PETERSEN MEDIA- With the World of Outlaws invading California over the weekend, Kyle Hirst defended his home turf well, as he picked up three top five finishes, including a second place finish that was part of the closest finish in World of Outlaw history, as he crossed the stripe .005 seconds behind Kerry Madsen.
“I thought I had him,” Hirst said. “I can’t say enough about this Roth Motorsports team, they gave me great cars all three nights. I really wanted that one at Antioch.”
Invading the Antioch Speedway, the scene of his first Roth Motorsports win a couple of season’s ago, Hirst time the Roth Enterprises/HR Livestock Transportation/3H Cattle No. 83JR machine in 12th fastest.
Starting on the front row of his heat race, Hirst was able to fend off the Kasey Kahne Racing duo of Brad Sweet and Daryn Pittman to pick up the win, and earn a spot in the dash.
Finishing eighth in the dash, the Chico, CA resident lined up for the 30-lpa feature event in the fourth row, on what was a very tight, and hooked up surface.
Getting into the sixth spot within the first six-laps, Hirst took advantage of the race’s lone restart, and darted to the second spot, as drivers bicycled in the first corner, and began chasing after Kerry Madsen.
With a majority of the race in traffic, Hirst was able to close in on Madsen at times, but also found himself trapped in traffic at times, letting Madsen get away.
Continuing to smash the throttle pedal, Hirst would close back in on Madsen as the laps clicked away.
With the white flag in the air, Hirst was all over the leader, and coming out of turn four pulled alongside him coming to the checkers, and finished just .005 seconds behind him in what is now the closest finish in series history.
“Is that what happened? That would happen to me,” Hirst said upon hearing the news that the finish made history. “One of these years I will get that World of Outlaw win, but congrats to the Mad Man and his team. It’s also pretty cool to be on the podium with my Roth Motorsports teammate, David Gravel.”
Spending Friday and Saturday at the Silver Dollar Speedway for the 61st Annual Gold Cup Race of Champions, Hirst kicked his Gold Cup off by timing in 11th fasatest.
Winning his heat, and getting through the dash, Hirst would line up for the feature in the seventh spot, and spent most of the race right inside the Top-10.
With yellows slowing the race’s pace late, Hirst was able to take advantage of a couple ‘give-me’ spots, and then found himself in a dog –fight with Donny Schatz for fifth in the closing stages.
As Schatz wrestled the spot away from Hirst, the reigning King of the West answered a couple of laps later as he simply drove around the current WoO point leader to take the fifth spot, where he would go on to finish.
Saturday night during the Gold Cup Race of Champions, Hirst jumpstarted his night by timing in third fastest.
Lining up 10th in the feature event, Hirst had a very strong car on this night, as he worked around the extremely slicked off racing surface.
Running in the seventh spot at the half-way point, Hirst continued to run a smart race as he used a couple of late restarts to grace his way towards the Top-Five as he raced with David Gravel, Shane Stewart and Cody Darrah.
With his teammate Gravel getting over the cushion and into the fence, Hirst moved into the fifth position with just five laps to go.
A restart with sixth to go, saw Hirst slide up in front of Shane Stewart to take over the fourth spot, and again felt pressure from Schatz.
With the tracking taking rubber in the waning laps, Hirst was able to keep Schatz and bay as he crossed the stripe with a fourth place finish.
“It is pretty cool to run fourth with the World of Outlaws and to do it at Gold Cup makes it pretty special,” Hirst said. “I have to thank Dennis and Teresa Roth for continuing to support me, and hopefully we can take this momentum and win a couple more KWS races.”
Kyle and his Roth Motorsports team would like to thank Roth Enterprises, HR Livestock Transportation, 3H Cattle, Mobil1, FK Rod Ends, Weld Wheels, Brown and Miller Racing Solutions, Kent Performance, Kaeding Performance, and Astro Titanium for their support in 2013.
2014 ROTH MOTORSPORTS BY THE NUMBERS: Starts-30, Wins-4, Top 5’s-17, Top 10’s-23
ON TAP: Hirst and his Roth Motorsports team will be back in action with the KWS at Santa Maria Speedway on Friday night and at the Ventura Raceway on Saturday night.
STAY CONNECTED: Stay connected to Kyle by following him on Twitter, @kylehirstracing, or by visiting www.rothmotorsports83.com.
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