ANTIOCH, Calif. – Two drivers that are certainly looking forward to opening the King of the West Sprint Car Series season at the Antioch Speedway on Saturday have to be Sacramento’s Kyle Hirst and Fresno native Craig Stidham, who both scored big victories with the tour at the one-third mile clay oval last year.
Antioch Speedway has gained a reputation of always providing excitement and drama when the powerful King of the West 410 sprint cars are on hand at the sticky and hooked up speed plant located on the Contra Costa County Fairgrounds. Last season saw three different winners in the three KWS events at the track, with the final two being captured by Hirst and Stidham.
The victory for Hirst came on June 23 and happened to be during his first ever night driving the Dennis & Teresa Roth-owned Roth Enterprises No. 83jr. The 25-year-old charger also began that evening by setting a brand new KWS track record at the Antioch Speedway by touring the one-third mile oval in 11.705 seconds. That night and many other impressive runs have earned Hirst a full time ride with Roth Motorsports this season.
“It was awesome to come out and win with the King of the West Series in Antioch last year during my first night driving for Roth Motorsports,” Hirst commented. “I couldn’t have asked for a better debut to set a new track record and win the main event. We had a lot of success together over the last half of the season and definitely want to continue where we left off and bring home that KWS title this year.”
Hirst showed solid consistency driving for Roth Motorsports last season, including top-five finishes in all of his five starts with the King of the West Series aboard the 83jr mount.
During the year the talented second generation driver claimed nine wins while competing for a number of different car owners. One of his biggest came during the final night of the Trophy Cup, where he carved his way from 17th to first in the 50-lap feature.
“It was a great feeling to win that main event at the Trophy Cup after starting so far back in the field,” said Hirst, who ended the prestigious event with a third place result in the points, finishing behind only two-time World of Outlaws champ Jason Meyers & multiple-time ASCS National titlist Shane Stewart. “I can’t say enough about Dennis & Teresa Roth for giving me this opportunity to drive for such a great team. It’s been a blast and we’re looking forward to having some fun this season.”