By Gary Thomas
Watsonville, CA – July 8, 2014…After a couple weeks off the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series is geared up to invade the Ocean Speedway in Watsonville this Saturday July 12 for the prestigious fourth annual Howard Kaeding Classic.
The program will start a little earlier than usual on Saturday with the front gate opening at 3:30pm, drivers meeting around 3:30pm and cars will be on track shortly after. This is the standard Saturday schedule that we’ve seen at Ocean Speedway the last number of years, so please be advised.
On Saturday night the cameras of MAVTV will also be capturing all the action for airing on the Dirty 30 Series. It will be the third King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series event filmed by MAVTV American Real this season.
Saturday’s event will mark round 11 in the battle for the KWS title and the final appearance of the season for the series at Ocean Speedway. Defending King of the West champ Kyle Hirst goes into Saturday holding a giant 126 point lead in the standings, while driving the potent Roth Motorsports No. 83jr machine. Hirst is tied for the most wins this season with three to his credit and will be gunning for number four on Saturday.
So far this season Hirst has yet to finish outside of the top-five with the King of the West 410’s and is also fresh off winning the ASCS NW Speedweek championship this past week. The Chico, CA wheel-man captured three wins and didn’t finish off the podium all week en route to the title. Hirst last year finished runner up at the Howard Kaeding Classic and will be trying to improve that by one spot come Saturday night.
Still in search of season win number one Campbell’s Bud Kaeding goes into Saturday ranking second in the King of the West standings aboard the famed Williams Motorsports ZERO mount. The three-time USAC Silver Crown champ would love nothing more than to win his grandfather’s event and help build momentum as the summer rolls on.
Thirteen-time King of the West 410 champ Brent Kaeding ranks third in the standings and sits just 21 behind Bud for the second spot. The Campbell, CA veteran has won three main events at the Ocean Speedway this year with the Ocean Sprints and will trying to add a KWS victory to that total on Saturday in the Al’s Roofing No. 69 Sprinter.
Chico’s Jonathan Allard has climbed the points and finds himself ranking fourth overall, now just 14-digits back of Brent Kaeding for third. Allard has won the last two Howard Kaeding Classic’s and also picked up the KWS win on June 20 of this year, making him a winner of three in a row at Ocean Speedway. The three-time KWS champ has certainly picked up steam as the year has gone on aboard the Tri-C Manufacturing No. 3c Machine.
Roseville’s Sean Becker completes the top-five in the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series standings going into Saturday at the helm of the Main Motorsports No. 35m Sprint Car. The 2005 KWS champion is only 15-markers behind Jonathan Allard and will be in search of his first series win of 2014 this weekend.
The drivers ranking sixth through ninth in the standings are locked in an extremely close battle, with just 13-markers separating the four. Former King of the West titlist Jason Statler of Grass Valley currently maintains the sixth position in the points. Current Ocean Sprints point leader Shane Golobic of Fremont is hot on his heels, sitting just one-point back in seventh. Elk Grove, CA veteran Bobby McMahan stands eighth overall and is only four-markers behind Statler for the sixth spot, while Fresno’s Dominic Scelzi maintains the ninth position, 13 back of Statler. Rounding out the top-10 in the KWS standings going into Saturday is Fresno’s Craig Stidham.
More drivers expected on Saturday at the fourth annual Howard Kaeding Classic will include May 10 KWS winner at Petaluma Speedway, Willie Croft of Sacramento, Easton’s Tommy Tarlton, Hanford’s DJ Netto & Mitchell Faccinto, inaugural HK Classic victor Evan Suggs from Scotts Valley, Lemoore’s Carson Macedo, Roseville’s Colby Copeland, Fresno’s Cory Eliason, Elk Grove’s Sean McMahan, Stockton’s Brad Furr, Chico’s Mason Moore, Gilroy’s Jarrett Soares & Kurt Nelson, New Zealander Michael Pickens, Auburn’s Richard Brace Jr, Fair Oak’s Chad Compton, Laton’s Geoffrey Strole, Grass Valley’s Pat Harvey, Winton’s Gordon Rogers, Pleasanton’s Nathan Washam and others.
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, race cars & hot rods will be on hand at the get together, for what will be the official kick-off of the Howard Kaeding Classic weekend. For all the racers coming if you happen to have any kids shirts you’d like to donate for a raffle please bring them with you! Load in time for teams bringing cars is between 2pm and 4pm.
There will be a bbq chicken & rib dinner on Thursday 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. Please come out and enjoy a fun night with some great food, all put on for a great cause. Hive Five at the Plex is located at 800 Embedded Way in San Jose, CA 95138.
Following Friday nights Ocean Sprints vs Civil War Series event at Ocean Speedway, High Five Pizza will also be putting on a post-race party at the track, along with a luncheon on Saturday afternoon as well, which will kick-off the final night’s action. Both events will be held to support the Northern Auto Racing Club Benevolent Fund. There will also be a 50/50 raffle and a silent auction.
The Howard Kaeding Classic luncheon catered by High Five Pizza on Saturday at the track will feature a tasty lunch for a $20 donation to the benevolent fund. Howard, Brent & Bud Kaeding will all be available for photos and autographs at the luncheon. Easy access will be available to enter from the grandstands for fans. All race teams & fans are invited to come enjoy a great lunch prepared by Myles & the crew at Catering by 5.
The Northern Auto Racing Club Benevolent Fund uses 100% of the funds raised to support the families of injured drivers, crew members and officials running 410 Sprint Car Series’ in California. Various beneficiaries of the fund over the last 10-years include Dennis Moore Jr., Billy Sellers, Danny Faria Jr., the family of Alan Urias, Randy Hannagan, Tom Milne, Brad Bumgarner, the family of David Tarter and Peter Murphy.
Howard Kaeding was a multiple-time California state super-modified champion, a four-time Johnny Key Classic winner and once captured a record 17-straight races at the San Jose Speedway. The driver known as the “Campbell Comet” claimed over 300 main event victories in his career and even raced into his 60′s, before retiring in the 1990′s. The “HK Classic” has been a great weekend of re-living memories from the past and will certainly be so once again in 2014.
Adult tickets on Saturday July 12 at the Ocean Speedway will be $25, with juniors 6-12 being $15. Kids five & under are free. Tickets can be pre-purchased at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/4th-annual-howard-kaeding-classic-king-of-the-west-410-sprint-car-race-tickets-12073645599?aff=erelexporg
The Ocean Speedway is located on the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds, two miles east of Watsonville, California on SR 152. The physical address is 2601 East Lake Ave, Watsonville, CA 95076. For more info on the track & ticket info log onto http://www.oceanspeedway.com/
Previous Howard Kaeding Classic King of the West winners
2011- Evan Suggs
2012- Jonathan Allard
2013- Jonathan Allard
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