By Gary Thomas/Photos by Donna Peter
Placerville, CA – July 19, 2014…A packed house on Saturday night at the Placerville Speedway witnessed one of the craziest finishes seen in a long time, when leader Brent Kaeding spun on the cushion during the final corner and resulted in Sean Becker sneaking by for the dramatic victory.
The unbelievable win for Becker was his 10th career with the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series, which moves him into a tie for ninth on the all-time win list. It also marked his first win of the year with the series aboard his Main Motorsports/ H.A.M. Construction No. 35m machine.
“Wow this is so crazy I don’t know what to say,” said an ecstatic Becker after climbing the front stretch fence. “We’ve been struggling to start the year, but I knew we could turn it around and hopefully this will be the first win of many. It feels so good to finally get another KWS win, because it’s been a while. What a great race tonight was and I hope all the fans enjoyed that one.”
The 30-lap King of the West 410 Sprint Car main event started out with Becker jumping into the lead at the waving of the green flag. It didn’t last long however, as Chico’s Jonathan Allard pounced on lap-three to take over the top spot. A very well prepared quarter-mile was presented to teams with multiple grooves on both corners.
A double file restart on lap 14 then saw California racing legend Brent Kaeding beat Allard to turn one and slice his way into the lead. Placerville’s very own Andy Gregg was also making noise and charged around Allard for the second spot on lap 19, before setting his sights on Kaeding. Gregg would hound Kaeding for a number of laps putting on a great show for the home town crowd.
With things tightening up Fremont’s Shane Golobic and Becker looked to join the party. As Gregg looked to take the lead from Kaeding on lap 27 some minor contact ensued which got the Mike’s Hard Lemonade 14r of Gregg out of shape. At the same time Golobic tried to go around the outside, but contact would occur and leave Golobic’s 121 Sprinter with a folded front end. Auburn’s Andy Forsberg had nowhere to go and plowed into Golobic to bring out a red flag.
On the double file restart Kaeding hit it perfect and Gregg would get out of shape, losing a few spots dropping to fifth. Becker was now into second and came hard after Kaeding for the lead. The duo raced extremely close together and when the white flag came out it was anybody’s game. As Kaeding rounded turn four, chaos ensued when he hit the cushion and spun around sideways. With cars going everywhere to avoid him Becker somehow squirted out to cross the checkered flag for the improbable win.
Kaeding somehow got the car straightened out to finish the race in second, with Grass Valley’s Jason Statler, 17th starter Dominic Scelzi of Fresno and Gregg rounding out the top-five. The remainder of the top-10 was filled out by Hanford’s DJ Netto, Roseville’s Colby Copeland, Elk Grove’s Bobby McMahan, Chico’s Jonathan Allard and Campbell’s Bud Kaeding.
The 12-lap B-main was won by Mason Moore, with the three 10-lap heat races picked off by Sean Becker, Shane Golobic and Brent Kaeding. Jonathan Allard won the six-lap dash and Bobby McMahan opened the night by setting fast time in the 27-car field.
The companion BCRA Midget Lite main event was claimed by veteran Bobby Michnowicz over Brian Corso, Cori Andrews, Terry Bergstrom and Chris Hansen in the top-five. Michnowicz is a veteran of Sprint Car racing, who is now competing with the BCRA Midget Lites.