Placerville, CA – April 23, 2016…Willie Croft’s late-race misfortune was certainly Bud Kaeding’s gain on Saturday night, when the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series officially kicked-off the 2016 season at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds based Placerville Speedway.
After winning the six-lap Dash to earn the pole in the feature Croft was able to hold command out front, all the while racing through heavy lapped traffic on the tight quarter-mile. Kaeding would keep him honest in traffic however, stalking the rear bumper of the familiar Holy Smokes BBQ No. 29 mount.
The pair raced closely together for a majority of the race, weaving in & out of the slower traffic, until the complexion of the main event changed on lap 25. As the leaders charged into turn one lapped cars ahead of them came together, leaving Croft nowhere to go, resulting in him making contact with the cars and coming to a stop.
It was a tough break for Croft, who had shown speed all night long. During the melee it looked as if multiple front runners would get caught up, but Croft was the lone victim in it. After inheriting the lead it was then clear sailing out front for Kaeding in the Williams Motorsports 0, who took the Ed Entz checkered flag by 1.135 seconds over Elk Grove’s Bobby McMahan.
For Kaeding it marked his first ever series win at the track and the 13th overall of his KWS career, which gives him sole possession of ninth all-time. He now sits just one victory away from tying former World of Outlaws champion Jason Meyers on the all-time series list. It was a solid way for the Campbell, CA driver to start out the season after missing out on the title by just 12-markers last year.
“It feels great to start out the season in victory lane and for it to be in Placerville is pretty cool,” Kaeding commented. “You can probably say that this hasn’t always been my favorite track, but to win championships you have to be good everywhere, so to win this race is huge for us. That was a tough break for Willie Croft to get caught up in traffic, because he was good all night. I can’t thank Morrie & Katie Williams enough for the opportunity to drive this car. We’ll now go on and try to win the Bradway again next week in Chico.”
The runner up effort for McMahan was his best King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series finish since the 2014 season. The veteran began his Sprint Car career at the Placerville Speedway bullring way back in 1982, so it’s always a bit of a home-coming for the likable driver. McMahan is fresh off a year where he finished third in the KWS standings aboard the American Tool & MFG No. 25 Sprinter.
Chico’s Jonathan Allard charged from 14th to third in the feature at the helm of his Tri-C Manufacturing No. 3c machine. The three-time King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series champion looked strong in the 30-lapper and got faster as the race went on. Allard now moves on to next week’s Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial, an event he’s won five times before.
Penngrove’s Chase Johnson earned his career best KWS finish by running fourth. It was an impressive effort put together by the 20-year-old second-year series competitor and his Thomas Family Racing team. The top-five was rounded out by 16th starter Dominic Scelzi of Fresno. The 18-year-old made a nice rebound in the feature to earn a solid finish aboard the Scelzi Enterprises No. 41 Sprinter.
The remainder of the top-10 was filled out by 20th starter & Hard Charger in the feature Shane Golobic of Fremont, Grass Valley’s Jason Statler, Roseville’s Colby Copeland, Fresno’s Cory Eliason and Hanford’s DJ Netto. It was also a nice recovery by Netto, who had gotten into a spin following a chain reaction in front of him while running third on lap 16. Up to that point Netto had looked to be challenger for the leaders.
Hanford’s Mitchell Faccinto captured the LCQ, with Croft claiming the Dash as noted. The three 10-lap heats were picked off by DJ Netto, Bobby McMahan and Willie Croft. Cory Eliason opened the night by setting fast time with a lap of 10.726 around the quarter-mile. Full results will be available at www.racepmg.com
King of the West Sprint Car Series
Saturday April 24, 2016