STOCKTON — Following a rainout last month the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series is set to make its first visit of the season to the Stockton Dirt Track for the inaugural running of the Jimmy Sills Classic, as part of the San Joaquin County Fair this Saturday.
The event will be the ninth ever appearance by the King of the West Sprint Cars to the centrally-located venue that opened in the spring of 2013. It marks the first of three stops this season, with the rescheduled Salute to LeRoy Van Conett coming up in less than a month on Sunday, July 10. The series will also end the year at the Stockton Dirt Track on Saturday Nov. 5 with the 33rd annual Tribute to Gary Patterson.
This Saturday’s King of the West showcase at the track honors Hall of Famer Jimmy Sills, who accumulated 44 total wins during his Northern Auto Racing Club/ Golden State King of the West career. He also captured a number of events that are still taking place today with the series, including the Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial, the Pombo/Sargent Classic and the aforementioned Tribute to Gary Patterson. Shirts will be on sale, and Sills will be available for autographs under the main grandstand.
Going into the Jimmy Sills Classic a three-horse race has developed towards the front of the standings, with two-time King of the West champion Kyle Hirst holding a 12-point advantage over second place Bud Kaeding & a 17-digit advantage over third running Jonathan Allard. Hirst has captured two of the four events held thus far in 2016 and will be gunning for his first Stockton Dirt Track win on Saturday. Last season the 28-year-old came close in August, only to have Tyler Walker sneak under by on the final corner.
Along with Sills, Bud Kaeding is the only other three-time champion with the national touring USAC Silver Crown Series and hopes to chip away at the KWS point lead on Saturday. The reigning Trophy Cup winner, like Hirst, will be looking for his first victory at the Stockton 3/8 mile clay oval. Allard ended last season by winning the Tribute to GP in Stockton and has gained speed in recent weeks. The three-time KWS champ usually gets hot this time of year and that bodes well with the busiest stretch for the series coming up.
Hanford’s DJ Netto and Elk Grove veteran Bobby McMahan round out the top-five going into Saturday. More drivers expected will include Sacramento’s Willie Croft, Fresno’s Cory Eliason, Clarksburg’s Justyn Cox, Grass Valley’s Jason Statler, Watsonville’s Justin Sanders, Atwater’s Sean Watts, Hanford’s Mitchell Faccinto, Penngrove’s Chase Johnson, Gilroy’s Jarrett Soares, Coarsegold’s Scott Parker, Auburn’s Richard Brace Jr., Murrieta’s Cori Andrews, Sacramento’s Stephen Ingraham and others.
With paid admission to the fair, upper deck grandstand tickets cost just $10 & lower deck tickets are only $5 this Saturday. Adult fair admission is $10, kids 6-12 will be $5 and children 5 & under are free. Seniors, students & military with id cost $7. The front gate opens at 4 p.m., with first heat scheduled for around 7pm.
Career Winged Sprint Car wins at the Stockton Dirt Track: Rico Abreu (4), Andy Forsberg & Donny Schatz (3), Dominic Scelzi & Jonathan Allard (2), Kyle Larson, Willie Croft, Tim Kaeding, Kerry Madsen, Andy Gregg, Colby Copeland, Shane Golobic, Tyler Walker (1).
The King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series is held under the management of Prentice Motorsports Group, which also operates the Civil War 360 Sprint Car Series presented by Flowmaster, the Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo, the Wingless Sprint Car Series presented by Hunt Magnetos, the All Star Modified Tour and Ocean Speedway.