Day Breaks Through On Hanford Dirt

Keith Day Jr. (Devin Mayo photo)
Keith Day Jr. (Devin Mayo photo)

HANFORD, Calif. — Just one week after giving away a victory, Keith Day Jr. returned to Keller Auto Speedway and dominated the King of Thunder 360 main event on Saturday night.

Day not only picked up his first KOT win, but also his first career sprint car feature victory on the same night. He piloted the Keith Day Trucking sponsored No. 22 car, leading all 30 laps after starting from the pole.

Grant Duinkerken brought his No. 67g car home in the runner-up spot after starting in the 13th position. Outside front row starter Kalib Henry completed the podium.

The second points race of the season got off to a rough start as the field entered the second turn Steven Kent’s Tarlton Motorsports entry out upside down but landed back on all four wheels only to get run into by Connor Danell. The incident retired both drivers early from the event and was the race’s only red flag period.

On the restart, it was Henry who attempted a bold outside move going into the first turn which went sour. The miscue sent Henry’s No. 93 over the banking, allowing almost the entire field to pass him before he could recover.

Day then set a torrid pace much like the previous week and it wasn’t long before he would encounter lapped traffic.  In only his second season driving sprint cars, the youth showed a lot of savvy, dicing in and out of traffic on a dry and slick track.

With 11 laps to go, the race would slow for Tucker Worth who spun off the banking at the exit of turn two.  Kaleb Montgomery was running second, just ahead of Henry who had made his way back into contention.  One lap after the restart, it was Henry who made a pass, putting him behind Day.

As the track continued to slick off, Day had a more difficult time with the slow cars allowing Henry to move it. But it was Henry who would suffer at the hands of a lapped car, almost putting him completely over the third turn banking.

The encounter with Vaughn Schott did cost him the runner-up spot. Duinkerken got by him before Henry could get back up to full speed.

The finish:

Keith Day Jr., Grant Duinkerken, Kalib Henry, Kaleb Montgomery, Craig Stidham, Jace VanderWeed, Zane Blanchard, Ben Worth, Landon Hurst, Brooklyn Holland, Travis Coelho, Mitchel Moles, Vaughn Schott, Britton Bock, Tucker Worth, Mauro Simone, Steven Kent, Connor Danell