NEW RULES: In 2003, all cars must weigh at least 1,375 pounds with driver. Bolt on weight is allowed but must be securely installed on the carsí basic framework and must be located in an area between the bottom frame rails and axles.

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Kaeding showed his title winning form, leading wire-to-wire in the 30 lap feature event that opened the 18th season of Golden State Challenge sprint car racing. Nursing a nearly flat right rear tire, Kaeding was able to withstand the constant pressure of Jason Statler, who finished as runner-up in the 30-lap Mini Gold Cup preliminary feature.

Kaeding and Statler shared front row starting spots on the fast quarter-mile clay oval. "BK" took off as the initial leader, with Statler, Dennis Moore Jr, Brian Coelho, and Brad Furr right behind him. At the rear of the field, reigning King of California Tim Kaeding, who started 16th, was making strong moves in the Terry Cowan owned #7T. Tim swept high in turn two to pass Chad Riolo for 12th on lap three.

A lap nine caution for Mike Faria, who hopped over the edge of the track in turn one, allowed Furr to get to the pits for a hood scoop problem that left him driving with obscured vision. The air-scoop on the Sanmina-SCI #2 hood had worked itself undone, and was lying in-between the front bars of the rollcage, limiting Furr's vision. Tim Kaeding also stopped on the track on lap 9 after getting over the edge in turn three. Both Furr and Kaeding restarted. At lap 9, the top five included, Brent Kaeding, Statler, Moore, Brian Coelho, and Kasey Kahne.

The lap 10 restart saw Furr come to a stop, bringing the return of the yellow flag. Furr needed more time to get his car fixed, so he stalled on the track, forcing a yellow. Under caution, Furr had three courtesy laps to remedy the hood scoop problems. Joining him in the pit work area were Garrett Ishii, and Jon Allard. All returned to action.

Dennis Moore Jr. was in the middle of a great night. The Iowa driver with limited Chico experience opened eyes by winning the BR MotorSports Quick-Time Award, and also taking the B&B Oval Track Products heat #1. However the next restart was unlucky for Moore. He did a half-spin in turn four, and lost fourth place. Another excursion on the front chute on lap 19 also cost Moore, dropping him to eighth when a red flag appeared for Kahne moments later on lap 20. Kahne flipped the Beef Packers #83JR. in turn four after it appeared the car lost a left rear tire. The Enumclaw, WA. driver who is campaigning in the NASCAR Busch series was uninjured in the crash.

With ten laps remaining it became evident that Kaeding's right rear tire was going down. Would he be able to hang on for the final ten laps? You bet.

The eleven-time winner of the "King of California" crown held a smooth line and won despite two more cautions. On lap 22 Tommy Tarlton, and Mike Faria tangled in turn four, and one lap later Furr stopped on the track. The final laps were entertaining as 16th starter, Tim Kaeding marched forward. Tim swiped 5th from Tim Shaffer on lap 28. The $3,000 winners share went to Brent Kaeding, followed by Jason Statler, Roger Crockett, Coelho, and Tim Kaeding. The top ten was rounded out by Shaffer, Moore, Jason Meyers, Chad Riolo, and Craig Stidham.

"This (winning) gets to be more fun every year!", said the happy winner to the Chico fans. Brent also thanked his sponsors, and crew led by Billy Albini. Kaeding's winning ride was his own #69 BK Racing Maxim, using Shaver Engines.

Statler, who upgraded his equipment for 2003, was fast all night. In the post race interview with Troy Hennig, he said, "There at the end, I could see Brent's tire going flat. He did a good job. Hopefully, tonight is the start of things to come for us."

Third place finisher, Roger Crockett was also proud of his run, saying, "I am happy to come back and run third. The track was good. You could use the whole track."

Kahne won the B-main over fellow transfers, Destiney Hays, Crockett, Mike Quigley, Allard, and Tarlton. Nick Rescino Jr. was the winner of the C-Main.

Golden State Challenge Round #1

Silver Dollar Speedway, Chico, CA. March 7, 2003.

BR Motorsports Qualifying: 1. Dennis Moore Jr., 13.493 - Williams #0, 2. Brad Furr 13.902 - Sanmina SCI #2. 3. Brent Kaeding, 14.216 - BK Racing #69. 4. Destiney Hays 14.315 - Hays #20d. 5. Nick Rescino Jr. 14.333 - Rescino #65. 6. Bud Walberg 14.361 - Wahlberg #55, 7. Jason Statler 14.434 - Statler #00. 8. Brian Coelho 14.440 - Coelho #5c. 8. Mike Faria 14.450 - Faria #4. 9. Jason Meyers - 14.492 - Elite #1. 10. Mike Wasina Jr. 14.562 - Wasina #10w. 11. Kasey Kahne 14.567 - Roth #83jr. 12. Mike Quigley, 14.600 - Quigly #75. 13. Roger Crockett 14.654 - Doyle #11c. 14. Kevin Pylant 14.658 - Pylant #14p. 15. Chad Riolo 14.674 - Riolo #17r. 16. Garrett Ishii 14.700 - Ishii #71g. 17. Tim Kaeding - 14.709 - Cowan #7t. 18. Johnny Gray 14.738 - Gray #71. 19. Davey Key 14.753 - Key #15. 20. Tim Shaffer - 14.820 Roth #83. 21. Craig Stidham 14.830 Stidham #3. 22. Toni Lutar 14.843 - Lutar #4x. 23. Sean Becker 14.875, Becker #23. 24. Tommy Tarlton - 14.897 - Tarlton & Son Inc. #21. 25. Jon Allard - 14.907, Wright #35. 26. Dennis Binstock 14.909 - Binstock #82. 27. Jason Finley 14.974 - Finley #77f. 28. Steve Ferhman - 15.000 - Stice #11f. 29. Andy Forsberg 15.106 - Filipich #98x. 30. Dan Menne - 15.159 - Menna #75x. 31. Doug Lippincott 15.188 - Lippincott #4L. 32. Peter Murphy 15.324, McMillen & Mitchell #10. 33. Bud Kaeding 15.327 - Sala #19. 34. Danny Ochs 15.342 - Ochs #11n. 35. Jason York 15.377, York #25. 36. Jeff Halleib - 15.453 - Halleib #72. 37. Billy Wallace 15.520 - Wallace #6w. 38. Shain Matthews 15.585 - Matthews #67. 39. Ryan Flynn - 16.014, Flynn #1F. 40. Tony Souza 16.246 - Souza #22. 41. Pat Harvey - 16.279 - Harvey #15. 42. Robert Stice 16.498 - Stice #11s. 43. Tommy Foggarty - 16.503 - Foggarty #66. 44. Matt Shelton - 16.543 - Shelton #44. 45. John Giffin 16.562 - Giffin #20g. 46. Jim Richardson - 16.572 - Richardson #8. 47. Greg Sherman 16.572 - Sherman #00z. 48. Kevin Sharrah - 16.939, Sharrah #1x. 49. Jon Maiwald - 17.298 - Maiwald #6m. 50. Tom Baker - 17.746 - Baker #3t. 51. Ivan Worden - 18.147.

B&B Oval Track Products Heat #1: 1. Moore, 2. Ishii, 3. Shaffer, 4. Faria, 5. Quigley, 6. Tarlton, 7. Wallace, 8. Finley, 9. Rescino Jr., 10. Maiwald, 11. Murphy, 12. Souza, 13. Shelton.

Heat #2: 1. Tim Kaeding, 2. Craig Stidham, 3. Jason Meyers, 4. Brad Furr, 5. Roger Crockett, 6. Jon Allard, 7. Forsberg, 8. Bud Kaeding, 9. Walberg, 10. Ochs, 11. Giffin, 12. Harvey, 13. Sherman.

Heat #3: 1. Brent Kaeding, 2. Pylant, 3. Wasina Jr., 4. Statler, 5. Lutar, 6. Binstock, 7. Matthews, 8. York, 9. Menne, 10. Stice, 11. Gray, 12. Richardson, 13. Baker

Heat #4: 1. Key, 2. Becker, 3. Riolo, 4. Coelho, 5. Kahne, 6. Lippincott, 7. Hays, 8. Ferhman, 9. Sharrah, 10. Fogarty, 11. Flynn, 12. Worden, 13. Halleib

C-Main: 1. Rescino Jr, 2. Walberg, 3. Menne, 4. Gray, 5. Murphy, 6. Ochs, 7. Halleib, 8. Harvey, 9. Giffin, 10. Souza, 11. Sharrah, 12. Richardson, 13. Stice, 14. Maiwald, 15. Sherman, 16. Fogarty.

B-Main: 1. Kahne, 2. Hays, 3. Crockett, 4. Quigley, 5. Allard, 6. Tarlton, 7. Forsberg, 8. Lutar, 9. Finley, 10. Binstock, 11. Wallace, 12. Bud Kaeding, 13. Matthews, 14. Menne, 15. Walberg, 16. Fehrman, 17. York, 18. Lippincott.

A-Main (30 Laps) - 1. Brent Kaeding, 2. Statler, 3. Crockett, 4. Coelho, 5. Tim Kaeding, 6. Shaffer, 7. Moore, 8. Meyers, 9. Riolo, 10. Stidham, 11. Pylant, 12. Allard, 13. Becker, 14. Tarlton, 15. Hays, 16. Ishii, 17. Key, 18. Furr, 19. Faria, 20. Quigley, 21. Kahne, 22. Wasina Jr.

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