By Gary Thomas
Placerville, CA – August 17, 2010…What started back in March at the Placerville Speedway has come full circle and on Saturday night the Golden State Challenge 410 Sprint Car Series will invade the always action packed El Dorado County Fairgrounds bullring for the 2010 season finale.
This Saturday’s event will mark the third Golden State Challenge appearance of the year at the high-banked red clay quarter-mile and will conclude the 25th season of competition for the series. A total of 22-events have been run thus far and the championship battle continues to be a close one coming down to the wire.
With one race remaining in the season Elk Grove’s Kyle Larson maintains a nine-point lead over Campbell’s Brent Kaeding, as he looks to bring home his first career sprint car title. The 18-year-old comes into the weekend with five wins under his belt this year with the Golden State Challenge Series and will look to finish off the season in style on Saturday in Placerville, the same track that he won his first ever sprint car race at in 2007, which came just a few short days after turning 15.
Larson began his career having immense success in the Outlaw Kart scene, before making the jump to sprint cars in ’07 and claiming the Rookie of the Year award with the California Sprint Car Civil War 360 Series. In ’08 he then tallied a runner up finish finish to Sean Becker in the Civil War standings and last season made the leap to the Golden State Challenge 410 Series, earning Rookie of the Year and finishing fifth in the year-long standings.
Entering the 2010 season Larson proceeded to hook up with Calistoga businessman Rich Stadelhofer and California racing legend Brent Kaeding to pilot the Stadelhofer Construction, Peppermill Casino No. 99 sprinter and has went on to put together a strong season right from the opening stages. In addition to his five victories with GSC this year he also leads the series in top-five finishes with 16 and will be gunning for another consistent finish on Saturday in hopes of finishing off his championship run.
Heading into the final event of the year Kaeding will be hoping to get into Golden State Challenge Series victory lane for the first time this year as he attempts to close the nine-point gap between himself and Larson. The driver of the Al’s Roofing Supply, High Five Pizza No. 69 has picked up top-10 finishes in all but one race so far this season and also scored a runner up finish at the Placerville Speedway during the opener in March. “BK” will surely look to do anything possible to try and break the winless drought this weekend.
Scotts Valley’s Evan Suggs will look for victory after a tough break during the most recent Golden State Challenge Series event at Placerville in June took him out of the lead early in the feature. The wheel-man of the Suggs Racing, Lucas Oil Products No. 33e currently sits third in the standings going into the finale. Suggs is also fresh off a third place finish at Ocean Speedway with GSC on August 7, where he led the first 14-laps in the main event.
Penngrove’s Alissa Geving will finish off her inaugural GSC campaign on Saturday and sits fourth in points coming into the weekend aboard the Chick-o-Motorsports, Pit Stop USA No. 3x. The 18-year-old is coming off an eighth place finish during the most recent series event in Watsonville on August 7 and is the leading candidate for Rookie of the Year this season.
Rounding out the top-five in the Golden State Challenge 410 Sprint Car Series standings is Chico’s Jonathan Allard, who will be making his first start with the tour since early July on Saturday. The two-time King of California has amassed five wins with GSC this year at the helm of his Williams Motorsports, Red Line Oil No. 0, including the season opener in Placerville where he led all 30-laps in the feature. Allard also brought home a runner up finish at the track in June, after having a thrilling late race duel with San Jose’s Tim Kaeding, who is also expected in action Saturday.
Including Allard and Larson, “TK” is the third driver that has won five main events with the Golden State Challenge Series this year, with the trio being tied for the most victories this season. The 2002 King of California has won his two most recent starts with the 410 tour and will be looking to make it three in a row this weekend aboard the Roth Motorsports, DTR Transport Inc. No. 83 mount. T. Kaeding’s win in June at Placerville came in typical “TK” fashion with him threading the needle by Allard in traffic with just a couple laps remaining for victory.
Other possibilities for Saturday’s championship night will include Grass Valley’s Jason Statler, Vancouver, Washington’s Zach Zimmerly, Elk Grove’s Bobby McMahan, Placerville’s Andy Gregg, Auburn’s Andy Forsberg, Sacramento’s Willie Croft, American Canyon’s Matthew Davis, Rio Vista’s Dan and Danielle Simpson and more.
A full program of qualifying time-trials, heat races, a dash and the 30-lap $3,000-to-win/ $400-to-start main event will be on tap this Saturday night.
The front gate will open at 5pm this Saturday night with qualifying scheduled to get underway around 6:00 and racing at 6:30. All seating will be general admission with adult tickets being $17, juniors $12 and kids $5. The Placerville Speedway is located on the El Dorado County Fairgrounds in Placerville, California. For more information on the high-banked bullring visit http://www.placervillespeedway.com
For the complete point standings going into Saturday’s finale, past results and more information on the Golden State Challenge 410 Sprint Car Series please visit http://www.goldenstatechallengeseries.com