hirst. Now that drivers have gotten a taste of the high-banked speedway, the 4th of July Weekend double-header will be an anticipated visit.
On Saturday July 13 the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series will be in action for the only time this season at Ocean Speedway in Watsonville during the third annual “Howard Kaeding Classic.” The event has been a very successful one over the last two years and will be another much anticipated night on the schedule. The Ocean Speedway is located on the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds, two miles east of Watsonville, California on SR 152. The physical address is 2601 East Lake Ave, Watsonville, CA 95076.
The King of the West 410 Sprint Series will then get ready for its second event of the season at John & Donna Soares’ Antioch Speedway on Saturday July 20. The night of competition will also be the final visit of the year to the one-third mile clay oval that always provides thrilling moments. The KWS Winged Warriors kicked off the season at Antioch on April 20 with Willie Croft coming out on top over Rico Abreu & Kyle Hirst.