King of the West & Ca. Drivers Head to Winter Heat

By Gary Thomas
Somerton, Arizona – December 26, 2014…In just one week’s time the inaugural Winter Heat Sprint Car Showdown at the Cocopah Speedway in Somerton, Arizona goes green. The much anticipated & marquee Winged 410 Sprint Car event takes place on January 2 & 3, January 6 and January 9 & 10, with the four weekend shows paying $12,000-to-win & $1,000-to-start, while the Tuesday event is $5,000-to-win & $400-to-start.
Various King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series competitor’s expected include Sacramento’s Willie Croft & Tri-C Motorsports, Hanford’s DJ Netto and Fresno’s Craig Stidham. Princeton’s Mason Moore, who made 10 KWS starts last year, is also entered.
Croft is coming off one of the best seasons of his career, which saw him put together an impressive string of consistency throughout the campaign. Highlights included a KWS victory in May at the Petaluma Speedway and his biggest ever triumph in October when he claimed the $20,000 Trophy Cup at Thunderbowl Raceway. At the Winter Heat Showdown he will be at the helm of the Tri-C Machine, while normal driver Jonathan Allard is in New Zealand. In November at Cocopah Croft scored finishes of fourth & seventh with the ASCS National Tour in the 3c mount.
Netto was last year’s King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series Rookie of the Year and earned a career best series finish of second at the Pombo/Sargent Classic in June at Kings Speedway. Stidham is a past winner of the Trophy Cup & finished fourth in points with KWS in 2013. Moore found success at Cocopah Speedway this past November with the Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour & looks to do the same in the 410 at the Winter Heat Showdown. California based Roth Motorsports & Silva Motorsports will also field cars for Watertown, Connecticut’s David Gravel & Hartford, Ohio’s Dale Blaney respectively.
2010 King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series champion & this year’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year Kyle Larson from Elk Grove will also compete aboard the Larson Marks Racing No. 2 Sprinter. It will be his first Winged Sprint Car start since winning the 2013 Trophy Cup at the Tulare Thunderbowl Raceway. The 22-year-old ranks 16th on the all-time KWS win list, sitting in a tie with Jimmy Sills, Greg Decaires and Randy Hannagan with seven wins to his credit. Larson drove the Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates No. 42 Target Chevy to eight top-five finishes & 17 top ten’s this past season in NASCAR Sprint Cup competition.
Approximately 50 competitors are expected to tackle the Winter Heat Sprint Car Showdown including 20-time World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series champion Steve Kinser; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kasey Kahne; Nashville, Tennessee resident & California native Paul McMahan; Brownsburg, Indiana’s Joey Saldana; Grain Valley, Missouri’s Brian Brown; 2001 World of Outlaws champion Danny Lasoski; Norman, Oklahoma’s Christopher Bell; Elk River, Minnesota’s Craig Dollanksy; Eunice, Louisiana’s Jason Johnson; Broken Arrow, Oklahoma’s Stevie Smith and many more.
The nightly format will be similar to what is seen at the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals each January, with heats & qualifying races to determine main lineups. Drivers will start each night by drawing a random pill, which will determine the lineups for the heat races. Passing points will be calculated based on the results of the heats. The qualifying races will then have an inversion, which will be based on car count. The combined points earned through the heat races and qualifiers will then determine the feature lineups.
A $10,000 point fund will be split among the top-five point earners for the week thanks to support from Cometic Gasket, JE Pistons and K1 Technologies. The champion will receive a $4,000 bonus with drivers finishing second through fifth each earning $1,500. A driver will earn points throughout heat races, qualifying races and main events during the five events. A competitor must attempt to race in all five Winter Heat Sprint Car Showdown races to be eligible for the point fund.
SPEED SPORT Productions will be broadcasting a live Pay-Per-View video of the Winter Heat Sprint Car Showdown. Visit http://www.SPEEDSPORT.TV/live for more information. A daily schedule of events for the Winter Heat Sprint Car Showdown can be seen at & tickets can be purchased at
The Cocopah Speedway is a blazing fast semi-banked three-eighths mile clay oval and has a large 4000 seat capacity concrete grandstand area, with great views of the entire race track. Great speedway concessions, a large pit area with racer store and plenty of spectator parking can be found at the facility. The Cocopah Indian Tribe purchased the speedway, formerly the Yuma Speedway complex, in June of 2005. For more information visit
Down Under Watch- An abundance of King of the West 410 Series champions are presently down under competing in both Australia and New Zealand. Two-time & reigning KWS champ Kyle Hirst is just getting his Enzed World Series Sprint Car title-march underway, while Brent & Tim Kaeding are just beginning their tour of Australia. Jonathan Allard continues his campaign at the Western Springs Speedway in New Zealand, where he ended up finishing fifth last night. During that same event at Springs Speedway Rutherford, CA’s Rico Abreu scored the Midget victory during Round one of the International Midget Series. Round two is tonight.
Hirst kicked-off the WSS season at Speedway City last night by qualifying fourth quickest out of 40-cars & then brought home a strong runner up finish. He’ll be back at it tonight for Round two at Murray Bridge Speedway. Brent Kaeding also had a successful outing on December 26 at Archerfield Speedway, timing-in seventh out of 32-cars, before capping the night with a fourth place finish, in an event won by Donny Schatz. BK runs once again tonight at the same venue. At Valvoline Raceway last night Grass Valley, CA’s Brad Sweet raced to victory in the 35th Australian Grand Prix, while Tim Kaeding finished 12th in the 54-car field. Both return tonight to the same track.
The King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series opens 2015 with a co-sanctioned event at the Tulare Thunderbowl Raceway with the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series. The two-night show on March 13 & 14 will award KWS teams show-up points & offers other incentives to be announced in the near future. Tickets are on sale by calling the Thunderbowl Raceway box office at 559-688-0909. Following that double header, the first full-point show then takes place on Saturday April 4 at Placerville Speedway’s Gold Country Shootout.
More info on the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series can be found at