Flat Tire Comes Between Sprint Car Racer and Gold Cup Race of Champions Win

Former King of California Jonathan Allard went into the final night of the 54th annual Gold Cup Race of Champions hoping to become the first California driver to win the World of Outlaws event since 1989.

Jonathan Allard's Williams Motorsports K&N Filters No. 0
Jonathan Allard's Williams Motorsports K&N Filters No.0
After winning a preliminary night feature on Thursday at Chico’s Silver Dollar Speedway, Allard earned the right to start on the outside of the front row. It was the first time a local driver started on the front row at the Gold Cup since 1998.

Unfortunately for Allard and Williams Motorsports a right rear tire on his K&N No. 0 went flat on the final lap of the main event. It pushed Allard back to a 10th place finish. There were 103 drivers at the Gold Cup competition, which is considered to be the most prestigious sprint car event on the west coast.

Allard entered Saturday’s event tied for high points with Joey Saldana. Saldana sat on the pole by winning the tie breaker which was based on both driver’s individual qualifying times during he previous nights.

The Silver Dollar bulling was slick by the main and drivers were wary of a large curb. At the green flag Allard fell into third place. Allard had a strong run until a caution came out on lap 12. At the restart Allard stayed with Sammy Swindell and hounded him for several laps while holding off a hard charging Steve Kinser. Allard held his own with arguable two of the greatest drivers in the history of sprint car racing. Allard was holding his own until Kinser was able to sneak under him in turn four to claim third. At the next caution, Allard was back in front of the 20-time King of the Outlaws.

Allard made his move on the restart with the No.0 K&N Filters to the inside of Swindell and executed a beautiful slide to take over the second position. Soon Allard was on the rear bumper of leader Joey Saldana. As the pair entered traffic on lap 21, Allard got the break he needed as Saldana got caught behind a lap car and Allard took the lead.

With only five laps remaining, Allard had problems with his right rear tire. Allard said it was disappointing to have a podium finish at the Gold Cup taken away, but on the bright side it was good enough to earn a career best Gold Cup finish.

The final night of the Gold Cup Race of Champions will air on SPEED-TV on Sunday, September 23 at 10:30 a.m. PST. Allard’s next race will be the Fred Brownfield Memorial Sprint Challenge at Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma, Washington.

Follow Jonathan Allard's progress throughout the racing season at the K&N news site. Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.


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