(8/21/19) By Jim Allen, Placerville, CA — Kyle Larson kicked off the Fastest Four Days in Motorsports with a thrilling sprint car victory, claiming Wednesday’s King of the West by NARC Fujitsu Sprint Car Series 30-lap headliner at Placerville Speedway. Larson also won the BCRA midget feature.
Larson started the Paul Silva Finley Farms/McDonalds-sponsored sprint car in the fourth spot in the 24-car grid and took advantage of a pair of late race cautions to set up his winning move. The last one allowed him to negotiate his way past Shane Golobic with only a mile remaining on the quarter-mile high banks to score the popular $5000 victory.
Pole Shuffle winner Mitchell Faccinto paced the frantic field for the first five laps, holding off the aggressive advances of Tim Kaeding, Golobic and Larson. Kaeding finally won a drag race down the front straightaway on lap six to take the point. Golobic and Larson followed suit two laps later. The top four cars battled closely in a high speed game of cat and mouse through traffic as track champion Andy Forsberg also moved into contention.
Golobic, piloting the Elk Grove Ford/NoS Energy sprinter, pestered Kaeding for several laps and finally powered past the leader as the pair crossed the flagstand on lap 20. Larson mastered the cushion and moved into second with five laps left when the red came out for Blake Carrick who got upsidedown on the back straightaway. He was unhurt.
That bunched up the field for the restart and Larson quickly went to work. He maneuvered under Golobic in the fourth turn with four to go and cruised to the win. It was the 2010 King of the West champion’s eighth career series win.
“That caution helped me in the end,” admitted Larson. “It took me a little while to get through the field, but the yellow bunched them up at the right time.”
Golobic scored the runner-up spot, chased by Kaeding in the Shark Racing Engines Helix. Forsberg settled for fourth in his A & A Stepping Stone ride, chased by 12th starter Rico Abreu.
The second five to cross the checkered was Colby Copeland, Faccinto, Chase Johnson, Sean Becker, and Dominic Scelzi. Bud Kaeding earned the Swift Metal Finishing hardcharger award after starting 21st and finishing 12th.
ARP Fast Qualifier Andy Gregg claimed top honors in the 12-lap semi. Heat races were picked off by Scelzi, Cole Macedo, Golobic, and Abreu.
Image courtesy of Jason Tucker Photos