Local motor sports: Sacramento sprint car driver looks for the fastest lane in Placerville

Published: Thursday, Apr. 17, 2014 - 6:37 pm

There are only two choices for Kyle Hirst.

High or low.

Does the defending King of the West sprint car champion ride the high cushion at Placerville Speedway on Saturday during the second round of the 2014 King of the West Series, or does he dive low and try to shorten his line around the quarter-mile clay oval? The middle is not an option, Hirst said, because the track is too narrow.

“It tends to get slick through the middle in Placerville, so I hope both the high and low grooves will work,” Hirst said. “But, either way, there’s going to be a great field coming to Placerville. There should be 30-plus cars there, and that makes for some great racing.”

The Sacramentan finished second in the season opener last weekend at Tulare Thunderbowl Raceway behind Tommy Tarlton from Easton. Hirst won last April’s first KWS event at Placerville in the Roth Motorsports sprinter.

Other drivers expected to contend for the checkered flag include Chico’s Jonathan Allard, Fremont’s Shane Golobic, Rutherford’s Rico Abreu, Grass Valley’s Jason Statler, Elk Grove’s father-son team of Bobby and Sean McMahan, Auburn’s Andy Forsberg, Placerville’s Andy Gregg and Jimmy Trulli, Roseville’s Colby Copeland and Australian Todd Wanless, plus New Zealander Michael Pickens.

This Saturday’s event will be the second of five KWS events taped to be televised on MAVTV American Real, which is owned by Lucas Oil Products. The others include last week’s opener in Tulare, July 12 at Ocean Speedway, Sept. 13 at Ventura Raceway and Nov. 1 at the Stockton Dirt Track. Saturday’s Placerville KWS race is expected to air in June.

Gates open at 5 p.m., with racing at 7 p.m. For more information, go to www.placervillespeedway.com.

Make it a grudge – Have a beef with someone in your neighborhood who thinks he can blow you away in a street race, which is not safe or legal?

Settle the score Saturday at Grudge Fest at Sacramento Raceway for some “street style” drag racing.

Drivers can race either “heads up,” which means fastest car wins, or dial in, which means drivers can’t “break out” and go faster than a certain indexed time down the quarter-mile strip.

There are no eliminations, but there are cash prizes and trophies. Gates open at 4 p.m., with racing at 6 p.m. Race entry is $35.

For more information, go to www. sacramentoraceway.com.

Shave and a haircut, $4,000 – Ron Chunn, a Late Model driver from Elk Grove, and his race team raised $4,000 for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation after he and his team shaved their heads for the childhood cancer charity. Chunn said he thought he would likely be the only one to shave his head in honor of his youngest son, 8-year-old Cole, who successfully battled lymphoblastic lymphoma for three years and has been free of cancer since 2011. But his team united and the shaving, as well as the fundraising, was on.

Mark Billingsley covers local motor sports for The Bee. Reach him at editorwriter@att.net .

Read more articles by Mark Billingsley

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