“TK Express” continues to roll on with weekend sweep of Golden State King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series events at Ocean Speedway and Giant Chevrolet Kings Speedway
By Gary Thomas
Hanford, CA – August 6, 2011…Drivers and teams always strive to get stronger as the season goes on and that has certainly been the case for San Jose’s Tim Kaeding, after completing a two-night sweep to make it three consecutive wins with the Golden State King of the West Sprint Car Series.
The victories at Ocean Speedway and Giant Chevrolet Kings Speedway this past weekend marked Kaeding’s 53rd and 54th career Golden State 410 wins and rolled his total up to a KWS leading six in 2011 aboard the Roth Motorsports, HR Cattle No. 83 Maxim.
“I really have to thank Dennis & Teresa Roth and my whole team for giving me such a great car as always,” commented Kaeding. “We are doing what we need to build some momentum with Knoxville coming up next week and we are definitely looking forward to getting back there. I also want to thank all you fans for coming out and supporting 410 sprint car racing because we really appreciate it.”
The action on Friday night at the Ocean Speedway started out with a bang, as Scotts Valley’s Evan Suggs blistered the quarter-mile in 11.345 seconds to set a new Golden State KWS 410 track record and earn his fourth Grant’s Fine Art fast time award of the season.
The 30-lap A-main started out with Stockton’s Brad Furr jumping into the lead for the first time this season aboard the Ray Scheidts Electric No. 2 sprinter. The former World of Outlaw driver was in search of his first win of the year and looked strong early on, but had to deal with an inordinate amount of yellows and reds.
A restart on lap-nine then saw Tim Kaeding get side by side with Furr, but couldn’t quite make it stick and had to settle back into second. The very hooked up speedway saw amazing speeds in the main event and with 12 laps complete “TK” finally got the momentum he needed and charged to the top-spot off turn four.
After taking the lead Kaeding then had to deal with numerous slowdowns himself that included red flag periods for Kenny Allen, Jonathan Allard and Brent Bjork on laps 22, 26 and 28 respectively. Through it all though the former Golden State 410 champion never faltered and rocketed off to cross the checkered flag for victory.
Furr did a great job finishing the race in second to score his best finish of the KWS season and Sacramento’s Willie Croft came home in third to tally his second podium effort of the year. Easton’s Tommy Tarlton rebounded nicely from an early race spin to charge all the way back to fourth by the conclusion. The top-10 was rounded out by Evan Suggs, Brent Kaeding, Jason Statler, Andy Gregg, Jerry Bonnema and Brent Bjork.
The 12-lap Last Chance Qualifier was picked off by Prunedale’s Justin Sanders with the KSE/ Grant’s Fine Art Dash being won by Tim Kaeding. Heat race wins for the night went to Brad Furr, Tim Kaeding, Jonathan Allard and Tommy Tarlton. As previously noted Evan Suggs set fast time to begin the night.
The Golden State King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series then made the trip down to Hanford on Saturday for its first appearance of the year at the Giant Chevrolet Kings Speedway. The evening opened up with Tim Kaeding continuing his march towards a KWS title by setting his first Grant’s Fine Art fast time of the season and earning seven bonus points in the process.
When things got underway in the main event it was dash winner Andy Gregg of Placerville grabbing the lead. Like the previous night however, the feature was plagued by cautions and reds and took four starts to get just one lap in. During the first few attempts though the action was very exciting, as Gregg, Tim Kaeding and Jonathan Allard battled it out on each start, even going three-wide at one point.
The fourth complete restart saw a single file attempt and it turned out to be the magic charm, with Gregg leading the field to click off the opening lap.
It didn’t last long though, as Kaeding and Allard both finessed their way by Gregg to grab first and second on lap-two. Early on Allard charged hard after Kaeding and took a peak to his outside a couple times, but on lap-seven “JA” would overshoot the corner and allow Jason Statler and Evan Suggs to get by.
Cautions continued to hamper the flow of the feature as the race went on, but during it all the fight for second on back was an entertaining one, as Kaeding pulled away from the field. Statler, Allard and Suggs would remain in a race-long fight for the runner up spot going to wheel to wheel and running close together with regularity.
As the laps wound down drivers tried to get everything they could and on lap 26 Willie Croft found some tough luck after he and Gregg made contact on the front stretch, which resulted in him getting upside down to end a good run he had going. The remaining laps saw Kaeding have no worries out front and he rocketed off to record yet another victory at the Giant Chevrolet Kings Speedway.
Statler came home in second to earn his best finish of the Golden State King of the West Sprint Car Series season aboard the DF Rios Motorsports No. 00 mount. “This feels like a win for us after some of the luck we’ve had this year,” Statler joked on the front stretch. “It seems like we have been in the wrong place at the wrong time all year so to get on the podium is great for this whole team.”
Suggs won out in a thrilling last lap battle with Allard to secure the final spot on the podium and continue his impressive season. Allard crossed the stripe in fourth with Gregg completing the top-five. The rest of the top-10 was completed by Clovis, CA’s Peter Murphy, Elk Grove’s Bobby McMahan, Campbell’s Brent Kaeding, Stockton’s Brad Furr and Chico’s Kenny Allen.
The evening’s KSE/ Grant’s Fine Art Dash as mentioned was won by Andy Gregg and the three 10-lap heat races were claimed by St. Helena’s Rico Abreu, Gregg and Brent Kaeding. Tim Kaeding’s fast time to begin the night was a 13.406 around the three-eighths mile clay oval.
Full results from both nights of racing this past weekend can be found at http://www.kwssprints.com
Tim Kaeding was also the winner of the Dash on Friday night and received a custom plaque from Grant's Fine Art for doing so.