By JIM ALLEN
BAKERSFIELD, CA – Shane Golobic outdueled Willie Croft at the Dirt Track at Kern County Raceway Park and went on to earn his fourth King of the West-NARC Fujitsu Sprint Car Series 30-lap feature event of the season.
In fact, it was a season sweep of the two races at Kern County for Golobic and the Tarlton Motorsports Tachi-Palace & Casino-backed, Paul Baines-wrenched KPC team. This combination also claimed the KWS-NARC season opener on April 7th.
The victory allowed Golobic to dramatically tighten up the championship point standings after series leader Kyle Hirst took a nasty tumble on the original start. Luckily, Hirst walked away from his destroyed race car unhurt, but his huge lead in the standings didn’t fare so well. With only two-races remaining, Hirst now leads Golobic by a very slim 1270-1257 margin (unofficial.)
Polesitter Croft, who also set quick time and won the Sunnyvalley Bacon dash, was the class of the field on the initial green until Golobic closed in when the leader got slowed in traffic on lap five. Golobic catapulted past Croft as they split a lapped car motoring down the back straightaway on lap seven. Bud Kaeding followed suit a lap later.
Kaeding started to pressure Golobic at the midway point and actually passed the leader, only to lose the advantage two turns later. Dominic Scelzi moved into contention and the top three raced only a few feet apart. However, Golobic made a couple of stellar moves while negotiating lap cars and moved out to a 10-car length advantage.
Scelzi and Kaeding put on a war for the runner-up spot that was worth the price of admission, swapping the position on a corner by corner basis. Unfortunately that would also be their undoing as the duo got together with only four laps remaining. Scelzi end up spinning out exiting the second turn and Kaeding sported a shredded a left rear tire shortly thereafter.
On the ensuing restart, Croft made a couple of runs at the leader but was unable to make it stick, having to settle for second in his Holey Smokes BBQ/Amerikote EMI.
“I made some pretty good moves that got me through lapped traffic tonight,” said Golobic. “I can’t say enough about this entire Tarlton Motorsports team who gave me a fantastic race car to get the job done.”
Eighth starter Mitchell Faccinto ran a very steady race and posted a very workmanlike season-best third place finish aboard Stan Greenberg’s TSG Recycling sprint car.
DJ Netto earned with Swift Metal Finishing Hardcharger award aboard the Netto Ag/Rotella Shell sprint car. He started 16th and blasted through the field to score fourth.
Twelfth starter Chase Johnson rounded out the top five aboard Shawn Thomas’s Safecraft Safety Equipment Maxim.
The second five included Craig Stidham, Scelzi, Mathew Moles, Kaeding, and Jace Vanderweerd.
KWS-NARC Fujitsu Feature Event (30 laps): Shane Golobic, Willie Croft, Mitchell Faccinto, DJ Netto, Chase Johnson, Craig Stidham, Dominic Scelzi, Mathew Moles, Bud Kaeding, Jace Vanderweerd, Cole Macedo, Jason Statler, Sean Watts, Nathan Rolfe, Jenna Frazier, Dustin Golobic, Colby Copeland, Kyle Hirst
Lap Leaders: Croft 1-6, Golobic 7-30
ARP Fast Qualifier (1/3 mile clay oval): 12.817 seconds
BMRS First Heat (10 laps): Sean Watts, Bud Kaeding, Mathew Moles, Willie Croft, Dustin Golobic, Cole Macedo
Hydrochem PSC Second Heat (10 laps): Kyle Hirst, Dominic Scelzi, Craig Stidham, Colby Copeland, Jenna Frazier, Jason Statler
The Cushion/Mills Video Promotions Third Heat (10 laps): Chase Johnson Jace Vanderweerd, Shane Golobic, Mitchell Faccinto, DJ Netto, Nathan Rolfe
Sunnyvalley Bacon Trophy Dash (6 laps): Willie Croft, Shane Golobic, Kyle Hirst, Bud Kaeding, Dominic Scelzi, Sean Watts.