From Gary Thomas, Paul Travino Photo
Hanford, CA – June 27, 2010…Getting ready to head back to the Midwest this coming week former King of California Tim Kaeding of San Jose added one more victory prior to his departure by withstanding a strong final half of the race challenge from Elk Grove’s Kyle Larson and claim Saturday night’s Golden State Challenge 410 Sprint Car Series main event at the Giant Chevrolet Kings Speedway in Hanford.
The win for Kaeding was his fifth of the GSC season aboard the Roth Motorsports, DTR Transport Inc. No. 83 machine, which ties him with Jonathan Allard for the most this year and also gives him a sweep of the two series events at Giant Chevrolet Kings Speedway this year.
“This place has always been good to me and it’s great to come back and get another win here,” commented Kaeding after the race on the front stretch. “We’ve had a few different crew chiefs this year and we’re feeling good to have “Bonzai” Bruns on board with us so hopefully when we go back to the Midwest we can keep running like we have been out here. Dennis & Teresa Roth have been giving me great stuff all year as well and I want to thank my whole team and all you fans for coming out here to support us tonight.”
High day-time temps and strong winds left the track surface very slick for the feature event, but it made for some great racing as positions were traded back-and-forth numerous times throughout the 30-lapper. When the green waved in the main event dash winner Jonathan Allard jumped into the lead, but soon had to deal with a fast-moving Tim Kaeding and on lap-two “TK” finessed his way to the top-spot off turn four.
One lap later Vancouver, Washington’s Zach Zimmerly then utilized a similar maneuver off the fourth corner to grab second from Allard, before a caution appeared with six-circuits down and set up a restart that saw T. Kaeding out front with Zimmerly second, Allard third, Kyle Larson fourth and Easton’s Tommy Tarlton in fifth. When racing got back underway Allard was able to return the favor for second and was soon followed by both Larson and Tarlton for third and fourth in successive laps moving Zimmerly back to fifth in the order.
With 12-laps complete it became a three-way fight for the lead and it saw Larson continue his charge from the fourth row to rocket by Allard and grab the runner up spot just before the yellow flag waved once again on lap 14. On the restart Larson then proceeded to fling his Stadelhofer Construction, Peppermill Casino No. 99 to the bottom of the speedway in turns one and two and make a beautiful pass of Kaeding to put himself into the lead. Once in front the 17-year-old immediately began to put a gap between he and Kaeding, but unfortunately for the youngster the yellow lights would come back on before a lap had been completed and resulted in the order being reverted back with “TK” placed back in first.
Back in front Kaeding led the field down to green and had Larson hounding his rear bumper looking to find a way back by the 31-year-old veteran and multiple-time Giant Chevrolet Kings Speedway winner. With just over 10-laps left in the race Larson closed right up on Kaeding as they battled their way through traffic putting on a terrific show for the crowd on hand. Making some very precise moves on the challenging surface both drivers remained close together doing a tremendous job navigating through the lapped cars.
As the feature winded its way down the battle for the lead remained intense, but things came to a stop on lap 26 when the yellow flew again for a stopped car in turn four. With everyone being able to catch their breath during the slow down drivers got set for a final four-lap dash to the finish and when the green waved again Kaeding continued to run smooth and clean laps up front with Larson staying within striking distance, hoping for any kind of a mistake to have an opportunity to pounce. The driver of the Roth No. 83 never faltered though and took the white flag looking for victory; however, the red lights would come onto the speedway for a wreck in turn three, which brought everything to a halt.
During the stoppage heartbreak city then occurred for Larson, as he sat in turn two with smoke coming out of his car and he was pushed back to the pits as engine issues put an end to his strong run. The green-white-checkered restart was all about T. Kaeding up front as he checked out from the pack to cross the checkered and pick up his 47th career Golden State Challenge Series victory.
Finishing the race in the runner up spot for the second straight GSC event was Tarlton in the Corporate America Lending, Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino No. 21 sprinter. It also marked Tarlton’s eighth top-five effort in eight series starts this year as he continues to have one of the finest seasons of his sprint car career. “We’ve been having a lot of fun this year and every week we’ve been running up front so it’s been great,” said Tarlton. “Everyone involved with Kings is doing a great job and hope everyone continues to support this place. I have to thank all my guys and all our sponsors.”
Fighting his way back forward as the race went on was Zimmerly who claimed third at the finish behind the wheel of the Christian Stover Foundation, McMillen Motorsports No. 94 machine. It also continued the youngster’s recent strong outings as he came off a runner up finish the previous week at the Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup. “We kind of went back and forth there for a while, but we’re happy with a third tonight,” commented Zimmerly. “It was a fun track to race on and something good to learn on since these should be the kind of tracks we’ll be seeing back in the Midwest when we head back there.”
Rounding out the top-10 in the main event were Campbell’s Bud and Brent Kaeding, Grass Valley’s Jason Statler, Chico’s Jonathan Allard, Scotts Valley’s Evan Suggs, Chico’s Brad Bumgarner and Placerville’s Andy Gregg.
Merced’s Mark Barroso captured the evening’s b-main, with Jonathan Allard winning the dash and Brent Kaeding, Andy Gregg and Kyle Larson claiming heat race victories. Tim Kaeding began the night by carving his way around the 3/8 mile oval in 13.527 seconds to record his series leading fifth fast time of the season. Full results from the night’s racing are available at http://www.goldenstatechallengeseries.com
Next up for the Golden State Challenge 410 Sprint Car Series will be the final visit of the season to Chico’s Silver Dollar Speedway this coming Sunday night July 4. The special 4th of July show will be capped by a fire work show to conclude the night