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  • By Gary Thomas

The Sprint Car Challenge Tour heads for penultimate event of the season this Saturday at Keller Auto

Hanford, CA – With the season winding down the Sprint Car Challenge Tour presented by Elk Grove Ford and Abreu Vineyards travels south to Keller Auto Speedway in Hanford for the 33rd annual Penny Newman Grain Cotton Classic this Saturday October 13.

The event has been one of the long standing and prestigious showcases in the Central Valley over the years. Apart from 2014 the Penny Newman Grain Cotton Classic has been held at the Kings County Fairgrounds venue every season since the mid 1980’s. The huge night of racing this Saturday will also feature the King of the West-NARC Fujitsu 410 Sprint Cars and the Western RaceSaver 305 Sprints. If you’re a fan of Winged Sprint Car racing it will certainly be a can’t miss evening of competition.

The Cotton Classic is also the start of a big two weekends of racing in Central, California with the Rico Abreu Racing 25th Trophy Cup presented by Rudeen Racing taking place on October 18, 19 and 20 at Tulare’s Thunderbowl Raceway. Over the years numerous fans have come down a week early and taken advantage of catching the final tune-up for teams prior to the Trophy Cup. The Kings County Fairgrounds offers plenty of great camping options for those that want to stay overnight. With two races remaining defending Sprint Car Challenge Tour champion Kyle Hirst holds a substantial lead in the driver standings, as he looks to bring the home the big money for the second straight season. The Paradise, CA wheel-man has two victories with the tour this year, including opening night of the recent Nor-Cal Posse Shootout. Hirst has 12 overall wins in 2018 and also sits atop the KWS-NARC standings going into the Cotton Classic, which takes place in his car owners Dennis and Theresa Roth’s backyard.

On the owner side of the equation things continue to be tight with Roth Motorsports leading Joshua Bates Motorsports by just six-points heading into Keller Auto Speedway. Clarksburg’s Justyn Cox brought home a pair of podium finishes at the Posse Shootout and is set for a return to the No. 42x machine this Saturday. The two-time Mark Forni Classic winner earned a runner up finish when the Sprint Car Challenge Tour made its Hanford debut on June 16 and has been one of the most consistent drivers as of late.

Roseville’s Sean Becker and Menne Motorsports have also found a spark late in the season and are fresh off their first career Sprint Car Challenge Tour triumph at the Posse Shootout. The decorated driver is up to a season high second in the driver points. Roseville’s Willie Croft, Aromas’ Justin Sanders and Auburn’s Andy Forsberg complete the top-five with two rounds left. Just three-digits separate Sanders and Forsberg, while sixth place Justyn Cox is only 12-markers back of that battle.

Rounding out the top-10 in the Sprint Car Challenge Tour presented by Elk Grove Ford and Abreu Vineyards standings going into the 33rd Penny Newman Grain Cotton Classic are Roseville’s Colby Copeland, Hollister’s Tony Gualda, Penngrove’s Chase Johnson and San Jose’s Tim Kaeding, who remains sidelined after an injury sustained in mid-September.

A couple of special entrants sure to add spice to the program will be Rutherford’s Rico Abreu and Wooster, Ohio’s Jac Haudenschild, who will both be aboard Abreu Vineyards entries. Abreu captured the Cotton Classic in 2016 and hopes to do so again on Saturday. Additional drivers expected include Cameron Park’s Shane Hopkins, Fremont’s Shane Golobic, Minden, Nevada’s Tanner Thorson, Hollister’s Ryan Bernal, Tracy’s Kyle Offill, Marysville’s Ryan Souza, Fairfield’s Zack Lynskey, Tulare’s Travis Coehlo, Coarsegold’s Scott Parker and others.

Discounted online tickets are available by clicking – Online tickets cost $30 for bleachers and $35 for grandstands. Prices will go up $5 during the day of the race at the gate. Front gate opens at 4pm with racing around 7. Live music will be performed prior to the races by the Dirty Poppas.

The Keller Auto Speedway is a 3/8-mile clay oval and is located on the Kings County Fairgrounds in Hanford, California. The physical address is 801 S. 10th Ave. Hanford, Ca 93230. More info can be found at

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, A.R.T. Speed Equipment, Pit Stop USA, Auto Meter, ADCO Driveline & Exhaust, Bullard Construction, BR Motorsports, Chris Kenner Racing Specialties/ Security Race Products, CLT Logging, CRV Carbon Solutions, D&D Roofing, Driven2SaveLives, Finley Farms, Garner Heat Treat Inc., Garth Moore Insurance and Financial Services, Keizer Wheels, Kevin Sharrah Designs, King Racing Products, Light Up the World Beverages, Moto Wear, Metal Works, Naake Suspension, PT Shocks, Pyrotect Racing Cells, Quick Time Mortgage, Race Punk, R&R Racewear, Saldana Racing Products, Team Ford of Woodland, Walker Performance Filtration and Winters Performance.

The Sprint Car Challenge Tour is operated under the Russell Motorsports Inc. banner, which also manages the Placerville Speedway in Placerville, California. For sponsorship opportunities and inquiries, RMI can be reached at 530-344-7592 or

More information on the Sprint Car Challenge Tour presented by Elk Grove Ford and Abreu Vineyards can be found at our official website – Be sure to also like us on Facebook and follow on Twitter for the latest breaking news regarding SCCT.

Remaining Sprint Car Challenge Tour presented by Elk Grove Ford and Abreu Vineyards events in 2018: Saturday October 13: Keller Auto Speedway Hanford, CA (33rd annual Cotton Classic with King of the West-NARC) Saturday November 3: Stockton Dirt Track (35th annual Tribute to Gary Patterson with King of the West-NARC)

Photo courtesy of Jason Tucker

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