Hirst Rules Howard Kaeding Classic

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Kyle Hirst (right) poses with Howard Kaeding after winning the Howard Kaeding Classic. (Joe Shivak photo)
Kyle Hirst (right) poses with Howard Kaeding after winning the Howard Kaeding Classic. (Joe Shivak photo)

WATSONVILLE, Calif. — Kyle Hirst won the 10th annual Howard Kaeding Classic, the second stop on the Fujitsu NARC-King of the West Sprint Car Series, at the Ocean Speedway on Saturday night.

Hirst drove the No. 0 for Williams Motorsports for only the second time and became the first only three-time winner of the race named in honor of a West Coast racing legend.

The 88-year-old Kaeding was in victory lane to greet the winner of this year’s edition which was staged in front of an empty grandstand.

Justin Sanders waged war with Hirst for two-thirds of the 30-lap contest, but had to settle for the runner up spot despite nosing ahead of the eventual winner on the tight quarter-mile Santa Cruz County Fairground bullring dirt oval.

Spencer Bayston, the only other driver to claim a Series win in 2020, improved from his 15th starting spot and made a last lap pass of Mitchell Faccinto to claim the third position.

Faccinto and Tim Kaeding rounded out the top five.

D.J. Netto led the 32-car field in qualifying.

The finish:

Kyle Hirst, Justin Sanders, Spencer Bayston, Mitchell Faccinto, Tim Kaeding, Blake Carrick, Shane Golobic, Andy Forsberg, Ryan Bernal, Sean Becker, Chase Johnson, Colby Copeland, Sean Watts, Bud Kaeding, Joey Ancona, Trent Canales, Kurt Nelson, Craig Stidham, Jodie Robinson, Nick Ringo, Adam Kaeding, D.J. Netto, James Ringo, Willie Croft