Kaeding Wins the Battle but Allard Wins the War By: Troy Hennig (Chico, CA 8-23-02)…Tim Kaeding, the defending Silver Dollar Speedway track champion, returned home to his favorite speedway to win the coveted Pepsi night trophy Friday night. It was also Napa Auto Parts night at the races. For Kaeding it was the second year in a row that he won the annual Pepsi night; however, Chico’s Jonathan Allard was the shinning star all year long and won his first track driving championship at Chico. Driving for the potent McMillen / Mitchell / Tom Rolfe Trucking #10 Allard was the most consistent driver all year and he provided a track championship for the team for the second year in a row.
Stephen Allard and Kaeding started on the front row. Kaeding got the jump but it was Allard who was stealing the show. Allard took the lead away on lap two and then it looked as if it was going to be an epic battle. Yet, on lap four, Stephen Allard went to pass a slower car and the two made contact sending Allard upside and done for the night. This gave the lead back to Kaeding. Following Kaeding was Mike Henry, in his 360 car, and Eric Rossi. Kaeding was now driving the ABC Ready Mix / D&D Roofing #7, a car that had been piloted by Rick Hirst all year, while Rossi was driving the Wright One Construction #35 that Kaeding had just won the 2002 Golden State title with.
Champion Jonathan Allard was on the move from his eight-row starting spot and steadily moved up into the top five. His closest threat in the championship chase was Ryan Flynn who was racing in the fourth spot most of the race. Jason York and Andy Forsberg battled for sixth and seventh spot while another 360 driver, Herman Klein was impressive. Back up front it was the TK Express and it was a rolling tonight in Chico. Kaeding's nearest challenger was Henry. The current Civil War and Placerville point’s leader has been the best 360 driver all year in Northern California and it is so rare that a 360 driver can run second at a 410 dominated track like Chico. Kaeding won in convincing style followed by Henry and Rossi.
If Kaeding elects to come back next year he has a shot to win three in a row and he would be able to take the six-foot trophy home for good.
Fast Time: Stephen Allard: 13.099
Heat 1: Jonathan Allard, Ryan Flynn, S. Allard, Mike Henry, Herman Klein
Heat 2: Dave Clarke, Destiny Hays, Tim Kaeding, Jason Finley, Eric Rossi
Heat 3: Jason York, Stuart Krum, Jon Lovell, Bud Walberg, John Gray
B Main: Andy Forsberg, Bernie Sloop, Kevin Sharrah, Danny Ochs, Bryan Evans, Kelly Chambers, Barry Pries Jr., Mike Funkhouser, Troy Degaton
A Main: Kaeding, Henry, Rossi, Flynn, J. Allard, York, Forsberg, Klein, Sloop, Sharrah, Lovell, Hays, Krum, Clarke, Gray