Positivity by Bobby Gerould – February 25, 2007


Zach Chappell had a rude welcome to California. The former ASCS Nation Champion flipped hard on consecutive nights. His Friday barrel rolls were painful to watch, and his Saturday crunch happened after a wicked ‘bicycle’ that ended with a wall pounding. …Joey Saldana raced as well as I’ve ever seen him run with the exception of his first Kings Royal win in 2002. A couple weeks shy of his 35th birthday, it says here that Saldana is in for his finest season. …Tim Kaeding was a huge part of the show all weekend. “T.K.” drove a bent Maxim in the feature Friday night after being smushed into the wall by Mike Faria’s backwards sliding #4 during heat race action. Faria admitted he ‘lost it’ at the start of the heat. Kaeding admitted he ‘lost it’ when he marched to Faria’s car to confront him after the incident. Saturday night, Kaeding was brilliant in traffic, splitting cars on two occasions that basically won the race for him. Just 13 days ago Tim wasn’t sure if he would be racing the #11k at Tulare. Car owner Steve Kinser told Tim on the Monday following the Florida season opening weekend that the car would be parked. 24 hours later – Kinser reconsidered and everything was back on. The car and Kaeding remain unsponsored. With television in the future for the WoO – someone needs to step up and sponsor this team. Tim Kaeding is too entertaining, and the car is too fast to not have considerable backing. Tim would be the perfect pitch man for an energy drink, or something extreme. …Tim and Bud Kaeding both paced memorial laps for their Grandmother. “Grandma Soap” passed away very unexpectedly last Sunday. …Bud raced Friday only. The newlywed married the former Jennifer Azavedo in late January. Bud ran a second Rick Wright #35 that will be steered by Ricky Wright in California in 2007. Ricky has been practicing at the Salinas home track of Orville Burke. …Justin Henderson was extra impressive again. In his first two runs at Thunderbowl Raceway – the South Dakota 27 year-old finished eighth, and fourth respectively. His wife Heather is serving as a roving reporter with a wireless microphone at all 2007 WoO events. Heather spent six months in Iraq serving in the National Guard prior to this gig. …Brooke Tatnell is running a Schnee chassis to start the 2007 season. His deal with car owner Larry Woodward came about late in the off-season so crew chief Troy Renfro put together the Schnee that the he and Tatnell were running for Rush racing at the end of 2006. …Brad Sweet planned to run the event but he said his team just wasn’t ready to race this weekend so the car stayed home in Loomis, CA. Sweet was one of a few drivers walking around the Tulare pits. We also saw Kody Swanson, Brent Kaeding, Nick Green, Mike Henry, Jason Statler, Quinton Crye, and Ryan Kaplan. …In the stands we saw the one and only Burt Foland Jr. …Steve Turnross & I  had a chance to shoot the breeze with Terry Kniss the former big cheese at Baylands Raceway Park. Kniss was looking closely at the Thunderbowl track surface on Saturday afternoon when we started chatting. Many folks compare Tulare’s configuration with the now defunct Baylands layout. Kniss said Baylands turns were wider, and longer. …Kasey Kahne is a freakin’ superstar. Kasey rolled to Tulare with an entourage of seven. While he was being interviewed trackside – I saw women and children ‘losing it’ trying to catch a glimpse. Kahne, earlier in the day, mentioned on live national TV that would be attending a sprint car race in Tulare later in the night. We were told – the Tulare box office phone started ringing off the hook following Kahne’s endorsement. …It was good to see Sam Hafertepe Jr. race in California for the first time. The ASCS Sooner region champion showed potential. …Jon Allard and the Morrie Williams #0 team switched to J&J chassis for 2007. …Word is that Brian Coelho is done with sprint car racing. The Coelho Meat logo was on the side of Bud Kaeding’s car as well as Mike Faria’s. …Jason Sides – the current Racer’s Racing Series points leader - pointed out to me that this website’s new look homepage is not presently compatible with the Firefox browser. I will try to remedy that but I admit I am not really sure how to do it. …Jason Meyers ran well all weekend – scoring a pair of top fives at the track closest to his Clovis home. He and teammate Ronnie Day, along with Tim Kaeding, Henderson, and Jac Haudenschild were the rim riders of the week at the Thunderbowl. …Tyler Swank is now spinning wrenches for Chad Hillier. Swank says he likes Hiller because “he has heart”. …Robert Ballou switched his number from 12 to 81. Ballou plans to run USAC National Sprint Car races in 2007 with Jimmy Jones tuning. …Five time National karting champion Evan Suggs made his winged sprint car debut at Thunderbowl. Suggs raced non-wing stuff last season.