There’s No Stopping Tim Kaeding in Lucas Oil ASCS Season Opener at
Lonnie Wheatley, TULARE, Cal. (February 9, 2011) –
successfully defended his California turf from the invading Lucas
Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters National forces by racing to
victory lane in Wednesday night’s season-opening 30-lap main event
atop the 1/3-mile Thunderbowl Raceway clay oval.
The San Jose shoe battled past four-time series champion Gary Wright
for the lead on the 13th round and then held off a late
charge from past ASCS Northwest titlist Roger Crockett to secure his
second career ASCS National feature win aboard the Roth Motorsports
No. 83 entry.
“It’s great racing with Gary (Wright) and these guys,” Kaeding
commented after the inaugural Lucas Oil ASCS National event
contested in the state of California.
“When we go to their territory, they beat up on us.
When they come out here, we’re gonna beat up on them.” |
Tim Kaeding captured the season-opening Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters National feature win by topping Wednesday night's 30-lapper at the Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, CA.
(Paul Trevino photo)|
And, doing so at one of his favorite tracks made the $6,000 victory
that much sweeter. “This is
my playground and if anybody’s gonna beat me, they better get up on
the fence and do it.”
Gridding the feature field third, Kaeding battled past fellow second
row starter Steven Tiner for second on the fifth round and then
reeled in front row outside starter Wright to race into the lead
entering turn one on the 13th circuit.
After Tiner spun from contention on the 14th round,
clipping a charging Shane Stewart in the process, Crockett was third
and made quick work of Wright for second on the ensuing restart as
he turned up the heat on Kaeding for the top spot aboard the Omlid &
Swinney Fire Protection & Security No. 11.
With Kaeding railing about the topside of the oval, Crockett stayed
within a couple of car-lengths as traffic played a factor until a
final caution flew after 21 laps for Dustin Morgan’s turn four spin.
“We were faster than him, we were real close but I think we were a
little bit better,” Crockett explained.
“A lapped car spun, I let off the gas and that put a lapped
car between us on the restart and I lost a half straightaway at that
Oregon’s Crockett closed the gap as Kaeding reached the tail of the
field two laps shy of the checkered flag.
But, with Kaeding flawless in traffic, Crockett ran out of
laps and settled for runner-up honors.
Kaeding explained of the final circuits that, “We got a little free
towards the end, and I knew Roger was coming and Shane was coming
there. I just had to keep telling myself be patient, don’t do
anything stupid, don’t hit the fence.”
Behind the lead duo, Shane Stewart and Kyle Larson both completed
dazzling drives from deep in the field to finish third and fourth,
respectively, with Fresno’s Tommy Tarlton rounding out the top five.
Stewart, the 2009 Lucas Oil ASCS National champion, raced from eight
rows deep in the 16th starting position, while 2010 King
of California Larson rallied from 21st after early
gremlins put him behind the eight ball.
By the final third of the race, Stewart and Larson were dicing for
the show position with Stewart making the decisive move on the 25th
lap to secure the show position aboard Paul Silva’s Rockstar Energy
Drink No. 57 A.R.T. And, he
did it with a badly-damaged left rear wheel from the skirmish with a
spinning Steven Tiner on the 14th lap.
“There was cars going everywhere there for a minute and I wasn’t
sure if the 94 was gonna stop or not,” Stewart explained.
“He just came up a little bit and I just hit him.”
Stewart continued, “I was just lucky to finish. That’s what it’s all
about, you have to finish these races to have a championship.
You can’t start 16th and run third every night and
we know that, I just have to do a little better in my heat races.”
Larson climbed 17 positions for a career best Lucas Oil ASCS
National finish of fourth aboard the JJR/Finley Farms No. 41, with
ninth-starter Tarlton fifth after running as high as third at the
Wright slipped to sixth at the stripe in the Cooper/Sperry No. 51,
with Bud Kaeding crossing the stripe seventh.
After a convincing “B” Main win, 15-year-old Washington shoe
Trey Starks raced from 17th to a Lucas Oil ASCS National
career-best finish of eighth.
Johnny Herrera survived a quick 360-degree mid-race spin exiting
turn four to claim ninth, with 2010 Lucas Oil Sprint Car points
runner-up Brady Bacon advancing a handful of positions to complete
the top ten.
After the initial attempt to start the feature was waved off,
eighth-starter Mason Moore slowed with terminal engine issues.
The red flag flew after one lap when 12th-starter
Craig Stidham flipped in turn four, with the caution flying again
one round later when pole starter Nicole Miller looped it in the
Crockett, Tiner, Wright and Tim Kaeding topped heat race action for
the 32-car opening night field, with Starks winning the “B” Main.
Mike Faria became the first flip victim of the 2011 Lucas Oil Sprint
Car season when he turned over in turn four in the night’s third
Zach Chappell’s evening ended before it ever got started, as the
2001 series champion scratched for the night after engine problems
arose in hot laps.
The Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters National series wraps up
its California debut with a Saturday night tilt at Hanford’s Giant
Chevrolet Kings Speedway.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars presented by
Thunderbowl Speedway – Tulare, CA
Heat Races (Top 16 in Passing Points to
"A" Main; Balance to "B" Main):
Heat One (8 Laps):
1. 11-Roger Crockett, 2. 21-Bud Kaeding, 3. 94z-Zach
Zimmerly, 4. 57-Shane Stewart, 5. 23-Seth Bergman, 6. 87-Aaron
Reutzel, 7. 2L-Logan Forler, 8. 41-Kyle Larson.
Heat Two (8 Laps):
1. 94-Steven Tiner, 2. 21T-Tommy Tarlton, 3. 45x-Johnny
Herrera, 4. 99-Brady Bacon, 5. 55-Trey Starks 6. 2-Dustin Morgan, 7.
24-Justin Carver. DNS: 28-Jeff Swindell.
Heat Three (8 Laps):
1. 51-Gary Wright, 2. 5h-Mason Moore, 3. 3c-Craig Stidham, 4.
53-Andy Gregg, 5. 98-Chris Masters, 6. 21a-Randy Price, 7. 4F-Mike
Faria. DNS: 92-Andy Forsberg.
Heat Four (8 Laps):
1. 83-Tim Kaeding, 2. 14s-Kyle Hirst, 3. 88-Tim Crawley, 4.
20-Nicole Miller, 5. 29-Willie Croft, 6. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 7.
3-R.C. Smith. DNS: 0-Zach Chappell.
"B" Main (Top 6 Advance to "A" Main):
"B" Feature (12 Laps):
1. 55-Trey Starks, 2. 29-Willie Croft, 3. 2-Dustin Morgan, 4.
23-Seth Bergman, 5. 41-Kyle Larson, 6. 28-Jeff Swindell, 7. 18-Tony
Bruce, Jr., 8. 87-Aaron Reutzel, 9. 2L-Logan Forler, 10. 21a-Randy
Price, 11. 92-Andy Forsberg, 12. 98-Chris Masters. DNS: 4F-Mike
Faria, 24-Justin Carver, 3-R.C. Smith, 0-Zach Chappell.
Thunderbowl Raceway “A” Main:
“A” Feature (30 Laps):
83-Tim Kaeding, 2. 11-Roger Crockett, 3. 57-Shane Stewart, 4.
41-Kyle Larson, 5. 21T-Tommy Tarlton, 6. 51-Gary Wright, 7. 21-Bud
Kaeding, 8. 55-Trey Starks, 9. 45x-Johnny Herrera, 10. 99-Brady
Bacon, 11. 23-Seth Bergman, 12. 94-Steven Tiner, 13. 2-Dustin
Morgan, 14. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 15. 14s-Kyle Hirst, 16. 88-Tim
Crawley, 17. 94z-Zach Zimmerly, 18. 53-Andy Gregg, 19. 20-Nicole
Miller, 20. 28-Jeff Swindell, 21. 29-Willie Croft, 22. 3c-Craig
Stidham, 23. 5h-Mason Moore.
Gary Wright 1-12, Tim Kaeding 13-30.
Bruce, Jr., utilized a provisional based upon 2010 final points to
start the main event.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters Points
1. Tim Kaeding 150, 2. Roger Crockett 142, 3. Shane Stewart
135, 4. Kyle Larson 130, 5. Tommy Tarlton 125, 6. Gary Wright 122,
7. Bud Kaeding 119, 8. Trey Starks 116, 9. Johnny Herrera 113, 10.
Brady Bacon 110, 11. Seth Bergman 108, 12. Steven Tiner 106, 13.
Dustin Morgan 104, 14. Tony Bruce, Jr. 102, 15. Kyle Hirst 100.