By Gary Thomas
Santa Maria, CA – July 9, 2011…After making a thrilling move to get around Elk Grove’s Bobby McMahan on lap-10 in the main event, former two-time Golden State 410 champion Jonathan Allard proceeded to put on a clinic and dominate the final 20-circuits to tally his third King of the West Sprint Car Series victory of the season.
The triumph ties Allard with San Jose’s Tim Kaeding for the most wins this season in Golden State King of the West Sprint Car Series competition.
It was also Allard’s 27th career Golden State 410 victory, putting him just one shy of tying fellow two-time champion Steve Kent on the all-time win list.
“I really have to thank my guys for giving me such a great car tonight and it’s nice to finally get a win here in Santa Maria,” Allard commented. “We’ve seemed to struggle here, but tonight it all came together and it feels great. I also want to thank Chris Kearns for having us down here.”
The initial eight-laps in the main event were some of the most entertaining all season long, as McMahan, St. Helena’s Rico Abreu, Scotts Valley’s Evan Suggs and Allard all fought it out for the lead on the lightning fast Santa Maria clay. McMahan had captured the Grant’s Fine Art/ KSE Racing Products Dash and got the jump into turn one, but Abreu hounded his rear bumper with authority.
With six-laps down the 19-year-old Abreu ducked to the inside of McMahan to get side by side with the leader, but couldn’t make it stick and settled back into second.
As the leaders raced in heavy lapped traffic Allard took advantage, blasting to the top of the speedway and charged passed Suggs and got alongside Abreu heading down the back stretch. Contact was made between the pair though and resulted in Abreu spinning sideways and collecting Jason Statler, who got upside down in the melee. It was a tough break for both drivers, as both were done for the night with eight-laps down.
The upcoming double file restart saw McMahan get the jump on Allard, but the driver of the Morrie and Katie Williams No. 0 rocketed to the high side in exciting fashion and on lap-10 would make a crowd pleasing move off the fourth corner to grab the lead. “JA” was able to then pull away from the field running the top of the speedway to perfection, but the remainder of the field continued to put on a show racing for position.
Placerville’s Andy Gregg would bring out the caution flag with 22-laps down and on the very next restart things got even worse for the driver of the Bret Ervin owned No. 53, when he flipped down the front stretch to force a red flag period. The final restart of the night was a single file one and the top-five during it were Allard, McMahan, Easton’s Tommy Tarlton, Suggs and Tim Kaeding.
When the green lights came on for the final time Allard checked out from the pack, however, the drivers running behind him continued to slice and dice as the race neared its conclusion. Tarlton was able to make the move around McMahan over the final handful of circuits to claim second, but up front it was all Allard who would take the checkered flag by over two-seconds to claim his first Santa Maria win.
For Tarlton it was his third straight podium finish in KWS competition and continued his strong year aboard the Tarlton and Son Inc. No. 21 sprinter. “We’ve been running really well lately and I owe it all to Paul Baines and the great team I have behind me,” said Tarlton. “I love racing at this place and just wish we could do more of it. I want to thank all my sponsors and my whole family for their support.”
Crossing the line in third to score his second consecutive podium finish with the Golden State King of the West Sprint Car Series was McMahan in the American Tool & Mfg. No. 25 mount. “It was a real good night for us again and to be back up here on the podium for the second straight race is awesome,” said McMahan. “All my team chipped in to get this new motor and it’s definitely paid off. I want to thank all you fans for coming out tonight as well.”
Rounding out the top-10 in the main event were KWS point leader Tim Kaeding, Suggs, PitstopUSA hard charger Kyle Larson of Elk Grove, Brent Kaeding of Campbell, Sacramento’s Willie Croft, Campbell’s Bud Kaeding and Clovis’ Peter Murphy. The Dash as previously noted was captured by Bobby McMahan, with the three 10-lap heat races being picked off by McMahan, Rico Abreu and Tommy Tarlton. Evan Suggs began the night by setting the Grant’s Art Fast Time with a lap of 11.928.
The third annual Angello’s ATV Rental Wheelie Contest was also held during the night and created some excitement with Bud Kaeding, Dan Simpson and Orval Burke Sr. taking part in it. In the end Burke Sr. brought home the victory when he did a reverse track wheelie and caught the infield berm at the end of it, which resulted in him flipping end over end. He emerged from the car okay though to the delight of the crowd.
The Golden State King of the West Sprint Car Series will now head for the Antioch Speedway in Antioch, California next Saturday night July 16. Don’t forget tickets are on sale for the event at the KWS office and can be acquired by contacting (707) 374-2222.
To keep up with the latest happenings from the Golden State King of the West Sprint Car Series visit http://www.kwssprints.com or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.