(Kyle Hirst in victory lane with promoter Ruben Munoz. Photo by Jon Paquet Photography)
King of the West 410 Sprint Car point leader Kyle Hirst dominates Santa Maria Speedway main event to earn third series victory of the 2013 seasonBy Gary Thomas

Santa Maria, CA – July 27, 2013…Kyle Hirst returned to the site of his first ever Golden State/ King of the West 410 Series win on Saturday night and in front of a packed house put together a near perfect performance by winning his heat race, the dash and then scoring a flag-to-flag victory in the 30-lap feature aboard the Roth Enterprises No. 83jr machine at Santa Maria Speedway. 

Hirst captured his first career series win at the one-third mile clay oval back in 2005 and at the time was a young 17-year-old in just his second season of Sprint Car racing. 

The now 25-year-old came back to the track on Saturday as the current King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series point leader and certainly showed championship form en route to his third triumph of the year with the tour. It was his seventh career series win, placing him into a tie for 14th on the all-time list with some pretty stout company including Jimmy Sills, Kyle Larson, Greg Decaires and Randy Hannagan. 

“It feels great to get another King of the West win for Dennis & Teresa Roth and this whole Roth Enterprises team,” Hirst said on the front stretch. “My mom was here tonight so it’s really cool to get a win for her and I also have to thank all you fans for packing this place, because it’s awesome to see so many people here supporting us. I also want to thank Maria and FK Rod Ends for putting up the bonus money tonight. All us racers really appreciate it and it’s awesome she was here to watch us tonight in Santa Maria.” 

Hirst started on the pole of the feature by way of his win in the six-lap dash, where he made a mid-race pass of Cory Eliason to scoop up the victory. He was scheduled to start alongside Fresno’s Craig Stidham, but during warm up laps for the main event Stidham got into a spin in turn two and was forced to start from the rear. This moved Hirst’ brother-in-law Willie Croft to the outside of the front row and when the green flag waved it was Hirst jumping into the lead. 

The first six-laps clicked off extremely fast, prior to a caution waving and then a red during the double file restart. All drivers were okay in the incident that saw Fresno’s Carson Macedo tip onto his side after a number of cars went different directions down the front stretch. When the green lights flashed back on Hirst pulled out to a sizeable lead and there was no touching him after that, as he drove a flawless main event to pick up the $3500 victory, with the extra $500 courtesy of FK Rod Ends. 

Croft was able to fend off various challenges from Chico’s Jonathan Allard over the course of the main event to come home second in the Tri-C Manufacturing No. 3c machine. For the Sacramento driver it was his sixth podium finish of the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series season. “It was a good run for us tonight and it’s nice to be back up here on the podium for Clyde & Marion Lamar and the Tri-C team,” he said. “I want to congratulate Kyle on the win, but I can’t let him end up with more wins than me or else I’ll hear about it all offseason. We’ll go on to Stockton and see if we can get another win there.” 

Allard crossed the stripe in third to score his fourth podium finish in the last five King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series events. The three-time King of the West 410 Series champion pressured Croft a few times in the feature, but couldn’t find an opening to get by and rounded out the podium at the helm of the Williams Motorsports No. 0 mount. “It’s nice to be back here in Santa Maria tonight and I really have to thank all my guys for all their hard work,” Allard said. “The track was tough there in the feature, but I also want to thank everyone for coming out tonight and filling up these stands.” 

Hanford’s DJ Netto tallied his best career King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series finish by running fourth in the main event aboard his Netto Agriculture No. 88n Sprinter. The 17-year-old was fresh off his first career win at Ocean Speedway the night before and then put together a very impressive run with KWS on Saturday in Santa Maria. Netto also earned the hard charger award in the main event and will take home $500 courtesy of FK Rod Ends, plus the normal $200 certificate from Pit Stop USA. 

Completing the top-five in the main event and continuing his strong efforts as of late was 2004 Golden State/ King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series champion Jason Statler. The “Big Guy” scored his biggest career victory at the Santa Maria Speedway in 1999 and returned to the track on Saturday to claim his second top-five finish in the last three KWS events. The Grass Valley driver will now look to break into the win column next Saturday night at the Stockton 99 Dirt Track aboard his DF Rios Motorsports No. 00. 

The remainder of the top-10 was filled out by Campbell’s Bud Kaeding, Visalia’s Cory Eliason, Campbell’s Brent Kaeding, Fresno’s Craig Stidham and Fresno’s Dominic Scelzi. The six-lap dash as previously noted was claimed by Kyle Hirst, with the three 10-lap Kaeding Performance Heat Races going to Hirst, Cory Eliason and Willie Croft. The BR Motorsports Fast Time went to Craig Stidham, who also earned an extra $500 cash courtesy of FK Rod Ends. The Fresno driver toured the one-third mile oval in 12.848 seconds for his second fast time of the KWS season. 

During the night a helmet pass was also seen to benefit the recovery of KWS driver Peter Murphy, who was injured in a wreck the previous Saturday in Antioch. A total of $4,294 was raised during the helmet pass and we can’t thank the fans and everyone that donated enough for your generosity. A number of Peter Murphy T-shirts were also sold throughout the night so thank you to everyone for their support!

The King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series will now get set for its debut at the brand new Stockton 99 Dirt Track this coming Saturday August 3. The track is located on the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds in Stockton, California and is built inside a one-mile horse track. The grandstands and facility is one of the nicest on tour with the King of the West 410 Series & it certainly makes for a Sprint Car racing fan experience like no other. Following the World of Outlaws event in March the track was featured in various national publications and has been the talk of the sport throughout the state of California.

The front gate will open at 5pm on Saturday August 3 with qualifying around 6:30pm and racing anticipated to start at about 7pm. Adult tickets will cost $20, seniors & military will be $15, kids six to 12 will be $10 and children five and under free. The pit gate will open at 1pm for haulers to move in. There will be a number of people working the pit booth to alleviate long lines and get everyone back into the pits as quick as possible. 

Parking will also be at a reduced rate on August 3 with it being just $5 to park. 

More information on the traveling King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series can be found online at http://www.kwssprints.com/ 

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