Golden State Challenge Round 2
Kaeding Stops Crockett’s Streak in California
By: Troy Hennig (Chico, CA 3-30-02)…Brent Kaeding used a little bit of luck and experience to win round number two of the Golden State Series King of California sprint car race Saturday night at Silver Dollar Speedway. Kaeding, the defending champion of the series, started from the pole and led the early laps until he was passed for the top spot by Roger Crockett, only then to see Crockett get caught in a freak mishap to give the lead back to Kaeding for good. It was Kaeding’s first win of the year in his own Al’s Roofing Supply/ Shaver Specialties/ Maxim number 69 where he got a little assistant from his pole position start.
Kaeding qualified eleventh, made it through his heat race and when three drivers who timed in faster didn’t earn a top four spot in the their heat race which sent them to the B Main, that moved Kaeding into the eight spot and from there fast time qualifier Chad Riolo drew the “8” pill for the inversion that placed Kaeding on the front row. “A lot of this (racing) is about luck,” said Kaeding in his victory lane interview. “Crockett’s been real lucky this year and we were lucky tonight but we were also really fast and I’m proud of my guys,” said Kaeding. “I was finally able to shut the young kid (Crockett) down for one time this year.”
Kaeding grabbed the lead at the start of the 30 lap main event, followed by Crockett and Jason Meyers. The race was slowed on lap six when Bud Walberg spun and brought out the yellow. By this time the track had slicked off almost everywhere and the place to be was on the bottom. On the restart Kaeding once again held the top spot but Crockett seemed to be the fastest of the three top cars. On lap 11, Peter Murphy and Jonathon Allard made contact while battling for the fourth spot that resulted in Murphy spinning off the track in turn one. On the ensuing restart, Allard got loose coming out of four and spun out sending him to the back with Murphy.
Kaeding brought the field down to the green flag for the lap eleven restart but just one lap later Crockett was able to get a run on Kaeding and take over the lead. From there Crockett was dominant and pulled out to a sizeable lead. The only problem for Crockett was that he was so fast he ended up catching the rear of the field quickly and unlike the night before when he was able to get by everyone so easy, tonight he struggled in traffic and it allowed Kaeding and Meyers to close in. Behind the top three was an impressive drive from Craig Stidham and Brian Coehlo who each were battling for fourth.
The two drivers making the biggest charge to the front were eighth row starter’s Tim Kaeding and Jason Statler. Kaeding moved into sixth but then was passed by Jason York, who was having his best race to date this year. Statler then was racing Kaeding for seventh spot, a position Tim would secure at the finish line.
The race dramatically turned on lap 23. Crockett was entering turn one when Billy Wallace began to spin out in turn two. As Crockett approached, Wallace began to do a 360 in front of him sending Crockett off the track in turn two. While that happened, Wallace had turned his car around and continued on without ever stopping on the track, thus, no yellow flag was displayed. In turn, Kaeding and Meyers were behind everything and were able to have enough time to react to Wallace’s spin and go below it, resulting in Kaeding taking the lead back from Crockett. Obvious disappointment was heard in Crockett’s voice during his third place interview after the races. “We were fast enough to win the race but it just didn’t go our and way and that’s about all I want to say right now,” said a politically correct Crockett.
Meyers gave everything he had to get by Kaeding but in the end it wasn’t enough for the victory. “I was just trying to keep my car straight and if there’s anyone at Chico who knows how to keep a car straight it is Brent and I was just trying to follow him the best I could,” said Meyers. “I love this track and I am already looking forward to coming back here next Saturday night and we plan on running the whole Golden State Challenge this year.” A statement that got a loud applause from the crowd that had stayed to listen to the interviews.
The B Main event saw Andy Forsberg jump out from his pole position start and take the lead. From there Forsberg had checked out from the rest of the field and was in complete control of the race until a mishap on lap nine. With just three laps to go, Destiny Hays had spun through the infield and came back out onto the track right in front of the leader. As Forsberg passed her out of turn two, Hays quickly tucked behind him in turn three and four and ended up tapping Forsberg in from behind sending him into the infield and spun out of the lead. Forsberg’s misfortune was Jonathan Allard’s gain as he inherited the lead and won the 12 lap B Main. Coehlo finished second, York was third and Eric Rossi finished fourth.
Four heat races were needed with heat number one going to Tim Kaeding. Heat two was won by Jason Statler and heat three was won by Stephen Allard. Fourth and final heat race was won by Bud Walberg. Thirty-six sprint cars timed in with Roseville’s Chad Riolo being the fastest qualifier on the night at a 12.592.
Fast Time: Chad Riolo: 12.592
Heat 1: Tim Kaeding, Chad Riolo, Craig Stidham, Ryan Flynn, Jason York
Heat 2: Jason Statler, Tommy Tarlton, Peter Murphy, Johnny Rodriguez, Jonathan Allard
Heat 3: Steven Allard, Jason Meyers, Brent Kaeding, Kevin Pylant, Jerry Bonnema
Heat 4: Bud Walberg, Garret Ishii, Doug Lippincott, Roger Crockett, Dave Clarke
B Main: J. Allard, Brian Coehlo, York, Eric Rossi, Billy Wallace, Steve Ferhman, Jim Skinner, C.J. Humphrey’s, Bonnema, George Graham, Rick Hirst, Chris Scott, Andy Forsberg, Destiny Hays, Clarke
A Main: B. Kaeding, Meyers, Crockett, Stidham, Coehlo, York, T. Kaeding, Statler, Pylant, Murphy, Flynn, Ishii, Tarlton, S. Allard, J. Allard
"Travel life's road with a loving heart" - Pat Holtsman