By Gary Thomas
Antioch, CA – Every driver and team that signs into the back gate on April 7 at the Antioch Speedway will be looking for a strong night, but Elk Grove’s Bobby McMahan will be searching to settle some unfinished business after the way last year’s Cancen Oil King of the West Series opener ended.
The season-opener this year for KWS will be “Jackson Rancheria Night at the Races” and all fans in attendance will have the chance to take home cards worth $25 of free play at Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort. We will be kicking off the season “Rancheria Style” at the Antioch Speedway so you won’t want to miss it!
During the first race of the season last year McMahan had things going his way, as he won his heat race and the dash to put the McMahan Motorsports No. 25 sprinter on the pole of the main event.
McMahan would proceed to jump into the lead of the race when the green flag waved in the 30-lapper and pace the first seven-circuits, until disaster struck in lapped traffic. The incident occurred in the first corner and resulted in his night coming to an end upside down.
“The night definitely didn’t end like we wanted at the season opener last year and it was disappointing because we felt like we had a car to win,” said McMahan, who finished runner up in points with NARC in 1996 & Golden State in ’97. “These races are always tough to win with KWS, so when you have a chance, you always want to capitalize on it.”
McMahan last visited victory lane at a traveling 410 sprint car series event in 1998 at the Bakersfield Speedway and he’ll be hoping to change that in 2012. At the end of this past season he was also one of the hottest drivers on tour with the King of the West Series and capped the year with an eighth place finish in the standings.
At one point in the summer months McMahan claimed three consecutive podium finishes, with one of those coming at the Antioch Speedway. The 1996 Northern Auto Racing Club Speedweek champion also capped his week-long title that year by winning at Antioch, while driving for famed California car-owner Clyde Lamar.
“They’ve done a lot of work at Antioch over the last few years and it has become a really racy track,” commented McMahan. “Both ends of the speedway are different and it kind of throws a challenge at you, but it’s had a top and bottom groove lately so that’s what you ask for as a driver.”
The McMahan Motorsports stable will feature a two-car team this year with son Sean gunning for Rookie of the Year with KWS. The younger McMahan attempted the same last season, but engine problems sidelined his No. 26 mount after the second race of the year.
“We’re excited to have Sean come back out and go for Rookie of the Year this season,” said the older McMahan. “For myself I’d say my goals will be to finish in the top-five of points and get a win or two. If we can continue where we left off last season that’s something we can definitely accomplish.”
Other drivers looking to find victory lane during “Jackson Rancheria Night at the Races” on April 7 will include defending KWS champion Tim Kaeding, 13-time champ Brent Kaeding, two-time titlist Jonathan Allard, 2004 champion Jason Statler, Antioch KWS track record holder Evan Suggs, rising star Rico Abreu and many more.
On Saturday April 7 the front grandstand gate of the Antioch Speedway will open at 5pm. Hot laps are scheduled for 6pm, with qualifying at 6:30 and racing anticipated to start around 7. Tickets will be available the day of the race with adults being $20, children 6-12 $10, seniors 65 & older $10 and children 5 & under free. A family pack with two adults & two children will also be available for $50.
The Antioch Speedway is located at the Contra Costa County Fairgrounds on the corner of 10th & L Streets in Antioch, California. Take SR-4 East (Highway 4) to the Somersville Road North Exit. Follow Somersville Road to 10thStreet. Turn Right on 10th Street. The address for the track is 1201 W. 10th Street Antioch, CA 94509.
Don’t forget to “like” the Cancen Oil King of the West Series on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/kingofthewestsprints and follow us on Twitter @kwssprintracing for the most timely and up to date information on the series.
Also check out our official website at www.kwssprints.com for the latest news, results, history and more on the Cancen Oil King of the West 410 Sprint Cars presented by Goodyear.