Three-way battle for 5th in the points another storyline for Golden State King of the West Finale

From Gary Thomas

Hanford, CA – October 10, 2011 — Money and prestige will be on the line this Saturday night at Giant Chevrolet Kings Speedway’s “Cotton Classic” when the Golden State King of the West 410 Sprints invade the blazing fast 3/8 mile oval for championship night.

One of the most interesting facets of the event is sure to be the extremely close three-way fight for fifth in the KWS standings between Grass Valley’s Jason Statler, Sacramento’s Willie Croft and Placerville’s Andy Gregg.

The talented trio is separated by just 10-markers, with Statler currently holding down the fifth spot, Croft in sixth and Gregg in seventh. Not only would rounding out the top-five in points be something in the way of bragging rights, but it will also be a difference in money to be gathered at the championship awards banquet.

Of the three drivers, Statler is the only one to have captured a Golden State 410 Sprint Car title, with that feat coming in 2004. “The Big Guy” however, is also the lone driver of the three that hasn’t found victory lane yet in 2011.

Statler though is coming off a season best runner up finish during the most recent KWS event in Hanford on August 6 and will look for more of the same at the Cotton Classic to solidify his position in the standings.

Lurking just six-digits behind Statler is Croft, who became a father on Monday when fiancée Samantha gave birth to baby Cole. “Double Down” picked up a victory earlier this season at the Marysville Raceway Park in April, but suffered a dnf at Giant Chevy Kings Speedway in August after getting upside down on the front stretch.

Gregg goes into the night only four-points back of Croft for sixth and 10 back of Statler for that lucrative fifth spot in the Golden State King of the West 410 standings. The former motocross racer scored victory at the Santa Maria Speedway in May and had a solid night at Hanford in August, winning the dash and finishing fifth in the main event.

Another close battle among the top-10 includes the fight for third between Campbell’s Brent Kaeding and Chico’s Jonathan Allard. “BK” currently holds the spot by 15-points over “JA” and will be looking for his first win of the year at the Cotton Classic. Allard on the other hand is in search of his fourth triumph of the season to help give him the added points and overtake the National Sprint Car Hall of Famer in the standings.

Everyone however, is chasing the Roth Motorsports No. 83 machine of Tim Kaeding, who comes into the 26th Cotton Classic with an almost definite lock on the title. “TK” will be gunning for his fourth consecutive KWS victory and seventh of the overall season. The San Jose throttle-masher captured the Cotton Classic in 2002, the same year he won the Golden State 410 title.

“It will be an exciting night on Saturday and the battle for fifth is going to be awesome to watch with it coming right down to the wire,” said KWS Operations Manager George Hague. “Jason, Willie and Andy are all great racers and great people so it should be a fun show to see who locks down that important fifth position. There’s a lot of money on the line for that spot.”

In addition to the actual racing don’t forget about the Breast Cancer Awareness Spaghetti Feed starting at noon on Saturday in the grandstand area, which benefits the Adventist Health Breast Care Center. Stop by to support a good cause and do some bench racing to commemorate the final night of the KWS season.

Tickets for the 26th Cotton Classic are on sale now and can be acquired by contacting the Giant Chevrolet Kings Speedway box office at (559) 584-2223. The Giant Chevrolet Kings Speedway is located on the Kings County Fairgrounds in Hanford, California. The physical address is 801 S. 10th Ave. Hanford, Ca 93230. More information can be found at

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Also check out our official website at for results, standings and more. You can also contact the KWS office at (707) 374-2222.