Kaeding steals win from Sides at Cottage Grove COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. -- On his 28th birthday, Tim Kaeding stole the cake and ate it, too. Jason Sides was set to win his second National Sprint Tour race Tuesday Aug. 29 at Cottage Grove ...
Kaeding steals win from Sides at Cottage Grove
COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. -- On his 28th birthday, Tim Kaeding stole the cake and ate it, too.
Jason Sides was set to win his second National Sprint Tour race Tuesday Aug. 29 at Cottage Grove Speedway in Cottage Grove, Ore.
And then the birthday boy took the win right at the end.
It was a near repeat of the Bloomington race in early June, when a hungry Paul McMahan led at the 0x00bc-mile bullring until Kaeding used lapped traffic to get by for the win on lap 39 of 40.
Tuesday night, a hungry Sides was leading at the 0x00bc-mile Cottage Grove bullring until Kaeding used lapped traffic to get by for the win on lap 39 of 40.
"It was the same thing," Kaeding said. "A lapped car pinched (Sides) going into turn 1. There was rubber on the top, and I got it to stick. I was surprised it stuck. I'd seen an opportunity to get by and I took it. I knew Sides didn't have much tire left."
Sides was blunt when talking about not getting past Danny Horner.
"That sucked," a disappointed Sides said. "I was on the bottom but I couldn't get under (Horner)."
Finishing behind Kaeding and Sides were Jonathan Allard, McMahan -- who notched his third straight fourth-place run -- and points leader Danny Lasoski.
The race got off to a rocky start when Steve Kinser and Kerry Madsen tangled on the first lap. Kinser, second in points to Lasoski, had to replace a cut right rear tire while Madsen was done for the night.
"I got underneath the 11H (Madsen), and there probably was not enough room," Kinser said.
Kinser had moved up to 11th when he and Jason Meyers got together on lap 18. Meyers was done for the night, while Kinser barely stayed on the lead lap at the end to finish 12th.
"Steve just run us over," Meyers said. "It ended our night."
Kinser took responsibility for the crash, which saw his car spin in midair before landing outside of turn 1.
"I started to go by him, and I thought I had him cleared," Kinser said. "I didn't, and I ran over his left front. I didn't mean to hit him, but I did."
While Kinser struggled, Lasoski had his own problems.
On lap 10, the already damaged lapped car of Braeden Etchison bounced off the frontstretch wall, and slid down into Allard. Allard, in turn, bounced into Lasoski. The contact sent Lasoski spinning numerous times as the yellow came out.
"It was going round and round," Lasoski said. "It bent the steering. I couldn't hardly drive it after that. We definitely had a way better car than fifth, but I couldn't turn anymore. I just had to salvage the night."
Sides took the initial lead while Kaeding used a three-wide move to grab second from Stevie Smith, who was down to fifth by the end of lap 2.
Smith quickly moved back up, taking third on lap 3. He took second from Kaeding on lap 11, and took the lead from Sides in traffic on lap 17.
Moments later, Smith rolled to a stop off turn 4 while Meyers and Kinser spun in turn 1.
"I slowed down a little, and (Smith) got around me," Sides said. "It looked like he broke a rear end. I saw sparks shooting out on the backstretch."
Kaeding acknowledged Smith -- who left before the race finished -- was strong.
"Something gave way on his car, because it was shooting sparks," Kaeding said. "Stevie would have been hard to beat. He was a lot quicker than both Jason and I."
Once the race restarted, Sides settled into a comfortable lead as the front two pulled away from Allard.
In the final laps, Kaeding stalked Sides and looked for a way past. After several close attempts, Kaeding finally got by shortly before the white flag fell.
"I knew he was there," Sides said. "I was just trying to run my race. What are you supposed to do? My car was really good. I just got screwed by lapped traffic. But I've been there too so I know what it's like. It's just hard when wins are so hard to come by."
Sides, who ran at Cottage Grove in late July during Northwest Speedweek, was asked if he was more pleased with second or frustrated by coming up short.
"I'm frustrated," he said without hesitation. "When you lead that many laps and don't win, you should be frustrated. My car was good from the start of the night."
Kaeding admitted to some regret about snatching the win.
"It does (feel bad)," Kaeding said. "Jason's a great guy. I wish it would have been someone else, but that's racing. Jason wanted to win really bad, and I wanted to win really bad. He couldn't do anything more than he was doing."
Kaeding couldn't do much either than he was doing, either.
"Our car was getting a little better at the end," the NST victory leader said. "Jason was keeping cautious, since he didn't want to catch traffic too quick."
Behind the front two, Allard notched his first NST top-three.
"It feels good," Allard said. "We want to take it slow and easy, getting some top-fives and top-threes. Now it's time to be consistent. I was just trying to make sure I saved my tires. I didn't have the car early to run hard."
With his car improving later, what might have happened with a late caution?
"You can't pass on rubber well, but I would have tried something," Allard said. "Maybe I would have had a chance if Jason and Tim got to racing each other."
Trophy dashes were won by Smith and Sides, with Smith choosing to start on the inside pole for the main event. Both drivers gave their dash trophies to the young fans who drew their starting position pills.
Heat races were won by Roger Crockett, Kinser and Madsen. Meyers was the fastest of 25 qualifiers with a track record time of 10.000 seconds, his first fast time of the year.
NST teams next race Sept. 5 at Kings Speedway in Hanford, Calif. Following that, the series races Sept. 15 and 16 at Sweetwater Speedway in Rock Springs, Wyo.