By Gary Thomas, Steve Lamothe photo
Marysville, CA – June 7, 2010…Keeping the momentum rolling this past Saturday night Chico, California’s Stephen Allard took advantage of a final lap spin by leader Steven Tiner to shoot by and record his second victory in as many weeks aboard the Smitty Boys Racing No. 14s sprinter at the Marysville Raceway Park.
The win in the Mel Hall Memorial was Allard’s third triumph in just his sixth week back racing since joining the Steve Smith owned machine and awarded him $2500 for his efforts.
“This has just been awesome the way we have come out of the box as a team,” said the former two-time Silver Dollar Speedway track champion. “We were going to be second tonight if Steven Tiner hadn’t spun and I know that’s a tough feeling for him, but I’ve seemed to have so much bad luck the last couple years myself and you have to put yourself in position to take advantage of things like that that so I couldn’t happier to get to another win.”
Allard went into the annual Mel Hall Memorial with momentum on his side following his first California Sprint Car Civil War Series victory of the season the previous weekend in Chico. After being seventh fastest in hot laps head wrench Darin “Heavy-D” Smith went to work and got the AA Johnson & Sons Concrete No. 14s in tip-top shape for qualifying and Allard was able to cut the third quickest lap of the session behind only Mark Hall and Steven Tiner in the 25-car field.
The veteran driver then charged to victory in the third and final heat race and with the number four pill being drawn for the main event inversion it put Allard on the outside of the front row alongside Sacramento’s Herman Klein. The Chico, CA wheel-man would settle into second at the waving of the green flag, but soon had to deal with a broken wing slider that would play havoc with him while trying to navigate his way around the quarter-mile bullring.
Allard would hang strong in second behind Klein, until a fast moving Tiner was able to grab the position with just under 10-laps remaining in the race. With the 30-lap contest winding its way down Tiner moved to the lead and “SA” stepped up his challenges and was also able to slice his way by Klein to move back into second with about four-circuits left. With the white flag unveiled it looked like he might have to settle for second, but going through turns one and two Tiner looped his No. 94 sprinter and Allard rocketed by to claim an improbably victory on the final lap at the helm of the Laughs Unlimited, Butler Built Performance, Sticky Graphics No. 14s.
With the victory Allard and Smitty Boys Racing will now head for the Placerville Speedway this coming Saturday night looking to make it three in a row during the eighth point race of the Red Hawk Casino championship season at the high-banked quarter-mile. “We’re definitely looking forward to rolling into Placerville and trying to get our fourth win of the year,” said team partner and wrench Heavy-D. “We have some big races coming up in the next month or so and we’re focusing on getting our program dialed in at Placerville so we can have everything ready to go for Wild Winged Wednesday and the Forni Classic.”