NARC NEWSLINE – April 27, 2018, By Jim Allen
Auburn, CA … Well … (deep breath) …, the King of the West-NARC Fujitsu Sprint Car Series has officially started off with a bang – just the way we like it – and has proven to be more unpredictable than the lottery. Three races have produced three winners, an old school rescheduled event, a whole lot of bacon, an unbelievable photo-finish and a quick run to the beer booth. Let me explain …
KERN COUNTY RACEWAY PARK (4/8/18): It seems like it’s the same old story, year after year with weather. And in typical fashion, Mother Nature attempted to play the spoiler role in messing up our season opener. However, Larry Collins and the gang down at the Dirt Track at Kern County became good friends with the Weather Channel and made the decision to postpone the Saturday opener to Sunday (April 8th). The start time was moved up to a 4:00 p.m. and we were good to go! That resulted in a successful old school Sunday afternoon show.
Shane Golobic played old school winner in his new school ride to win the first time out in the Tarlton Motorsports KPC. With a batting average of 1.000, he is the first point leader of the season. Willie Croft and Dominic Scelzi were the other two on the podium. Overall, with a hot sun bearing down on the one-third mile dirt oval, the track surface held up pretty well. Along the way, we stalled for about 45 minutes for the sun to set before pushing off the feature and Golobic’s victory lane interview took place at 8:19 p.m. This allowed most our Nor Cal teams to make it home by 2:00 a.m. and to work on about four hours of sleep. The sacrifices we make to play in the dirt! We’re looking forward to our return visit to the DT at KCRP in October!
Kyle Hirst picked his brother-in-law Croft’s pocket for $1000 by setting a new King of the West-NARC qualifying record – knocking almost a half-second off the 2017 qualifying standard. Not bad for 12.406 seconds worth of work. Ironically, Croft was the first to break the mark in hot laps. For those of you at home wondering how that happened, Willie Croft Racing is putting up a cool grand to any driver that can set a new KWS-NARC fast time record at any track. He did! … Dustin Golobic stated his intentions to run for rookie of the year in the Golobic Construction 57. He finished 12th. Jenna Frazier who is also a rookie scored 19th. … Sean Watts was running a strong seventh when he got bit in the first turn bringing out the only red of the night. … A good qualifying time was about the only thing preventing Tanner Thorson from winning this thing. He charged from 15th to fifth in the main to earn the Swift Metal Finishing hardcharger award.
OCEAN SPEEDWAY (4/20/18): You’ve got to love the bullrings. The places where the leaders contend with slower traffic in only three laps and there is no time to think, just milliseconds to react. Ocean Speedway fell into that category once again, dishing up another great racing surface and the wheel-to-wheel battles reflected exactly that fact.
Kyle Hirst was on a mission on his way to his 25th career King of the West-NARC victory – despite some visible battle scars on his smashed front wing. The racing in the top five was worth the price of admission and at one point the proverbial blanket could have been pulled out to prove a point. Willie Croft can’t buy a break, leading 23 laps in all before a flat left rear shot him into the pits. Sixth row was on the move in this one as Shane Golobic earned the runner-up spot from 12th and DJ Netto third from 11th. Tanner Thorsen, started 14th and was in the runner-up spot challenging for the point when he spun in lap traffic with only five remaining. I didn’t see that one coming!
Mathew Moles started on the pole of the feature after winning one of the most exciting trophy dashes in a while. Hirst spun out and Kaeding and Chase Johnson took each other out leaving Moles sporting a million-dollar smile after winning his first ever King of the West-NARC dash. The new six-car dash format is sponsored by Sunnyvalley Bacon. Besides cash for the winner, one of the perks is that one lucky fan gets “Powered by Bacon” and walks away with almost nine pounds of mans best food. That person was chosen by Moles, who whipped the Watsonville crowd into a serious frenzy before picking the lucky recipient. … Justin Sanders had some trouble on his first qualifying lap and got on his lid. Some quick repairs on the 121 mount, including a new number 17 wing, and he was good to go for a final qualifying lap at the end. He finished sixth in the feature. … Dominic and Gio Scelzi are deadly accurate with the new KWS-NARC t-shirt cannons. #justsaying … ARP Fast Qualifier? That would be Kyle Hirst. …
THUNDERBOWL RACEWAY (4/21/18): Go get me a broom and I’ll go get a beer! After stealing a thrilling photo finish victory at the Thunderbowl, Bud Kaeding made a beeline for the beer stand to snag an icy cold celebratory beverage. For the two of you who have never been to Tulare, all interviews are done on a podium on the spectator side of the fence. So after high-energy high-fives and violent man hugs on the front straightaway with crew members, everybody is directed through the gate to the podium. Hirst went to the podium, so did third place finisher Shane Golobic. Kaeding walked straight ahead, through the tunnel to the back of the grandstands and the – pardon the pun – Bud booth. Considering he wasn’t carrying a wallet, he had to do some serious negotiating before getting his beer put on promoters Steve Faria tab. The ladies working the beer booth didn’t know Bud from anybody else in the grandstands. When he returned, it was a fun victory lane celebration.
Kaeding said he found something good to run on up top in turns three and four and stuck with it the final five laps. He banged the wall a couple of times in the process. This ultimately resulted in a slingshot move on the white flag lap that scored a winning margin of about a wheel. Bud was squeezed up against the wall, Hirst was sliding up, the two banged wheels and the rest is history. If the finish line was say twenty feet farther away, chances are the two would have wadded up their cars because there was no place to go. Hirst was disappointed upon exiting the car, knowing he let one slip away in his quest to sweep the weekends races. However, he knew that he put on one heck of a show! That’s the sign of a professional race car driver!
For Kaeding it was a sweep of Tulare (see broom) as he claimed his first ever Civil War feature, and backed it up with his 19th career King of the West-NARC victory. Once again, the finish in the KWS-NARC feature was Kaeding, Hirst, Golobic and DJ Netto. The finish in the Civil War main was Kaeding, Hirst, Golobic and DJ Netto. What are the odds? Really? What are the odds?
Jason Statler keeps moving forward. A 10th at KCRP, a ninth at OS, and a seventh at TR puts him seventh in points. … Jarrett Soares also did double-duty in a 360 and 410. … Who set fast time? Try to act surprised when I tell you this. Kyle Hirst nailed it for the third consecutive race to start the season with Roth Motorsports. Considering the top four qualifiers at King of West-NARC events earn championship points, that is one of the key reasons Hirst is our current point leader. … Hardcharger award? Shane Golobic – for the second night in a row. It was a tough night for moving forward as he passed four cars. … Colby Copeland and car owner Larry Antaya are dialing in the details and showing quick improvement. They finished a season best eighth at Tulare and are eighth in points.
NARC NOTES: Special thanks to the generous donations to the NARC Benevolent Fund. One was in memory of Gary Patterson, the other for the late Bob Miller. Along those lines, make sure you check out our display at every event. Fans can make tax deductible donations to the Benevolent Fund at the track. Word has it there is a special T-shirt being manufactured that you can only get by making a $50 donation to the fund. It’s supposed to be “over the top” awesome! … Mark Barroso and his team have stated their intentions to tackle the entire King of the West-NARC schedule – barring some unforeseen circumstance. His J&R Barroso Dairy Farms car is based in Merced, CA. Barroso competed in 12 King of the West events in 2011 and three in 2014. … Mitchell Faccinto is always a frontrunner with Stan Greenberg. The team is fifth in points after racing up a pair of sixths and a seventh place finish. … If you want to hear an interesting story, go talk to car owner Shawn Thomas about why his tail tank on his number 68 sprint car is black and doesn’t quite match the color scheme of his new Safecraft sponsorship colors. … This serves as last call to get in to sponsor a lap or event at the May 5th Bradway Memorial. Contact Dianne Durica like right NOW if you’re interested! Dial her up at 916-988-5958. … The 2018 King of the West-NARC Fujitsu Racing Series t-shirt design is awesome. Thanks to Jim Gardner and Bullet Impressions. … Sprint Car Ambassador Brad Doty will be an honored guest at the Peter Murphy Classic in Tulare. …
So …, if you’re planning your open wheel adventures correctly, you’re chasing the big money like our race teams. May is a great month for doing that. Start off with the lucrative Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial race at Chico on May 5th. It’s our only visit to Silver Dollar this season and there is more than $5000 in lap money up for grabs in the A & B Mains. The “Car Wash Mike Avilla” Fast time award and the Hardcharger are worth $1000 a pop, plus there are a ton of other perks. Once again, it’s our only visit to Silver Dollar Speedway. Then it’s a trip to the Thunderbowl Raceway for the very popular May 19th Peter Murphy Classic. Mr. Murphy is working hard to put together another great event, that also includes SCCT sprint cars on Friday, May 18th. Last season’s KWS-NARC feature, claimed by Bud Kaeding, paid $11,000 to win. Both events will attract a field of more than 35 cars. We will see you at the races and make sure you bring a friend (or five.)
Coming to you live from Auburn, CA. See ya!