By Gary Thomas, Steve Lamothe photo
Placerville, CA – July 6, 2010…Returning to the seat of the Smitty Boys Racing special Chico, California’s Stephen Allard got his “elbows up” this past week and continued his impressive outings since joining the team by carving his way through the field on a pair of separate nights to earn top-five finishes.
The highlight of the week came during a special Wednesday night event on June 30 at the Placerville Speedway that paid $3,000-to-win and was billed as the “Who’s the fastest Cup.”
With limited races left at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds bullring before the $5,000-to-win Mark Forni Classic on July 17, Allard and the team hit the red clay for the mid-week event looking to get everything ready to go for the high-dollar show upcoming. A 28-car field signed into the pits for Wild Winged Wednesday and Allard was the sixth car to take to the track in qualifying and he ironically ripped off the sixth fastest lap of the night aboard the AA Johnson & Sons Concrete, Laughs Unlimited, Butler Built Performance No. 14s.
Allard was then running in a transfer spot during his heat race, but when a car spun around in front of him it resulted in him having nowhere to go and contacting the stalled machine, which flattened a tire and forced him to the work area. “SA” was pushed back out to rejoin the field and finished sixth, putting him into the b-main where he would go on and finish second to transfer into the feature.
The two-time Silver Dollar Speedway track champion proceeded to line up 12th in the order for the 30-lap feature and he immediately found the high-side to be his preferred groove after the waving of the green. Fighting through a number of cautions and making it tough to get into a groove Allard remained patient yet aggressive, as it took some very precise moves to get through the tightly bunched pack of cars.
The veteran driver ran right up on the cushion of the steeply banked quarter-mile and blasted around a number of cars with the race going on and at the finish crossed the stripe in third, to record yet another consistent result at the track. “That was a lot fun out there on Wednesday to be able to come through the field like that and get a podium finish,” said Allard. “We have a really good package for Placerville and I feel real comfortable every night at this place so that’s been really good and we just can’t wait for the Forni.”
On Saturday Allard and the team then made the trip to Petaluma Speedway for the sixth round of action with the California Sprint Car Civil War Series, where the Chico driver looked to continue his success from the two previous events with the tour, which netted a victory in Chico on May 30 and a runner up finish in Quincy during the most recent show on June 19.
Allard got the night started off on a good note by timing in fifth fastest overall out of 30-cars and then making a last turn pass to earn the fourth and final transfer spot his heat race at the helm of the Sticky Graphics, Dirt Solution, Stewart Ranches No. 14s. Starting in the second row of the feature he then looked to position himself in the right place for a chance at victory, but a mid-race spin while running third resulted in him having to restart at the tail end of the field.
After going to the rear Allard rocketed back through the pack spending the final half of the race putting on a show for the fans and got all the way back to fourth by the time the checkered flag waved. The strong showing helped move Allard up three spots to ninth in the Civil War standings even despite missing two races. “Petaluma was another awesome night for us and the Civil War deal has gone really well in our four starts with them,” commented Allard. “We’re just focusing on having fun and not worrying about the points though and I think that’s been paying off.”
The next scheduled outing for Allard and the Smitty Boys Racing team will be in two weeks with a big weekend of competition on deck that includes a California Sprint Car Civil War Series event at the Ocean Speedway in Watsonville on Friday July 16, which be followed up with the Mark Forni Classic at Placerville on Saturday July 17.
“You can’t ask for a better weekend of racing than the one we have coming up here with the Ocean Civil War and Forni Classic,” said Allard. “Ocean always has a really good crop of cars so it should be really fun and then you put up 5 grand at the Forni and you know that will be a pretty intense night as well.”
Going into the next Civil War event at Ocean Speedway team owner Steve Smith also sits atop the series owner standings by seven-digits over fellow first year owner Brian Cannon. “It’s pretty awesome to be in the position we are right now with a start up team, but it shows what you can do with a lot of hard work and dedication,” said team wrench Darin “Heavy-D” Smith. “Stephen Allard has been doing an awesome job and we have a lot of confidence going right now so that’s exactly what we need with some of these bigger shows coming up soon.”