Ageless Brent Kaeding scoffs at the notion that he's over-the-hill and proved to all that he can drive any type of sprint car, winged or wingless. Kaeding invaded SCRA's 360 non-winged land and drove to a thrilling victory in the 20-lap (shortened by time restraints) main event at Tulare's Thunderbowl Raceway on Saturday night. By virtue of his fifth-place finish in the dash, Kaeding starting on the inside of row three but wasted absolutely no time in taking the lead as he dove in-between Robert Ballou and Rusty Carlile entering turn three on the very first lap and sped onto victory.
It was a convincing but not an easy win, as Kaeding fought off repeated challenges from Ballou. The two bounced off the dwindling "cushion" lap after lap as they "rim-rode" around the 1/3-mile clay facility, lapping traffic in the process. Meanwhile, Australian transplant Peter Murphy, who started one row in front of Kaeding, dogged the two front-runners, waiting for an opportunity to grab the lead if they should falter. That didn't happen and Murphy settled for the final step on the podium. All three drivers showed great stamina during the evening as they performed double duty, also participating in the Golden State Challenge 410 winged series. Kaeding and Murphy finished third and fifth respectively in the GSC main event.
Jerome Warmerdam, filling the cockpit of defending series' champion Chad Boespflug's potent #98 machine while Boespflug competes with USAC, had a night of "fourths." In his first SCRA appearance, the Lemoore resident qualified fourth fastest, finished fourth in the Dash and the main, after starting fourth. Rounding out the top-five was consistent Evan Suggs, who was coming off a third-place finish at Chowchilla three weeks ago. Suggs had third fast time, finished fourth in his heat and sixth in the Dash.
Earlier in the program, Rusty Carlile, who had fast qualifying time, captured the first heat and backed that up with a strong win in the Dash. Starting from the front row in the main, he posed a strong threat but dropped back with an ill-handling machine to finish 11th. Other heat winners were Kaeding and Jeff Fiscus. Fiscus received "Sportsman of the Evening" honors as he gave up the seat in his machine to Richard Harvey Jr. for the main after Harvey's Stinger Chassis house car burned a valve in the heat race.
Results: QUALIFYING: #4j Andy Ferris 15.769, #69 Brent Kaeding 15.775, #33 Evan Suggs 15.825, #98 Jerome Warmerdam 15.893, #12 Robert Ballou 15.907, #84 Aaron Altaffer 15.964, #32 Jonathan Logan 16.063, #59 Richard Harvey 16.320, #2r Richard Brace 16.339, #51 Rusty Carlile 16.346, #15 David Key 16.382, #4 Peter Murphy 16.449, #6 Todd Hunsaker 16.651, #35 Albert Pombo 16.676, #13 Jeff Fiscus 16.735, #9 Steve Osborne 16.735, #97 Matt Day, 17.198, #55 Tony Everhart 17.339, #77s Brian Schuler 17.425, #7 Stan Yockey 17.663, #36 Kevin Barnes 19.096
8 LAP HEAT #1: Carlile, Osborne, Schuler, Hunsaker, Warmerdam, Logan, Ferris
8 LAP HEAT #2: Kaeding, Ballou, Yockey, Key, Pombo, Day, Harvey
8 LAP HEAT #3: Fiscus, Everhart, Brace, Suggs, Altaffer, Barnes,
DASH 6 LAPS: Carlile, Ballou, Murphy, Warmerdam, Kaeding, Suggs, Brace, Key
B MAIN 10 LAPS: Ferris, Altaffer, Barnes, Day, Logan
MAIN EVENT 20 LAPS: Kaeding, Ballou, Murphy, Warmerdam, Suggs, Ferris, Key, Pombo, Altaffer, Hunsaker, Carlile, Yockey, Everhart, Schuler, Day, Harvey (#13), Barnes, Osborne, Logan, Brace
Point Standings: Brent Kaeding 148, Peter Murphy 128, Evan Suggs 122, Andy Ferris 113, Robert Ballou 93, Rusty Carlile 89, Steve Osborne 75, Albert Pombo, 75, Richard Harvey 67, Ricci Faria 66, Jerome Warmerdam 64, Brian Schuler 60, Jonathan Logan 57, David Press 56, David Key 49, Todd Hunsaker 40, Aaron Altaffer 40, Richard Brace 39, Andy Forsberg 39, Danny Olmstead 37, Stan Yockey 37, Tony Everhart 36, Steven Williams 31, Jeff Gardner 25, Matt Day 25, Rick Williams 22, Kevin Barnes 22, Brian Quilty 19, Jeff Fiscus 10