Prestigious Cotton Classic closes out 2012 season in exciting fashion for the King of the West Sprint Car Series at Hanford’s Kings Speedway on Saturday October 13

By Gary Thomas

Hanford, CA – October 2, 2012…Following a long break between races the Cancen Oil KWS Series presented by Goodyear is geared up and ready to return to action for championship night on Saturday October 13 at the Kings Speedway in Hanford, California.

The event also marks the 27th annual “Cotton Classic” and is the final Winged 410 Sprint Car event in California for the 2012 season. The prestigious show will also feature the USAC West Coast Wingless Sprint Cars & Vintage Modifieds, making for an all open wheel night of racing at the blazing fast three-eighths mile clay oval.

Winners of the “Cotton Classic” since the year 2000 have been Visalia’s Blake Robertson; Aliquippa, PA’s Tim Shaffer; San Jose’s Tim Kaeding; Clovis’ Jason Meyers; Chico’s Stephen Allard, Elk Grove’s Kyle Larson and Chico’s Jonathan Allard, who captured last season’s event to make it his third triumph in the event since ’05.

“Kings Speedway promoter Scott Woodhouse and his wife Lisa have done an amazing job with the track and facility over the last few years,” commented KWS Operations Manager George Hague. “The atmosphere has returned back to Hanford and it’s just a really fun place to enjoy a night of racing at if you’re a fan. The Cotton Classic has always been one of the big events in California so we’re excited for October 13.”

Three-time and defending “Cotton Classic” champion Jonathan Allard goes into the night holding a 97-point advantage in the King of the West driver standings, as he looks to take home his third career state 410 driving title. The Chico native’s previous two championships have come in 2006 and ’08. Allard this season has claimed four main event victories and nine top-five finishes in the 16 events held thus far.

“I can’t thank Morrie and Katie Williams enough for their support over the years and it’s been another great season,” said Allard, who has driven the familiar No. 0 sprint car for the last eight years, making it one of the longest running driver/owner combos in California. “Ashley Smith and my guys have given me a great car and hopefully we can go out and get another Cotton Classic on October 13.”

The KWS car owners’ title finds Fresno, California based Roth Motorsports sitting at the top of the hill, leading Williams Motorsports by 73-markers. The potent No. 83 team has used San Jose’s Tim Kaeding in 12 events and Sacramento’s Kyle Hirst in the other four. As a team they have claimed six overall wins, with Kaeding capturing five and Hirst scoring a win at the Antioch Speedway on June 23.

At the “Cotton Classic” both Kaeding and Hirst will be competing for Roth Motorsports as Dennis & Teresa Roth showcase twin 83’s. Kaeding, the reigning King of the West champion, won the most recent series event held at the Silver Dollar Speedway on August 18 and will be searching to match his win total from last year if he can claim victory at the “Cotton Classic” on October 13.

Hirst’s four King of the West Series starts in the Roth 83 have been very impressive and he’ll hope to continue that at Kings Speedway. Along with his victory on June 23 he tallied top-five finishes in each attempt and scored a pair of BR Motorsports Fast Time Awards. During the World of Outlaws California swing Hirst also brought home a trio of hard charger efforts at the helm of the 83jr.

Adding some spice to the night will certainly be two-time World of Outlaws champion and 2006 “Cotton Classic’ winner Jason Meyers from nearby Clovis. Meyers will climb aboard the Tarlton & Son Inc. No. 21m for the KWS finale, which marks his first 410 start in California since way back in March. At the “Knoxville Nationals” in August Meyers drove the Tarlton machine to a preliminary night victory and a fifth place finish in the 50-lap finale.

The lone King of the West Series held at the Kings Speedway this season featured one of the best main events of the year and when all the dust had settled, it was three-time USAC Silver Crown champion Bud Kaeding standing in victory lane. The Campbell wheel-man was able to narrowly beat Evan Suggs to the line after exchanging slide jobs off the final corner. Kaeding will be doing double duty at the “Cotton Classic” competing with and without the wing.
One of the close King of the West point battles to watch for will include the fight for second in the driver standings between Kings Speedway runner up in June Evan Suggs and thirteen-time Golden State champion Brent Kaeding of Campbell. The 25-year-old Suggs holds the spot by 13-digits and will look to lock up the position for the second consecutive season aboard his families’ black No. 33e mount.

The race for fifth in the standings is also an extremely close one with ’04 Golden State champion Jason Statler, former “Mini Gold Cup” winner Willie Croft & ’96 Speedweek titlist Bobby McMahan separated by only nine-points. With the tightly knit battle each and every point will count at the “Cotton Classic” when it comes to qualifying, heat races and the main event.
Other competitors expected at the “Cotton Classic” will include Clovis, CA’s Peter Murphy, Placerville’s Andy Gregg, Fresno’s Craig Stidham, Fremont’s Shane Golobic, Chico’s Kenny Allen, Fair Oaks Chad Compton, Elk Grove’s Sean McMahan, Rio Linda’s Cody Lamar, Coarsegold’s Scott Parker, Visalia’s Cory Eliason, Oakhurst’s Doug Gandy, Grass Valley’s Pat Harvey, Rio Vista’s Danielle Simpson and more.

The front gate will open at 5:00pm on Saturday October 13 at the Kings Speedway, with qualifying around 6:30pm and racing around 7:00pm. Grandstand reserved tickets cost $25 for the “Cotton Classic” with general admission bleachers being $23. Tickets are on sale now and to reserve your seats simply contact (559) 584-7223.
The Kings Speedway is located on the Kings County Fairgrounds in Hanford, California and the physical address is 801 S. 10th Ave. Hanford, Ca 93230. More information can be found at or by contacting (559) 584-7223.

Remember to get you tickets ordered for the fast approaching KWS championship banquet weekend on November 9 & 10 at the Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort. You can get your banquet reservations in now by contacting (707) 374-2222. To reserve hotel rooms for the weekend contact Jackson Rancheria at (209) 223-1677.
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