Hirst Ready To Lock Up Western Crown
STOCKTON, Calif. – What started in late-April will come to an exciting conclusion this Saturday as the King of the West 410 Sprint Cars Series rolls into the new Stockton Dirt Track for championship night and the 30th running of the Tribute to Gary Patterson at the lightning fast three-eighths-mile clay oval.
It will be the 18th and final KWS 410 event of 2013 and the second appearance of the season for the series at the beautiful San Joaquin County Fairgrounds based facility. It also marks the first ever Tribute to Gary Patterson in Stockton, as it becomes the third track to host the event, joining Calistoga Speedway and Silver Dollar Speedway. Going into the evening Sacramento’s Kyle Hirst holds a 45-point advantage over Chico’s Jonathan Allard, as he looks to join his father Rick Hirst as a Northern California 410 Sprint Car champion and bring home his initial King of the West title.
“It’s been a really consistent and solid season for us and we’re looking forward to the KWS finale this weekend in Stockton,” said Hirst, whose father captured the 1986 Northern Auto Racing Club championship while driving for DuWayne Starr. “It would really mean a lot to win the King of the West title. Out here on the west coast in Winged Sprint Car racing it’s hard to find a more prestigious list of series champions to be a part of when you look at all the past Golden State/ KWS title winners.”
So far this season Hirst has claimed 12 podium finishes in the 17 events held and has also picked up three KWS victories on the year, which has been his first full-time campaign driving the famed Roth Enterprises No. 83jr for owners’ Dennis & Teresa Roth. The 25-year-old began driving the car in June of last year and captured victory during his very first night in the 83jr at Antioch Speedway with the King of the West Series. That night coupled with other success during the year parlayed him into becoming the full-time driver of the car on the west coast.
“I can’t thank Dennis & Teresa Roth and the whole Roth Motorsports team enough for the opportunity they have given me this season,” commented Hirst, who won the Tribute to Gary Patterson in 2009 when the event was being held at Silver Dollar Speedway and also finished fifth during the recent Trophy Cup in Tulare. “Being able to drive one car on a consistent basis this year has been really nice and for it to be in the Roth 83jr has made it pretty special. Dennis & Teresa have had some amazing drivers in their stable throughout the years and it’s just a first class operation all around.”
Jonathan Allard, the three-time and defending King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series champion will look for a strong night and a little help to try and retain the title at Stockton this weekend. The Chico veteran has captured four main event wins with the series this season, which is tops amongst all drivers and was dominating the August event in Stockton, until suffering a blown engine late in the race.
With a perfect points night being worth 164-markers the championship isn’t over by any means and Allard has shown in the past that he can strive through adversity when it comes to winning championships and big races.
Hirst’s Roth Enterprises teammate Tim Kaeding will be gunning to keep up his hot streak, which has seen him claim victories in all three of his King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series starts this season. The former two-time series champion will make his second career start at the Stockton Dirt Track, after battling it out and finishing runner up to Kyle Larson in March with the World of Outlaws during the inaugural event at the speedway. Kaeding scored a clean sweep at the Tribute to Garry Patterson in 2008 and is coming off a fourth place finish in the final points tally at the “Trophy Cup” in Tulare.
Rutherford’s Rico Abreu will be looking to defend his Tribute to Gary Patterson victory from last season in Calistoga and is coming off a strong showing at the recent Trophy Cup where he finished third in the overall standings at the event. The 21-year-old throttle-masher has raced to a pair of wins with the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series this season and finished fifth a couple weeks back in Hanford.
With Saturday at Stockton also featuring a winged 360 sprint car show during the night, Abreu will be pulling double duty with a pair of Paul Silva wrenched Abreu Vineyards No. 24 machines on hand.