Jonathan Allard makes victorious return with the Sprint Car Challenge Tour at Antioch Speedway Saturday
By Gary Thomas
Antioch, CA – June 17, 2017…Making his first California start of the season Chico’s Jonathan Allard made a mid-race move to get under point leader Kyle Hirst for the lead in traffic and went on to take the checkered flag, becoming the sixth different winner in as many races with the Elk Grove Ford Sprint Car Challenge Tour presented by Abreu Vineyards.
Allard was aboard the Rod Tiner Racing No. 83sa machine during a special cameo appearance at the event and was part of a great three-way dog fight for the top spot, before checking out late in a curfew shorted feature that went 25-laps. With the Kyle Larson Racing Bonus Money factored in car owner Tiner went home with $3,000 for the night.
“This is pretty special to come out here and win at Antioch tonight in my first start of the year,” said an extremely happy Allard on the front stretch. “Kyle Hirst got bottled up in traffic there and luckily I was able to take advantage. Big thanks to Rod Tiner for allowing me to drive this race car. He’s been a mentor of sorts to me over the years with all of his knowledge and gave me an awesome car tonight. It’s an honor to drive for him and to get a victory in the 83sa is pretty cool to say the least.”
The scheduled 40-lap main event started out with RacePartsTrader.com dash winner Hirst getting the jump at the waving of the green flag. Allard carved his way into the second spot with Hollister’s Ryan Bernal in tow. A caution and red flag plagued contest slowed the flow of things, but in-between the stoppages the action remained entertaining. After about 10-laps were complete Hirst, Allard and Bernal began to wage an epic battle for the lead through super heavy lapped traffic.
Allard executed a pinpoint move to slide his way under Hirst and grab the top spot, just prior to another caution coming out on lap 19. On the restart all heck broke loose when Bernal and Croft came together racing for the third spot, which ultimately saw the 56 slow to a stop and the 29 get sideways, falling back and relegating him to the rear of the field.
After that the race never got back into a groove, with a fuel stop needed on lap 20 during a scary red flag incident that saw Herman Klein get upside down. He luckily emerged okay however. Another red flag period on lap 23 shortened the race to 30-laps, but another yellow shortly after brought out the checkered on lap 25 as curfew came. Allard’s victory gave car owner Rod Tiner a sweep of the Antioch events for 2017 with the Elk Grove Ford Sprint Car Challenge Tour presented by Abreu Vineyards.
Hirst came home in second to remain the point leader at the helm of the Roth Motorsports No. 83 sprinter, while Hanford’s Mitchell Faccinto completed the podium in the Western Metal Company No. 37 mount. Roseville’s Sean Becker capped the race in fourth, with fellow Roseville racer Colby Copeland rounding out the top-five. The remainder of the top-10 was comprised of Sebastopol’s Bradley Terrell, PitStopUSA Hard Charger Award winner Tony Gualda of Hollister, Croft, Visalia’s Steven Tiner and Rio Linda’s Scott Hall.
Watsonville’s Justin Sanders captured the Finley Farms B-main and as noted Hirst claimed the RacePartsTrader.com dash. All Star Performance heat one went to Sean Becker, A.R.T. Speed Equipment heat two was picked off by Rio Linda’s Cody Lamar, BR Motorsports heat three was claimed by Mitchell Faccinto and King Racing Products heat four was won by Steven Tiner. Kyle Hirst started the night by earning the LRB Inc. / ADCO Driveline and Custom Exhaust fast time award with a lap of 12.398. A total of 29 cars signed into the pits for round six.
The Elk Grove Ford Sprint Car Challenge Tour presented by Abreu Vineyards will return to action this coming Saturday June 24 at the Calistoga Speedway Boys and Girls Club Dirt Classic. Information on the event can be found at www.sprintcarchallengetour.com