(July 14, 2020) Jim Allen, Sacramento, CA … The NARC King of the West Fujitsu 410 Sprint Car Series will be in action this Saturday, July 18th at the 10th Annual Howard Kaeding Classic at Ocean Speedway in Watsonville. The lucrative event, sponsored by Al’s Roofing Supply, will be showcased in front of an empty grandstand due to strict state-mandated COVID-19 restrictions. It was made possible due to a tremendous outpouring of sponsorship support in honor of the living driving legend.
Saturday’s nights show will feature more than $36,000 in prize money, including a $5000 payday for the winner of the 30-lap headliner. Each starter in the 24-car main will earn a minimum of $700. This is the second night of a two-day HK Classic program at Ocean Speedway, featuring a regular racing program on Friday night (July 17th.)
This marks only the second race of the season for the NARC King of the West series, utilizing a schedule that has endured 13-cancellations so far due to the pandemic. The Northern Auto Racing Club announced three-weeks ago that the traveling series will not crown a champion after 60-consecutive years of doing so. The Howard Kaeding Classic could also be the 2020 “season finale” assuming California continues its lock down on spectator sports.
This race was made possible through donations of businesses and supporters directly tied to the racing community. 2018 series champion Bud Kaeding of Campbell has spearheaded the fund-raising efforts in honor of his legendary grandfather, a winner of more than 500 career main events.
“To be honest, I was surprised by the response we received from supporters of the event,” said Kaeding. “I knew going into this project that it is was going to be tough to pull it off. In years past, I just worked on contributing to the existing payout, but this year I knew that raising the full purse would be a tall feat. The support by the teams and sponsors has been incredible.”
The only drawback of the 10th Annual event is not providing race fans with the ability to attend in person. The event will only be available on FloRacing/Speedshift TV PPV. Racing teams will be required to wear masks and practice social distancing in the pit area.
“Not having race fans attend really takes away the atmosphere for me as a racer,” explains Kaeding, a 21-time winner on tour, including last year’s race. “Not seeing fans after the races and not seeing a smiling kid after an autograph is something I hope ends soon.”
But the motivation to continue the event without an annual gap comes directly from the source – the 88-year old Howard Kaeding himself.
“He (Howard) is always on me about making flyers and getting the word out to the community in February and March,” said Bud. “He usually puts ads in the local papers and goes to local restaurants and auto parts stores to hang flyers. So, I guess you could say he looks forward to it, which drives me to succeed also.”
“As a driver, team owner, and promoter I can’t thank all of the supporters of this years event enough. I know this has been an off year for everyone and I am beyond thankful for everyone that has contributed. Without their help this event wouldn’t be possible.”
All the top 410 sprint car drivers in California will be competing on the quarter-mile dirt oval. Among them will be defending champion DJ Netto; Indiana’s Spencer Bayston, the winner of the June 20th show at Hanford; two-time series champ Tim Kaeding of San Jose; Kyle Hirst of Paradise, a four-time champion; Elk Grove’s Shane Golobic; Willie Croft, Colby Copeland, Jodie Robinson and Sean Becker of Roseville; Clovis driver Sean Watts; Kyle Offill of Tracy; Hanford’s Mitchell Faccinto; San Diego’s AJ Bender; Chico’s Kenny Allen; Ryan Bernal of Hollister; Auburn’s Andy Forsberg and Richard Brace Jr; and many more!
The NARC King of the West Fujitsu Racing Series will consist of qualifying, four 10-lap heat races, the 6-lap Sunnyvalley Bacon Dash, a 12-lap Last Chance semi, and the 30-lap main event. Also on the racing card are IMCA Modifieds and Hobby Stocks.
Ocean Speedway is located at the Santa Cruz Fairgrounds in Watsonville, CA. Qualifying gets underway at 6:00 p.m.
RACING TEAMS: A signed COVID-19 release form must be signed at the pit gate. Strict COVID-19 safety protocol must followed at all times. This includes, but is not limited to, wearing a mask, social distancing, and proper sanitation (washing hands.)
Event Contributors (as of 7/17/20 – 8:00 p.m.): Al’s Roofing Supply, Starr Property Management, Swift Metal Finishing, Norm Martin, Roth Motorsports, EMADO Disposal, Southern Pacific Farms, Rico Abreu Racing, Kyle Larson Racing, Williams Roofing, Speedshift TV, Fujitsu General USA, Alviso Rock, FK Rod Ends, Netto Ag, North County Plastering, Anne Chisum, Beer Optics, Alan Cade, Golobic Construction, R&B Company, Bjork Construction Company, Bear Companies (Insulation, Scaffolding, Electrical), Spire Sports & Entertainment, Roadside 24 HR Service, Joe Shivak, Alkaline 88, & Ronnie, Carol and Corey Day.
The King of the West-NARC Fujitsu Racing Series is also sponsored by Hoosier Racing Tires. Associate and product award sponsors include ATL Racing Cells, Automotive Racing Products (ARP), Autometer, Brown & Miller Racing Solutions, Bullet Impressions, FK Rod Ends, Hooker Harness, Johnstone Supply, Kaeding Performance Center, KSE Racing Products, Maxim, PAC Racing Springs, Pyrotect, Racing Optics, Saldana Racing Products, Schoenfeld Headers, SCI Racing Products, FloRacing/Speedshift TV, Swift Metal Finishing, Sunnyvalley Bacon, System 1 Ignition, Ultra Light Brakes, Wilwood Disc Brakes, and Winters Performance Products.
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Live Stream PPV: SpeedshiftTV.com