By Bill Foland
04/21/02 ...Hello again from a warm and sultry Sunday night in Mountain View, California. Race season is going strong with numerous races to cover over the past couple of weeks. I spent the past couple of weeks traveling with the Golden State series to Tulare, then on to Watsonville and Santa Maria. So without further delay, here goes…
Tulare is a very fast, strange, track but usually stays in very racy fashion throughout the evening. Saturday, April 13 was no different. I have to give credit to the promoters of the Thunderbowl because the past several races I have attended have been home runs as far as the crowd goes. In the 360 Rebel Cup race Luke Bebereia continued his early season dominance with convincing victory over Tim Worth, Lawrence Edlund, Ricci Faria and Davey Key.
In the Golden State version of the A-Main, it looked to be a Kaeding night as Brent and Bud shared the front row and the rest of the field had to be grumbling. Brent led early until a lap five yellow set up a dramatic change of events. As Brent accelerated past the cone at the start-finish line, the throttle shaft (connects the throttle to the butterfly's) broke and set up a wild spin backwards into the turn one wall and ended his night with major damage. Jason Meyers took over from there after passing Bud the lap before the yellow and he went on to another victory over a very strong Bud Kaeding, who was the only one able to stay in the lead draft with Meyers.
Following Meyers and Bud were, a very strong Jason Statler, Mike Faria, and Tim Kaeding. Tim got a hard fought 5th after a 5 lap slide fest with Roger Crockett.
The next weekend we were off to Watsonville for a Friday night show at the ultra fast bullring. The fans at Watsonville are always very loud and come in waves for the usually exciting Sprint Cars. The fans were treated to a very slick and hard to pass on race surface with only 22 cars. The field was very strong but some people are starting to wonder why the low car count? I would rather see a strong field with low car count than a big field with an hour long B-Main any night.
It was a very strange night as Tim Kaeding set fast time, then proceeded to pull the "0" pill out of the hat. So after 2nd fast Ronnie Day and 4th fast Brent Kaeding failed to transfer out of the heat races, they were saved and placed straight up with no penalty. There was a whole bunch of complaining about how that went down, but when the zero pill is drawn the guys out of the B-Main would get there times back behind the inversion. With no B-main and no inversion the only way to set up the line up is to put them back to the time trial. It seems like whichever way you do it, there will be somebody mad. Maybe it will be changed in the future but that is the way the rule book reads and Ronnie Day and Brent Kaeding both took advantage of there new lease on life to score top finishes.
In the A-Main, Tim Kaeding jumped out to a huge lead over Ronnie Day, Brent Kaeding and Tommy Tarlton. With passing at a premium, Brent overtook Day on lap five and set sail after Tim. Jason Meyers was on the move from the 4th row and was making some strong moves through the middle of the race surface. It was a very thin line as Meyers actually got into 4th at one time with a pass of Ronnie Day, but his charge gave up like the race track did and he faded back to 7th at the finish.
Tim was making a mockery of the field as he had numerous lapped cars between himself and the low running BK. On lap 20 disaster struck Tim as he encountered a lapped car and spun to avoid contact and gave his huge lead to Brent. After that it was smooth sailing for Brent as he held off Tommy Tarlton, Ronnie Day (Sala 19), Kevin Pylant and Peter Murphy.
The following night it was off to the always fun? trip over to Santa Maria and a day at the beach at Pismo. Making the most of our time at the beach, we encountered a whole lot of fun and excitement as the beach patrol is still looking for Nick and Don. The races at Santa Maria are usually very fast and furious especially in lapped traffic and tonight was no different. With a sparse field of 17 cars, there were only two heat races and a main event. So after the heat races, the eight was drawn and put 10th and 11th fast time on the front row.
Both Garrett Ishii and Brent Kaeding had problems with turn two in qualifying with Brent make contact heavy enough to change rear end and suspension parts. The fans at Santa Maria are much like Watsonville as they are very loud and get into the races, even the slam bangers.
The A-Main pushed off at 9:30 with Brian Coelho and Peter Murphy taking the front row. At the start Murphy took off to a pretty good sized lead followed by Coelho and Kevin Pylant (fear the mullet). There were a couple of yellows for minor spins and a flat tire for Jason Statler but the real action came on lap 12 when a hard charging Jason Meyer (who had started 8th) made some daring moves to get to the front, but a slide job that didn't quite make it sent Craig Stidham into the wall and flipping in a ball of flames. Craig stepped out of his machine and was OK.
The race went with only one more yellow and the final 5 laps were in heavy traffic as Murphy had some trouble with a couple of cars and Coelho made his bid over and over. On the final circuit you could throw a blanket over the top three as Murphy went into turn three and Meyers made a bid at Coelho that came up short with Murphy winning I believe his first ever Golden State race after winning a few NARC races and some Chico Friday night shows. The top five was, Murphy, Coelho, Meyers, Tim Kaeding and Kevin Pylant.
The next two weeks will be a Saturday night show at Hanford followed by a one night stand at Calistoga.
BF's notes: Craig Dollansky not only broke the all-time track record at Eldora but he followed that up with a win…Danny Lasoski swept through the Talladega short track over the weekend…Greg Wilson and Jeff Shepard shared the All-Star weekend races in Attica, Ohio…Dale Blaney ran a strong second the first night at Attica…Brad Furr has been strong lately with several top five finishes when his motors stay together…Cris Eash won his first race for his new car owner at Williams Grove last weekend…Lance Dewease took his 50th career win at Williams Grove this past Friday…Greg Hodnett continued his strong first part of the year with a win at Lincoln…Congrats to Greg DeCaries on his first win in a few years as he took the checkers at Placerville a couple of weeks ago…Nick Rescino Jr. took his first ever win in a sprint car at Petaluma last weekend…Jonathan Allard took home his first A-Main win for Duke and Scott McMillen with his win at the Chico 360 race…Gary Wright, Michael Dupuy, Zach Chappell and Travis Rilat took home the ASCS loot over the past two weeks in Texas and Arkansas…Glen Carson took the BCRA trophy at Placerville…Michael Lewis, Tracy Hines and Jason Leffler took home the top spots in the Midget, Sprint Car, Silver Crown races at Nazereth, PA…Cory Kruseman won yet another race at Perris even though a very excited Damion Gardner won the Passing Masters dash with extra fffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffflair… That is all I have for this week, hope to see you all at the races very soon. BF
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