Kaeding Wins King of the West Series at Tulare

Bud Kaeding became the second repeat winner of 2013 on Friday night (Kyler Shaw photo)
Bud Kaeding became the second repeat winner of 2013 on Friday night (Kyler Shaw photo)
Bud Kaeding. (Kyler Shaw photo)

Tulare, CA — A wild & wacky night at the Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway on Saturday featured just about everything & anything you could imagine and ultimately ended with three-time USAC Silver Crown Series champion Bud Kaeding charging from 13th to pick up his first King of the West 410 victory of 2013.
It marked Kaeding’s 10th career Golden State/ King of the West Series triumph, which places him into sole possession of ninth on the all-time win list. For the Campbell, California veteran it was his first KWS victory since June 2 of last year when he captured the “Pombo/Sargent Classic” in Hanford aboard the Buster & Ziggy Enterprise, Alviso Rock No. 29 mount.
The “Harry Talbot Memorial” on Saturday was surely an event nobody will forget anytime soon for a number of reasons. A freak dust storm initially engulfed the entire Thunderbowl Raceway during qualifying for the USAC West Coast 360’s and lasted until after the opening King of the West heat race. An issue with the track lights then occurred during the second KWS heat that left the entire track dark and caused a delay.
One of the major highlights of the night however, was having our favorite mate Peter Murphy back at the race track for the first time since his accident on July 20 in Antioch. Murphy was interviewed in front of the crowd following the dash and received a large roar from the solid crowd on hand. The Clovis resident thanked everyone for their support and well wishes over the last nine weeks. It was certainly special to have Murphy back at the track.
The 30-lap King of the West 410 feature definitely had its share of twists and turns throughout the entire distance, which started out with a nine-car pileup in the first corner. Included in the multi-car crash was second in points Jonathan Allard, who got upside down during the melee. Pole sitter Evan Suggs also suffered a flat tire and was forced to head back to the pits to change it. Once some green flag laps were ticked off it was two-time World of Outlaws champion Jason Meyers out front and in charge of the race.
The tricky one-third mile clay oval claimed a number of competitors over the course of the main event at times, but through it all Meyers kept the rest of the field at bay. Things changed however, during a double file restart on lap 22 when 13th starting Bud Kaeding was able to out drag race Meyers into turn one and take command. Meyers would drop a couple more spots and then during an ensuing red flag period went to the pits with a flat tire. The upcoming double file restart then saw Bud Kaeding and Tim Kaeding share the front row. For “TK” it was another one of his patented charges from the rear after having issues early on and having to go to the back.
When the green came back out Bud took command during an exciting restart, but before a lap could be completed the yellow lights flashed on, which would set up a single file restart. After that Bud Kaeding hit his marks and raced off to take the Willie Williams checkered flag for the victory over Tim Kaeding in the Roth Enterprises No. 83 and King of the West Series point leader Kyle Hirst in the Roth Enterprises No. 83jr. It was Hirst’s 11th podium finish in the 16 series events held so far in 2013.
Sacramento’s Willie Croft brought the Tri-C Manufacturing No. 3c home in fourth and young DJ Netto of Hanford rounded out the top-five at the helm of his Netto Agriculture No. 88n. It marked Croft’s 10th top-five of the KWS season, which is a new personal record & was also Netto’s second career top-five finish with the series. Completing the top-10 were Chico’s Jonathan Allard, Fresno’s Dominic Scelzi, Campbell’s Brent Kaeding, Grass Valley’s Jason Statler and Jason Meyers.
The 12-lap Last Chance Qualifier was picked off by Jason Statler, while the six-lap dash was claimed by Scotts Valley’s Evan Suggs. The four 10-lap Kaeding Performance heat races were captured by Jason Meyers, Brent Kaeding, Willie Croft and Dominic Scelzi. The BR Motorsports fast time award to begin the night was earned by Tim Kaeding who toured the one-third mile clay oval in 13.434 seconds.
The King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series will now have a couple weeks off before heading back to the Central Valley for the annual “Cotton Classic” at Kings Speedway in Hanford. The prestigious event on Saturday October 12 will be the one and only time this season to catch the KWS 410’s at the 3/8 mile clay oval and is sure to be an exciting night as always. To purchase pre-sale tickets contact (559) 584-7223 and for more info on the track log onto www.kingsspeedway.net