From Gary Thomas, image courtesy of John’s Racing Photos
Watsonville, CA – April 26, 2010…Looking to continue his hot start to the Golden State Challenge 410 Sprint Car Series season this past weekend Chico, California’s Jonathan Allard was locked in an exciting four-car battle for the lead in the main event, until contact just before the midway point ultimately knocked him out of contention at the Ocean Speedway.
Allard went into Saturday fresh off his third victory in the first four GSC events and held a 12-point advantage over Brent Kaeding at the top of the series standings.
The evening began in uncharacteristic fashion as the often hooked-up Ocean Speedway surface was already extremely dry and hard to get ahold of in hot laps. Even despite drawing a later number for qualifying though Allard was still able to cut the seventh fastest lap of night, before charging to victory in the opening heat race after starting from the second row aboard the Williams Motorsports, K&N Filters, Red Line Oil, Sharp Insurance No. 0 machine.
The two-time King of California then drew a front row starting spot for the dash, but issues after a few laps forced him to the rear of the field, where he would eventually move forward to get back up to fifth by the finish. Following the dash some extensive track prep went on and it helped immensely as the track surface was very good for the main event and when the green flag came out Allard quickly moved forward.
Starting from the third row in the 30-lapper the Chico driver charged up to second after just a couple laps and began to work on leader Brent Kaeding in no time at all. Allard hounded the rear of the former 13-time King of California and tried to work a little higher groove in turns three and four as Kaeding was locked down to the bottom. While “JA” tried to find the bite needed to get by for the lead, he also had to deal with young Kyle Larson, who made it a three-car fight for the lead as the trio put on a terrific show for the fans.
Following a restart on lap 10 Allard would get a bit loose off turn four and lose the second spot to Larson. A few laps later Bud Kaeding then got to the inside of him and made the move by for third, but Allard was able to reclaim the position heading down the backstretch. With the pair running side-by-side through turns three and four on the slick and hard-packed surface contact would occur between the two, which left Allard parked sideways in the fourth corner and it put a tough end to the night.
Next up for Allard and the Williams Motorsports team will be this weekend’s two-night Doug Fort Memorial at the Santa Maria Speedway on Friday and Saturday.
On Friday evening Allard has plans to take part in the Ocean 360 Sprint Car Series presented by Taco Bravo event at the 1/3 mile clay oval and then on Saturday he will be action with the Golden State Challenge 410 Series at the track. Last year “JA” had issues in qualifying during the inaugural Doug Fort Memorial that stuck him near the back of the grid for the main event, where he would move forward to tally a seventh place finish on a very heavy and fast surface.
Going into this Saturday’s event Allard now sits second in the Golden State Challenge Sprint Car Series standings and is two-points behind Brent Kaeding for the top-spot. “We’re looking forward to getting back on the track in Santa Maria this weekend,” said Allard. “Our focus is on winning races since we’re not planning on running for points this season and we’d definitely like to get back up there on the front stretch this Saturday after how last week ended. Last year we had some problems in Santa Maria early in the night, but once we got it figured out we were really good so we’re expecting to be pretty fast this weekend.”
For more news on two-time King of California Jonathan Allard log onto http://www.allardmotorsports.com