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  • By Gary Thomas

Tim Kaeding and Kyle Hirst bring torrid Sprint Car Challenge Tour point battle into Merced Speedway

Merced, CA – July 30, 2019…With just three races remaining in the Sprint Car Challenge Tour presented by Elk Grove Ford and Abreu Vineyards season, Northern California racing stars Tim Kaeding and Kyle Hirst are locked in a heated point battle as the series heads to Merced Speedway for the first time this Saturday.

The Merced Speedway is one of the more centrally located dirt tracks in California, which should make for a solid field of cars from throughout the Northern and Central part of our state. The track is one hour and 45 minutes from Sacramento and just under an hour from Fresno. This Saturday’s winner will pocket $2,500 while the main event is a guaranteed $400-to-start. Over $2,000 in Sprint Car Challenge Tour contingency prizes will also be up for grabs at the event.

“We’re excited for Merced Speedway this Saturday with the Sprint Car Challenge Tour,” commented Russell Motorsports Inc. President Scott Russell. “Doug Lockwood and the staff down there have done an amazing job with the place and it should be a great show for the teams and fans. The fight for the championship between Tim Kaeding and Kyle Hirst is also an intense one with only a few races left. With this being our first event in Merced we hope everyone can make it out and support it this weekend. I want to thank all the sponsors and staff that have supported SCCT this year. We are looking forward to having a great end of the season.”

When it comes to championships and race wins both San Jose’s Tim Kaeding and Paradise, California’s Kyle Hirst are near the top of any list you look at over the last 20-years in the Golden State. Just three slim points separate the duo at the top of the standings going into Merced Speedway on Saturday. Neither driver has visited victory lane yet this season however, a testament to the stiff competition that the Sprint Car Challenge Tour has seen.

Kaeding is in his second season driving for Joshua Bates Motorsports, who brought home the car owner championship last season with Kaeding and Justyn Cox sharing driver duties. Hirst has captured the last two driving championships with the tour but looks to do so for the initial time aboard the Tiner-Hirst Ent. No. 94 machine. Both Kaeding and Hirst should be fun to watch as they battle for precious championship points on the newly configured Merced Speedway quarter-mile.

Hollister’s Tony Gualda, Roseville’s Sean Becker and Tracy’s Kyle Offill round out the top-five in the Sprint Car Challenge Tour presented by Elk Grove Ford and Abreu Vineyards standings. Filling out the remainder of the top-10 are Fremont’s Shane Golobic, Roseville’s Colby Copeland, Lemoore’s Cole Macedo, Clarksburg’s Justyn Cox and Sebastopol’s Geoff Ensign. The top-15 drivers and teams at season’s end will share in the $60,000 cash point fund.

Adult tickets this Saturday August 3rd at Merced Speedway will cost $20, seniors will be $18, kids 6-12 will be $5 and all kids five and under are free. All seating will be general admission during the night. The front gate will open at 5pm, with wheel packing at 6:15pm, SCCT hot laps at 6:40pm, qualifying at 7pm and racing at 7:45pm. The pit gate will open at 2pm, with drivers meeting at 5:45pm.

The Merced Speedway is located at 900 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Merced, California 95431. It is located one hour and 45 minutes south of Sacramento and one hour north of Fresno. For information on the speedway visit

The Sprint Car Challenge Tour is proudly sponsored by Elk Grove Ford, Abreu Vineyards, Hoosier Racing Tires, Kyle Larson Racing, All Star Performance, A.R.T. Speed Equipment, BR Motorsports, King Racing Products, Pit Stop USA, Auto Meter, ADCO Driveline and Custom Exhaust, Bullard Construction, Bullet Impressions Inc., Chris Kenner Racing Specialties, CLT Logging, CRV Carbon Solutions, D&D Roofing, Garth Moore Insurance and Financial Services, High Sierra Industries, Keizer Wheels, Kevin Sharrah Designs, Moto Wear, Metal Works, PT Shocks, Quick Time Mortgage and Solar,, Ti 22 Performance and Walker Performance Filtration.

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. You can also find us on Instagram by searching scct360.

Remaining Sprint Car Challenge Tour presented by Elk Grove Ford and Abreu Vineyards events

Saturday August 3: Merced Speedway

Saturday October 12: Keller Auto Speedway (34th annual Cotton Classic w/ KWS-NARC)

Saturday November 2: Stockton Dirt Track (36th annual Tribute to Gary Patterson w/ KWS-NARC)

Images courtesy of Jason Tucker Photos

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