By Gary Thomas
September 27, 2015…With the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series heading down the beautiful California coast this past weekend it was Chico’s Kyle Hirst & Los Angeles, CA’s Tyler Walker picking up victories at the Santa Maria Raceway & Ventura Raceway respectively, each earning their 16th career win by doing so.
Hirst opened the weekend in Santa Maria by scoring his fifth KWS victory of the season, which set a new personal single-season high for the 27-year-old. That triumph had broken a tie between himself, Walker and San Jose legend Tim Green on the all-time win list, which gave him sole possession of fifth on the illustrious series winners list.
After winning the dash on Friday Hirst was untouchable in the open track aboard the Roth Motorsports No. 83jr machine. His biggest challenge early on came in the form of Hanford’s DJ Netto, who slid to the lead at one point, only to have a yellow negate the pass. Following this it was all Hirst up front, until lapped traffic made things interesting as the race wound down.
Fresno’s Dominic Scelzi had won the previous week’s event and took second from Netto on a mid-race restart, before charging hard after Hirst. With the white flag in the air Scelzi moved in quickly on Hirst and very nearly stole the lead away on the final corner. Hirst was able to fend off the youngster however, and take the checkered flag by 0.281 seconds for the victory.
“Man this is an awesome feeling right now to get our fifth win of the year with KWS,” said the two-time series champion Hirst. “I won my very first race with this series here in Santa Maria driving for my parents back in 200, so it’s always nice coming back here. I can’t thank Dennis & Teresa Roth and the whole 83jr team enough for the opportunity to drive this car. We were fast all night and thankfully I was able to hold off Dominic there, because I could hear him coming.”
The remainder of the top-five on Friday at Santa Maria Raceway was rounded out by Scelzi, Netto, Campbell’s Bud Kaeding and Chico’s Jonathan Allard. Tyler Walker, Carson Macedo, Mitchell Faccinto, Bobby McMahan and Dalton Hill rounded out the top-10. Brent Kaeding & Scelzi won the heat races during the night, while McMahan opened the evening by setting his first fast time of the year, clocking a 12.170.
A-main finish Santa Maria Raceway: 1. #83JR Kyle Hirst, 2. #41 Dominic Scelzi, 3. #88N DJ Netto, 4. #0 Bud Kaeding, 5. #3C Jonathan Allard, 6. #88 Tyler Walker, 7. #21X Carson Macedo, 8. #37 Mitchell Faccinto, 9. #25 Bobby McMahan, 10. #81D Dalton Hill, 11. #69 Brent Kaeding, 12. #5K Chris Dyson, 13. #21K Cory Kruseman, 14. #09S Geoffrey Strole, 15. #12 Jarrett Soares, 16. #68 Chase Johnson
On Saturday at the Ventura Raceway Tyler Walker fired back and tallied his 16th career King of the West victory with a dominating performance at the bullring. Walker & Hirst now share fifth on the all-time win list, behind only Brent & Tim Kaeding, Jonathan Allard and Steve Kent.
It was also Walker’s second KWS triumph of the season at the helm of the Richie Rich Motorsports No. 88 mount. The 2009 series champion got his first win of the year on August 1 in Stockton, by taking a final corner thriller. This night was a little less dramatic though, as Walker checked out from the field during much of the contest.
The LA wheel-man made a great move on the start of the night’s dash to pass front row starters Bud Kaeding & Jonathan Allard, which gave him the pole for the feature. At the waving of the green flag in the 30-lapper he jumped out to a commanding lead, as the rest of the field fought for position. Drivers raced high & low on the tight track, in what was just the second ever Winged Sprint Car event in Ventura. Walker showed that he was not to be denied and raced off to take the Ed Entz checkered flag.
“I don’t get the chance to race in front of my family very often, so to win this race tonight is very special to me,” said a happy Walker on the front stretch. “We changed the car around a little bit for the feature and it was absolutely perfect. I think it’s something that will benefit us the rest of the season. I really want to thank Richie Rich Motorsports, Lee Lindgren and my whole team for giving me this opportunity. It’s been a long few years and I’m just so happy to be where I am right now. I hope everyone enjoyed the show tonight.”
Allard was able to slip under Bud Kaeding score the second position late in the race. Kaeding ended up third and it was good enough to give him the King of the West point lead by one-marker over Carson Macedo, who finished fifth. Friday’s winner Kyle Hirst finished fourth at the conclusion. Easton’s Tommy Tarlton claimed the KSE Hard Charger Award by coming from 13th to sixth in the feature. Dominic Scelzi, Brent Kaeding, DJ Netto and Mitchell Faccinto rounded out the top-10. Heat wins went to Allard, Macedo and Brent Kaeding. Hirst set fast time to open the night by cutting an 11.024 to set a new Winged Sprint track record.
A-main finish Ventura Raceway: 1. #88 Tyler Walker, 2. #3C Jonathan Allard, 3. #0 Bud Kaeding, 4. #83JR Kyle Hirst, 5. #21x Carson Macedo, 6. #21 Tommy Tarlton, 7. #41 Dominic Scelzi, 8. #69 Brent Kaeding, 9. #88N DJ Netto, 10. #37 Mitchell Faccinto, 11. #25 Bobby McMahan, 12. #12 Jarrett Soares, 13. #80 Troy Rutherford, 14. #73 Ryan Bernal, 15. #7 Greg Taylor, 16. #5K Chris Dyson, 17. #09S Geoffrey Strole, 18. #55 Tony Everhart, 19. #21K Cory Kruseman
The King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series will return to action on Saturday October 10 at the Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway for the KRC Safety Fall Shootout. The event marks the start of three races to go and takes place the weekend before the prestigious Trophy Cup. Tickets are on sale and can be purchased by calling 559-688-0909. A seating chart is available at www.thunderbowlraceway.com