HANFORD, Calif. — Kyle Hirst and Dominic Scelzi each drove matching Williams Motorsports team cars to victories in the twin-20 NARC King of the West Fujitsu Sprint Car Series main events in Saturday’s Morrie Williams Legends Tribute races at Keller Auto Speedway.
Tim Kaeding, on the basis of a second and fourth-place finish, was crowned the overall champ of the inaugural event in the Bates/Hamilton Maxim.
Hirst started on the outside of the front row of the first feature and spent the first seven laps tailgating Iowa visitor Austin McCarl. After mounting a several challenges, Hirst finally managed to motor his way into the lead going down the backstretch a lap later. However, he had to survive three caution flag restarts and a barrage of attacks by Blake Carrick, 10th starter Sean Becker and Mitchell Faccinto.
Carrick actually took the lead away twice, but was unable to make it stick at the flag stand as the four-time King of the West champion battled back. A caution flag on the final lap set the stage for a green-white-checkered shootout. With the leader running the low groove, Mitchell Faccinto rode the cushion around Hirst to steal away the on the 19th circuit. The two swapped lines on the final lap and Hirst ended up beating Faccinto to the checkered by a few feet while also making contact with the front straightaway concrete. Becker filled out the podium finishers, chased by Tim Kaeding, and Carrick.
Hirst’s 30th career King of the West victory was worth $3,000. Becker was named the Swift Metal Finishing hardcharger.
The second feature was lined up totally inverted based on the finish of the first race. Polesitter Ryan Robinson set the standard at the green, leading a freight train that included J.J. Ringo, Stephen Ingraham and Craig Stidham.
Robinson grew his advantage to a healthy 12 car lengths as the field sliced and diced for position behind him. The caution appeared on lap eight which changed the entire dynamic of the race.
Eleventh-starter Dominic Scelzi had the fastest car on the track and negotiated his way into third behind Tanner Carrick and the leader for the restart. Scelzi would go on to pick off Carrick four laps later and claimed a drag race down the front to take the top spot on lap 13.
At that point, Scelzi put his ride in cruise control and claimed his ninth series win of his career.
Kaeding, who began the second 20-lapper in the 16th spot, methodically worked his way through the field to finish second, ahead of Robinson, Becker, McCarl, and Tanner Carrick.
Kaeding’s effort earned the $400 hardcharger award and ultimately the overall points title for the night, worth another $1,000.
McCarl set the standard aboard the Roth Motorsports sprinter to set quick time at 14.573 run around Peter Murphy’s three-eighths-mile dirt track.
Feature 1 (20 laps): Kyle Hirst, Mitchell Faccinto, Sean Becker, Tim Kaeding, Blake Carrick, D.J. Netto, Bud Kaeding, Austin McCarl, Dominic Scelzi, Andy Forsberg, Kurt Nelson, Jake Hagopian, Tanner Carrick, Sean Watts, Kyle Offill, Craig Stidham, J.J. Ringo, Adam Kaeding, Stephen Ingraham, Ryan Robinson, A.J. Bender, Burt Foland Jr.
Feature 2 (20 laps): Dominic Scelzi, Tim Kaeding, Ryan Robinson, Sean Becker, Austin McCarl, Tanner Carrick, D.J. Netto, Mitchell Faccinto, Bud Kaeding, Blake Carrick, Andy Forsberg, Stephen Ingraham, Jake Hagopian, Kurt Nelson, J.J. Ringo, Kyle Offill, Adam Kaeding, Craig Stidham, Kyle Hirst, A.J. Bender, Sean Watts, Burt Foland Jr.