ANTIOCH, Calif. — The Elk Grove Ford Sprint Car Challenge Tour presented by Abreu Vineyards is geared up to launch the busiest stretch of the season and it all gets underway on June 17 with the final appearance of the year at Antioch Speedway.
The first part of the season has seen a great show, with five different winners in as many races. Beginning on June 17, the Sprint Car Challenge Tour will be in competition each of the next three weekends, making it a critical piece of the puzzle towards the $10,000-to-win title.
Going into Antioch, there is currently a close race at the front of the standings, with Kyle Hirst leading Sean Becker by just two points.
The 29-year-old Hirst has used solid consistency and some good old fashioned hard driving aboard the famed Roth Motorsports No. 83 to place his name at the top of the hill going into round six. Hirst has tallied a trio of podium finishes in the first five events and will be a favorite to make it six wins in six races on June 17.
Hirst, in fact, made his first start for car owner’s Dennis and Teresa Roth at the Antioch Speedway in 2012. That night he set a track record and won the main event.
For Becker, this weekend will also be an opportunity where he hopes to punch his first ticket into Sprint Car Challenge Tour victory lane at the helm of the Menne Motorsports No. 75 machine. The champion has finished among the top five in all but one race thus far.
“We’ve had a good start to the year with the Sprint Car Challenge Tour, but definitely want to get a win under our belts,” Becker said. “With the way the format works and the level of competition we see with this series you have to be on your game every time you hit the track. A couple of the races we were able to dig ourselves out of a hole and that’s exactly what you have to do when racing for a championship. Hopefully, we can get the monkey off our backs and bring home a victory in Antioch.”
Already a winner this season, Willie Croft will also be looking to close in on the point lead, as he sits just 11 markers back in third. The veteran wheelman scored a victory on April 29 at Petaluma Speedway and is a past King of the West Series winner at the Antioch Speedway. During the season opener on April 1, he set fast time and ran fourth in the feature behind the wheel of his Holy Smokes BBQ No. 29.
After claiming the most recent Sprint Car Challenge Tour event held in Stockton on May 27, Mitchell Faccinto will be hoping to go back-to-back in Antioch. The Hanford native rounds out the top five in points and brought home a fifth-place result at the previous Antioch Speedway appearance on April 1.
More drivers ready to do battle at the Antioch Speedway will include Mason Moore, Ryan Bernal, Tony Gualda, Steven Tiner, Colby Copeland, Justin Sanders, Carson McCarl, Andy Gregg, Colton Slack, Bradley Terrell, Cody Lamar, Herman Klein, Kalib Henry, Shawn Conde, Dustin Golobic, Kyle Offill, Zach Lynskey, Robert Stice, Shawn Arriaga, Chelsea Blevins and others.
The main event as always will pay $2,500-to-win and $400-to-start.