Rico Romps In King Of The West Finale

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Rico Abreu won the 30-lap season finale for the Fujitsu King of the West sprint car series at the Stockton Dirt Track on Saturday night. (Joe Shivak photo)

STOCKTON, Calif. — Rico Abreu won the 30-lap season finale for the Fujitsu King of the West sprint car series at the 35th annual Tribute to Gary Patterson at the Stockton Dirt Track on Saturday night.

Abreu, aboard his familiar blue and yellow No. 24, pocketed $5,000 becoming the eighth different winner for the West Coast’s premier 410 winged sprint car touring series.

With his second-place finish and a DNF by his closest contender Shane Golobic, Kyle Hirst was crowed the series champion. The Roth Motorsports driver only needed to finish 13th or better to clinch the title. When Golobic tangled with a slower car and flipped in the fourth turn on the seventh lap, ending his night, Hirst won the title.

With title contenders Hirst and Golobic starting on the front row, the two wagged a battle to see who would dominate early. It was Hirst’s No. 83 getting the better of the Tarlton Motorsports No. 21x up until the race’s first red which was Golobic’s demise. He had just been passed by Abreu when he got involved with lapped traffic.

Hirst got command after the restart and held the point until lap 20 when Abreu showed his nose and got around Hirst’s car briefly. The two traded the lead again and Abreu searched for another opportunity to pass Hirst. That came with just a few laps to go when the blue No. 24 stormed around the black No. 83 in between turns three and four.

Hirst settled for the runner-up spot, ahead of a fast-closing D.J. Netto, Mitchell Faccinto and Bud Kaeding.

The finish:

Rico Abreu, Kyle Hirst, D.J. Netto, Mitchell Faccinto, Bud Kaeding, Colby Copeland, Willie Croft, Chase Johnson, Andy Gregg, Jason Statler, Bobby McMahan, Kurt Nelson, Gary Paulson, Scott Parker, Dustin Golobic, Richard Brace Jr., Craig Stidham, Tanner Thorson, Shane Golobic,  Justyn Cox, Kenny Allen.