From Gary Thomas
Calistoga, CA – (May 25, 2011) — Racing on Memorial Day weekend at the Calistoga Speedway is as traditional as anything in Northern California and this Saturday and Sunday May 28 & 29 the Golden State King of the West Sprint Car Series will be in action at the historic track.
Sunday’s event will be the running of the “Salute to Walter T. Ross,” paying respect to the former Northern Auto Racing Club President and long time car owner.
Ross’ famous No. 56 graced victory lane at the Calistoga Speedway on 11 occasions and was one of the most recognizable sprint cars of its era. His car was driven by some of the biggest names in Northern California sprint racing including Gary Patterson, Dave Bradway Jr., Leroy Van Connett, Mike Andreetta, Rendy Boldrini and others.
As president of NARC Ross was crucial in moving the club forward following the retirement of Louis Vermeil in the mid-1980’s. He was also named one of the 40 most influential people in Northern Auto Racing Club history. Ross passed away in 1987 from A.L.S. and a race recognizing him has become a tradition on Memorial Day weekend.
Former Calistoga Speedway & Napa County Fair manager Mike Kenney said of Ross in a past racing program, “As a former president of NARC, Ross brought the racing club into the era of sponsorship, but most of all Walter T. Ross was best known for his heart. He cared about people, sprint car racing and his friends and family.”
San Jose’s Tim Kaeding will lead the Golden State King of the West Sprint Car Series into Calistoga this weekend continuing to maintain a 21-point lead in the standings. The wheel-man of the Roth Motorsports No. 83 has claimed five victories in his career at the historic half-mile and will look to add more to that total this weekend. As a team Roth Motorsports also sits tied with Walt Ross for third on the all-time car owner win list at Calistoga Speedway.
Scotts Valley’s Evan Suggs keeps looking solid each and every weekend and goes into the Calistoga Speedway sitting second in the KWS standings while driving the Suggs Racing No. 33e. Suggs last season scored a career best Calistoga finish of fourth during the Sunday feature and will be searching for his first career Golden State main event win this week.
Two-time Golden State 410 Series champion Jonathan Allard ranks third in the standings and will be looking for his third career Calistoga Speedway win this weekend at the helm of the familiar Williams Motorsports No. 0 mount. Last season the Chico driver held off Tim Kaeding to score his second career victory at the historic track and goes into Saturday just nine-digits out of second in the Golden State King of the West Sprint Car Series points.
Thirteen-time Golden State 410 Series titlist Brent Kaeding is the second winningest driver in Calistoga Speedway history with 21-career triumphs and comes into Saturday sitting fourth in the KWS point standings. The driver of the famed Al’s Roofing Supply No. 69 has been gaining momentum the last couple of weeks and will be looking for his first win of the season this weekend.
Fresh off his first Golden State 410 victory last Saturday at Santa Maria, Andy Gregg currently rounds out the top-five in the Golden State King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series standings going into Calistoga aboard the Bret Ervin Racing No. 53. The 31-year-old tallied a career best finish of second at the track in 2007 and will look for his first ever victory at the speedway this weekend.
Completing the top-10 in the Golden State King of the West Sprint Car Series standings coming into the weekend are Sacramento’s “Double Down” Willie Croft, multiple-time Calistoga Speedway winner & former Salute to Walt Ross champ Jason Statler of Grass Valley, Fremont’s Brent Bjork, many-time Calistoga winner & past Salute to Walt Ross winner Bobby McMahan and KWS Hoseheads/Grant’s Fine Art Rookie of the Year contender Kenny Allen of Chico.
Last year’s Salute to Walter T. Ross saw Campbell’s Bud Kaeding pick up an exciting win to score his first career victory at the famed Calistoga Speedway. The three-time USAC Silver Crown Series champion will be on hand this weekend looking to claim his first KWS win of the season in the Alviso Rock No. 29.
Reigning Golden State 410 Series champion Kyle Larson of Elk Grove is set to fly back from Indiana to be in action during Sunday’s Salute to Walt Ross aboard the Stadelhofer Construction No. 99. Earlier this season the 18-year-old had a tremendous run with the World of Outlaws in Calistoga, coming from 21st to third to tally the hard charger award in the feature.
Other drivers expected to take part in some of the weekend’s racing will include Stockton’s Brad Furr, Australian Ian Madsen, Auburn’s Andy Forsberg, St. Helena’s Rico Abreu, Rio Vista’s Dan and Danielle Simpson, Grass Valley’s Pat Harvey, Merced’s Mark Barroso, Oakhurst’s Doug Gandy, North Kingstown, Rhode Island’s Eli Deshaies, Santa Rosa’s Marty Hawkins and more.
As always in Calistoga, there will be a pancake breakfast held on Sunday morning at the fairgrounds with a TV for viewing of the Indianapolis 500. Vintage hardtops will also be on hand during the weekend.
Adult tickets will cost $20 with children 4-12 being $10 and kids 3 and under free. On Saturday and Sunday the front grandstand gate will open at 4pm with cars getting on the track at 5, qualifying around 6 and racing about 6:30.
The Calistoga Speedway is located on the beautiful Napa County Fairgrounds in Calistoga, California and is located at 1435 North Oak Street. Don’t forget to get to the track early each day, as most of the teams will be on the grounds working on their race cars and many will also have merchandise for sale at the same time.