Kyle Hirst claims KWS leading 3rd win of the year on Saturday at the Howard Kaeding Classicracepmg
By Gary Thomas
Watsonville, CA – July 11, 2015…After coming close a couple times in the past Chico, CA’s Kyle Hirst was able to check the prestigious Howard Kaeding Classic off his list Saturday night at Ocean Speedway, by claiming his series leading third King of the West 410 Sprint Car win of the season.
It marked Hirst’s 14th career King of the West victory and his first with the series at Ocean Speedway. The triumph ties the 27-year-old competitor with Jason Meyers & Tyler Walker for sixth on the all-time series win list. It was also his second straight KWS victory after winning in Calistoga two weeks back.
“It’s a great feeling to finally win the Howard Kaeding Classic and get a King of the West win in Watsonville,” Hirst said on the front stretch. “I can’t say enough about Dennis & Teresa Roth and this whole 83 team. They give me the opportunity of a lifetime to drive this car. The track work before the feature certainly worked, so I want to thank everyone with the track for making that happen. Big thanks to all the fans for coming out tonight and everyone for a great weekend.”
Hirst’s strongest challenges during the race came from fellow front row starter Jonathan Allard, who pressured him over much of the feature. A drying surface forced track workers to groom the quarter-mile prior to the start of the A-main and early on it was a lightning fast surface. Allard tried a few times to get underneath Hirst, but each occasion saw the driver of the Roth Motorsports machine pull back ahead. As the race went on the surface changed and created some intense action over the later stages.
A lap 21 restart saw things heat up for the lead as Allard slid under Hirst for the top spot, only to have KH slice back to his inside entering turn three. As Allard crossed back over he looked to find the opening to get by, but the two came together near the flagstand and resulted in Allard’s machine hooking just enough to send him upside down wildly in the first corner. Luckily Allard was okay, but his shot at a third HK Classic was over.
After this Los Angeles, CA’s Tyler Walker tried to give chase, but Hirst was perfect on the cushion and took the Ed Entz checkered flag by nearly two seconds for the victory. It added to Hirst’s list of winning big races with the series, which also includes the Tribute to Gary Patterson, the David Tarter Memorial, the Pombo/Sargent Classic, the Chris & Brian Faria Memorial, the Salute to Walter T Ross & the inaugural Winged Sprint Car race at Ventura last year.
Walker’s runner up finish came after starting from the fourth row aboard the Richie Rich Motorsports 88 and was his fourth podium effort in five KWS starts this year. “It’s nice to keep getting these consistent finishes, but I want a win bad. I feel like I keep letting my guys down because we’ve been right there. My whole team is working hard and I can’t thank them enough for allowing me to drive this car. I’ll just keep working harder and we’re going to get these guys soon.”
Roseville’s Colby Copeland had the finest night of his King of the West Series career by finishing third, after starting from row six behind the wheel of the Van Lare Steering Repair 5v. “We had a really good run in the feature and I’m pretty happy to be up here on the podium tonight. They did a great job with the track work before the main event and it was a lot of fun. I want to thank my whole team for working their tails off and we look forward to Placerville next week.”
Lemoore’s Carson Macedo claimed fourth at the finish and has taken over the KWS point lead going into Placerville Speedway next week. Previous leader Dominic Scelzi suffered a blown engine late in the feature and is now five-points behind Macedo. Making his King of the West debut on Saturday Clute, Texas driver Aaron Reutzel completed the top-five after battling amongst the front runners late in the race. It was nice to have the current Lucas Oil ASCS National point leader on hand.
The remainder of the top-10 was rounded out by Craig Stidham, 15th starter Bud Kaeding, Mitchell Faccinto, Brent Kaeding and Bobby McMaahan. It was a nice rebound for Faccinto, who got into a spin while battling for fourth early on. Copeland earned the KSE Hard Charger Award coming from 11th to third. He was one of five drivers to improve their position by eight spots.
The night’s 12-lap B-main was picked off by second year Sprint Car driver Jarrett Soares of nearby Gilroy, with the six-lap dash won by Jonathan Allard. The four 10-lap heat races were claimed by Craig Stidham, Carson Macedo, Tyler Walker and Brent Kaeding. Dominic Scelzi kicked-off the night by setting fast time in the 29-car field with a lap of 11.767. Full results are available at www.racepmg.com
The King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series now heads to Placerville Speedway this coming Saturday July 18 for the Bullring Nationals. Adult tickets will cost $22, seniors 62 & over will be $15, juniors 12-15 will be $15 and children 6-11 will be $6. All seating is general admission during the night. The pit gate at Placerville Speedway on Saturday opens at 2pm, with the front gate opening at 5pm and racing 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. For more on Placerville Speedway log onto http://www.placervillespeedway.com
Tyler Walker earned his fourth podium finish in five King of the West Series starts so far this season. Photos by Paul Trevino, M&M Racing Photos & Chuck Fry