Golden State King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series concludes successful and entertaining inaugural season of competition

2011 King of the West Golden State Sprint Car Series

By Gary Thomas

Rio Vista, CA – November 25, 2011…Going into the year the Golden State King of the West Series’ major goal was to improve the overall health of 410 winged sprint car racing in California and as the inaugural season came to a close that goal appears to be in reach.

The King of the West Series experienced a season that featured growth throughout the campaign and teams were rewarded with more cash and contingencies than ever before in the history of Northern California sprint car racing.

One indicator of success this season was the fact that the average car count for the King of the West 410 Series jumped up to 28.1, after averaging 22 cars a night in 2010 under the Golden State Challenge banner.

A Nor Cal sprint car record $116,000 total cash point fund will be handed out at the awards banquet and was a big reason for the increased participation from drivers and teams. Another $200,000 in contingency awards and prizes, including a complete sprint car with motor will also be given out at the banquet.

The extra incentives allowed the series to have 15 drivers that made 95% of the races, vastly more than in years past, making for a strong and cohesive group of travelers.

The eclectic mix of teams included those such as National Sprint Car Hall of Famer Brent Kaeding, as well as series champion Tim Kaeding, all the way to 16-year-old Kenny Allen, who was this year’s “ Grant’s Fine Art” Rookie of the Year.

Throw in 1976 Silver Dollar Speedway track champ Doug Gandy, Hall of Fame giveaway car winner Eli Deshaies, former World of Outlaws regular Brad Furr, the eccentric and flamboyant Andy Gregg, and it made for a multitude of different back-grounds traveling the highways.

This season saw seven different main event winners; with Tim Kaeding leading the way by claiming six victories, Jonathan Allard with four, Tommy Tarlton with two and then Willie Croft, Peter Murphy, Andy Gregg and Evan Suggs capturing one triumph a piece.

For Gregg and Suggs it was their very first Golden State 410 Series wins after coming extremely close on various occasions in the past. Gregg’s win came in May at the Santa Maria Speedway and Suggs’ victory was at Ocean Speedway’s “HK Classic” in July. Another impressive tidbit was that there were no flag-to-flag winners of any main event in 2011, exemplifying the stout competition this year.

One of the most thrilling races this season was the “Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial/ Tribute to Gary Patterson” in Chico, where Australian native Peter Murphy charged from 15th starting to score the biggest win of his career. The back and forth 40-lapper saw four different leaders, as Jonathan Allard, Kyle Hirst and Willie Croft also spent time out front. Roger Crockett ultimately finished second after starting 18th on the grid.

Three Golden State 410 track records also fell this year, with those coming at the Antioch Speedway in July, Watsonville’s Ocean Speedway in August and the Marysville Raceway Park in April. Throughout the season Jonathan Allard led the tour in fast time awards, having set the quickest mark on five different occasions.

Special event wins this year were picked off by Tim Kaeding (Chris & Brian Faria Memorial), Tommy Tarlton (Pombo/Sargent Classic), Peter Murphy (Bradway Jr. Memorial/ Tribute to Gary Patterson), Tim Kaeding (Salute to Walter T Ross), Evan Suggs (Howard Kaeding Classic), Jonathan Allard (Doug Fort Memorial), Jonathan Allard (Cotton Classic).

The consistency award this season went to King of the West 410 champion Tim Kaeding and Roth Motorsports, who finished among the top-five in all but two races this year. Not always considered to be a point racer, the San Jose throttle-masher put together one of the most consistent years of his career, which was the main reason he claimed the series title by 65-markers over Evan Suggs.

Many things made this season extra special from the past number of years in Northern California 410 sprint car racing, including pre-race autograph sessions each night, double-file restarts, a new format, traveling announcers, more timely results during and after the races, increased social media presence, amped up series signage at events, a series souvenir trailer, a T-shirt shooter at intermissions and more.

“We really are striving to make our events a “show” rather than just your standard dirt track race,” said Operations Manager George Hague. “People go to the sprint car races to have a good time so that’s definitely what we want the fans to do. We’re trying different things here and there to see what works and it’s all a learning experience.

The Golden State King of the West 410 Sprints would like to thank the following companies for their support this season: Goodyear Racing Tires, Pit Stop, Kaeding Performance,, Grant’s Fine Art, Auto Meter Products Inc., Contingency Connection, Maxim Chassis, Amerikote, Abel Chevrolet, Bully Dog, Red Horse Performance, JE Pistons, KSE Racing Products, Hunt Magnetos, Weld Racing, Racing Optics, Butler Built Performance, HoservilleCA, Angellos ATV Rental, Rogue Regency Inn, Williams Motorsports, DES Inc. and Simpson Percherons.

Don’t forget to “like” the Golden State King of the West Series on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at for the most timely and up to date information on the series.

Also check out our official website at for the latest news, results, history and more on the Golden State King of the West 410 Sprint Cars.

Be sure to catch archived shows of “KWS Tonight,” along with special highlight clips from the 2011 season at and