Tim Kaeding tames Tulare's Thunderbowl Raceway en route to a $10,000 payday.
Courtesy: WoO Media Relations
TULARE, Calif. - March 15, 2013 - It wasn't the typical place a race fan would imagine Tim Kaeding was headed after yet another victory.
Visibly exhausted and likely sore, Kaeding mustered a smile and laugh when describing his postrace celebration plans after ending his Victory Lane celebration surrounded by a packed grandstand of his biggest supporters on Friday night at Thunderbowl Raceway.
"Sit in an ice cold bath," he said.
It was an elbows-up type of night during the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series opener at the high-banked, third-mile oval, which featured more cars on two wheels than a typical motorcycle race.
That fit right into Kaeding's style and background, even if the track known to be rough was the roughest ever.
"I'm saying this was probably the roughest I've ever seen Tulare in (turns) one and two," he said. "(Rough) is what I grew up on. This is kind of my home away from home. Anything that's rough is usually what I like. It's get in, stand on the gas, hold on and see what happens at the end."
While many people likely picked Kaeding to record the victory - his third overall and second straight at Thunderbowl Raceway with the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series - nobody could have predicted the finish.
Donny Schatz outraced polesitter Jac Haudenschild through the opening turns of the first lap to control the top spot, which he maintained for the first 14 laps.
Kaeding, meanwhile, cracked the top five on the second lap. He gained a position in each of the next two laps until sliding Haudenschild for the runner-up position on a restart of Lap 8. Schatz held a several car length advantage until the third caution - and second red flag - of the feature for Cory Eliason's fiery flip in turn two on Lap 15.
The race was red flagged for approximately 15 minutes as repairs had to be made to the fence. When the race restarted, Schatz found himself in the nasty ruts in turns one and two, which forced his car into the fence and broke the front axel. He was unable to restart and finished 23rd.
That gave the lead to Kaeding, who faced a new challenge from Cody Darrah as the final 21 laps of the race were caution free.
Darrah dove to the bottom in turns one and two to pass Haudenschild for second place on the restart. As Kaeding powered around the track in the high lane, Darrah made the bottom groove work. They entered traffic on Lap 20 and one lap later, Darrah pulled side by side with Kaeding as they exited turn two.
Momentum continued to keep Kaeding in the lead, but Darrah stayed with a couple of car lengths until he used a slide job on Kaeding for the lead entering turn one. Darrah dove to the bottom in turn one and slid up the track in front of Kaeding exiting turn two.
"I knew he was close; I didn't know how close he was," Kaeding said. "He did the same thing I did at the beginning of the race to get spots - just to slide. He did the slide for life and it stuck."
However, Darrah never got his tires back underneath him after taking the lead. As they entered turn three side by side - Darrah on the bottom and Kaeding committed to the top - Darrah closed to the back of Wayne Johnson in traffic. Darrah's car slowly began to slide around and eventually did a full spin on the bottom in turns three and four before he continued as the white flag waved.
"I never got my tires back under me and I just spun it out," he said. "It was pretty stupid. I'm pretty pissed off because we (had) such a good car. These guys work so hard and they deserve a win. I gave it to them for about a quarter lap and then I took it away."
Darrah lost valuable position, but was able to hold off Haudenschild for the runner-up spot with Kaeding winning by nearly five seconds.
"It was a good race all the way around," Haudenschild said. "Tim, he's the man here. It was good just to be up there running with him."
David Gravel finished fourth to record his second top five while driving for the injured Bill Rose. Championship points leader and fast qualifier Daryn Pittman ended fifth for his series-leading fifth time in seven races.
Lucas Wolfe placed sixth, Craig Dollansky seventh, Joey Saldana eighth, 15th-starter Rico Abreu ninth and 16th-starter Kerry Madsen rounded out the top 10.
The final World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series race of the season at Thunderbowl Raceway begins on Saturday. The front gate opens at 4 p.m. with hot laps scheduled for approximately 5 p.m.
Thunderbowl Raceway Notebook
NOTES - Chad Kemenah did not attend the race because of a medical issue. He will be credited with 75 driver and owner points. … Daryn Pittman established quick time in qualifying for the first time this season. … This was the first race of the season that Paul McMahan didn't qualify in the top three. … Jac Haudenschild picked up his first heat race win, Craig Dollansky his second, Tim Kaeding his series-leading fourth and Jonathan Allard his first of the season. … The dash draw was a six. … Haudenschild became the seventh different dash winner in as many events. … Cory Eliason charged from 11th to win his first Last Chance Showdown of the season.
CONTINGENCY WINNERS - Penske Shocks ($100 certificate): David Gravel; MSD Ignitions ($50 cash): Jac Haudenschild; Comp Cams ($50 certificate): Cody Darrah; STP ($50 cash): Jac Haudenschild; Bruce High Performance Transporters ($50 cash and $200 certificate): David Gravel; JE Pistons ($50 cash): Joey Saldana; UNOH ($50 cash): Craig Dollansky; American Racing Custom Wheels ($50 cash): Joey Saldana; VP Racing Fuels ($50 cash): Joey Saldana; Edelbrock ($50 cash): Kerry Madsen; Comp Cams ($50 cash): Kerry Madsen; Cometic Gasket ($50 cash): Sammy Swindell; Bruce High Performance Transporters ($200 certificate): Sammy Swindell; Superflow ($50 cash): Sammy Swindell; JE Pistons (set of rings): Jason Sides; Klotz Synthetic Lubricants ($50 cash): Paul McMahan; JE Pistons (set of rings): Greg Wilson; Bruce High Performance Transporters ($200 certificate): Cory Eliason; MSD Ignitions ($25 cash): Cory Eliason; Armor All (case of product): Jac Haudenschild; KSE Racing Products ($100 certificate): Kraig Kinser.
WINNERS - Tim Kaeding - 2 (Thunderbowl Raceway on March 15 and The Dirt Track at Las Vegas on March 7); Daryn Pittman - 2 (Tucson International Raceway on March 9 and Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 15); Danny Lasoski - 1 (Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 17); Terry McCarl - 1 (Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 16) and Donny Schatz - 1 (The Dirt Track at Las Vegas on March 6).
TIME TRIALS - Daryn Pittman was the fastest qualifier around the third-mile oval with a time of 12.974 seconds to earn five championship points. Also earning points were Cody Darrah (4 points), Brian Brown (3), Joey Saldana (2) and Lucas Wolfe (1).
Thunderbowl Raceway Statistical Report; Tulare, Calif.; March 15, 2013
A-Main - (35 Laps) - 1. 83-Tim Kaeding  [$10,000]; 2. 4-Cody Darrah  [$5,000]; 3. 77-Jac Haudenschild  [$3,000]; 4. 6-David Gravel  [$2,700]; 5. 9-Daryn Pittman  [$2,500]; 6. 82-Lucas Wolfe  [$2,200]; 7. 7-Craig Dollansky  [$2,000]; 8. 71M-Joey Saldana  [$1,800]; 9. 24A-Rico Abreu  [$1,600]; 10. 29-Kerry Madsen  [$1,450]; 11. O-Jonathan Allard  [$1,300]; 12. 83JR-Kyle Hirst  [$1,200]; 13. 21-Brian Brown  [$1,100]; 14. 1-Sammy Swindell  [$1,000]; 15. 77X-Wayne Johnson  [$950]; 16. 21M-Jason Meyers  [$900]; 17. 51-Paul McMahan  [$850]; 18. 11K-Kraig Kinser  [$750]; 19. 7S-Jason Sides  [$725]; 20. 88N-D.J. Netto  [$700]; 21. 11-Steve Kinser  [$700]; 22. W20-Greg Wilson  [$700]; 23. 15-Donny Schatz  [$700]; 24. OO-Cory Eliason  [$700]; 25. 3C-Willie Croft  [$700]. Lap Leaders: Donny Schatz 1-14, Tim Kaeding 15-35. KSE Hard Charger Award: 11K-Kraig Kinser [+7].
Qualifying - 1. 9-Daryn Pittman, 12.974; 2. 4-Cody Darrah, 13.050; 3. 21-Brian Brown, 13.080; 4. 71M-Joey Saldana, 13.101; 5. 82-Lucas Wolfe, 13.118; 6. 21M-Jason Meyers, 13.120; 7. 1-Sammy Swindell, 13.124; 8. 6-David Gravel, 13.142; 9. 77-Jac Haudenschild, 13.158; 10. 15-Donny Schatz, 13.169; 11. 83-Tim Kaeding, 13.175; 12. O-Jonathan Allard, 13.193; 13. 24A-Rico Abreu, 13.260; 14. 7-Craig Dollansky, 13.275; 15. 77X-Wayne Johnson, 13.320; 16. 21X-Carson Macedo, 13.321; 17. 29-Kerry Madsen, 13.348; 18. 83JR-Kyle Hirst, 13.357; 19. 88N-D.J. Netto, 13.361; 20. 51-Paul McMahan, 13.366; 21. 3C-Willie Croft, 13.402; 22. 7S-Jason Sides, 13.419; 23. 44W-Austen Wheatley, 13.484; 24. W20-Greg Wilson, 13.504; 25. 3-Craig Stidham, 13.539; 26. 41-Dominic Scelzi, 13.587; 27. 4F-Mike Faria, 13.647; 28. 26-Sam Hafertepe Jr, 13.695; 29. 44-Chris Martin, 13.695; 30. OO-Cory Eliason, 13.767; 31. 11-Steve Kinser, 14.018; 32. 11K-Kraig Kinser, 14.687.
Heat 1 - (8 Laps - Top 5 finishers transfer to the A-feature) - 1. 77-Jac Haudenschild ; 2. 82-Lucas Wolfe ; 3. 9-Daryn Pittman ; 4. 3C-Willie Croft ; 5. 24A-Rico Abreu ; 6. 3-Craig Stidham ; 7. 29-Kerry Madsen ; 8. 44-Chris Martin .
Heat 2 - (8 Laps - Top 5 finishers transfer to the A-feature) - 1. 7-Craig Dollansky ; 2. 15-Donny Schatz ; 3. 4-Cody Darrah ; 4. 83JR-Kyle Hirst ; 5. 21M-Jason Meyers ; 6. 7S-Jason Sides ; 7. OO-Cory Eliason ; 8. 41-Dominic Scelzi .
Heat 3 - (8 Laps - Top 5 finishers transfer to the A-feature) - 1. 83-Tim Kaeding ; 2. 77X-Wayne Johnson ; 3. 1-Sammy Swindell ; 4. 88N-D.J. Netto ; 5. 11-Steve Kinser ; 6. 4F-Mike Faria ; 7. 21-Brian Brown ; 8. 44W-Austen Wheatley .
Heat 4 - (8 Laps - Top 5 finishers transfer to the A-feature) - 1. O-Jonathan Allard ; 2. 6-David Gravel ; 3. 71M-Joey Saldana ; 4. 51-Paul McMahan ; 5. W20-Greg Wilson ; 6. 11K-Kraig Kinser ; 7. 26-Sam Hafertepe Jr ; 8. 21X-Carson Macedo .
Dash - (6 Laps, finishing order determined first 10 starting positions of A-feature) - 1. 77-Jac Haudenschild ; 2. 15-Donny Schatz ; 3. 82-Lucas Wolfe ; 4. 6-David Gravel ; 5. 4-Cody Darrah ; 6. 83-Tim Kaeding ; 7. 7-Craig Dollansky ; 8. O-Jonathan Allard ; 9. 77X-Wayne Johnson ; 10. 9-Daryn Pittman .
B-Main - (12 Laps - Top 4 finishers transfer to the A-feature) - 1. OO-Cory Eliason  [-]; 2. 7S-Jason Sides  [-]; 3. 29-Kerry Madsen  [-]; 4. 21-Brian Brown  [-]; 5. 44W-Austen Wheatley  [$200]; 6. 26-Sam Hafertepe Jr  [$180]; 7. 4F-Mike Faria  [$175]; 8. 44-Chris Martin  [$160]; 9. 41-Dominic Scelzi  [$150]; 10. 3-Craig Stidham  [$150]; 11. 11K-Kraig Kinser  [$150]; 12. 21X-Carson Macedo  [$150].