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Jonathan Allard comes home second in Golden State Challenge Series thriller at Placerville

By Gary Thomas, Graph-x design photo

Placerville, CA – June 5, 2010…Whenever Jonathan Allard and Tim Kaeding are part of a battle for the lead Northern California sprint car fans are guaranteed to get their money’s worth and on Saturday night that was the case yet again with the two dicing it up through lapped traffic late in the main event with “TK” winning out at the finish and “JA” coming home in second.

Despite finishing runner up Allard was extremely happy following the race as he and Kaeding wore giant smiles on their faces and had a huge embrace near their cars, following the entertaining duel that had the packed Placerville Speedway crowd on their feet. It also marked the third time since Kaeding has returned home that the pair has battled it out for the win with the Golden State Challenge Series and continued Allard’s consistency at the bullring, with it being his 10th finish of second or better in the past 13 series events at the track.

“I sure the hope the fans enjoyed that one because I know I definitely did,” said the excited Chico driver. “It’s so much fun racing with Tim Kaeding because we don’t give each other an inch, but run each other clean and that’s what sprint car racing is all about. It’s been great having Tim back and racing with guys like Kyle Larson and everyone else that’s been running with this series has made it about as good as you can get.”

Allard opened the evening by timing in second quick behind Andy Forsberg and then ran fourth in his heat race, before scoring victory in the six-lap dash to put the Williams Motorsports, K&N Filters, Butler Built Performance No. 0 on the pole for the main event. At the waving of the green flag he dropped into second behind leader Evan Suggs, but would inherit the lead on a lap-two restart when oil gauge issues forced the Scotts Valley driver to the pits. With Allard in front he now had T. Kaeding to deal with and was able to hold the top-spot until lap 12, when he came upon a slower that forced him out of the throttle and gave “TK” the chance to steal the lead away.

The two-time King of California kept Kaeding in his sights though and didn’t let him get too far out front as the pair ran close together over the entire remaining distance, while navigating their way through traffic. A red flag on lap 22 set up an eight-lap dash to the finish and when the green flag waved for the final restart Allard charged to the high-scary-side of the Placerville bullring and tried desperately to make something happen with the leader. Hounding the rear of the Roth Motorsports No. 83 sprinter Allard got the opening he needed with a few laps left and charged to the lead, as he and Kaeding proceeded to run three-wide splitting lapped cars.

Entering the third corner among a thick pack of lappers however, Kaeding was able to squeeze back by and reclaim the advantage that he would never relinquish. At the checkered flag Allard found himself in second to tally his fifth straight podium finish in Golden State Challenge competition aboard the Platinum Powder Coating, Sharp Insurance, Red Line Oil No. 0 machine.

“Every week the racing has just been phenomenal out here and I don’t think we could ask for much better,” said Allard. “The track was awesome tonight with a couple grooves so hats off to Alan and the track prep guys here. I have to give a big thanks to Morrie and Katie Williams, Ashley Smith and my whole team, because this has been a great year for us so far and it’s been a lot of fun.”

Allard and the rest of the Golden State Challenge Series drivers and teams will now gear up for the inaugural running of “Western Speedweek- The Road to Dirt Cup” that kicks off at the Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico this coming Friday night with the 27th annual Tribute to Gary Patterson. Overall Western Speedweek encompasses seven races in nine days and all culminates with the 39th running of the Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup at the Skagit Speedway in Alger, Washington. In-between Chico and Skagit a trio of events will be held in Oregon with races at Medford, Cottage Grove and Lebanon.

Allard goes into the week sitting atop the Golden State Challenge 410 Sprint Car Series standings, but the major goal of the week will be to put his name on the winners list of the $25,000-to-win Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup for the third time in his career. “We’re looking forward to the Speedweek and it’ll be nice to get some more races on the way up to Skagit,” commented the two-time Dirt Cup champion. “I’m excited to go to Chico on Friday and also get back to Cottage Grove, because we had the GSC race at the place won last season, but got a flat tire late in the feature so we want to try make up for that this year.”

For more news on Chico, CA’s Jonathan Allard log onto http://www.allardmotorsports.com

“Western Speedweek- The Road to Dirt Cup” Schedule

Friday June 11 GSC Round 14: 27th annual Tribute to Gary Patterson at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, California- Information on the track can be found at http://www.silverdollarspeedway.com

Saturday June 12 GSC Round 15: Southern Oregon Speedway in Medford, Oregon. Information on the track can be found http://www.sospeedway.com/

Monday June 14 GSC Round 16: Cottage Grove Speedway in Cottage Grove, Oregon. Information on the track can be found at http://www.cottagegrovespeedway.com/

Tuesday June 15 GSC Round 17: Willamette Speedway in Lebanon, Oregon. Information on the track can be found at http://www.trophymotorsports.com/willamettespeedway.htm

Thursday June 17, Friday June 18 and Saturday June 19: 39th annual Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup at Skagit Speedway in Alger, Washington. $25,000-to-win Saturday night. Information on the track can be found at http://www.skagitspeedway.com