By Gary Thomas
Antioch, CA – April 12, 2011…Entering the 2011 season Jonathan Allard’s major goal was to capture the Golden State King of the West Sprint Car Series title and on opening night this past weekend the Chico driver started the year off on a strong note, by setting fast time and claiming the 30-lap A-main at the Antioch Speedway.
It was Allard’s 25th career Golden State 410 victory and came after a rough and tumble feature event to begin the fight for the champions share of the King of the West Series $125,000 point fund.
“It’s great to come out here and win the first King of the West race tonight and I just can’t thank my guys enough,” said Allard, who joins Brent Kaeding, Tim Kaeding & Steve Kent as drivers who have won at least 25 races with the Golden State Series. “Getting fast time and winning the main event is a tremendous way to begin the season and we’ll try to do it again this coming week in Tulare.”
A total of 28-cars signed in at the Antioch Speedway on Saturday night and Allard kicked off the evening with a bang, setting quick time by a fairly wide margin at the helm of the Williams Motorsports, K&N Filters, Red Line Oil No. 0 sprint car. A third place finish in the heat race was then followed with a third place effort in the dash, which put him in the second row for the 30-lap main event.
Early on Allard positioned himself in third and then made the move around Jason Statler for second just prior to a red flag period that saw leader Bobby McMahan get upside down while racing through traffic. “JA” would inherit the lead and maintain the point until reigning Golden State champion Kyle Larson charged to the high side and grabbed the top spot on lap 18.
Allard wasn’t done just yet though and on a restart with only eight-circuits remaining he charged to the bottom of the speedway and was able to slice his way back in front of Larson off the exit of the second corner. It proved to be the winning pass and the Chico driver would ultimately drive off and cross the checkered flag to kick off the Golden State King of the West season in victorious fashion.
“We’ve had a few wins here at Antioch taken away from us the last few years, but we feel that we have a good handle on this place,” said Allard, who scored his first ever Golden State 410 win at Antioch last season. “I want to give a big thanks to Dan Simpson and all the KWS staff because they’ve been doing a great job and it’s something we’ve needed for a long time.”
Allard currently holds a six-point lead in the Golden State King of the West Sprint Car Series standings over Scotts Valley’s Evan Suggs going into this Saturday’s Chris & Brian Faria Memorial at the Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare. Allard was the winner of the Faria Memorial in 2003 and last season scored a fifth place finish in the event, after contact while battling for the lead forced him to come from the rear of the field.
Tomorrow night Allard will make the trip down to Rio Vista to be on hand for King of the West Tonight, an internet show that airs live at 7pm pacific time on http://www.kwssprints.com/webcast every Wednesday night.
Allard will be talking about his recent victory at the Antioch Speedway, the changes for 410 sprint car racing in California and his career in general.
For more on Jonathan Allard and Williams Motorsports log onto http://www.allardmotorsports.com