By JIM ALLEN
TULARE, CA – Championship points leader Kyle Hirst turned in a dominate sprint car performance and led all 30-laps of Saturday’s King of the West-NARC Fujitsu Racing Series Chris & Brian Faria Memorial at the Thunderbowl Raceway.
It was a team effort for Hirst, car owner Dennis Roth, and the rest of their Roth Enterprises H&R Livestock Transport crew. Immediately after earning their fourth ARP Fast Qualifier Award of the season, the team was forced to make a motor change, along with other components to address vibration issues in their number 83 KPC.
Hirst started the headliner on the outside of the front row next to Bud Kaeding and won the war of matching slide jobs to lead the first lap. The frontrunner’s favored the high line right up against the fence and ran at a frantic pace as they began to slice and dice through traffic on the eighth circuit. While the front two cat and moused on the fence line for the lead, Shane Golobic and DJ Netto battled wheel-to-wheel for the third spot a few car lengths back.
The first 23-laps ran non-stop until the caution came out for Jason Statler, who got tangled up with slower traffic. That set the stage for one last sprint to the finish. However, Hirst wasn’t taking any prisoners and sprinted away to easily win by a straightaway margin.
“Man. I’m tired,” admitted Hirst in victory lane. “My team worked their tails off tonight to get us in victory lane. We had a series of problems but worked our way through all of them. I can’t say enough about this team and I have to thank Dennis and Teresa Roth for the opportunity to drive their cars. I would also like to thank Steve Faria (promoter) who gave us an excellent track to race on tonight.”
With his second victory of the season, Hirst extended his King of the West-NARC championship point lead over Shane Golobic to a 553-536 margin.
DJ Netto, piloting the Netto Ag/Rotella T6 Shell-sponsored Speedway-powered KPC, took advantage of the bunched up field on the restart and got past Kaeding for second, a position he would hold until the checkered. Kaeding was third in the Williams Motorsports Alviso Rock Maxim.
Willie Croft drove his Amerkote EMI past Shane Golobic with just five circuits remaining to score fourth. Golobic rounded out the top five in the Tarlton Motorsports KPC.
The second five to cross the line were 10th starter Colby Copeland, Chase Johnson, 12th starter Dustin Golobic, Kurt Nelson and Jarrett Soares. Colby Copeland earned the Swift Metal Finishing hardcharger award for his efforts.
Kaeding claimed the Sunnyvalley Bacon trophy dash.
KWS-NARC Fujitsu Feature Event (30 laps): Kyle Hirst, DJ Netto, Bud Kaeding, Willie Croft, Shane Golobic, Colby Copeland, Chase Johnson, Dustin Golobic, Kurt Nelson, Jarrett Soares, Mathew Moles, Nathan Rolfe, Cole Danell, Jason Statler, Craig Stidham, Jenna Frazier
Lap Leaders: Hirst 1-30
ARP Fast Qualifier (3/8 mile clay oval): Kyle Hirst – 13.572 seconds
BMRS First Heat (10 laps): Kyle Hirst, Chase Johnson, Willie Croft, Kurt Nelson, Mathew Moles, Cole Danell, Craig Stidham, Colby Copeland.
HydrochemPSC Second Heat (10 laps): Shane Golobic, Bud Kaeding, DJ Netto, Jason Statler, Dustin Golobic, Nathan Rolfe, Jarrett Soares, Jenna Frazier
Sunnyvalley Bacon Trophy Dash (6 laps): Bud Kaeding, Kyle Hirst, Shane Golobic, DJ Netto, Willie Croft, Chase Johnson.