Sides Scores First NST Win at Sedalia The fact Jason Sides scored his first National Sprint Tour win Wednesday, June 21 was emotional enough. Making the win in Sedalia, MO more emotional was the fact this was the first NST race held ...
Sides Scores First NST Win at Sedalia
The fact Jason Sides scored his first National Sprint Tour win Wednesday, June 21 was emotional enough.
Making the win in Sedalia, MO more emotional was the fact this was the first NST race held since series president and founder Fred Brownfield passed away the previous Friday in Elma, WA.
Sides led all 30 laps from the pole and held off event promoter Danny Lasoski, Jason Meyers, Tim Kaeding and Joey Saldana for the win.
After the race, Sides pulled to a stop along the front stretch and sat for a few minutes. He got out the car and walked around to the other side, where Fred Rannard Jr. -- who has announced races for Brownfield Promotions since its inception -- was there to greet him.
Before being able to talk, Sides was overcome by emotion and looked at a decal on the side of his car. The decal, on every NST car, honored Brownfield.
"Fred was a great man," Sides said after several minutes. "This is for Fred."
Sides thanked Steve Kinser's team for helping install a new motor. Ironically, Kinser himself needed a new motor at the end of the race.
Sides and Kinser won trophy dashes, with Sides electing to start the main event on the inside front row.
Early on, Sides pulled away to a comfortable lead over Kinser. At midway, Kinser and Jason Meyers caught Sides in traffic, with Kinser unsuccessfully looking low a couple of times for the lead.
Lasoski got by Meyers for third on a restart after Shane Stewart blew a tire on lap 19, but in the meantime Sides opened a gap on Kinser again.
On the final restart on lap 27, Lasoski passed Kinser. In the end, no one had anything for Sides, who picked up his first 410 win since the 2004 Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway.
"That was luck, that's all that was," Sides said. "I'd rather be lucky than good any time."
Sides liked how the title 'NST winner' sounded.
"That's nice," he said. "Everybody needs to win now and then. We'd won some 360 races, but not 410 races."
Lasoski, who was among those congratulating the winner, knew Sides was fast out front.
"I knew if he got out on me, it would have been tough," Lasoski said. "I wanted another yellow."
Meyers also gave his kudos to Sides. "Jason ran and hid from us," Meyers said.
Kaeding had concerns about being able to finish the race.
"Steve blew up, and we broke our motor halfway through the race," Kaeding said. "It started shaking bad on the last restart. I was trying not to run Steve over and tear more stuff up."
Kinser gamely hung on for 10th, despite putting up heavy smoke.
"We dropped a cylinder," he said. "We tore the top end out of it somehow."
Without the motor problem, would Kinser have been able to do something with Sides on the last restart?
"I don't know," Kinser said. "He was getting a little looser, but I wasn't the best in the world."
Brownfield was on the thoughts of all involved with Wednesday's race. Drivers lined up for a moment of silence, as Rannard gave an emotional memoriam. During the four-wide salute to the fans, Sides dropped back to create a 'missing man' formation.
"This was a big deal without Fred," Sides said. "The NST was the only way to go. It was started to be something where everyone can get along and have fun."
Lasoski said Brownfield was on the minds of all. "We were all here with heavy hearts," Lasoski said.
Meyers gave kudos to everyone, including Brownfield's daughter Carrie who helped run the show.
"It was a great job by the whole NST crew," Meyers said. "They stepped it up, and the teams and the NST crew. Fred was with us. We were here with heavy hearts. We're proud of Carrie being here. Tonight was a sign of what Fred built and his legacy."
Kinser was proud of everyone getting through the night.
"I'm sure Fred would have wanted it," Kinser said. "Fred was a good friend of mine, and our families are friends. It was a tough week for all of us."
Kaeding kept waiting for Brownfield to show up.
"It was different without Fred here," Kaeding said. "It was not the same. It was a hard night for everybody. I started crying on the front stretch."
Heat races were won by Tyler Walker, Trevor Green and Paul McMahan.
Saldana set fast time with 16.216 seconds.
National Sprint Tour is next in action at Winner Speedway in Winner, SD July 1.