NARC NEWSLINE – May 12, 2018, By Jim Allen

The King of the West-NARC sprint cars made their one and only appearance this season at Silver Dollar Speedway for the popular Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial race on May 5th.  For those of you not familiar with the Northern Auto Racing club history books, there was a time about 20-years when the NARC & Golden State sprint cars would invade the high-banks in Chico 14 times a year.  How times have changed!  Of course the schedule at that time featured an almost overwhelming 40-races a year.

But if you are going to go only once, my motto is to GO BIG!  And that is exactly what happened.  Thirty-five cars showed up for the 28th Annual tribute to Junior and put on an entertaining affair.  By now you know that Willie Croft was the man of the hour, walking away with more than seven grand for leading 38 circuits of the 40-lapper and claiming the Mike Avilla fast time award.  After coming close to winning this race several times – include a few heartbreakers — he finally checked the Bradway off his racing bucket list.  Said Croft afterwards, “It’s a huge weight off my shoulders and I feel relieved.”   Now all that is remaining on his bucket list is a victory at Calistoga.  By the way, we go there once also!

Tanner Thorson launched a couple of serious challenges at Croft, but had to settle for a season best second.  Kyle Hirst, who had dominated the ARP quick time awards up to this point (three-in-a-row) qualified like he was dragging an invisible anchor and timed in 22nd.  That delegated him the 17th starting spot in the 22-car line-up, which made his charge to the front very impressive.  He was a factor for the win with about 10 to go before settling for third.  That hard charger award was worth a cool $1100 in cash.

By the way, while most eyes were focused on the top five, there was a whole lot of talent charging from the back of the pack.  A-Main alternate starter and rookie Dustin Golobic charged from 22nd to 11th; Justin Sanders fought from 18th to tenth and 19th starter and semi transfer Tim Kaeding roared from 19th to seventh.

Once again, the reason the Bradway race is one of the most popular on the King of the West-NARC Fujitsu schedule is because of Dianne and Dave Durica.  It’s no accident that all 52-laps of the A & B-mains were sponsored.  Plus there were several other awards.  We sincerely thank the Durica’s for all of their efforts.

CHICO NOTES:  Buddy Kofoid won his heat in the Dan Simpson 4S, but didn’t make the call for the dash due to vibration issues.  The team scrambled to correct the issue but to no avail and ended up scratching from the feature.  …  Bud Kaeding had a rough night.  He had Shane Golobic’s front right tire in his cockpit on the original start and brought out the yellow spinning out after contact with Thorson on lap 15.  He restarted at the back of the back and roared back to sixth, only to get reeled into a four-car melee involving Jason Statler, Colby Copeland, and Mitchell Faccinto.  It was a tough break for Faccinto, who was piloting the Menne Motorsports number 75 ride.  He was minding his own business running in the top ten before finding himself with no place to go – except the trailer.  Faccinto regular ride, the Stan Greenberg TSG Recycling 37, is going to be out of a commission for a few weeks due to “personal reasons.”  …  Speaking of Statler, he earned the Hard Luck award as the first car to bring out the red flag.  He flipped over the second turn causing a lot more damage than the $200 award paid out.  However with the help of Croft, Shane Golobic, Colby Copeland and many others, he made the call for the semi where he finished second.  … What do Shane Golobic, Michael Ing, Buddy Kofoid, and Dominic Scelzi have in common?  They each took home a Hoosier right rear tire and five packs of tear-offs for winning their heat race – compliments of Hoserville CA. … Chase Johnson won the semi and finished sixth in the headliner.  That’s his four consecutive finish better than ninth and has earned him the fourth spot in the championship points standings. … Chelsea Blevins finished sixth in the semi to qualify for the feature.  The former Outlaw Kart racer from Janesville, CA (near Susanville) has an immediate goal to gain valuable experience by logging some serious lap time on her resume.  …  Kyle Hirst won the Friday night Brownell Memorial at SDS.  … Yes, that was motor change taking place in the Sean Watts 98. …  Mason Moore finished fourth after starting on the pole.  He led the first two laps and was in contention throughout in the Cannon Motorsports Mike’s Hard Lemonade 47.  …  Enthusiasm among race winners is contagious!  Post-race donuts, a wing dance, some fist bumps and high-fives, and a good victory lane interview makes the ride home a lot shorter!

BY THE NUMBERS:  The website, which is just over a year old, just experienced it’s 100,000 unique visitor two weeks ago.  Now, we need to get all of you to the races!  … The win was Croft’s eighth career King of the West-NARC victory and first since the 2016 season. … Rookie of the year candidate Dustin Golobic is leading the pack as far as the year end Swift Metal Finishing hardcharger award goes.  He has passed 23 cars in this season’s four A-mains to lead a stellar group that includes Kyle Hirst (17), Shane Golobic (16), Justin Sanders (15), and Tanner Thorson (14).  The drivers with the most cars passed at seasons end pockets a $1500 bonus.  Surprisingly, he hasn’t won the award on any single night.  I think that is called consistency!  …  Only Bud Kaeding has won the Sunnyvalley Bacon trophy dash this season and gone on to win the feature. …

CONSIDER US YOUR TRAVEL AGENT AND YOUR OPEN WHEEL ENTERTAINMENT GUIDE:  The highly anticipated Peter Murphy Classic is on tap for May 18-19th.  This two-day show sports everything any reasonable open wheel racing fan would possibly ask for.  And like the Bradway race and the Durica’s, Peter Murphy puts in a lot of work hustling up support for the event featuring his name.  Night one features the winged SCCT & non-winged WRS 360’s.  The second night has King of the West-NARC 410’s and non-winged 360’s on the card.  Saturday’s headliner is expected to be hotly contested (more than usual) with a huge paycheck on the line.  Last year’s PMC winner Bud Kaeding proudly strutted away with a stout $11,000 winner’s check. Yes, $11,000 will put a bounce in your step.  … The PMC also helps raise money for the NARC Benevolent Fund, something that helped out Mr. Murphy after his horrible career-ending crash in 2013.  One way will be through a special auction of a front wing.  Now, this isn’t just any front wing, as much as it will be signed by every driver in competition.  Yes, this is something that will be proudly displayed in the future in someone’s shop or man cave!  …

… There are five King of the West-NARC Fujitsu Racing Series point races in June.  The month kicks off with Tulare (June 2nd), followed by Petaluma (June 9th), an Ocean/Calistoga Speedway doubleheader weekend on June 22-23 and the BIG King of the West-NARC/Sprint Car Challenge Tour doubleheader at Placerville Speedway on June 30th.  There will be around 70 cars packed into the El Dorado County fairgrounds for this one and it’s expected to sell out.  No excuses … get your tickets now!

Coming to you live from Auburn, CA, see ya!