50TH ANNUAL GOLD CUP RACE OF CHAMPIONS
SEPTEMBER 6, 2003
O'Reilly World of Outlaws
Silver Dollar Speedway
Steve Kinser Claims Back to Back Gold Cups, Runs Total to Eleven - By Bobby Gerould - 09/06/03 - Chico, CA. ...Sometimes watching greatness in action seems rather pedestrian. The person, or team displaying their championship form makes it look so easy that fans look past the history they are witnessing and dismiss it as "ho-hum". Well, ho-hum, Steve Kinser won another Gold Cup Saturday night at Silver Dollar Speedway. The 50th annual race with a $20,000 top prize fell to the Bloomington Indiana driver for a remarkable 11th time. Kinser started outside front row on the 24-car grid for the 40-lap event on the 1/4 mile clay oval.
Polesitter Joey Saldana took the lead at the start with Kinser closely pursuing on the bottom of the track. As Saldana worked a thinning cushion in turns three and four, Kinser gained speed on the bottom of the track. The winning pass took place on the bottom in turn four on lap 11. Kinser later told infield announcer Troy Hennig, "Iíd pretty much made my mind up that I was going to run the bottom. I knew I wouldnít get by Joey (Saldana) off the top on the start, but my biggest concern was beating Danny (Lasoski) to the bottom in turn 1, and then from there I just kind of paced myself and waited to see what would happen to the high side of the track. I never did really get up on the top until right at the end there, and I donít know what I was doing messing around up there, but I was really handling on the bottom in three and four".
Kinser's winning mount was the Quaker State Maxim #11 prepared by Scott Gerkin. ďIíve been coming back here (California) a long time. I won my first Gold Cup at West Capital, so that tells you how long Iíve been coming here", said the 48 year-old Kinser.
The race was stopped with 2 laps complete for Jeff Hodgson and Kevin Pylant, who tangled and flipped in turn three. As Pylant's #14p laid sideways on the track, Blake Robertson's car got a late piece of the action, knocking Pylant briefly unconscious. The impact ripped the welded wing mounts off the top of the rollcage of the #14p. Pylant complained of shoulder pain following the race but the Santa Cruz driver did not make a trip to the hospital.
Jonathan Allard did a quick spin in turn four on lap 5, then wheelied into a roll-over. He pitted for repairs, and restarted at the back of the field. The next lap, two-time Gold Cup champion, Jac Haudenschild slid off the edge of the track on the backstretch, and came to a stop on the top of turn four to bring out the caution flag. Haudenschild restarted at the back of the pack but surrendered his sixth place standing.
Laps seven through nine were exciting with Tim Kaeding passing both Dennis Moore, Jr. and Jason Meyers to take 8th place. As usual, Kaeding was "rim riding". Paul McMahan passed Sammy Swindell for 6th on the top of turns one and two.
By lap 12 Meyers started to charge forward. He regained 8th from Tim Kaeding with a low side move in the South turn. Lap 19 was horrible for Saldana and Tim Shaffer. After a caution for Peter Murphy, who spun in turn 2, Saldana and Shaffer tangled while racing for 3rd, with Shaffer flopping onto his side in turn 4. Neither driver was injured, and both restarted after pitting for repairs.
On lap 21, just past halfway, Dennis Moore, Jr. and McMahan split Meyers in turn one. Moore was running fifth at the time with McMahan 6th, and Meyers 7th. With 21 laps complete the caution appeared again for a stalled Shaffer. Saldana contacted Shaffer and went to the pits to replace a front axle. Also under caution Allard pitted to replace a flat left rear tire. Saldana was unable to make the restart. The Thursday night preliminary winner ended up 22nd.
The ensuing restart was good for McMahan who snatched fifth from Moore with a rim riding run in one and two. On lap 27, McMahan moved by Jason Sides for third. With seven laps remaining, Kinserís lead was 8 carlengths over Lasoski in heavy traffic. Moore, Jr. dropped out of the event while running 6th.
The final four tours of the track made the outcome in question. Kinser moved off the bottom to try to lap Shaffer, which allowed Lasoski to close in on the leader. Meyers passed Sides for 4th on the top exiting turn four as the white flag appeared. Lasoski could not find a way around Kinser, and Steve won by two carlengths. Kinser said, "Iím not sure how much longer I can keep running like thisóI guess until these kids start beating me, but until then weíll just keep coming back.Ē
Lasoski finished second, McMahan third, Meyers fourth and Sides was fifth. Sammy Swindell finished sixth, and Donny Schatz was seventh. Auburn California's Andy Forsberg turned in a career best Gold Cup drive with an eighth place finish in his family owned #92. The top ten was completed by Daryn Pittman, and Tim Kaeding.
Brent Kaeding won the B-Main to continue his streak of Gold Cup A-Main's made. "BK" has not been out of a Gold Cup feature since 1986. The Campbell, CA. driver started 21st and finished 12th.
Sean Becker was the C-Main winner. He nearly transferred out of the B-Main but fell one spot short. However, his 17th to 5th B-Main run was enjoyable to see.
Mike Henry took home a $1,000 bonus as the highest finishing 360 sprinter in the 93-car field. Driving the Larry Shelton tuned #93, Henry finished seventh in the B-Main.
F-Main (10 laps, top 5 finishers transferred to E-main)-1) Mike Schriver 2) Tommy Fogarty 3) Pat Harvey 4) Bob Maiwald 5) Shawn Schmitz 6) Nick Ringo, Jr. 7) Gregg Sherman 8) Tom Baker 9) Randall Ditgen 10) Marv Magouirk
E-Main (10 laps, top 4 finishers transferred to D-main)-1) Marc Mackay 2) Kevin Lovell 3) Mark Tabor, Sr. 4) Bernie Sloop 5) Robert Stice 6) Geoff Duppman 7) Jeff Parady 8) Tommy Fogarty 9) Mark Tabor, Jr. 10) Mike Schriver 11) Andy Jacobson 12) Pat Harvey 13) Shawn Schmitz 14) Bob Maiwald 15) Beau Perkins 16) Troy Hovey
D-Main (12 laps, top 3 finishers transferred to C-main)-1) Shawna Wilskey 2) Colby Weisz 3) Steve Fehrman 4) Destiny Hays 5) Carl Enns 6) Rick Fowzer 7) Danny Ochs 8) Dave Angus 9) Korey Lovell 10) Bernie Sloop 11) Tony Sousa 12) Marc Mackay 13) Mark Tabor, Sr. 14) Jon Maiwald 15) Matt Shelton 16) Kevin Lovell
C-main (15 laps, top 2 finishers transferred to B-main)-1) Sean Becker 2) Billy Wallace 3) Jason York 4) Davey Key 5) Garrett Ishi 6) Brad Sweet 7) Shawna Wilskey 8) Stephen Allard 9) Colby Weisz 10) Shain Matthews 11) Jimmy Trulli 12) Wayne Williams 13) Steve Fehrman 14) Doug Lippincott 15) Jim Skinner 16) Kyle Schild
B-main (20 laps, top 4 finishers transferred to A-feature)-1) Brent Kaeding 2) Blake Robertson 3) Tommy Tarlton 4) Peter Murphy 5) Sean Becker 6) Johnny Gray 7) Mike Henry 8) Johnny Herrera 9) Brian Paulus 10) Roger Crockett 11) Toni Lutar 12) Randy Hannagan 13) Craig Stidham 14) Jason Statler 15) Billy Wallace 16) Nick Rescino, Jr. 17) Chad Riolo 18) Jason York
A-main (40 laps)--1) Steve Kinser 2) Danny Lasoski 3) Paul McMahan 4) Jason Meyers 5) Jason Sides 6) Sammy Swindell 7) Donny Schatz 8) Andy Forsberg 9) Daryn Pittman 10) Tim Kaeding 11) Peter Murphy 12) Brent Kaeding 13) Jonathan Allard 14) Tim Shaffer 15) Greg DeCaires 16) Blake Robertson 17) Jim Carter 18) Jac Haudenschild 19) Brad Furr 20) Tommy Tarlton 21) Dennis Moore, Jr. 22) Joey Saldana 23) Kevin Pylant 24) Jeff Hodgson
* Johnny Gibson contributed to this report.