From Gary Thomas
Antioch, CA – July 14, 2010…With the season winding down for the Golden State Challenge Series it’s a battle of youth versus experience as 13-time King of California Brent Kaeding of Campbell and defending Rookie of the Year Kyle Larson of Elk Grove sit just nine-points apart at the top of the standings going into the Antioch Speedway this Saturday night.
Including this weekend’s event there are just four nights of racing left in the 2010 Golden State Challenge Series season as the fight for the title goes right down to the very end, with the King of California being crowned in just over a month at the Placerville Speedway on August 21.
This Saturday’s race will mark the 14th series appearance at the Antioch Speedway since bringing 410 sprint car racing back to the Contra Costa County Fairgrounds in 2003. Prior to this past season the track was also revamped with additional banking added and the track surface lengthened to what it is now billed as a 3/8 mile dirt oval.
The Golden State Challenge Series event earlier this season in Antioch was captured by Chico’s Jonathan Allard, who has traveled to the Midwest for a multi-week trip, which in essence has set up the very close battle for the championship between two drivers that race under the same stable, yet have drastically different experience levels.
Sitting on top of the points going into Antioch Campbell’s Brent Kaeding will be looking to secure his first victory of the season on Saturday to help in his bid at a 14th King of California title. The driver of the Al’s Roofing Supply, High Five Pizza No. 69 currently leads the Golden State Challenge Series with 18 top-10 finishes in the 19 events held thus far, with his only result outside the top-10 coming after a flat tire on the final lap in Chico two weeks ago. “BK” also leads all drivers with four wins at the Antioch Speedway since the return in ’03 and always seems to run strong at the track.
Lurking right there in second and within a breath of the point lead Elk Grove’s Kyle Larson will be in search of his fourth Golden State Challenge Series win of the season on Saturday to try and make up the short nine-point gap between himself and Kaeding. The 17-year-old is attempting to become the youngest King of California in the 25-year history of the series in what is his first season driving the Stadelhofer Construction, Peppermill Casino-Reno No. 99. In April at Antioch Larson was battling toe-to-toe with Allard for the lead until an incident in traffic put him out of the race and resulted in a 19th place finish.
Coming home in second at the Antioch Speedway in April was Scotts Valley’s Evan Suggs, who will be gunning to get into Golden State Challenge Series victory lane for the first time in his career on Saturday at the helm of the Suggs Racing, Lucas Oil Products No. 33e. The runner up effort tied his career best finish with the tour, which he also eventually matched on Memorial Day weekend in Petaluma. With Allard gone the 23-year-old will also be looking to move up to third in the standings this weekend during his second start aboard the teams’ new A.R.T. Chassis.
Scheduled to return to action on Saturday will be Grass Valley’s Jason Statler, whose wife Stephanie is scheduled to give birth to the couple’s second child at any time. “The Big Guy” is coming off a season-best third place finish during his most recent Golden State Challenge Series start in Chico on July 4 aboard his DF Rios Construction, YAK Graphics No. 00. During the GSC return to Antioch Speedway in 2003 Statler was the winner of the nights main event and in April scored a fourth place result at the 3/8 mile dirt oval.
After coming close to victory last Saturday at the Santa Maria Speedway Andy Gregg of Placerville will return to Golden State Challenge competition this weekend looking to breakthrough for his first series win. The wheel-man of the Team Guts Racing, Dale Miller Plumbing No. 16x won his heat race, the dash and then had a tremendous battle with Oroville’s Sean Becker in the main event, before losing the lead on the final lap to the former King of California and eventually finishing third at the stripe. Gregg last July finished fifth in the feature at Antioch to mark his best ever series finish at the track.
Other possibilities for this Saturday night will include Penngrove’s Alissa Geving, who tied her career best Golden State Challenge Series finish of sixth in April at Antioch, as well as Elk Grove’s Bobby and Sean McMahan, Roseville’s Colby Copeland, American Canyon’s Matthew Davis, Rio Vista’s Dan and Danielle Simspon, Grass Valley’s Pat Harvey and more.
The front gate of the Antioch Speedway will open at 5pm this Saturday July 17 with adult tickets costing $16, children 6-12 $10, seniors 65 and older $10 and kids 5 under free. A family pack for two adults and two children is also available for $42. The Antioch Speedway is located at the Contra Costa County Fairgrounds on the corner of 10th & L Streets in Antioch, California. For more info on the track log onto http://www.antiochspeedway.com
Coming up- Following the event in Antioch this weekend the Golden State Challenge 410 Sprint Car Series will then make a visit to the Marysville Raceway Park on Saturday July 24, to mark the first time 410’s have competed at the track since 1999. The weekend after that will then be an off week with the cancellation of Petaluma Speedway on July 31, before the tour starts the final two-race swing with an event at Watsonville’s Ocean Speedway on Saturday August 7.
For the full point standings, results, a remaining schedule of events and more log onto http://www.goldenstatechallengeseries.com