By Gary Thomas, Tear Off Heaven photo
Placerville, CA – June 5, 2010…San Jose’s Tim Kaeding and Chico’s Jonathan Allard always seem to bring out the best in each other and on Saturday night the duo were at it again putting on a thrilling late race show for the win at the Placerville Speedway with Kaeding ultimately coming out on top after 30-laps of racing.
The victory for Kaeding was his third with the Golden State Challenge 410 Sprint Car Series since returning home last month and came after back-to-back runner up finishes during the two most recent events held last weekend in Calistoga.
“We’ve had so much fun since coming back out here and that was about as good as you can get right there,” said the 2002 King of California. “I love racing with Jonathan, Kyle Larson and these guys out here and being able to do it through traffic like that was a lot of fun and I really have to thank all you fans for coming out.”
The 13th main event of the Golden State Challenge Series season started out with Scotts Valley’s Evan Suggs getting the jump on the field at the waving of the green flag. The 23-year-old was in search of his first ever GSC win and would lead the first two-circuits, until the red lights flashed on Rio Vista’s Danielle Simpson, who had gotten upside down. As cars pushed back off Suggs hopes at a strong run were dashed when his oil pressure gauge read zero and with fears of hurting his engine he was pushed back to the pits to put a tough end to his night.
With Suggs out of the race it moved Allard up to the top-spot with T. Kaeding in second and when the green came back out the pair stayed glued to each other on the high-banked quarter-mile bullring. With traffic coming into play Kaeding closed in and took advantage of the slower cars to shoot to the bottom off the second corner and move his way to the lead on lap-eight, but at the same time the yellow lights came on for Grass Valley’s Jason Statler to negate the pass.
On the restart Allard found himself back in front and the two-time King of California tried to pull away from the field, but encountered a slower car that forced him to get out of shape on lap 12 and it was all Kaeding needed to slice to his inside and move the Roth Motorsports, DTR Transport No. 83 to the lead. With “TK” now in front “JA” tried to find a way back by and the pair would fight it out through traffic until the red flag came out again with just eight-laps remaining in the race.
The final restart of the night saw Allard step up his challenge as he put the Williams Motorsports, K&N Filters No. 0 sprinter right up on the cushion of the Placerville Speedway and charged hard after Kaeding looking to get by with the race winding down. As traffic approached again the current GSC point leader made the move to carve his way around Kaeding to claim the lead off turn four and as the two leaders hit turns one and two, they would split a lapped car in exciting fashion with the crowd coming to their feet. Kaeding then shot to the inside in the third and fourth corners to squeeze back by Allard to re-claim the lead while dicing through multiple lapped cars. “TK” would then lead the final pair of circuits to cross under the Ed Entz checkered and score the thrilling victory.
Allard crossed the finish line in second to record his 10th finish of second or better in the past 13 Golden State Challenge 410 Sprint Car Series events at the Placerville Speedway. “I sure the hope the fans enjoyed that one because I know I did,” said the Chico driver. “It’s so much fun racing with Tim because we don’t give each other an inch, but run each other clean and that’s what sprint car racing is all about.”
Elk Grove’s Kyle Larson made his way into third early on and spent the closing laps watching the battle for the lead hoping to get an opportunity to pounce on the front runners. “That was a pretty good race between Tim and Jonathan for the lead and I was thinking I might have a chance to get the lead as hard as they were going at it,” said the 17-year-old driver of the Stadelhofer Construction, Peppermill Casino No. 99. “They both did a great job though and I’m happy to get a third behind those two guys because it doesn’t get much better out here than them two.”
Rounding out the top-10 in the GSC feature were Campbell’s Brent Kaeding, Vancouver, Washington’s Zach Zimmerly, Elk Grove’s Bobby McMahan, Chico’s Kenny Allen, Camino’s Justin Johnson, Statler and Placerville’s Jimmy Trulli. Allard won the night’s dash with the three heat races going to Tim Kaeding, Jason Statler and Brent Kaeding. Auburn’s Andy Forsberg began the evening by blistering the Placerville bulling in 9.971 seconds to earn fast-time.
The companion BCRA Midget main event was captured by Bakersfield’s Shannon McQueen, who started fourth and overtook early leader Floyd Alvis to tally her second win a row after coming back from an eye injury. “It feels really good to get up here in victory lane at this place,” said McQueen. “I suffered an eye injury earlier in the year and we just started racing again so to get two wins in a row is pretty nice. “ Finishing the main event in second was Placerville Speedway sprint car regular Shane Golobic of Fremont and completing the podium was USAC CRA regular Gregg Bragg of Visalia.
During the night a helmet pass was also held to benefit El Dorado County volunteer firefighter Scott Ragan, who is suffering from a brain tumor. Due to the graciousness of the Placerville Speedway crowd over $2000 was raised to help with Ragan’s medical costs.
Full results from the night’s racing are available at http://www.goldenstatechallengeseries.com and http://www.placervillespeedway.com