Kyle Hirst Steals The Big Outlaw Money At Silver Dollar Speedway

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A home track driver took on and beat the visiting Outlaws on the opening night of the Gold Cup Race of Champions at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, CA, on Friday. Kyle Hirst is the first non-Outlaw regular to win in Northern California in six starts in 2017.

Hirst is the defending "King of the West" champion and is a notorious winner on the California circuit.

The win was special for the local driver because it showed the traveling boys that California has the talent to stage an upset.

"I've been racing for 15 years, and I've finally snagged one of these World of Outlaw wins," Hirst said from Victory Lane. "That's for Chico, California."

Hirst won his heat after the previous leader Kalib Henry had issues with his power steering and dropped out. Hirst started on the pole in the Craftsman Dash, winning it over Shane Stewart -- who drove from fifth to second -- hot on his tail.

Hirst and Stewart lined up on the front row in the feature. Hirst held the lead for the first six laps before Stewart caught him in lapped traffic. On lap seven the duo collided and Stewart regained first, pulling his sprinter into the lead. The driver of the No. 2 car held the lead through lap 11 with Hirst and another California native, Dominic Scelzi, hot on his heels.

On the final turn of lap 11th, Stewart lost control for just long enough for Hirst to make the pass. The next time around a caution was called for Sheldon Haudenschild and the field was bunched together once more.

Racing resumed on lap 14 but only got one full lap done before a crash brought out a red flag.

Bud Kaeding lost control of his car, turned sideways, and collected Daryn Pittman and Paul McMahan. The drivers were OK, but the crash ended McMahan's and Kaeding's competitive night. With the help of his crew and other members lending a hand in the pits, Pittman made it back out to finish the race.

On the restart after that red flag, Jac Haudenschild crashed out of fifth. The field lined up to retry lap 16, and the remaining 14 laps went green with Hirst and Stewart at the helm. The duo exchanged the lead several times, but Stewart continued to find himself short as they crossed the line lap after lap.

Stewart's second-place finish adds another impressive run to the driver's superior month, in which he's won three times and has had been in contention for the lead almost every night.

"Coming home second is nothing to shake your head at," Stewart said. "We continue to have fast a car, and that's a testament to my guys. I feel like we have a shot to win every time we roll out."

Scelzi had a career-best finish of third to complete the podium.

California locals rounded out the top five with Cory Eliason finishing fourth and Justin Sanders fifth.

Stewart was the only non-Californian to finish in the top five.

Top 10 Finishers
1. Kyle Hirst
2. Shane Stewart
3. Dominic Scelzi
4. Cory Eliason
5. Justin Sanders
6. Jonathan Allard
7. Shane Golobic
8. David Gravel
9. Donny Schatz
10. Sheldon Haudenschild

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