"The trip back was rough," affirmed Chico, California's Jonathan Allard after his long flight back from the southern hemisphere. Every winter the K&N sponsored driver travels halfway around globe to compete in New Zealand. This year he opted to return early and compete in the King of the West season finale event at the New Stockton 99 Speedway.
Jonathan Allard had to settle for second in the King of the West championship last season but he vows to reclaim the title in 2014.
"I was real excited to race at California's newest speedway," continued Allard, "It's a very fast and demanding track! I was focused on trying to be in a position to strike on the points lead if the point leader had any misfortune. The added event created some additional demands for me, as I had already committed to my overseas opportunity to defend the Western Springs title. But Stockton is a great place and it allows the KWS series to showcase the talent and competitive drivers that we have on the West Coast."
"When the King of the West added the race at Stockton halfway through the year, the schedule in New Zealand had already been set, and luckily this weekend opened up, and I was able to come back and finish the deal out for Morrie and Katie Williams, and all of my guys."
The K&N Allard Motorsports car finished second in the 2013 Springs Speedway International Series in Auckland, New Zealand.
And by "finish the deal out . . ." Allard references the news that 2013 is his last season with Williams Motorsports, he will be spend the 2014 season racing for his new team, Tri-C Motorsports.
With 35 cars competing in the 410 class in the King of the West Series in Stockton, Allard jumpstarted his night by timing in second fastest during time trials, which positioned him in the second row for the heat race. After taking second in his heat Allard was set to transfer into the feature event.
Allard started the feature on the second row and when the race got underway he immediately tucked into the third spot as he chased after race leader, Kyle Hirst, and second place, Rico Abreu. At the halfway point, Allard had moved into the second spot as he now chased after Abreu, but the youngster was too good on this night, and Allard ended his night finishing second in both the race and the series standings.
In the 360 class, Allard again kicked his night off in a big way by timing in with the fastest lap during qualifications this time, before scoring a third place finish in his heat. Then on the start of the feature, a car got into Allard, jacking him upside down, and his night was over in that feature before it had a chance to start.
"Overall it was a pretty good night for us," Allard said. "We had a ton of speed in both cars and that is always a good thing. I have to congratulate Kyle Hirst on winning the championship. It is an elite group of drivers, and something that is not easy."
Recapping his overall 2013 season Allard remarked, "This was a season of extreme highs and lows for our team. We were able to have a great many wins and a few key DNFs that cost us the KWS title. I feel very fortunate to be involved with such great partners that support our team, and that is what makes the difference when things don't go our way on the track. The involvement of great sponsors like K&N helps us to battle hard and strive for the successes that came our way."
"After Stockton I made my way Back to New Zealand to continue my battle for the Springs Speedway International Series. It was a high paced, action packed, event spread over two weeks. The K&N Allard Motorsports car was in contention to win both events, battling with two of racing's greatest drivers in Donny Shatz and Sammy Swindell. Finishing second in the international series was great for us, and it made for a USA clean sweep of the top three spots. We look to continue to run at Springs Speedway in Auckland, New Zealand until the racing gets underway at home," Allard adds, "and we can look to take back the KWS crown in 2014."