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Kaeding holds off closing laps challenge from Tarlton to capture fourth Golden State Challenge victory

From Gary Thomas

Cottage Grove, Oregon – June 14, 2010…Leading up to Monday night the inaugural running of Western Speedweek hadn’t gone quite as expected for San Jose’s Tim Kaeding, with various issues taking away better finishes than he had hoped for during the previous two events at the start of long week or racing.

That all changed at the always action-packed Cottage Grove Speedway however, when the 31-year-old driver dominated much of the main event and then held off a furious late-race charge from Tommy Tarlton to claim his fourth Golden State Challenge 410 Series triumph of 2010.

“We’ve kind of struggled with tough luck at the start of the week so it feels really good to get back here in victory lane,” said the driver of the Roth Motorsports, DTR Transport No. 83 sprinter. “Tommy Tarlton and Jonathan Allard drove a great race to get up here on the podium as well and I just want to thank Dennis & Teresa Roth, my whole team and all you fans for coming out and supporting 410 sprint car racing. I lost my brakes late in the race so I’m happy to be able to hang on and get the win”

At the waving of the green flag in the main event on Monday it was Kaeding and pole sitter Willie Croft of Sacramento going side-by-side down the front stretch with “TK” rocketing off the second corner to grab the lead. The initial 11-laps would be clicked off in no time at all on the fast and furious quarter-mile bullring. While Kaeding opened up a huge gap up front the driver to watch was two-time King of California Jonathan Allard, who had won the b-main and started to carve his way through the field in the feature from his 10th starting position.

By the lap 11 caution Allard was already up to fourth and on the restart he would power his way by Campbell’s Brent Kaeding to slice into third as the pair spent a couple laps going wheel-to-wheel for the position, before Allard assumed the spot prior to another yellow with 14-circuits complete. On the ensuing restart “BK” would bicycle big time in turns one and two dropping well back in the field, while at the same time Allard charged around Croft to steal the second position.

Another pair of slow downs’ were then seen on lap 17 when Oregon’s Chad Groves spun, which was followed by a red flag for Washington’s Logan Forlor, who had gotten upside down on the front stretch coming to the cone for the restart. When the green lights came back on Easton’s Tommy Tarlton began to make his presence known by driving around Croft to claim third and also bringing along Campbell’s Bud Kaeding for fourth. With the track surface changing in various spots Tarlton charged hard after Allard for second and the current Ocean Sprint Car Series point leader was able to the make the move on lap 22 to put the Corporate America Lending, Tarlton & Son Inc. No. 21 into the runner-up position.

The final caution of the evening came with only six-laps left in the feature and on the restart Kaeding would get a solid jump, but Tarlton kept him within sight and when traffic appeared with a just a couple laps remaining it gave him one last opportunity at making something happen for the lead. Tarlton hounded the rear of the Roth No. 83 as the pair crossed under the white flag and the Central, CA based wheel-man looked to find an opening for the lead. “TK” remained calm out front however, and hit his marks over the final pair of turns and was able to hang on for his 46th career Golden State Challenge Series victory.

Tarlton was forced to settle for a still strong second place finish and continue his ultra strong season, for what also marked his seventh top-five effort in seven Golden State Challenge Series starts this year. “Tim Kaeding is just plain good and he drove a heckuva race so being up here with guys like him is practically a win in itself,” said Tarlton. “I just have to thank my crew, my dad and my whole family because we’re out here having fun and this is our first long week of racing this year. I also have a lot of great sponsors that really help us out a lot so I really appreciate them as well.”

Allard crossed under the checkered flag for third to score his eighth straight podium finish in Golden State Challenge competition aboard the Williams Motorsports, Village Green Resort No. 0 machine. “We had a great run in the main event until I kind of wore my tire out and just had to hang on there at the end,” said the current GSC point leader. “I want to thank my guys and sponsors for helping us out and hopefully this will be a prelude for what to expect the rest of the Speedweek and we’ll be trying to get a win here before the week’s done.”

Putting together a very strong run was Elk Grove’s Kyle Larson, who got no qualifying time at the beginning of the night due to a broken U-joint. The 17-year-old then came from last in the b-main to run third in the 12-lapper, before charging from the 10th row in the feature to tally fourth at the finish behind the wheel of his Stadelhofer Construction, Peppermill Casino-Reno No. 99. Larson made some great moves over the course of the 30-lapper, with the best being when he split Bud Kaeding and Roger Crockett off turn four to move into fourth with just over five-circuits left in the main event.

Completing the top-10 in the feature were Bud Kaeding, Medford, Oregon’s Roger Crockett, Brent Kaeding, Grass Valley’s Jason Statler, Vancouver, Washington’s Zach Zimmerly and Clovis, CA’s Peter Murphy. The b-main was captured by Allard, with Croft winning the dash and Evan Suggs, John Michael Bunch, Tim Kaeding and Zach Zimmerly claiming the heat races. Croft opened the night by setting fast-time in the 31-car field with an extremely quick lap of 10. 129.

Full results can be found at http://www.mylaps.com/results/showrun.jsp?id=1548702

“Western Speedweek- The Road to Dirt Cup” will resume tonight at the Willamette Speedway in Lebanon, Oregon for Round 17 of the Golden State Challenge 410 Sprint Car Series season.