By Gary Thomas
Medford, OR – June 12, 2010…Just one night after 16-year-old Zach Zimmerly captured his first ever Golden State Challenge victory Elk Grove, California’s Kyle Larson continued the young winning flavor by racing to his third career series triumph on Saturday night at the Southern Oregon Speedway in Medford, Oregon.
It also marked the 17-year-old Larson’s second Golden State Challenge 410 Sprint Car Series win of the year aboard the Stadelhofer Construction, Peppermill Resort-Spa-Casino-Reno No. 99 sprinter.
“It was tough to see Tim Kaeding lose the lead like that early in the race, but even when I was in second behind Jonathan Allard I was hoping for lapped traffic,” said Larson. “Luckily I was able to have an opening and get by for the lead so it feels great to get another win and I’m just having a blast this year. I really have to thank my crew and sponsors and hopefully we can go on the rest of the week and get some more wins.”
The 30-lap feature on Saturday night started out with pole sitter Tim Kaeding of San Jose jumping into the lead. A pair of separate incidents slowed things to a crawl in the early stages however, but once racing got into a flow, lapped traffic began to make things interesting on the slick 1/3 mile oval. “TK” would hold a steady advantage up front, but everything changed on lap 12 when the yellow lights flashed on for a spun car.
At that same time Kaeding’s hopes at a fourth GSC victory of the year came to a stop when he sat parked in turns one and two, after coming up on a lapped car very fast and having to take evasive action once the yellow waved. With the Roth Motorsports No. 83 restarting at the tail of the field it moved Chico’s Jonathan Allard up to the top spot and when the green came back out the two-time King of California pulled away from the field.
Allard was in search of his series leading sixth main event win of the season and as the race went on it looked like a very good possibility that he would accomplish that. With right around 10-laps remaining though Larson started to kick it up a notch and began to reel in the Williams Motorsports No. 0 mount. The defending GSC Rookie of the year remained glued to the bottom of the raceway and as Allard went up high that was all Larson needed to slip underneath and take command with 23-laps down.
A yellow flag with only four-circuits left in the race then set up an exciting dash to the finish where Allard tried his hardest to find a way by the youngster, but Larson hit his marks over the closing laps and was just barely able to fend off the fast moving “JA” to cross the checkered and score victory at the entertaining finish. Allard’s final lap’s effort at reclaiming the lead came up just short and he was forced to settle for second to also tally his seventh GSC podium finish in a row. The 33-year-old gave it hard run on the last circuit and actually turned the fastest lap of the main event on the final go-around.
Completing the top-five in the main event were Campbell’s Brent Kaeding in the Al’s Roofing Supply No. 69, Sacramento’s Willie Croft in the Holy Smokes BBQ No. 29 and final row starter Logan Forlor of Orting, Washington in the Steve Forlor Trucking No. 2l.
Rounding out the top-10 in the feature were Campbell’s Bud Kaeding, Tim Kaeding, Clovis’ Peter Murphy, Grass Valley’s Jason Statler and Vancouver, Washington’s Zach Zimmerly. New Zealand traveler Skinny Colston won the night’s 12-lap b-main, while Tim Kaeding captured the dash with Paradise, CA’s John Michael Bunch, Bud Kaeding, Jonathan Allard and Scotts Valley’s Evan Suggs winning the heat races. Tim Kaeding opened the evening by cutting a blazing fast 11.181 for fast-time out of the 31-cars on hand.
Western Speedweek will kick back into gear Monday night June 12 at the Cottage Grove Speedway in Cottage Grove, Oregon for Round 16 of the Golden State Challenge 410 Sprint Car Series season. More info on the event can be found at http://www.cottagegrovespeedway.com/
Full results when available can be found at http://www.goldenstatechallengeseries.com