RICHMOND, Va. – Bud Kaeding collected more than $18,100 in race and posted prize money Saturday after winning his second straight USAC Silver Crown Series presented by K&N Engineering race, this the “Richmond Times-Dispatch 100” at Richmond International Raceway.


Kaeding, of Campbell, Calif., led the final 24 laps, but his victory wasn’t for certain until the checkered flag dropped out, as he held off Jay Drake after the latter got by on the 99th lap, which followed the final caution period of the race.


But a misfire in the engine nearly did Kaeding and his No. 29 Team ASE/Loan City DRC/Shaver in, as he lost the lead momentarily.


Said Kaeding, who began suffering a misfire in his engine late in the race: “Two of the leaders seemed to have problems while leading, but we were just fortunate to bring it home.”


Following the eight-lap caution – which occurred when Pete Shepherd III lost a wheel and slammed into the front stretch wall – Drake tried to take advantage of Kaeding, who had been slow on the start and on restarts all afternoon.


Drake slipped underneath Kaeding close to the apron in Turn 1, but drove the car in so low that he was unable to contain the traction needed to hold the position. Instead, his car drifted high in Turn 1, allowing Kaeding to cross over and regain the position, which he obtained on Lap 77 from Brian Tyler.


Kaeding, who increased his point advantage to 21 points over third-place Tyler, said it was neat to win at the 3/4-mile track, one at which NASCAR Nextel Cup stars Tony Stewart and Kasey Kahne have recently taken the checkered flag.


“It makes you feel like you’re part of their history,” Kaeding said.


“I’m really starting to get behind this series,” Kaeding continued. “USAC has done a lot to bring this series along, and we’ll continue to progress.”


Shepherd was uninjured in the accident, which caused one of five cautions on the evening. None of the other cautions were caused by incidents.


Kaeding was one of four leaders in the race. Josh Wise, driving his first race in the new generation cars, led the first 19 laps before suffering fuel linkage problems. Dave Steele took over until Lap 60, when Tyler drove past and held the point until Lap 77, when Kaeding zipped past a lap after a restart.


The next event for the series comes at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., the 300th career race in series history.