King of West Sprints Opens 2014 Season at Thunderbowl Raceway
By Gary Thomas: Tulare, CA – April 7, 2014…A season packed full of special shows & historic events for the King of the West Sprint Car Series presented by WFO Apparel is set to fire-off this Saturday at the always exciting Tulare Thunderbowl Raceway, with the inaugural running of the “Spring Thunder Nationals” presented by KRC Safety Company.
Sacramento’s Kyle Hirst last year became the 12th different driver to win the Golden State/ King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series championship since it began in ’86, joining an illustrious list of past titlists that includes Tim Kaeding, Jonathan Allard, Kyle Larson, Tyler Walker, Brent Kaeding, Sean Becker, Jason Statler, Ronnie Day, Randy Hannagan, Tim Green and the “Original King” Steve Kent.
A number of major showcases are on tap for the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series presented by WFO Apparel this season, including some with historical significance.
Among those will include the first ever combined event with the USAC/CRA Wingless 410 Sprint Car Series at the 29th “Cotton Classic” in Hanford on October 11, the first KWS & Civil War 360 Series combined show on November 1 at the 31st “Tribute to Gary Patterson” in Stockton and the inaugural Winged Sprint Car event at the famed Ventura Raceway on September 13. The fourth annual “Howard Kaeding Classic” will also feature a Civil War Friday & KWS Saturday double-header weekend on July 11 & 12 at Ocean Speedway.
After winning the title last season Hirst returns to the seat of the Roth Motorsports No. 83jr in 2014 looking to make it back-to-back championships. The 26-year-old claimed three wins and a solid 13 podium finishes throughout the course of the year last season. Hirst is also gunning to become the first driver to win consecutive championships with the series since Brent Kaeding performed the feat in the mid 1990’s.
Familiar faces in new places will also be seen this year, with three-time KWS presented by WFO Apparel champion Jonathan Allard moving over to the Clyde & Marion Lamar owned No. 3c, along with three-time USAC Silver Crown titlist Bud Kaeding taking over the seat of the Morrie & Katie Williams owned No. 0 machine.
Allard last season finished runner up in the standings to Hirst and will be searching to give the Lamar family their first ever series championship in 2014. The Chico driver is also looking for the Triple Crown title this year aboard the Tri-C Manufacturing Sprinter. Kaeding this season returns to KWS, going for the championship for the first time since 2009. The 2014 campaign looks to be his best shot yet at joining his father and brother as a series champion.
Along with Allard, fellow drivers attempting to go for the Triple Crown include Easton’s Tommy Tarlton and Fremont’s Shane Golobic.
For Tarlton it will be his first attempt at the entire King of the West presented by WFO Apparel season in many years. His most recent season running the full tour came in the early 2000’s where he finished among the top-five in points. Golobic will be making his first career attempt at the KWS championship this season aboard the Joe VonSchriltz No. 121 Sprinter. The San Jose State mechanical engineering student was very solid in limited starts with the series last year, including a pair of runner ups.
One of the strongest crops of drivers in some time are expected to start out the season looking to run the full campaign with the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series presented by WFO Apparel. Those returning drivers from last year include Sacramento’s Willie Croft, Fresno’s Craig Stidham & 2004 champion Jason Statler, who finished third through fifth in the standings last year. More drivers returning that made the full season last year are expected to include 13-time KWS champ & Hall of Famer Brent Kaeding, Fair Oak’s Chad Compton, Grass Valley’s Carl Droivold, Auburn’s Richard Brace Jr., Laton’s Geoffrey Strole and Grass Valley’s Pat Harvey.
More faces that will be common sights in the pit area this season will include reigning KWS presented by WFO Apparel Rookie of the Year Dominic Scelzi of Fresno, 2005 series titlist Sean Becker of Roseville, Hanford’s DJ Netto, Scotts Valley’s Evan Suggs, Elk Grove’s Bobby & Sean McMahan, Visalia’s Cory Eliason, Gilroy’s Jarrett Soares, Pleasanton’s Nathan Washam, Merced’s Mark Barroso and others. For Becker it will be his first full season with the series since 2007, which saw him finish runner up to Brent Kaeding that year. Other drivers expected to be on hand this Saturday will include Washington’s Taylor Malsam, Princeton’s Mason Moore, Clarksburg’s Justyn Cox, Tipton’s Mike Faria, Visalia’s Danny Faria Jr. and more.
This Saturday’s “Spring Thunder Nationals” presented by KRC at Thunderbowl Raceway will also be the first of five KWS shows this season filmed for airing by MAVTV American Real. The others include April 19 at Placerville Speedway, July 12 at Ocean Speedway, September 13 at Ventura Raceway and November 1 at the Stockton Dirt Track.
KRC Safety was established in 1978, having less than 100 barricades in inventory. Originally known as Kaweah River Construction, the name was later changed to KRC after its founder Ken Ray Castro. Ken “Chief” Castro passed away on January 13, 1985. He is kept in memorandum by a memorial sticker placed on all their vehicles. Today, KRC is owned and operated by Ken’s son Gary Castro and has over 40 employees. KRC continues to grow year after year and many of the original employees are still with KRC, who are just like family.
KRC now offers many services including, Traffic Control, Construction Area Signs, Custom, Permanent and Street Signs, Temporary Chain Link Fence Panels, Roadway Markers, Delineators, Traffic Control Plans, Message Boards, K-Rail, all types of Equipment Trucking, Generators, Light-Towers and many other services for rent and sale. Even from their humble beginnings they still know their customers by name. More information on KRC Safety Company can be found at http://krcsafety.com/wordpress/
Reserved grandstand seats for the “Spring Thunder Nationals” presented by KRC Safety on Saturday cost just $20 with general admission bleacher tickets $18. To reserve your seat contact (559) 688-0909. A full program of qualifying time trials, heat races, a dash, LCS and A-main will be on tap for the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series presented by WFO Apparel on Saturday. The front gate will open at 4pm with racing expected to get underway around 7pm.
The Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway is located at the Tulare County Fairgrounds on the corner of Bardsley and K Streets in Tulare, California. From the junction of SR 99 and SR 137, go west on SR 137. At South K go south one-half mile to the Fairgrounds. More info can be found at www.thunderbowlraceway.com
Info on the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series presented by WFO Apparel can be found at http://www.kwssprints.com
Be sure to like the KWS Facebook Page at http://www.facebook.com/kingofthewestsprints and become a member of our Twitter community at https://twitter.com/KwsSprintRacing for all the latest breaking news regarding the series
Upcoming events after Tulare
Saturday April 19: Placerville Speedway (Hoosier Tires Gold Country Shootout) MAVTV event
Saturday May 3: Silver Dollar Speedway (24th annual Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial)
Saturday May 10: Petaluma Speedway
Saturday May 17: Thunderbowl Raceway (Chris & Brian Faria Memorial)