KAEDING WINS LAKESIDE THILLER by Robert Mayson KANSAS CITY, KS, AUGUST 17, 2002 - Bud Kaeding earned $10,000 after a hard fought 40-lap NAPA Auto Parts / Auto Trader Magazines SCRA main event win at Lakeside Speedway. Kaeding's victory marked the second year in a row that the eastern portion of Non-Winged World Championship (NWWC) has ended with a real nail bitter. For Kaeding, Saturday's win from the outside front was anything but easy. Surviving a post checkered flag flip in the JE Pistons without sustaining any major damage, Kaeding was able to withstand late race challenges from Cory Kruseman and Damion Gardner to gather his third career NWWC main event win.
"That was the hardest that I've worked to win a race in a long time," Kaeding said after posting his second consecutive Lakeside win. "This place is tough because you get a lot of momentum going around the top. The entrance of turn one was really fast, but there was nothing up there coming off of two, so I had to start driving off the middle and coming off the bottom of turn two."
Dash winner Gardner took the lead entering turn one at the start of the race after taking the cushion away from Kaeding and went on to lead the opening lap as Kruseman, Troy Rutherford and Richard Griffin followed. J.J. Yeley started third, but saw his hopes for victory end on lap two when he slowed to a stop in turn two. Working a variety of different racing lines early, Gardner pulled away from the BK Motorsports / High Five Pizza No. 29K Maxim driven by Kaeding for several laps after the caution period for Yeley ended. Ten laps into the race, Kaeding, Kruseman and Rutherford closed in on Gardner to make it a four-car tussle for the lead. While Rutherford was busy moving into the second position on lap 13, just ahead of him Gardner was now into lapped traffic. Kaeding took back the runner-up spot on lap 19 before taking the lead from Gardner exiting turn two one lap later. Just when Kaeding looked like he might be able to pull away from Gardner, the yellow flag flew on lap 23 for Levi Jones, who for the second consecutive night, shredded a left rear tire.
Pushing hard to pass Kaeding on the restart, Gardner bicycle in turn three, which caused him to lose considerable ground to the leader. Working the bottom, Kruseman pushed his way ahead of Gardner on lap 27 and quickly narrowed the gap between himself and Kaeding. Gardner appeared to be on the verge of securing the second position, and being able to make a run at Kaeding, when Kruseman launched off the bottom of turn two and took the lead on lap 31.
Kruseman reached lapped traffic two laps later only to have Jack DeArmond, Jr. spin directly in front of him in turn two. At the time, the subsequent caution flag for DeArmond seemed to be a break for Kruseman since Kaeding had a clearer path ahead of him. As it turned out, Kaeding able to take the lead without assistance from any slower cars on lap 34. Kruseman passed Kaeding two laps later only to watch the third generation driver move back into the lead on the following lap. Kruseman momentarily held the lead again on lap 39, but Kaeding had a better drive off of turn two and was able to go back out front. Passing beneath starter Lee Jaskowiak's white flag, Kruseman looked poised to make a last lap pass for the lead in turn one.
Sensing that Kruseman might have a shot at him down low, Kaeding dove to the bottom groove entering turn one to prevent such a run. Unfortunatly for Kruseman, he was carrying more speed into the corner than Kaeding and was left with nowhere to go but into the side of Kaeding's car. As Kaeding drove away, Kruseman spun up the banking and slammed into the turn one wall. Kruseman was not injured, but would lose his NWWC point lead to Griffin at the end of the night. Reverting back to lap 38 for the restart, Gardner also took a shot at the lead in turn one, only to be sent spinning after contact Kaeding. With cars passing him on both sides, Gardner did a complete spin without stopping. Gardner would go on to finish ninth.
Rutherford, who was the defending race winner, got caught up in Gardner's 360-degree maneuver and was knock from a certain top-five finish into the 13th spot. "Cory and me got to racing there in those last ten last and he was killing me on the bottom of turns one and two, so I had to go down there to protect the line. I guess I surprised him a bit, and luckily, it ended up stalling him and not me," Kaeding recalled. "Then, Damion got up beside us and tapped us on that restart. I was running up to the top of the track, and he was sliding across, and we ended up meeting. The thing is, we're all out here to win the race, not to run second."
Griffin, who did a marvelous of avoiding Kruseman after he hit the wall, chased Kaeding on the final lap, but his Ron Chaffin owned, Arizona Race Mart No. 50 Jon Boy, would have to settle for a runner-up finish. Tony Jones overcame some hard luck on the eastern tour and won the KSE Hard Charger Award after he drove his Ferreira Dairy No. 87 Avenger to third after starting 14th. Rip Williams passed his share of cars, as well, and drove the Tomarco Fasteners No. 3 Gambler from 16th to fifth. Williams was book-ended by a pair of Carol Crossno / Pace Hallmark cars driven by Bobby Graham (4th) and Levi Jones (6th). SCRA RACE #29 - LAKESIDE SPEEDWAY, KANSAS CITY, KS Date of Race: 8/17/02
SANDER ENGINEERING TIME TRIALS 1. Brian Tyler, K&D Mtrsprts 6X, 16.806 2. Jesse Hockett, Van Keirsbilck 75, 16.812 3. Troy Rutherford, Witherill 61, 16.925 4. Cory Kruseman, Willis 1, 16.951 5. Blake Feese, Vielhauer 12X, 17.011 6. Rickie Gaunt, Alexander 4, 17.014 7. Bobby Graham, Crossno 38, 17.015 8. Levi Jones, Crossno 138, 17.062 9. Adam Mitchell, Mitchell 99, 17.070 10. Tony Jones, Vermeer/Jones 87, 17.171 11. Mike Kirby, Guerin 5, 17.205 12. Rip Williams, Jory 3, 17.243 13. Mike English, Jory 6, 17.436 14. John Scott, Scott 83, 17.505 15. Rodney Argo, Argo 19, 17.568 16. Mike Spencer, Engstrom 44, 17.760 17. Brian Venard, Venard 47, 17.833 18. Bobby Cody, Cody 41, 18.085 19. Philip Heavelow, Heavelow 44X, 18.038 20. Lance Gremett, Gremett 85, 18.053 21. Jack DeArmond Jr., DeArmond 24, 19.526
HEDMAN HEDDERS/SHAVER ENGINES HEAT 1 1. Mike Kirby, 2. Bobby Graham, 3. Troy Rutherford, 4. Mike English, 5. Brain Tyler, 6. Adam Mitchell, 7. Rodney Argo, 8. Blake Feese, 9. Brian Venard, 10. Philip Heavelow,11. Jack Dearmond Jr.
SPIN TECH MUFFLERS / STINGER CHASSIS HEAT 2 1. Rip Williams, 2. Tony Jones, 3. John Scott, 4. Cory Kruseman, 5. Levi Jones, 6. Rickie Gaunt, 7. Jesse Hockett, 8. Bobby Cody, 9. Mike Spencer, 10. Lance Gremett.
JE PISTONS DASH 1. Gardner, 2. Kaeding, 3. Yeley, 4. Griffin, 5. Kruseman, 6. Rutherford, 7. Tyler, 8. Graham.
B FEATURE 1.Feese, 2. Gaunt, 3. Argo, 4. Mitchell, 5. Hockett, 6. Cody, 7. Spencer, 8. Heavelow, 9. Venard, 10. DeArmond, 11. Gremett.
A FEATURE (40 Laps) 1. Kaeding, 2. Griffin, 3. T Jones, 4. Graham, 5. Williams, 6. L Jones, 7. Tyler, 8. Kirby, 9. Gardner, 10. Gaunt, 11. Feese, 12. English, 13. Rutherford, 14. Hocketts, 15. Cody, 16. Argo, 17. Dearmond, 18. Spencer, 19. Kruseman, 20. Venard, 21. Mitchell, 22. Heavelow, 23. Scott, 24. Yeley, 25. Gremett
Laps Led: Gardner 1 - 20, Kaeding 21-30, Kruseman 31 - 33, Kaeding 34 - 35, Kruseman 36, Kaeding 37 - 40.