TK Wins At Watsonville, Regains Point Lead by Al Drake 5-17-02...Friday night at Watsonville Speedway Tim Kaeding notched his second GSC victory of the year in a hard fought race that included lead changes among 3 drivers over the first half of the 30-lap feature before another packed house on the scenic Monterey Bay. The win put Kaeding back in the points lead over Peter Murphy, Jason Meyers and Brent Kaeding.
The evening started off with a game of one-upsmanship as Ronnie Day set the mark early and four drivers bested each other with Steve Kent coming out on top and demolishing Peter Murphy's GSC track record at 11.392. Considering the reconfigured track is a bit bigger than when Murphy set the mark, it's quite an accomplishment for the Henderson Motorsports 7n team coming out 22nd in the order.
The feature Lined up with an invert-4 putting Jason Statler and Eric Rossi on the front row, Tim Kaeding and Kent in row two. Following the 4-wide salute, Rossi jumped into the lead on the green flag with Kent right behind, with Statler, TK, Murphy and the rest slide jobbing each other and setting the tone for the race. Contact between Jason Meyers and Daniel Hood brought out the first caution when Meyers stopped with a flat right rear. He rejoined at the tail and became the man on the move. The restart went out the window as Mike Faria had problems, got his front end removed and went over. He was ok, but done for the night.
The restart saw Kent make a huge dive into turn one and under Rossi to take the lead, but the Family Auto Service 98x pilot hardly rolled over and died as he charged right back and returned the favor in turns three and four! The pair continued the swapping over the next lap until Kent was able to fend off Rossi and get a 2-car lead. In traffic on lap 11, Kurt Nelson spun to the infield in turn one and Rossi whipped a 360 avoiding him has the yellow came out and got his spot back for the restart.
In the mean time, Meyers was back to 11th in the line and looking for more! On lap 16 with the leaders in traffic, Kent got caught in a check up and looped a 360! As he was gathering it in, Tim took full advantage and dove low in turn two to get by both Rossi and Kent to take the lead down the backstretch! On lap 26, Meyers got by Brent Kaeding for 7th and Statler brought out the final caution on lap 28.
From there it was clear sailing for the WrightOne Construction #35 to the checkers with Rossi and Murphy (coming from the B!) taking the podium spots, Tommy Tarlton getting by Kent late, then Ronnie Day, Meyers, Brent Kaeding, Brian Coelho, and Kevin Pylant rounding out the top 10.
Heat races were won by Craig Stidham, Jason Meyers, and Colby Wiesz. The B-Main went to Mike Faria over Peter Murphy and Brian Coelho.