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Statler leads every lap to score Placerville Golden State victory Tim Kaeding turns historical 9:913 second lap in qualifying By Bill Sullivan PLACERVILLE, CA 3-27-04 - The fire breathing sprint cars of the Recycle Used Oil Golden State Challenge Sprint Car Series officially opened the 2004 racing season at Placerville Speedway Saturday night before a crowd that became standing room only far before the evenings program even started. For many years victory lane has eluded Jason Statler of Los Gatos at this track in which he has always had a great fan following. Saturday night, however, Statler managed to shake the Placerville monkey off his back after leading every every lap of the 30-lap feature event on a night that began in historical fashion.

For Statler, a seventh place qualifying time ultimately earned him the second position for the A-feature and for a moment earned him a new track record on the quarter mile track at the El Dorado County Fairground, a brief moment.

A total of 11 cars broke the seven year old track record of 10:447 for 410 sprint cars held by Bobby McMahan. By the end of qualifying 11 drivers had broken the mark, four of them turning historical lap times in the nine second bracket. Tim Kaeding turned the most blistering lap with a 9:913 which landed him fast time and the new record and of Dennis Moore Jr., Sean Becker and Andy Forsberg, all of whom had lap times below 10 seconds.

"I knew the car was fast and when I came by I heard the crowd so i knew I had fast time and maybe a new record," said Kaeding. "My crew and I figured in was a low ten or something but I had no idea it was that fast. I never thought I would ever see a lap time that low at any track."

A four car inversion for the feature event placed Kaeding on the outside of the second row for the 30-lap feature. Although he was the fastest car in qualifying he was unable to reach the fast moving Statler who took the lead from Pleasanton driver Brad Furr at the green flag and never looked back at the battle that ensued behind him. While Furr chased Statler by a car length or more at times, the third position seemed to be the one everyone was gunning for and Moore had his hands full trying to maintain the spot for much of the event. In the early laps it was Kaeding knocking of the backdoor but in the final 10-laps of the event many eyes were on local favorite Andy Forsberg of Auburn as he battled his way up from his seventh place starting position into the top four, at one time passing three cars between the second turn and turn three.

In the closing laps, Forsberg overtook Moore for the bridesmaid position and set his sights on Furr going into the final circuit while Statler danced his way through lapped traffic a few car lengths ahead. When the In-N-Out Burger checkered flag waved Statler picked up the win, Furr maintained second place and Forsberg rounded out the top three.

"This place has always eluded us for a win for a long time. Luckily tonight we got a draw that put us on the front row," said Statler. "The track was really fast and kind of hard to pass on tonight and we managed to capitalize. The fans are great at this place and its great to finally get a win here for all of them that have supported me for so long."

The second place finish for Furr continues a success streak for the Pleasanton driver at the foothill speedway. In the final event of 2003, Furr picked up the victory at Placerville and backed it with a bridesmaid finish tonight. "I was bit rusty tonight and Jason was just so much faster tonight," said Furr. "I tried to make my car as wide as I could and finish this one out. But we're happy with the finish and we'll probably make it back here for a few 360 shows this year too, I like it here."

Although he finished third, the crowd reaction for Forsberg on the front stretch was that of a feature winner. The two-time Civil War driving champion vowed he will one day win one a GSC race on his home track. "We are going to win one of these Golden State races at Placerville soon," said Forsberg. "I told my girlfriend tonight if I didn't win I would ride home in the back of the truck so I guess I have a cold ride ahead. A Placerville guy needs to win at Placerville and the next Golden State Race we're going to do our best to do that so I want everyone to come back here in June and the 98 car will be in victory lane. I hope the fans all liked those moves I managed to pull off tonight. I wish I could have a made few more but we ran out of time."

Placerville Speedway Recycle Used Oil - Golden State Challenge Sprint Cars Saturday, March 27, 2004

Top qualifiers: Tim Kaeding, San Jose 9:913 (NTR); Dennis Moore Jr., Grinnell, IA 9:943; Sean Becker, Oroville 9:984.

Heat one: Shain Matthews, Marysville; Scott Russell, Placerville; Wayne Williams, Monterey; T. Kaeding; Brent Kaeding, Campbell; C.J. Humphreys, Placerville; Marv Maguirk, Sacramento; Dave Angus, Placerville.

Heat two: Chuck Gurney Jr., Livermore; Brad Furr, Pleasanton; Blake Roberston, Visalia; Jim Skinner, Byron; Stuart Krum, Sacramento; Carl Enns, Magalia; Moore.

Heat three: Kevin Pylant, Santa Cruz; Randy Hannagan, San Jose; Jason York, Chico; Jason Statler, Los Gatos; Becker; Robert Stice, Grass Valley; Jon Maiwald, Gilroy.

Heat four: Andy Gregg, Placerville; Billy Wallace, Grass Valley; Dennis Harvey, Antelope; Craig Stidham, Fresno; Shawn Schmitz, North Highlands; Mike Henry, Sacramento; Andy Forsberg, Auburn.

B Feature: Becker; B. Kaeding; Forsberg; Moore; Angus; Stice; Humphreys; Mailwald; Krum; Maguirk; Enns; Schmitz; Henry.

A Feature: Statler; Furr; Forsberg; Moore; T. Kaeding; Becker; B. Kaeding; Stidham; Skinner; Robertson; Wallace; York; Pylant; Hannagan; Matthews; Harvey; Gurney; Stice; Russell; Angus; Williams; Gregg.

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