Tim Kaeding Scores at Calistoga - By Bobby Gerould, 05/24/03 - Calistoga, CA. …Tim Kaeding's 2003 "to do" list included in bold letters at the top, "WIN AT CALISTOGA". Mission accomplished. Tim, the defending "King of California" sprint car champion, used a lap 21 backchute pass of Kevin Pylant to post his first career feature victory at the Calistoga half-mile, Saturday night. A very large crowd was on hand in chilly weather to witness Kaeding's redemption from a heartbreaking last lap loss in 2002 to living legend, Sammy Swindell.
"I love this place", said Kaeding. "I've always wanted to win at this track since I was kid growing up here seeing my 'old-man' win features. I thought we had it done last year, but that only makes this sweeter tonight. I just have to thank Rod (Tiner), and Terry (Cowan), and all my guys for the job they do preparing this ABC Ready Mix car."
Thirty-one winged sprint cars were on hand for the Calistoga season opener, which also served as round ten in the Golden State Challenge. BR MotorSports Qualifying produced a near track record run by Toni Lutar of White Rock, British Columbia, Canada. Lutar paced the field, turning the ˝ mile in 16.337 seconds. Jason Statler captured the B&B oval Track Products heat. Others heat race winners included Johnny Gray, Craig Stidham, and Jon Allard. Hot laps did not start until 9:23 PM, three hours late due to a malfunction of the yellow traffic safety lights that line the half-mile. Racing was unsafe until the problem could be remedied. Once the show started, it moved swiftly with the only stoppage coming on lap 9 of the Last Chance Race when Joey Magaruh of Vacaville flipped hard in turn 3 bringing out the red flag. Magaruh was unhurt in the incident.
The 25-lap feature race, The Walter T. Ross Memorial, started with eight cars inverted. Grinnell, Iowa's Dennis Moore JR started outside the front row, and immediately seized control of the race, opening up a huge straightaway lead within the opening four laps. It was Moore's first race ever at the storied Napa County Fairgrounds speed plant. As Moore approached traffic on lap five, he lost traction in turn two and spun the Williams MotorSports #0, erasing his lead. With Moore Jr. restarting at the tail of the 22-car field, the lead was inherited by Kevin Pylant. Pylant, who last won a feature at Calistoga on May 1, 1993, held the lead over Tim Kaeding, Steve Kent, Brent Kaeding and Tommy Tarlton on lap 7 when the caution appeared again, this time for Doug Lippincott who stalled in turn two.
One lap later, Tarlton surrendered a top-five run when he retired to the pits with a malfunctioning racecar. With each restart, Pylant was holding back Tim Kaeding, despite heavy pressure from the 24 year-old San Jose driver. On lap 17 as Pylant approached heavy traffic, he made a hair-raising outside pass to place Mike Quigley down a lap. Pylant's #14p made the pass at the end of the front straight with little room to spare but Kaeding was game for the challenge. He too maneuvered through traffic and kept applying the heat to the leader.
Kaeding's winning move on lap 21 came as a slower car coming off of turn two bottled up Pylant. Kaeding and Pylant raced wheel-to-wheel down the backchute, and as they entered turn three, Kaeding took command. Kent tried everything in the final four laps to catch Pylant for the runner-up but Pylant held the five-time Calistoga track champ at bay to earn the second spot. Kent was third at the checkered followed by Brent Kaeding, and Brad Furr. Sixth through tenth were; Jon Allard, Jason Statler, Brian Coelho, Sparky Howard, and Andy Forsberg. Allard and Statler shared "hard charger' honors in the feature. Both drivers raced past nine cars from their original starting positions.
Former "King of California", Ronnie Day returned to action Saturday night behind the wheel of the Elite Landscaping Maxim #1. With Jason Meyers replacing the injured Craig Dollansky on the World of Outlaws tour, Day slid into the #1 chair. After a motor change following the heat race, Day's machine needed fine-tuning after he was pushed off but before the green flag of the feature. In so doing, Day gave up a sixth starting spot. He started at the back, in 22nd but still raced all the way up to tenth. It was Day's first sprint car race of 2003.
Coelho was the winner of the Last Chance Race. The Golden State Challenge now is set for a second night of action at Calistoga. The Tribute to Gary Patterson schedule calls for qualifying at 6:30 PM (tonight) Sunday, May 25, 2003.
May 24, 2003. Calistoga Speedway
Golden State Challenge Round Ten
"Walter T. Ross Memorial"
BR MotorSports Qualifying: Driver Hometown Car Time
- Toni Lutar White Rock, BC Lutar #4x 16.337
- Brad Furr Pleasanton Furr #2 16.473
- Brian Coelho Tulare Coelho #5c 16.612
- Ronnie Day Salinas Elite #1 16.641
- Brent Kaeding Campbell BK Racing #69 16.691
- Tommy Tarlton Fresno Tarlton & Son #21 16.726
- Tim Kaeding San Jose Cowan #7T 16.812
- Sparky Howard Santa Rosa Howard #6 16.915
- Steve Kent Fresno Henderson #7N 16.917
- Dennis Moore Jr. Grinnell, IA. Williams #0 16.924
- Kevin Pylant Santa Cruz Pylant #14p 16.932
- Blake Robertson Visalia McMillen / Mitchell #10 17.010
- Andy Forsberg Auburn Family Auto Service #98x 17.029
- Doug Lippincott Minden, NV. Lippincott #4L 17.044
- Wayne Williams Monterey BK Racing #68 17.084
- Jon Allard Chico Wright #35 17.221
- Jason Statler Los Gatos Statler #00 17.226
- Johnny Gray Chico Gray #71 17.323
- Craig Stidham Fresno Stidham #3 17.332
- Jason York Chico York #25 17.509
- Mike Quigley Gardnerville, NV. Quigley #75 17.618
- Destiney Hays Oroville Hays #20D 17.673
- Jim Skinner Byron Skinner #73 17.831
- Dennis Binstock Napa Binstock #82 18.092
- Mike McClish Santa Rosa McClish #2m 18.203
- Joey Magaruh Vacaville Magaruh #47 18.358
- Mike Benson Calistoga Benson #77 18.437
- Jeff Parady Pope Valley Parady #6c 18.481
- Dennis Harvey Antelope Harvey #10H 18.809
- Shain Matthews Marysville Matthews #67 19.159
- Ricky Richardson Healdsburg Richardson #10 19.255
- Jack Lowder W. Sacramento Lowder #2R 19.490
B&B Oval Track Products Heat One: 1. Statler, 2. Kent, 3. B. Kaeding, 4. Lutar, 5. Quigley, 6. McClish, 7. Harvey, 8. Forsberg.
Heat Two: 1. Gray, 2. Moore Jr., 3. Furr, 4. Lippincott, 5. Tarlton, 6. Maguruh, 7. Hays, 8. Matthews
Heat Three: 1. Stidham, 2. Skinner, 3. Pylant, 4. T. Kaeding, 5. Williams, 6. Coelho, 7. Benson
Heat four: 1. Allard, 2. Day, 3. York, 4.Robertson, 5. Howard, 6. Binstock, 7. Parady, 8.
Last Chance Race (12 laps.) 1. Coelho, 2. Tarlton, 3. Forsberg, 4. Howard, 5. Quigley, 6. Williams, 7. McClish, 8. Binstock, 9. Parady, 10. Magaruh, 11. Lowder, 12. Harvey, 13. Matthews. …DNS - Hays, Richardson, Benson.
Feature (25 laps) 1. T. Kaeding, 2. Pylant, 3. Kent, 4. B. Kaeding, 5. Furr, 6. Allard, 7. Statler, 8. Coelho, 9. Howard, 10. Forsberg, 11. Stidham, 12. Day, 13. York, 14. Moore JR., 15. Williams, 16. Quigley, 17. Gray, 18. Lutar, 19. Lippincott, 20. Skinner, 21. Tarlton, 22. Robertson. NEXT RACE - Tonight, May 25, 2003 - Calistoga Speedway - Tribute to Gary Patterson.