Kaeding Wins Unbelievable Finish at Chico

By: Troy Hennig

            (Chico, CA 10-8-05)…Campbell’s Brent Kaeding led the most important 100 feet to win the Pacific Sprint Fall Nationals in Chico on Saturday night.  Kaeding who never officially led a lap all night, drove by young Kyle Hirst coming out of turn four to get the dramatic win.  Going into the last turn, Hirst went to the bottom while Kaeding drove to the top.  Hirst seemed to slip off the bottom, lose traction and drift through the middle of the track.  Kaeding used the cushion to keep his momentum and drove by Hirst coming out of turn four.  “I got off turn two real good and knew I had a run on Hirst going into turn three,” said Kaeding on his last lap pass.  “I knew I was high enough for the pass but it was just a matter if I was going to get into the fence or not.”  He ended by adding, “We didn’t come here to finish second, and we came here to win.”  Bill Sullivan moved over and asked a dejected Hirst his version of the race.  “It’s not a good feeling right now,” said Hirst.  “I do need to thank Dennis Wright for giving me a chance to drive his car this weekend.”  Lost in the dramatic finish was third place Andy Forsberg.  He said, “We were real good tonight.  I have to give credit to the track prep because it was real racy, we were bouncing all over the place and it was real fun,” said Forsberg.  “I feel real bad for Kyle, I have lost my share of races on the last lap so I know what he is going through but he shouldn’t worry too much because it took me 10 years to get as fast as he has been in just two year of sprint cars.” 

            Chico’s Jonathan Allard was the car to beat tonight.  He earned the most points for the overall weekend and started on the pole of the 40-lap feature.  Allard jumped out to the early lead and Hirst fell into the second spot.  Kaeding moved into the third spot while Brad Furr was in fourth.  Mike Henry brought out the first yellow when he stopped on the backstretch.  On lap fifteen Grass Valley resident now calling Brownsburg, IN home Brad Sweet had moved up five spots and seemed to be one of the drivers to compete for the lead in a few more laps.  However, the racing gods were not smiling on him tonight and something broke in the housing and Sweet spun off turn four. 

            Allard continued to lead while Hirst and Kaeding were on his heals.  The race changed for the first time when on lap 22 Allard slid off the track going into turn one.  “I was struggling to get around a slower car when my right rear slid off the front straight away banking and I could never get back onto the track,” said Allard.  When he did get back onto the track and grabbed that valuable traction he was in fifth.  On the next lap Jonathan’s brother Stephen ended up involved with Dennis Moore Jr. and a red flag was needed.  Moore Jr. ended up on his side while Allard was parked right in front of him.  Both restarted after their crews made exception repairs to get them back out.  Stephen credited his Butler Built seat as a major factor in cushioning the wreck.   

            The lap 23 restart was the final time the race was stopped.  Hirst led the field to the green flag and quickly put some distance between himself and Kaeding.  By lap 30 the leaders where in heavy traffic.  Hirst continued to show poise and lead the field.  Kaeding was able to close in but Hirst never made that youthful mistake.  As the white flag was waving Hirst seemed to have the race won.  However, it’s not over until the checkered flag waives and this was when Kaeding showed why he is still considered California’s best.  He drove by Hirst coming out of turn four and unexpectedly got the win.  The reaction from the crowd was priceless, as mixed emotions seemed to sweep across the grandstand.  Fans were excited about the awesome finish but a little let down that Hirst lost the race.  Forsberg finished his career best third in a Fall Nationals main event.  Finishing fourth was Brad Furr while Jonathan Allard was fifth.  Peter Murphy passed the most cars it he main event as he finished in the tenth spot but started 21st on the grid. 

            Murphy earned the right to start in the main event by winning the 20 lap B main event.  He led all the laps for the win.  Chad Riolo would join Murphy by finishing in the second spot.  Steve Watts drove a solid race to finish in the third spot.  Fourth place went to Billy Wallace.  Wallace earned the final transfer spot. 

            Robert Ballou led all 15 laps to win the C main event.  Stan Yockey passed Chris Wilson late in the race to finish second and grab the final transfer spot.  

            Troy Degaton led all 12 laps to win the D main event.  Gary Paulson finished second followed by Kevin Lovell and John Coughran.  All four drivers earned a transfer into the C main event. 

            The first race of the night was the E main event.  Doug Lippincott led all 10 laps to get the win.  A total of six drivers were given transfer spots.  Following Lippincott into the D main event included Mike Stallings, Anthony Nunes, Carl Droivold, Brad Rieben and Jim Marsh. 


Results 10-8-05 Fall Nationals

E Main: Doug Lippincott, Mike Stallings, Anthony Nunes, Carl Droivold, Brad Rieben, Jim Marsh, Ron Myska, Tim Sherman Jr., Marv Magouirk, Dustin Hall, Joe Mafara, Patrick Desbiens

D Main: Troy Degaton, Gary Paulson, Kevin Lovell, John Coughran, Danny Horner, Droivold, Lippincott, Dallas Zuniga, Stallings, Rieben, Marsh, Derek Dozier, Steve Ferhman, Nunes, Robert McNulty

C Main: Robert Ballou, Stan Yockey, Chris Wilson, T.J. Winningham, Lovell, Pat Harvey, Melissa Yates, Robert Stice, Heat Hall, Mark Tabor Jr., Andy Gregg, Jeff Delte, Jim Siebert, Coughran, Brandon Dozier, Wayne Katen, Degaton

B Main: Peter Murphy, Chad Riolo, Steve Watts, Billy Wallace, Jimmy Trulli, Colby Weisz, Chuck Gurney Jr., Mike Monahan, Greg DeCaires, Roger Crockett, Brett Rollag, Ballou, Shawn Whitney, Adam McCarthy, Dave Angus

A Main: Brent Kaeding, Kyle Hirst, Andy Forsberg, Brad Furr, Jonathan Allard, Jason Statler, Korey Lovell, Herman Klein, Sean Becker, Murphy, Garrett Ishii, Riolo, Mark Hall, Stephen Allard, Wallace