(5/20/17) Tulare, CA … Defending King of the West champion Kyle Hirst became the fifth different NARC-Fujitsu Sprint Car Racing Series winner of the season, capturing top honors in the exciting 30-lap Faria Memorial at the Thunderbowl Raceway.
“I’m finally here,” said a happy Hirst in victory lane. “It’s been tough to win this year in this series, but my team has kept battling and we got it done tonight.”
Outside front row starter Cory Eliason appeared to have the entire field in hip pocket from the initial green, rocketing out to a quick lead. He quickly established a 12-car lead by lap eight, as the field began negotiating its way through slower traffic.
Hirst, who started fifth in the potent the Roth Motorsports H&R Livestock Transportation KPC sprint car battled Bud Kaeding for the runner-up spot for several laps before securing the spot for good on lap 16. As Eliason began to struggle in heavy traffic, Hirst and the freight train of Shane Golobic and Carson Macedo reeled him in.
On the 19th circuit, Hirst launched a massive turn three slide job on the leader to take the point. Golobic who was shadowing the leaders every move in traffic powered his way to the front to lead lap 20, before Hirst snatched it back. The top three cars battled inches apart in dramatic fashion before Gio Scelzi stopped bringing out the only caution of the race with seven to go. Scelzi was injured, dislocating his shoulder. He would later seek medical attention after the event.
Once the race resumed, Hirst took no prisoners and powered his way to a 1.55 second victory over Golobic in the Keith Day Trucking/Gabilan AG Services sponsored entry. Carson Macedo got around Eliason with four laps remaining to earn the show position in the Tarlton Motorsports Tachi Palace sprint car.
Eliason finished his night in fourth in the Antaya Motorsports-Fuel Curve ride, chased by current point leader Bud Kaeding. With Scelzi’s misfortune, Kaeding and his William Motorsports team extended their championship point lead to 294-281 over Eliason. Scelzi dropped to third with 277.
Mitchell Faccinto, 12th starter Craig Stidham, Dominic Scelzi, DJ Netto, and Bobby McMahan rounded out the top 10 at the checkered.
Willie Croft captured the Hoosier Tires Dash. Heat races were picked off by Eliason, Netto, and Golobic.
KWS-NARC Fujitsu Sprint Car Feature Event (30 laps); Kyle Hirst, Shane Golobic, Carson Macedo, Cory Eliason, Bud Kaeding, Mitchell Faccinto, Craig Stidham, Dominic Scelzi, DJ Netto, Bobby McMahan, Michael Kofoid, Jeremy Chisum, Sean Watts, Mathew Moles, Jarrett Soares, Nathan Rolfe, Willie Croft, Gio Scelzi, Brent Bjork, Wayne Rowett.
Lap Leaders: Eliason 1-18, Hirst 19, Golobic 20, Hirst 21-30
Hoosier Tires Dash (6 laps): Willie Croft, Cory Eliason, Gio Scelzi, Bud Kaeding, Kyle Hirst, Carson Macedo, Shane Golobic, DJ Netto, Mitchell Faccinto
Fast Qualifier (1/3 mile clay oval – 20 cars): Carson Macedo – 13.438 seconds
Heat 1 (10 laps): Cory Eliason, Mitchell Faccinto, Carson Macedo, Michael Kofoid, Sean Watts, Jarrett Soares
Heat 2 (10 laps): DJ Netto, Bud Kaeding, Willie Croft, Dominic Scelzi, Mathew Moles, Jeremy Chisum, Nathan Rolfe
Heat 3 (10 laps): Shane Golobic, Kyle Hirst, Gio Scelzi, Craig Stidham, Bobby McMahan, Brent Bjork