By Gary Thomas
Antioch, CA – July 16, 2011…Whenever you have Tim and Brent Kaeding fighting for the lead of a race it almost guarantees to make for an incredible show. That was evident once again on Saturday night at the Antioch Speedway, as the younger Kaeding got the best of the battle to claim his fourth Golden State King of the West victory of the year.
“TK” stalked the Al’s Roofing Supply No. 69 sprint car for a number of laps while riding the high scary side, before scooping up the lead on lap 12 en route to his 52nd career Golden State 410 triumph, in front of a packed and very vocal house at the Antioch Speedway.
“I’m really excited to finally get another win with the King of the West, because it seems like it’s been a while,” said a pumped up T. Kaeding, whose last KWS win came in Calistoga over Memorial Day weekend. “We were only running on seven cylinders there at the end and I think it’s like the third time this year we’ve won a race and hurt a motor, which isn’t good but we’ll take the win.”
An extremely hooked up Antioch Speedway was seen on Saturday that made for lightning-fast speeds all night long. The event on Saturday also marked the two-year anniversary of the last time Brent Kaeding had won a Golden State 410 race. The National Sprint Car Hall of Famer appeared hungry to get back into victory lane after winning his heat race and the dash to give himself the pole for the 30-lap feature.
At the waving of Ryan Riley’s green flag in the main event it was “BK” jumping into the lead, but over the first few circuits he felt intense pressure from Scotts Valley’s Evan Suggs and T. Kaeding. Following an early race caution “TK” then put his Roth Motorsports No. 83 mount to the top-side of the track and was able to charge past Suggs to grab second. It would set up a classic battle between father and son at the front of the field.
With Brent Kaeding running the bottom, Tim Kaeding found his customary high-line to his liking and charged hard after the leader of the race. As fans sat on the edge of their seats “BK” tried everything to hold off “TK” and did a great job to do so, until lapped traffic gave the current KWS point leader an opportunity to pounce. Racing through heavy traffic T. Kaeding then sliced to the inside of the speedway and shot to the lead with 12-laps down.
Shortly after taking the lead however, T. Kaeding’s engine began to emit a sour sound, as definite issues were occurring underneath the hood. The final stoppage of the night would then occur on lap 19 when Suggs spun sideways and collected Stockton’s Brad Furr and Sacramento’s Willie Croft. After going back green T. Kaeding led the field, but Brent Kaeding would remain within striking distance, giving it his all and trying everything to find a way by the No. 83 car. With Brent closing in though, Tim made some extremely nifty moves in traffic to give him the breathing room needed and take the checkered flag by over two seconds.
“I really have to thank Dennis & Teresa Roth and all my guys for giving me a great car,” said the ’02 Golden State 410 champ. “I also want to thank all you fans for coming out and supporting 410 sprint car racing because without you we couldn’t do any of this. My old man did a great job tonight and he means so much to this sport out here so I have to congratulate him as well.”
Brent Kaeding tried hard to catch Tim, but came up just short and crossed the stripe in second to cap a very strong night for the 13-time Golden State 410 champion. “Second place pretty much sucks is about all I can say,” said a disappointed “BK” on the front stretch. “I feel like we had a better car, but I got hung up in traffic and it just cost us tonight. Tim did a really good job though and deserved to win.”
Coming home in third for the third consecutive race and having another solid night was Elk Grove’s Bobby McMahan in the American Tool and Mfg. No. 25 machine. “It’s great to be back up here on the podium again, but I’m getting tired of finishing third every week,” McMahan joked on the front straightaway. “I really have to thank my whole team for their support and thank all the fans for coming out, because this place has some of the best fans on tour.
Chico’s Jonathan Allard rebounded from an early race spin to charge back through the field and finish in fourth, with Placerville’s Andy Gregg tallying fifth to score his first top-five finish in over a month. Rounding out the top-10 were Sacramento’s Willie Croft, Suggs, Chico’s Kenny Allen, North Kingstown, Rhode Island’s Eli Deshaies and Prunedale’s Justin Sanders. For Deshaies it was his first career KWS top-10.
Picking up victory in the 12-lap Last Chance Qualifier was Vacaville’s Matthew Davis and winning the Grant’s Fine Art/ KSE Racing Products Dash was Brent Kaeding. The three 10-lap heat races were captured by Brent Kaeding, Jason Statler and Bobby McMahan. Beginning the night by setting a new Antioch Speedway track record was Evan Suggs who beat out 24 other drivers to set the Grant’s Fine Art fast time with a lap of 11.770.
The Golden State King of the West Sprint Car Series will now take a couple weekends off until resuming action at the Ocean Speedway on Friday August 5 and the Giant Chevrolet Kings Speedway on Saturday August 6.
Don’t forget to check out “King of the West Tonight” every Thursday at 7pm pst on http://www.kwssprints.com/webcast
More information on the Golden State King of the West Sprint Car Series can be found at http://www.kwssprints.com
You can also follow KWS on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/KWS410s#!/pages/Golden-State-King-of-the-West-Series/150145691703907 and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/KWS410s