By Gary Thomas
Antioch, CA – July 17, 2012…With the season coming down to the wire and point battles heating up, the Cancen Oil KWS Series presented by Goodyear will venture to the Antioch Speedway for the final time in 2012 this Saturday night.
It will be the third visit of the season for the King of the West unlimited 410’s at the Contra Costa County Fairgrounds facility and marks round fifteen in the fight for the series title. Winners thus far at the Antioch Speedway this year include last year’s champion Tim Kaeding and most recently Sacramento’s Kyle Hirst.
“It’s always an action packed night in Antioch and we’re definitely looking forward to being there on Saturday for the third time this season,” said KWS Operations Manager George Hague. “The racing there has been extremely entertaining over the years and with all the close point battles going on, you can bet it will be more of the same on Saturday.”
Holding a firm grasp at the top of the driver standings and eyeing a third state title, Chico’s Jonathan Allard goes into Antioch this weekend looking for his fifth Cancen Oil KWS Series presented by Goodyear win of the year. Allard captured the most recent series event in Watsonville and has won twice in his career Antioch Speedway.
Returning once again on Saturday aboard the Roth Motorsports No. 83 machine will be Hirst, who has not finished worse than fourth during his three starts in the car. The 24-year-old has been very strong over the last few weeks and has helped Dennis & Teresa Roth take a firm lead in the owner standings.
“It’s been a real honor to drive for Dennis & Teresa Roth and the whole Roth Motorsports team over the last three races,” commented Hirst. “We’ve been fast every night and they’ve given me a great car. Hopefully we can come out this weekend and do the same thing we did in Antioch on June 23.”
The legendary Jimmy Sills will also be back in competition at Antioch on Saturday at the helm of the Dan Simpson Racing No. 4s mount. Sills claimed the Pit Stop USA hard charger award during the June event in Antioch and will be searching to move up the ladder even more this weekend. It marks his sixth start of the 2012 year in a 410.
Fellow National Sprint Car Hall of Famer Brent Kaeding ranks second in the KWS standings and will be looking for redemption on Saturday, after an incident in lapped traffic took him out of the lead in June at the track. The Campbell, California veteran has won the most in Antioch since 410 racing returned there in 2003.
The always smooth and consistent Evan Suggs of Scotts Valley sits third in the standings and will be looking to make up ground on Kaeding in the battle for the second spot. The 25-year-old Scotts Valley driver is 16-markers back of Kaeding going into Saturday.
The drivers ranking fourth through seventh in the Cancen Oil KWS Series presented by Goodyear standings are separated by only 26-points and it’s expected to be a close fight right down to the end. Australian native Peter Murphy has been solid as of late and now maintains the fourth spot, but is just four-digits ahead of Bobby McMahan who rounds out the top-five.
The dogfight continues with sixth place in points Willie Croft of Sacramento only 12-markers back of McMahan for fifth. Seventh place Jason Statler is also just a scant 10-points back of Croft. All four drivers are still looking for their first KWS win of the year and a victory on Saturday would be huge in the point chase. McMahan & Statler have both won at Antioch in the past.
Fellow top-10 drivers in the standings, Andy Gregg of Placerville and Craig Stidham from Fresno, will also be looking to breakthrough for their first win of the season on Saturday. During the June 23 event at Antioch, Stidham scored a season best second place finish, while Gregg rounded out the podium in the feature.
One of the hottest drivers as of late has been Fremont youngster Shane Golobic, who is coming off his best finish of the KWS season on July 7 in Watsonville. The 20-year-old also had a strong run on June 23 in Antioch, battling for the lead in the main event, before an incident in traffic relegated him to a ninth place finish.
Other drivers geared up for this Saturday will include Fair Oaks Chad Compton, Oakhurst’s Doug Gandy, Rio Linda’s Cody Lamar, Redding’s Tyler Wolf, Rio Vista’s Danielle Simpson, Grass Valley’s Pat Harvey, St. Helena’s Jeff Griffin, Auburn’s Richard Brace Jr. and more.
On Saturday July 21 the front grandstand gate will be open at 5pm. Hot laps are scheduled for 6pm, with qualifying at 6:30pm and racing anticipated to start around 7pm. Tickets will be available the day of the race with adults being $20, children 6-12 $10, seniors 65 & older $10 and children 5 & under free. A family pack with two adults & two children will also be available for $50.
Antioch Speedway is located on the Contra Costa County Fairgrounds at the corner of 10th and L Streets in Antioch, California. Take SR-4 East (Highway 4) to the Somersville Road North Exit. Follow Somersville Road to 10th Street. Turn Right on 10th Street. The address for the track is 1201 W. 10th Street Antioch, CA 94509. More info about the track can be found at http://www.ovalmotorsports.com/category/antioch/
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Also check out our official website http://www.kwssprints.com for the latest news, results, history and more on the Cancen Oil King of the West 410 Sprint Cars presented by Goodyear. Archived “KWS Tonight” videos are also available for viewing on the website to watch at your leisurely pleasure.