By Gary Thomas
Chico, CA – July 7, 2010…With a Midwest trip on deck Chico, California’s Jonathan Allard headed to his home track of Silver Dollar Speedway one last time before departure and put together a very solid weekend that included a clean sweep of Saturday night’s program and gave him his ninth main event victory of the season aboard the Williams Motorsports No. 0 sprint car.
The triumph for Allard marked his 41st career win at the Chico bullring and was the third time he has come out on top of the weekly 410 series at the track in just three starts this year. “This kind of a night is really a testament to all my guys I have behind me, because this car was a rocket ship every time we hit the track,” said Allard. “The track took rubber there later in the feature, but before that it was really racy so we have to give props to Alan Handy for that and I also want to thank all my sponsors and all you fans for coming out tonight.”
Allard went into the 4th of July weekend looking to rebound from a less than hoped for outing in Hanford the previous week and that’s exactly what he did right out of the gate by charging around the quarter-mile in 11.542 seconds to earn his third fast time in three weekly starts at Silver Dollar this year. The two-time King of California then picked up an exciting heat race win as he rocketed around Tyler Wolfe and Kenny Allen on the final circuit to score victory in the eight-lap contest.
When the number zero pill was drawn for the inversion it put Allard on the pole and when the green flag waved in the 25-lapper he jumped out into the lead in turns one and two, but was forced to do it three separate times as crashes led to complete restarts. Finally officials ordered a single file restart and “JA” led the field down to green on the slick and treacherous surface. He would lead the field for four-laps, until Campbell’s Bud Kaeding was able to slip underneath coming off turn four to take command.
Allard didn’t panic though and on a lap-seven restart he went to the outside and charged back by the three-time Silver Crown champ to reclaim the lead that he would never relinquish. With the track beginning to take rubber it made things difficult getting around lapped traffic, but the Chico driver ran smart the rest of the way and crossed the checkered to cap off a clean sweep for the night. “That was fun racing with Bud there and it’s always a good night when you can get up here on the podium with Bud and Brent Kaeding,” said Allard. “We’ve had a great year so far and this is our ninth win so we’re pretty happy.”
Coming back on Sunday for the Golden State Challenge 410 Sprint Car Series portion of the weekend Allard looked to continue the momentum from the previous night and that happened right from the get go as he set quick time yet again to start the evening. In fact so far in 2010 Allard has competed in six overall events at the Silver Dollar Speedway and has been the fast qualifier five times.
The 33-year-old then started from fifth in the opening heat race and once again put his machine on the ragged edge of the track and charged forward to make a beautiful pass of Alissa Geving and Bud Kaeding up high on lap-three to take the lead. He then checked out from there and captured the win to continue his perfect weekend up to that point behind the wheel of the Platinum Powder Coating, Butler Built, K&N Filters No. 0 mount. After drawing the six-pill for the dash Allard had his work cut out for him if he wanted to keep the perfect streak going and although he eventually didn’t get the win, he was able to move all the way up to second behind winner Kyle Larson.
Starting on the front row Allard fell into line second behind young Larson when the 30-lap feature got underway and it ran like that for much of the going as the track was very slick and beginning to take rubber for the second night in a row. With a number of yellows keeping traffic away it made things very difficult to catch the fast moving Larson, but with just four-laps to go a spinning lapper gave him the chance he needed as multiple cars scattered in different directions. It then looked like the “parting of the seas” as Larson went low and Allard shot to the middle to grab the lead heading off turn two.
Unfortunately just when it looked like Allard had taken the lead and had a chance at scoring another win, everything came to a halt in turn three when contact with a lapped car resulted in the left rear area being severely damaged on the 0 sprinter and ended his bid at the victory. “It was one of those things where you only get one shot to do something and when I saw those cars going different directions I thought here we go,” said Allard, who eventually finished 11th after going to the work area. “It just didn’t work out in our favor in the end, but Kyle Larson did a great job and we have to congratulate him on the win.”
Allard and the Williams Motorsports team are now scheduled to hit the road for a number of weeks trying to gain laps at different tracks with some of the bigger races coming up as the summer goes on. “We’re really excited for this trip to race some different tracks and compete against a lot of various drivers that we usually only get to see a couple times a year,” said Allard. “We had the car about as good as you can get it last weekend and that definitely gives us confidence going out on the road so hopefully we can continue making the right decisions out there.”
For more news on Chico, CA’s Jonathan Allard log onto http://www.allardmotorsports.com