By Gary Thomas
Watsonville, CA – June 22, 2014…After switching teams in the off-season three-time King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series champion Jonathan Allard has certainly hit his stride over the last month. With that said the Chico, CA veteran put it all together on Friday night at the Ocean Speedway and impressively charged to his first KWS win of the 2014 season.
The win was Allard’s third consecutive in KWS competition at Ocean Speedway in Watsonville and marked the 37th triumph of his career with the Golden State/ King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series, which ranks third all-time. The victory came aboard the famed Clyde & Marion Lamar owned Tri-C Manufacturing No. 3c machine.
“I couldn’t be happier right now to finally get my first King of the West Series win of the year,” commented a very jubilant Allard. “My guys gave me a phenomenal car tonight. I could put it anywhere I wanted. I have to give a huge thanks to Clyde & Marion Lamar for the opportunity to drive this race car. We’re really turning the corner and I’ve got a lot of confidence right now. I hope everyone up there enjoyed the show tonight.”
The early laps in the feature were led by Hanford’s Mitchell Faccinto, who sits third in the weekly Ocean Sprints while driving the Western Metal Company No. 37 Sprinter. Pole sitter Evan Suggs gave chase, as Allard immediately began to pick cars off one by one. The two-time & defending Howard Kaeding Classic champ lined up sixth and charged into the lead by lap 10. Things then came to a halt on lap 11 when Brent Kaeding had a scary flip into turn one.
When going back green the racing proved to be very entertaining as Allard held a steady advantage out front. Defending KWS champ and current point leader Kyle Hirst battled his way up into second, as he and Suggs would trade spots multiple times over the final half of the race. Fremont’s Shane Golobic and Easton’s Tommy Tarlton also joined the mix, dicing it up through traffic towards the front of the field. The final lap of the race though saw definite chaos break loose.
As Allard was taking the checkered flag a lapped car spun a complete 360 in turn four and left the rest of the field no place to go. What resulted were multiple cars piling up just before the start/finish line in one of the most bizarre finishes we’ve ever seen. Behind Allard scored in second was Tarlton, who originally started 11th on the grid. Golobic came home third after starting 10th, with Suggs and Hirst completing the top-five.
Finishing sixth was Grass Valley’s Jason Statler, who suffered a severely damaged machine in the final corner melee and also had a badly bruised shoulder. After being attended to by the medics Statler’s team spent the next day building a new car in time to race at Calistoga on Saturday. Gilroy’s Kurt Nelson made his first start of the KWS season and came from 14th to seventh, with Watsonville’s Justin Sanders, Faccinto and Fresno’s Dominic Scelzi rounding out the top-10.
Auburn’s Richard Brace Jr. captured the 12-lap Last Chance Qualifier, with Evan Suggs claiming the six-lap Dash. The three 10-lap heat races were picked off by Brent Kaeding, Kyle Hirst and DJ Netto. Jonathan Allard beat out the 27-car field in qualifying by turning an 11.466 around the quarter-mile for fast time. Full results are available at www.kwssprints.com under the results tab.
The King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series will return to Watsonville’s Ocean Speedway on Saturday July 12 as part of the Howard Kaeding Classic weekend.
Special events on tap during the weekend will include a Thursday night car show & party on July 10 at the High Five Pizza location at the Silver Creek Sportsplex off Hellyer Road in San Jose from 5pm-9pm. Various drivers and race cars will be on hand at the get together, for what will be the official kick-off of the Howard Kaeding Classic weekend.
There will be a bbq chicken & rib dinner from 6pm-8pm for donation, with proceeds going to the Silver Creek Sports Plex Foundation, which aims to ensure that every child, regardless of financial ability, is able to participate in local amateur athletic training and competition.
Following Friday nights races High Five Pizza will also be putting on a post-race party at the track, along with a Saturday afternoon luncheon, which will kick-off the final night’s action. Both events will be held to support the Northern Auto Racing Club Benevolent Fund, which supports and aids injured drivers in California 410 Sprint Car racing. There will also be a 50/50 raffle and a silent auction.
Jonathan Allard with car owner’s Clyde & Marion Lamar after winning Friday’s King of the West event at Ocean Speedway. Photo by Fast 4 Media.