Hirst thrills the crowd at Placerville Speedway


By Bill Sullivan


042713-01PLACERVILLE, CA (4-27-13) - The Placerville Speedway always has a reputation of providing late race drama whenever the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series visits the tight, high-banked bullring. On Saturday night that certainly rang true, as Sacramento’s Kyle Hirst made a late charge to ride the high-line and get around Shane Golobic with just a couple laps left to score his fifth career series victory in thrilling fashion.

Driving the Roth Enterprises No. 83jr Hirst claimed a bit of redemption at his home track, after another thrilling King of the West event last June in Placerville saw him come home second to Brent Kaeding following a wheel-to-wheel battle over the closing laps. This time however, the 25-year-old came out on the winning end to give car owners’ Dennis & Teresa Roth yet another 410 Sprint Car victory on the red clay.

“That was one awesome race right there and I hope all you fans enjoyed it,” said an immensely excited Hirst on the front stretch after leaping from the car. “I kept trying that high line in three and four and finally got close enough there at the end to sweep past Shane (Golobic) and get the lead. I can’t thank Dennis & Teresa Roth and this whole Roth Enterprises team for giving me a great car and a great opportunity. It’s awesome to see these grandstands so full tonight so thank you everyone for coming out.”

The 30-lap main event began with Dash winner Shane Golobic of Fremont getting the lead aboard his Soltis Brothers No. 121 mount. The recent World of Outlaws winner looked extremely strong much of the race with no challengers seemingly in sight early on. The action behind him though was intense with drivers trying to find the fastest way around the slicked off quarter mile clay oval.

Lap seven saw Golobic dodge a big bullet as he got sideways into the infield and looked to have lost the lead, but a yellow flag at that same time for Chad Compton saved it. As the race went on Hirst, who had got up to second, began to the find the high side in turns three and four to his liking. The hard charging Sacramento wheel man blasted around the cushion on that end of the speedway and tried to get close enough to Golobic to make something happen.

A double file restart with just over five laps remaining gave Hirst his chance and when the green lights came on he stayed within striking distance of the leader. As the crowd sensed the upcoming fight for the lead Hirst closed in quickly riding the cushion and coming off turn four he executed the move of the night to slice past Golobic and take the top spot with just a couple laps left.

Golobic stayed close, but Hirst drove a perfect final two circuits and crossed the checkered flag to pick up the ultra exciting victory. Hirst’s fifth career Golden State/ King of the West win places him into a tie for 21st on the all-time list with Grinnell, Iowa’s Dennis Moore Jr. and Gilroy’s Eric Rossi. The triumph also gives him and his Roth Enterprises team lots of momentum heading into next Saturday’s “Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial” in Chico, an event Hirst wants to win as much as any other.

Golobic crossed the line in second to pick up another strong finish aboard the JoeVonschriltz No. 121 machine. The 21-year-old has had a very strong start to 2013 and it was great to have him in the field on Saturday. “I’m happy to be up here on the podium, but real disappointed to get second after leading so many laps. We were pretty much a sitting duck out there and Kyle Hirst did what he had to do and found something up top. Sometimes it’s better to be in second late in the race and that was the case here. I want to thank my whole team for giving me a great car all night long.”

Easton’s Tommy Tarlton put on arguably the drive of the night to rebound after getting in an early incident and charge all the way back through the field to earn a strong third place finish. “The Terminator” originally started from 18th on the grid and earned the Pit Stop USA Hard Charger Award in the feature. “That was so much fun out there being able to come through the field like we did and I can’t say enough about Paul Baines and this whole crew. It’s been a long time since I’ve ran here in a 410 and we really got rolling good there in the main event. It’s great to see this place packed with fans and I want to thank all you for coming out and supporting us.”

St. Helena’s Rico Abreu also charged from the rear of the field to thrill the capacity crowd on hand aboard his Abreu Vineyards No. 24 mount. The 21-year-old got in an early spin and carved his way back forward to earn a solid finish. Abreu was able to hang onto his car despite contact on the final corner with Grass Valley’s Jason Statler, which left the DF Rios 00 stopped off the surface. For Statler it was a tough way to end what was a great run going for the former Golden State/ KWS champ.

Defending King of the West champion Jonathan Allard from Chico rounded out the top-five in the feature behind the wheel of the Williams Motorsports No. 0 Sprinter.

Coming home sixth in the 30-lapper was Fresno’s Craig Stidham, seventh went to 22nd starter Jimmy Trulli, who had a very impressive run after earning the final transfer spot out of the Last Chance Qualifier. It’s always a pleasure to have Trulli and the 33t team on hand when we visit Placerville Speedway. 15-year-old young guns Dominic Scelzi of Fresno and Chris Martin of Des Moines, Iowa came home eighth and ninth respectably for solid 410 debuts at the Placerville Speedway. Rounding out the top-10 was National Sprint Car Hall of Famer Brent Kaeding of Campbell.

Sacramento’s Willie Croft captured the night’s 12-lap Last Chance Qualifier and Shane Golobic claimed the six-lap Dash. The four 10-lap Kaeding Performance Heat Races went to Visalia’s Cory Eliason, Rico Abreu, Scotts Valley’s Evan Suggs and Craig Stidham. Cory Eliason paced the 32-car field in qualifying to earn his first career King of the West BR Motorsports Fast Time Award. The youngster toured the quarter-mile in 10.286 seconds.

Next Saturday night May 4 the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series will be in action for the only time this season at Chico’s Silver Dollar Speedway. It also marks the 23rd annual “Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial” and looks to be the best field we will see all season long.

There will be extra money & awards on the line all night next Saturday. The “Carwash Mike Fast Time Award” currently stands at $1100 cash plus a custom Jagermeister Trophy & Coors Light Cowboy Hat, along with a $100 certificate from BR Motorsports. The “Abreu Vineyards Hard Charger Award” will pay $1000 cash to the hard charger in the 40-lap A-main. The hard charger will also receive the usual KWS $200 certificate from Pit Stop USA & $50 certificate from KSE Racing Products.

The 40-lap A-main will also pay a guaranteed $4500-to-win, courtesy donations from Butler Built Performance, Red Line Oil and Roth Motorsports. Dave and Diane Durica have once again collected lap money for the night. Each lap of the A-main and Last Chance Qualifier will pay $100 to be distributed among the top three each lap. The leader of the lap gets $50, second $30 and third $20.

The six-lap Dash during the night will pay a shocking $1000 cash to win courtesy Abreu Vineyards.

Each heat race will pay $500 cash to win courtesy Abreu Vineyards, plus a right rear tire & five sleeves of tear offs courtesy HoservilleCA, plus a case of gear oil courtesy Red Line Oil. The Last Chance Qualifier also will feature an extra perk during the night, with $1000 cash going to the winner courtesy of Abreu Vineyards. If a driver could lead all 12-laps in the Last Chance Qualifier and with lapped money added in, they would go home with $1600 just for the LCQ!

To keep up to date with all the great happening’s at the 23rd annual “Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial” stay glued to http://www.kwssprints.com and http://www.silverdollarspeedway.com