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  • By Gary Thomas

Cory Eliason holds off Shane Golobic...

Cory Eliason holds off Shane Golobic to take home inaugural Elk Grove Ford Sprint Car Challenge Tour presented by Abreu Vineyards event on Saturday

Antioch, CA – Making the most of his first career start in the Rod Tiner Racing No. 83sa machine Kingsburg’s Cory Eliason led all 30-laps to score victory on opening night of the Elk Grove Ford Sprint Car Challenge Tour presented by Abreu Vineyards season Saturday.

The event at Antioch Speedway was the first California-based traveling Winged Sprint Car series race at the track since 2013 and helped kick-off the inaugural Elk Grove Ford Sprint Car Challenge Tour presented by Abreu Vineyards campaign. A strong 58-car field filled the pit area for the first of 13 scheduled events this season.

Eliason started on the pole in the A-main by way of his win in the first Dash and had his way for much of the feature, until holding off a fast closing Shane Golobic at the end. It was a solid rebound for the Central Valley racer after getting off the edge of the track while leading with the World of Outlaws the night before in Hanford.

“This is pretty cool to come out here and win the first Elk Grove Ford Sprint Car Challenge Tour presented by Abreu Vineyards event tonight,” Eliason commented on the front stretch. “I can’t thank Rod Tiner enough for allowing me to drive his race car. I’m definitely not as good in my mind as some of the guys that have sat behind the wheel of this thing, but I feel like we’re going to have a great season. Hopefully we can do this again at the Placerville Speedway on April 15.”

Track conditions definitely proved tricky as the night went on, with the first set of corners remaining hooked up and tacky, while the third and fourth corners had slicked off considerably. That end proved to be calamity corner as numerous spins took place at the portion of the speedway. Eliason got the jump at the waving of the green flag and held command every step of the way, weaving through lapped traffic when it came into play.

As the race wound down however, Golobic closed in with the slower cars playing havoc up front. With just a few laps left Golobic was right Eliason’s rear bumper, making it a close battle for the lead to the checkered flag. The Fremont racer tried his hardest to find a way by, but came up just short, as Eliason crossed the stripe by 0.467 seconds margin of victory. Eliason and owner Rod Tiner also earned the Metal Works fastest lap in the A-main award to go home with an extra $100, added in to the $3,000 victory.

For Golobic the runner up finish capped a solid weekend aboard the Keith Day Trucking/ Elk Grove Ford No. 22 mount. “That definitely got interesting at the end of the race,” he said. “It was an interesting track tonight and pretty technical so we’re happy to come out of it with a second. The Elk Grove Ford Sprint Car Challenge Tour presented by Abreu Vineyards is going to be great series and it was awesome to see the support for it the first night out.”

Roseville’s Sean Becker also closed in rapidly over the final laps and crossed the checkered flag in third, less than a second behind winner Eliason. “We didn’t get qualified great, but luckily drove forward in the heat race and that set us up well,” said the driver of the Menne Motorsports/ Mike’s Hard Lemonade No. 75 Sprinter. “It was nice to see such a strong field of cars tonight with the Elk Grove Ford Sprint Car Challenge Tour presented by Abreu Vineyards. It’s going to be a tough series, but a lot of fun as the season goes on.”

Roseville’s Willie Croft made some nice moves to navigate his way around the outside of the speedway to come home in fourth, while Hanford’s Mitchell Faccinto rounded out the top-five. The top-10 was completed by Hollister’s Ryan Bernal, Paradise’ Kyle Hirst, Auburn’s Andy Forsberg, Watsonville’s Justin Sanders and Antioch’s Shawn Arriaga. Sanders earned the Pit Stop USA Hard Charger Award by coming from 18th to ninth in the 30-lapper.

A-main finish: 1. 83sa Cory Eliason, 2. 22 Shane Golobic, 3. 75 Sean Becker, 4. 29 Willie Croft, 5. 37 Mitchell Faccinto, 6. 56 Ryan Bernal, 7. 83 Kyle Hirst, 8. 7c Andy Forsberg, 9. 121 Justin Sanders, 10. 56j Shawn Arriaga, 11. 17 Dominic Scelzi, 12. 63 Geoff Ensign, 13. 11d Colton Slack, 14. 4s Buddy Kofoid, 15. 55 Cody Hodgson, 16. X1 Mason Moore, 17. 7 Kalib Henry, 18. 94 Steven Tiner, 19. Andy Gregg, 20. 3c DJ Netto, 21. Bradley Terrell, 22. 7k Kenny Allen

The Finley Farms B-main was captured by Andy Forsberg, while the two C-mains were won by Justyn Cox and Tony Gualda Jr. The Dashes were claimed by Eliason and Golobic to earn the front row for the feature.

Mitchell Faccinto picked off All Star Performance Heat Race number one, with Eliason bringing home A.R.T. Speed Equipment Heat two, Shawn Arriaga won BR Motorsports Heat three, Bradley Terrell scooped up King Racing Products Heat four and Sean Becker won Driven2SaveLives Heat five. Willie Croft earned the overall LRB Inc./ ADCO Driveline and Custom Exhaust Fast Time Award, beating out the 58-car field with a lap of 12.476 around the Antioch Speedway. Full results will be available at

The Elk Grove Ford Sprint Car Challenge Tour presented by Abreu Vineyards will return to action on Saturday April 15 at the Placerville Speedway in Placerville, California.

The Sprint Car Challenge Tour is proudly sponsored by Elk Grove Ford, Abreu Vineyards, Hoosier Racing Tires, Bianchi Farms, Kyle Larson Racing, All Star Performance, ART Speed Equipment, BR Motorsports, King Racing Products, Auto Meter, ADCO Driveline & Exhaust, Bullard Construction, Chris Kenner Racing Specialties/ Security Race Products, CRV Carbon Solutions, Driven2SaveLives, Finley Farms, Flying Squirrel, Garth Moore Insurance and Financial Services, Jockos Sprint Parts, Keizer Wheels, Light Up the World Beverages, LRB Inc., Menne Hay Inc., Moto Wear, Metal Works, Naake Suspension, Pit Stop USA, PT Shocks, Pyrotect Racing Cells,, R&R Racewear, Saldana Racing Products, Sellers Race Wings, Shifty Illusions and Walker Performance Filtration.

Photos courtesy RCM Design

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