"California Sprint Car
January 18th, 2013
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Allard wins a KWS thriller at Placerville Speedway
"Allard Mania" returns to Placerville Speedway as defending KWS champion Jonathan Allard executes a last lap thriller to score his second King of the West 410 Sprint Car victory of 2013
By Gary Thomas
PLACERVILLE, CA (6-29-13) - Last season "Allard Mania" was a common theme at the Placerville Speedway when the late Stephen Allard battled Auburn's Andy Forsberg toe-to-toe for the track title... and won a number of races along the way at the high banked red clay bullring. On Saturday night brother Jonathan gave the Placerville Speedway crowd another glimpse of "Allard Mania" and completed a thrilling final corner pass of Shane Golobic on the high-scary-side to capture his second King of the West 410 Series victory of the year.
Whenever the King of the West 410's invade Placerville Speedway it always seems to come right down to the end, no matter what the circumstances and Saturday's finish was as good as it gets in Sprint Car racing. The win for Allard was his 34th with the Golden State/ King of the West Sprint Car Series, which places him third on the all-time list behind just Brent and Tim Kaeding. It was also Allard's third career 410 Sprint Car triumph in Placerville and his first at the track since the 2010 season aboard the Williams Motorsports No. 0 machine.
"That was an awesome race right there and I hope everybody in the stands enjoyed that one, because it doesn't get much better than that," said an exuberant Allard on the front stretch. "I drove this thing in there as hard as I could and hope she stuck and thankfully she did. This is a real special win for me because my brother had so much success here last season and he really enjoyed competing here like we all do. I know he was smiling down on us tonight and I'm glad we could put a show on. I have to thank Morrie & Katie Williams and all my guys. We're on a roll right now and hope to keep it up."
The main event started out with Dash winner Peter Murphy & Allard on the front row and when flagman Ed Entz waved the green it was Allard jumping into the lead with Murphy in toe. The tight confines of Placerville Speedway proved challenging at times for drivers, as the pace of the race was slowed by a number of yellows and reds. In between the cautions however, the racing was fantastic as drivers diced it up amongst each other and after a handful of laps, Fremont's Shane Golobic was able to get by Murphy to claim second. The 30-lapper had about as many twists & turns of any feature we have seen in recent memory.
As Allard sat out front Easton's Tommy Tarlton was thrilling the crowd with his usual hard charging style and was coming to the front after starting from the fifth row. Just past the halfway point Tarlton carved his way into third and proceeded to put on a tremendous battle with Shane Golobic, Willie Croft and others over a handful of laps. As Tarlton pounded the thick trademark Placerville cushion he appeared to be the fastest car on the track and got into second with under 10-laps remaining. A restart proved disastrous for him however, as he caught the cushion at just the wrong angle and sent him sideways off the track. He continued on, but reported fuel issues caused him to slow and bring out the yellow.
The final eight-laps of the main event then proved to be some of the most intense of the night as Allard continued to lead, but had Golobic and a rejuvenated Brent Kaeding hot on his heels. "BK" had originally started 14th on the grid and was running the high-side of the speedway to perfection trying to catch up with the top-two. The three-car fight for the lead had the crowd standing on their feet over the final laps of the feature and with just two-circuits remaining, Golobic cut a perfect corner off turn two and sliced to the inside of Allard to grab the top-spot. Coming to the white flag Allard remained composed and stayed glued to Golobic's rear bumper and as the duo went into the final set of corners, "JA" drove the Williams Motorsports No. 0 hard to the high-side.
With Golobic's momentum slowed just enough due to a lapped car ahead of him, Allard charged around top and beat him to the line by 0.273 seconds for the spectacular victory. The win was Allard's third personal triumph in a row dating back to the previous Saturday's $20,000 victory at the "Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup" in Washington. "I really have to thank all you fans for coming out tonight and braving the warm weather," Allard said. "We have a great series here with King of the West and want to thank everyone involved. We're looking forward to heading back up to Fernley next weekend and hope all the fans are as well."
Golobic's runner up finish continued his very consistent season, although the ending was similar to the April KWS event at the track, where he led much of the race, only to have Kyle Hirst get by with a couple laps remaining. It's always a pleasure to have Golobic & the Joe VonSchriltz 121 team on hand with the King of the West Series and they're certainly a team we'd love to see full time on tour. The 21-year-old has earned a trio of top-five finishes in his four starts with the series this year and continues to be one of the top talents out west.
"It's nice to be up on the podium again but definitely disappointing for it to end like that since we were so close to winning this thing," Golobic said. "Going into that final corner I didn't expect the lapped car to be going that slow down there, but Jonathan made a great move so I have to congratulate him on the win. If there's one guy I'd have to finish second to I'd say he is probably it. I also want to thank all my guys for giving me a great car and we'll come back next week and try to get a win."
Brent Kaeding rounded out the podium to bring home his best finish of the 2013 King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series season aboard the Al's Roofing Supply No. 69 mount. The 13-time series champion looked the best he has all season long and gave it a great run in the main event. It also marked Kaeding's first top-five result of the year. "It feels great to be up here on the front stretch for the first time this year and we were rolling really good late in the race," said the Hall of Famer. "We threw a few things at the car and they worked well so I'm definitely happy to get a podium tonight. We're excited to head up to Fernley next weekend and hope to see everyone there."
Sacramento's Willie Croft battled up front all race long and scored fourth at the finish line behind the wheel of his Tri-C Manufacturing No. 3c Machine. "Double Down" has now tallied six top-five finishes in the first nine races of the KWS season, as he continues having the best year of his Sprint Car career. Completing the top-five was young 16-year-old Dominic Scelzi, who started the main event from 18th and picked up the Pit Stop USA Hard Charger Award. The Fresno driver continues to impress in his just second season of Sprint Car racing aboard the Scelzi Enterprise No. 41 mount.
The remainder of the top-10 was filled out by Peter Murphy; Elk Grove's Bobby McMahan, who made a successful return to the seat following a hiatus since April 20 due to back problems; Oakhurst's Doug Gandy; Laton's Geoffrey Strole and Tommy Tarlton. It was nice to see Gandy, who started 19th and Strole, who started 21st both have great finishes in the main event. It marked Gandy's best finish since returning to the seat a few years ago and was a career best result for Strole with the series.
The six-lap Dash as previously mentioned was picked off by Peter Murphy, with the three 10-lap Kaeding Performance Heat Races being won by Shane Golobic, Bobby McMahan and Murphy. Setting the BR Motorsports Fast Time to begin the night was Placerville's Andy Gregg, who toured the quarter-mile in 10.376 seconds. It marked his first King of the West fast time effort.The King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series will now head for a two-night stand at the Reno Tahoe Fernley Speedway next Friday & Saturday July 5 & 6. Pre-sale tickets for the "Cherry Bomb Classic" weekend can be acquired by contacting 775-325-8800. The code to get the special KWS room rate at the JA Nugget next weekend is GKWSC. Room & ticket packages can also be purchased by calling 775-575-3350. Stay glued to our Facebook & Twitter pages, along with www.kwssprints.com for all the info in the coming week.