By Gary Thomas
The Cancen Oil KWS Series presented by Goodyear will continue its 2012 season this coming weekend at the famed Calistoga Speedway half-mile, located in the gorgeous Napa Valley Wine Country. Sprint Car racing at the picturesque track on Memorial Day weekend has been as traditional as anything in Northern California throughout the years and everyone is excited to continue it this season.
The big weekend opens on Saturday May 26 with the 21st running of the “Salute to Walter T Ross,” as we pay respect to the former legendary car owner and Northern Auto Racing Club president. On Sunday May 27 we will then honor National Sprint Car Hall of Famer Gary Patterson with the return of the “Tribute to GP” at Calistoga Speedway.
This season marks the 29th annual edition of the “Tribute to Gary Patterson” and the first at Calistoga since 2007, as it’s been held at Silver Dollar Speedway the last four-years. Patterson was a 10-time winner in his career at the scenic half-mile and once held the track record for 10-years. His life was unfortunately cut short in a racing crash at Calistoga on Memorial Day weekend 1983, but his spirit has lived on with the “Tribute to GP.”
Sunday morning from 7am till 11am will also feature the Calistoga Boy Scout Troop 18 Annual Pancake Breakfast in the Butler Pavilion on the Napa County Fairgrounds. Enjoy two pancakes, scrambled eggs, Sausage & fresh fruit. Your choice of coffee, tea, milk or orange juice. Come enjoy a delicious breakfast and support Calistoga Boy Scout Troop 18. Breakfast is $8.00 for adults & $5.00 for children under 10. For more info call 707-328-7545.
Chico’s Jonathan Allard goes into the weekend as the new Cancen Oil KWS presented by Goodyear point leader, holding a 27-point advantage over defending champion Tim Kaeding of San Jose.
St. Helena driver Rico Abreu won his first ever unlimited 410 main event in Tulare on May 12 and will be in action on Sunday night at Calistoga. Three-time USAC Silver Crown champ Bud Kaeding will be another strong addition to the roster both nights. Kaeding scored his first career Calistoga Speedway victory in 2010.
Other top drivers will include 21-time Calistoga Speedway winner & Hall of Famer Brent Kaeding, four-time winner Bobby McMahan, multiple-time victor Jason Statler, along with Evan Suggs, Peter Murphy, Willie Croft, Andy Gregg, Craig Stidham, Chad Compton, Cody Lamar and many more.
On Saturday & Sunday May 26 & 27 the front grandstand gate will open at 4pm, with cars hitting the track for wheel packing at 4:30, qualifying around 5:30 and racing scheduled to begin around 6. Please be advised of the earlier start time for both nights of racing.
The Calistoga Speedway is located on the beautiful Napa County Fairgrounds in Calistoga, California. The physical address is 1435 North Oak Street and the track number for more information is (707) 942-5111.
About the track:
The Calistoga Speedway is a semi-banked half-mile dirt oval and the all-time track record is 16.016, which was set by Mark Kinser on September 1, 2000. The KWS unlimited 410 Series track record is 16.304 and was set by Randy Hannagan on May 24, 1998. The famous speedway is also celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2012.
Adult tickets will be $20 each night, with all kids 12 and under being free, as part of the Calistoga Speedway “75th anniversary Special.” We encourage everyone to take advantage of this offer and introduce a child, if you haven’t already, to the high-speed thrills of Sprint Car racing. Bring out the family for a fun filled weekend at the “World’s Most Beautiful Dirt Track.”
Last year at the Calistoga Speedway:
Following a rainout on opening night the Cancen Oil KWS Series presented by Goodyear returned on Sunday to the Calistoga Speedway. In the end it was San Jose’s Tim Kaeding who brought home his sixth career Calistoga win, also tying Ronnie Day & Steve for most all-time victories in the “Salute to Walt Ross.” Kyle Larson finished second, with Ian Madsen, Evan Suggs & Toni Lutar completing the top-five.
Top-15 in Cancen Oil KWS presented by Goodyear points going into Calistoga Speedway:
1. Jonathan Allard 934; 2. Tim Kaeding 907; 3. Evan Suggs 856; 4. Brent Kaeding 848; 5. Bobby McMahan 839; 6. Peter Murphy 805; 7. Andy Gregg 796; 8. Jason Statler 771; 9. Chad Compton 754; 10. Willie Croft 737; 11. Craig Stidham 711; 12. Shane Golobic 665; 13. Rico Abreu 661; 14. Doug Gandy 571; 15. Cody Lamar 568
Winners so far this season with KWS:
April 7 Antioch Speedway Tim Kaeding;
April 21 Marysville Raceway Park Jonathan Allard;
April 28 Placerville Speedway Tim Kaeding;
May 5 Silver Dollar Speedway Jonathan Allard;
May 11 Tulare Thunderbowl Raceway Kyle Larson;
May 12 Tulare Thunderbowl Raceway Rico Abreu;
Upcoming events for KWS:
Saturday May 26 – Calistoga Speedway “Salute to Walt Ross”
Sunday May 27 – Calistoga Speedway “Tribute to Gary Patterson”
Saturday June 2 – Kings Speedway in Hanford “Pombo/Sargent Classic”
Friday June 8 – Silver Dollar Speedway “Road to Dirt Cup”
Saturday June 9 – Southern Oregon Speedway in Medford, Oregon “Road to Dirt Cup”
Saturday June 23 – Antioch Speedway
On the internet:
Cancen Oil King of the West Sprint Car Series presented by Goodyear-
Official Website- http://www.kwssprints.com
Official website- http://www.calistogaspeedway.org