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 Posted: Tuesday Apr 27th, 2010 01:12 AM
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Gary Thomas
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Ocean Sprint Car Series presented by Taco Bravo heads out of town for first time with Santa Maria Speedway on tap this Friday night April 30

By Gary Thomas

Santa Maria, CA – April 27, 2010…The Ocean 360 Sprint Car Series presented by Taco Bravo will make its first visit outside of Watsonville this Friday night, with teams making the trip down U.S. 101 to the Santa Maria Speedway for what will be the second round of competition in the 2010 season.

The weekend as a whole, which also includes the Golden State Challenge 410 Sprint Car Series on Saturday, will pay honor to Doug Fort, who built the Santa Maria Speedway in 1964 and helped mold it into one of the top dirt tracks' in the country as the owner/promoter until his passing in 1999. The 1/3 mile clay oval has been named "Best Short Track Operation West of the Mississippi" on two separate occasions and is nestled in a semi amphitheater of natural terrain, sheltered by dense eucalyptus trees at the top and to the back of the bleacher area.

Sitting on top of the Ocean Sprint Car Series presented by Taco Bravo standings after winning the opening round on April 16 is Campbell's Bud Kaeding, who will look to make it two in row this Friday aboard the Sala/Matherly Racing, Angello's ATV Rental No. 19 machine. Kaeding is also coming off a big win last Saturday night with the Golden State Challenge 410 Sprint Car Series at Ocean Speedway.


The three-time and defending USAC Silver Crown Series champion last season finished fifth during the inaugural Doug Fort Memorial with the Golden State Challenge Series at Santa Maria Speedway. "Last year when we came down to Santa Maria Speedway we had won the previous week as well, so hopefully we can keep up the momentum this weekend and run up front both night's," said Kaeding. "We hope everyone can come down for the weekend because Santa Maria is a real fun place and an awesome track to watch a race in at."

Currently second in the standings after a strong event two weeks ago is Prunedale's Justin Sanders, who won his heat race and scored a fourth place finish in the feature on April 16 at Ocean Speedway. The talented 17-year-old captured a victory with the Ocean Sprints on May 8 of last year and ended the season with a sixth place finish in the final points at the helm of his North County Plastering, B&K Trump Farms No. 17 sprinter. Sander's this season is also driving for Dave and Debbie Vertullo with the Civil War 360 Series and will make his third start of the year in the No. 83v machine on Saturday in Placerville, after competing on Friday in his family car at Santa Maria.

Fellow 17-year-old charger Kyle Larson currently ranks third in the Ocean Sprint Car Series presented by Taco Bravo standings, following a close runner-up finish in the opener. The Elk Grove driver looked to take the lead on a few different occasions during the main event on April 16, only to have cautions thwart his chances each time traffic would come into play. The driver of the Stadelhofer Construction, Peppermill Resort Spa & Casino-Reno No. 99 made his Santa Maria Speedway debut last season and was running third in the feature, until contact on a restart knocked him out of the running for a strong finish.

1978 Santa Maria Speedway Rookie of the Year Brent Kaeding sits fourth in the Ocean Sprint Car Series presented by Taco Bravo standings going into Friday night's event. The Campbell driver tallied a third place finish in the opener aboard his Al's Roofing Supply, Angello's ATV Rental No. 69 mount and this weekend will be searching for his first Ocean Sprints victory since the season-opener last year. The 13-time King of California picked-up a World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series win at the Santa Maria Speedway in 1997, while at the time driving for car owner Al Peterson in the M&M Racing No. 2m sprinter.

Former Santa Maria Speedway winner Eric Rossi currently rounds out the top-five in the standings after a strong outing during the Ocean Sprint Car Series presented by Taco Bravo opener. The Gilroy veteran impressively charged through the field to finish sixth in the main event, after starting 15th on the grid behind the wheel of the Team RCR, Chase Wood Racing No. 4r machine. Rossi is a solid addition to the Ocean Sprints roster this season and in his career has claimed big victories at the Mini Gold Cup, the Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial and the Johnny Key Classic among others.

Defending Ocean 360 Sprint Car Series champion Tommy Tarlton of Easton comes into the weekend sixth in the standings. The driver of the Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino No. 21 has experienced success in his career at the Santa Maria Speedway having won at the track with the California Rebel Cup 360 Series. Grass Valley's Jason Statler ranks seventh in the Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo standings following a charge from 14th to fifth in the season-opener aboard his DF Rios Construction No. 00. "The Big Guy" has also tasted success at Santa Maria Speedway as he won possibly the biggest race of his career at the track in 1999, when he scored a World of Outlaws main event victory at the 1/3 mile clay oval.

Completing the top-10 in the Ocean Sprints standings going into Santa Maria are the Taco Bravo Racing No. 72w of Gilroy's Kurt Nelson, the Agri-Valley Irrigation No. 10 of Fresno's Anthony Simone and the Taco Bravo Racing No. 39 of "Cowboy" Craig Smith from San Martin. Other possibilities to take part in Friday's opener of the Doug Fort Memorial weekend will include Chico's Jonathan Allard, Visalia's Cory Eliason, Scotts Valley's Evan Suggs, Clovis' Peter Murphy, Pleasanton's Brad Furr, San Jose's Matt Sargent, Morgan Hill's Ricky Wright Jr. and Devon Ostheimer, Salinas' Ronnie Day, Fresno's Craig Stidham, Corralitos' Jerry Bonnema and more.

The front gate will open at 3pm on Friday night April 30 with the drivers meeting scheduled for 3:45, qualifying around 5 and racing at 6. Adult tickets will cost $16, with seniors, student and military $14, kids 6-12 $5 and children 5 and under free. Parking and camping at the Santa Maria Speedway is free of charge. Friday night's event will feature a freestyle motocross exhibition and the weekend will also see two kids bikes being given away each night. For discounted lodging rates in Santa Maria contact the Fairfield Inn & Suites 805-925-8500.

The Santa Maria Speedway is a 1/3 mile clay oval, located 12 miles inland from the Pacific coast, three miles north of the city of Santa Maria and is located a 1/4-mile north of the US 101/166 interchange on Hutton Road. The facility is one hundred seventy miles north of Los Angeles and 260 miles south of San Francisco.

More information on the 2nd annual Doug Fort Memorial and the Ocean 360 Sprint Car Series presented by Taco Bravo can be found at
http://www.racesantamariaspeedway.com and http://www.oceansprints.com

Coming up- Following the Santa Maria event this weekend the Ocean Sprint Car Series presented by Taco Bravo will return to the home track of Ocean Speedway for back-to-back weeks of racing at the quarter-mile, starting with next Friday night May 7 and then Friday evening May 14. The Ocean 360 Sprints will then get set for its first ever appearance at the Groppetti Automotive Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare on Saturday May 22.

---------------

Campbell's Bud Kaeding will go into Friday's event at the Santa Maria Speedway as the current Ocean Sprint Car Series presented by Taco Bravo point leader, by way of his victory on opening night aboard the Sala/Matherly Racing, M&M Powder Coaters, Angello's ATV Rental No. 19. Kaeding is shown here battling with defending Ocean Sprints champion Tommy Tarlton of Easton. Photo by L&J Photography http://picasaweb.google.com/jmart16164?pli=1


Last edited on Tuesday Apr 27th, 2010 01:52 AM by Gary Thomas



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 Posted: Tuesday Apr 27th, 2010 01:16 AM
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Following a strong night on April 16 Prunedale's Justin Sanders currently sits second in the Ocean Sprint Car Series presented by Taco Bravo point standings. The 17-year-old won his heat race and drove his North County Plastering, B&K Trump Farms, Team Sanders Motorsports No. 17 sprinter to a fourth place finish in the main event at the opener. Photo by L&J Photography http://picasaweb.google.com/jmart16164?pli=1




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 Posted: Tuesday Apr 27th, 2010 01:18 AM
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Elk Grove's Kyle Larson goes into Santa Maria third in the Ocean Sprint Cars presented by Taco Bravo standings after a runner-up finish on opening night aboard the Stadelhofer Construction, Peppermill Casino, Kaeding Performance No. 99. The 17-year-old has been one of the hottest drivers in California sprint car racing to begin the year and has scored podium finishes in his last four overall starts the last few weeks. Photo by http://www.stevesracingphotos.com




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 Posted: Tuesday Apr 27th, 2010 01:20 AM
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 Posted: Tuesday Apr 27th, 2010 09:33 PM
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Golden State Challenge 410 Sprint Car Series set for second annual Doug Fort Memorial this Saturday night at Santa Maria Speedway

By Gary Thomas

Santa Maria, CA – April 28, 2010…With May already upon us in a few days the Golden State Challenge 410 Sprint Car Series will kick-off an action-packed and busy month of racing by making a visit to the beautiful Santa Maria Speedway this Saturday night May 1 for the second annual Doug Fort Memorial.

The weekend as a whole, which also includes the Ocean 360 Sprint Car Series presented by Taco Bravo on Friday, pays honor to Doug Fort, who built the Santa Maria Speedway in 1964 and helped mold it into one of the top dirt tracks in the country as the owner/promoter until his passing in 1999. The 1/3 mile clay oval has been named "Best Short Track Operation West of the Mississippi" on two separate occasions and is nestled in a semi amphitheater of natural terrain, sheltered by dense eucalyptus trees at the top and to the back of the bleacher area.

Last season the Golden State Challenge 410 Sprint Car Series returned to the Santa Maria Speedway for the first time since 2005 and raced in front of an extremely packed house during the night of racing. Promoter Chris Kearns has done a phenomenal job with the track and Saturday's event will be the first of two season stops, as the traveling 410 circuit will also return for another night of action on July 10. The show this Saturday will also feature the second annual Angello's ATV Rental Wheelie Contest.

This weekend's event will mark the sixth round of competition in the 25-race Golden State Challenge schedule and will be the furthest south that the series will get this year. It will also be the sixth of 13 different facilities that the tour will visit in 2010, from as far south as Santa Maria to as far north as Lebanon, Oregon.
A full program of qualifying time-trials, heat races, a dash and the 30-lap $3,000-to-win/ $400-to-start main event will be on tap this Saturday night during the second annual Doug Fort Memorial.

Southwest Contractors is also putting up a $500 total bonus to the three highest finishing 360's on Saturday, with $250 going to the highest finishing 360, $150 to the second highest and $100 to the third.

Following a fourth place finish last Saturday in Watsonville, coupled with a dnf suffered by Chico's Jonathan Allard, former 13-time King of California Brent Kaeding has assumed the Golden State Challenge point lead going into the Doug Fort Memorial.

The driver of the Al's Roofing Supply, Angello's ATV Rental No. 69 has won at the Santa Maria Speedway multiple times in his career, including with the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series in 1997. "Santa Maria has always been a special place for us to go and it's the track I won my first ever sprint car race at so it's always fun to go back there," said the 1978 Santa Maria Speedway Rookie of the Year. "We're hoping for a couple good shows on Friday and Saturday and hope as many people as possible can come down to support the weekend, because we know everyone will have a good time."

After leading the points since opening night Allard now finds himself two-digits back of Kaeding for the top spot in the standings. Allard had won three of the first four GSC events of 2010 going into last Saturday and spent time battling for the lead in the feature, until contact while fighting for third resulted in him suffering a dnf at Ocean Speedway. The former two-time King of California will bring his Williams Motorsports, K&N Filters No. 0 into Santa Maria this weekend looking for redemption after the tough ending last week. Allard last season had problems in qualifying at Santa Maria, but rebounded in the feature for a seventh place result.

Continuing to claw his way forward in the standings and now sitting third is Elk Grove's Kyle Larson, who is just 14 out of the lead and has scored podium finishes in each of the last three GSC events aboard his Stadelhofer Construction, Peppermill Resort-Spa-Casino-Reno No. 99 machine. The 17-year-old came close to scoring his third career series victory last weekend in Watsonville, until losing the lead in traffic with just six circuits remaining in the feature and settling for second at the finish. Larson's Santa Maria Speedway debut last year saw him running third in the main event, until contact on a restart knocked him out of contention for a strong finish.

Ranking fourth in the Golden State Challenge 410 Sprint Car Series standings and still only 18-digits out of the lead is Scotts Valley's Evan Suggs, who has finished among the top-10 in every event so far this season with the tour. The wheel-man of the Suggs Racing, Riley Collins Body Shop No. 33e set fast-time last weekend at Ocean Speedway and goes into a track this weekend where he also has non-wing experience at, as he searches for his first career GSC win. Last season Suggs had a strong night in Santa Maria by setting quick-time, winning the dash and capped the evening by finishing second to Tyler Walker in the feature.

Elk Grove's Bobby McMahan currently rounds out the top-five in the Golden State Challenge Series standings going into the second annual Doug Fort Memorial on Saturday. The 1996 Northern Auto Racing Club Speedweek champion last season captured the Silver Dollar Speedway 410 title and in 2010 has started off the year following the GSC trail in his C&H Veteran Enterprises, World Environmental No. 26b sprinter. McMahan claimed a Golden State Challenge victory at the Santa Maria Speedway in April of 1997, while at the time driving the Bumgarner family No. 88 machine and goes into this weekend sitting just 13-points out of third in the series standings.   

Going into this weekend with momentum is Campbell's Bud Kaeding, who drove the Alviso Rock, Angello's ATV Rental No. 29 to his seventh career Golden State Challenge Series victory last Saturday night at Ocean Speedway. The three-time and defending USAC Silver Crown champion has scored top-10 finishes in all of his four GSC starts so far this season and also tallied a runner-up effort three week's ago in Tulare. Kaeding last year ran fifth in the inaugural Doug Fort Memorial and he'll be looking to improve upon that on Saturday.

Other possibilities for Saturday night's second annual Doug Fort Memorial will include Grass Valley's Jason Statler, Easton's Tommy Tarlton, Clovis' Peter Murphy, West Linn, Oregon's Zach Zimmerly, Penngrove's Alissa Geving, Visalia's Cory Eliason, Pleasanton's Brad Furr, American Canyon's Matthew Davis, Fresno's Mark Workentine and Anthony Simone, Selma's Charlie Louden, Caruthers Garrett Ishii, Merced's Mark Barroso and more.

The front gate will open at 3pm on Saturday night May 1 with the drivers meeting scheduled for around 3:45pm, qualifying at 5 and racing at 6. Adult tickets will cost $19, with seniors, student and military $17, kids 6-12 $5 and children 5 and under free. Parking and camping at the Santa Maria Speedway is free of charge. Saturday's event will also see two kids bikes being given away. For discounted lodging rates in Santa Maria contact the Fairfield Inn & Suites 805-925-8500.

The Santa Maria Speedway is a 1/3 mile clay oval, located 12 miles inland from the Pacific coast, three miles north of the city of Santa Maria and is located a 1/4-mile north of the US 101/166 interchange on Hutton Road. The facility is one hundred seventy miles north of Los Angeles and 260 miles south of San Francisco. More information on the second annual Doug Fort Memorial and Santa Maria Speedway can be found at
http://www.racesantamariaspeedway.com

Coming up this month- The month of May has traditionally been one of the fun and exciting months in Northern & Central California 410 sprint car racing and this season is no different, as the Golden State Challenge Series will head for its biggest race of the season next Saturday night with the 20th running of the Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico.

Following the Bradway the series will then make its second and final visit of the season to the Groppetti Automotive Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare for the annual running of the prestigious Pombo/Sargent Classic on Saturday May 15. After that the Golden State Challenge Series will then make its return to the Giant Chevrolet Kings Speedway in Hanford for a Friday night event on May 21.

The tour will then close the month of May with a triple-header on Memorial Day weekend beginning with a night of racing at the Petaluma Speedway on Friday May 28, followed by two-night's of action at the famed Calistoga Speedway half-mile on Saturday and Sunday May 29 & 30. Sunday's show will be the 19th running of the Salute to Walter T Ross as we pay tribute to the former Northern Auto Racing Club president and car owner.

The Golden State Challenge King of California Sprint Car Series offers an array of sponsorship opportunities for the 2010 racing season. Sponsorships range from series/event advertisements, weekly contingency (product) sponsors and full title sponsorships. If you are interested in becoming a part of the 2010 Golden State Challenge King of California Sprint Car season please contact the business office at (916) 969-7484.

For a full schedule of events, updated point standings and all your info pertaining to the Golden State Challenge Sprint Car Series log onto
http://www.goldenstatechallengeseries.com

--------------------- 

Campbell's Brent Kaeding will go into this weekend leading the Golden State Challenge 410 Sprint Car Series points for the first time this season aboard his Al's Roofing Supply, High Five Pizza, Angello's ATV Rental No. 69. "BK" is pictured after winning last year's Angello's ATV Rental Wheelie Contest during the inaugural running of the Doug Fort Memorial at Santa Maria Speedway. The 13-time King of California was also the Rookie of the Year at the 1/3 mile clay oval in 1978. Photo by Chuck Fry of http://www.chucko.com/photo/index.html




Last edited on Wednesday Apr 28th, 2010 04:46 AM by Gary Thomas



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 Posted: Tuesday Apr 27th, 2010 09:35 PM
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After suffering his first dnf of the season last week in Watsonville Chico's Jonathan Allard will look to rebound at the second annual Doug Fort Memorial this Saturday evening. The two-time King of California has captured three main event victories this year at the helm of his Williams Motorsports, K&N Filters, Sharp Insurance No. 0 and was battling for third last week until contact forced him to the pits. Allard last season finished seventh at the Santa Maria Speedway and goes into Saturday just two-points back of Kaeding for the top-spot in the Golden State Challenge Series standings. Photo by Steve Lamothe of http://www.stevesracingphotos.com


Last edited on Tuesday Apr 27th, 2010 10:55 PM by Gary Thomas



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 Posted: Tuesday Apr 27th, 2010 09:37 PM
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Gaining momentum with the weeks going on is Elk Grove's Kyle Larson, who has tallied three consecutive podium finishes in Golden State Challenge Series competition behind the wheel of the Stadelhofer Construction, Peppermill Casino-Reno, Kaeding Performance No. 99. The 17-year-old last Saturday scored a runner-up finish to Bud Kaeding and this weekend will be looking for his third career GSC win as he makes his second ever appearance at the Santa Maria Speedway. Larson is just 14-points behind Brent Kaeding for the lead in the series standings going into the Doug Fort Memorial. Photo by Matt Sublett of http://www.mmracingphotos.com




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 Posted: Tuesday Apr 27th, 2010 09:40 PM
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Currently sitting fourth in the Golden State Challenge Sprint Car standings, Evan Suggs of Scotts Valley will look to close in on the point lead going into a track he was very successful at last season. Last year's inaugural Doug Fort Memorial at Santa Maria Speedway saw the 23-year-old set fast-time, win the dash and finish runner-up in the main event to eventual King of California Tyler Walker. Coming into this weekend Suggs is only 18-points back of the lead in the standings and will be searching for his first career series win aboard the Suggs Racing, Riley Collins Body Shop, HoservilleCA No. 33e. Photo by Steve Lamothe of http://www.stevesracingphotos.com


Last edited on Tuesday Apr 27th, 2010 11:32 PM by Gary Thomas



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 Posted: Tuesday Apr 27th, 2010 09:43 PM
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A view of the grandstand area at the beautiful and unique Santa Maria Speedway. Photo by Steve Lafond of http://www.tohf.com




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 Posted: Thursday Apr 29th, 2010 04:43 AM
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Southwest Contractors is also putting up a $500 total bonus to the three highest finishing 360's on Saturday, with $250 going to the highest finishing 360, $150 to the second highest and $100 to the third.

With the main event already paying $400 to start on Saturday this means that if the top-three 360 drivers all make the A-main (and adding in the bonus money)the highest finishing 360 will take home at least $650, second highest $550 and third highest $500.



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 Posted: Thursday Apr 29th, 2010 05:02 PM
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Photo's by Steve Lamothe of http://www.stevesracingphotos.com

Stephen Allard & Smitty Boys Racing set for return engagement to Placerville Speedway with Civil War Series on Saturday

By Gary Thomas

Placerville, CA – April 29, 2010…After having a promising run cut short at the Placerville Speedway last week Stephen Allard and Smitty Boys Racing will return to the high-banked quarter-mile this Saturday night with the California Sprint Car Civil War Series invading the El Dorado County Fairgrounds track.

This past Saturday's event was the first time Allard sat behind the wheel of a sprint car since last year's Trophy Cup in Tulare, where he drove the Jeff Griffin Racing No. 50 to a ninth place finish in the overall points out of 68-entrants. "It really felt good to get back in a car last weekend and I wish the night could have ended better, but the main thing is that we were fast and have something build on," said Allard. "I have to thank this whole team for giving me the opportunity to drive for them and I'm looking forward to the partnership."

With Allard becoming the new driver of the Darin Smith/ Steve Smith owned Smitty Boys Racing winged sprinter recently, the team headed to the second Red Hawk Casino 360 point race for a test and tune on things last Saturday in Placerville.

Issues early on though forced Allard to take one lap at the end of qualifying and a 10.545 placed him 15th fastest in the field. Going to work on the car following qualifying he then started from the last row in his heat race and was able to move forward to score fifth and transfer the AA Johnson & Sons Concrete, Laughs Unlimited, Butler Built Performance No. 14s into the main event. Starting from 12th in the feature the former two-time Silver Dollar Speedway track champion bided his time, as a handful of wrecks slowed the pace of the 25-lapper early on.

When racing got into a flow Allard attacked the always challenging red-clay bullring and charged through the pack with authority, making a great move to get by both Scott Russell and Mason Moore on the same lap to claim third. The Chico driver then set his sights on second place Jimmy Trulli however, "heart-break-city" would occur shortly after when rear-end issues spelled the end of the evening. "It was definitely disappointing to have the main event end like that, because this car was phenomenal and I felt like we had what it took to win the race," said Allard. "We'll just keep our chins up though and come back this weekend to have some fun with Civil War."

Team co-owner Darin Smith, commonly known to the dirt track world as "Heavy-D" was also pleased with the performance during the first night out as a combination. "We're really happy to have Stephen Allard come on board as the driver for Smitty Boys Racing, because he's been one of the very best out here for a long time and is too good of a racer to be sitting on the sidelines," said Heavy-D. "We kind of came from behind the eight-ball last Saturday, but "SA" did a great job in the feature and I really believe we had a shot at winning the thing till the problems happened."

This Saturday's California Sprint Car Civil War event in Placerville will be Allard's first series start since carving his way from 22nd to third at last season's Pacific Sprint Cup Invitational, held during Wednesday night of the Gold Cup Race of Champions in September at Silver Dollar Speedway. "Last year when I drove for Dorothy Lee in the 4 car we were really fast with Civil War, but seemed to have no luck at all so I would certainly like to have a good run on Saturday," Allard commented. "There should be a pretty strong field of cars, but if we are as fast as we were last week I think we'll have as good of a shot as anyone."

Going into this weekend's race "Heavy-D" is hopeful that the team will be in contention after getting a night of racing under their belts with Allard last Saturday. "We're really hoping to come back with Civil War this week and finish what we started last Saturday," Smith said. "I have to thank my partner Steve Smith of AA Johnson & Sons Concrete, all of our crew and sponsors for helping out with this team. We definitely want to get this car on the front stretch this week and we'll be giving it our best to make that happen. The Civil War shows are always tough, but we're up to the challenge and can't wait to hit the track on Saturday."

------------------

After being named the new driver of the Smitty Boys Racing, AA Johnson & Sons Concrete, Laughs Unlimited No. 14s machine, Chico's Stephen Allard will look to put his name towards the front of the field this weekend with the Civil War 360 Series at Placerville Speedway.


Last edited on Thursday Apr 29th, 2010 05:14 PM by Gary Thomas



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