Kaeding Returns to NST Northwest Speedweek Winner's Circle Brent Kaeding returned to the Northern Sprint Tour's Northwest Speedweek winner's circle on Friday, July 15th, by taking the win in the first night of the 9th Annual "Evergreen State ...
Kaeding Returns to NST Northwest Speedweek Winner's Circle
Brent Kaeding returned to the Northern Sprint Tour's Northwest Speedweek winner's circle on Friday, July 15th, by taking the win in the first night of the 9th Annual "Evergreen State Sprint Challenge" at Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma, WA where 54 cars vied for a shot at the evening feature event win.
Winning his third race of the 2005 version of Speedweek, Kaeding had a battle on his from the drop of the green flag to waving of the checkered flag. "That first lap was a lot of fun," said the Campbell, CA based driver in reference to the fact that he and Steve Kent had swapped the lead twice on the opening lap. "It's tough to really race on a track that's so fast. There's so much difference in being in and out of clean air."
"I goofed up there once and Steve got past, but I got lucky with the yellow and got the lead back. It's good racing on these larger tracks and Steve and Brad (Furr) run real hard on them."
Starting on the pole Kent, of Fresno, CA took the lead, lost it on the back straight, had it back in turn three and then Kaeding went to the lead at the line. Kaeding had started to open a small gap between him and the field when Nick Enberg of Burlington, WA and Everett, WA driver Jayme Barnes got together and spun coming off turn two. At the same time, Travis Jacobson of Lake Stevens, WA, running the high line through the corner, tagged the wall and went for a hard flip that put his car out for the night.
Kent made his first try at the proverbial slide job on the lap 4 restart but didn't quite have the momentum needed to take the lead, losing the race out of turn two.
For the next ten laps the field opened slightly with Randy Van Aagten of Shelton, WA and San Jose, CA's Furr running hot and close with Van Aagten taking third from Furr on lap seven. Van Aagten slowly started to close the gap to Kent with his sights set on second place but his good run came to a halt on lap 15 when he spun in turn four and was relegated to the rear of the pack.
On the restart, Kent made the picture perfect slide job on Kaeding coming off of turn two but as he sped off in the lead Steve Vague of Kirkland, WA brought out the yellow flag with a turn four spin to cancel Kent's gain.
With Kaeding in front again, the red flag flew two laps later when fourth place runner Mitch Olson of Puyallup, WA went around in the fourth turn and was hit hard head on by the hard charging Van Aagten. The hard hit put both Olson and Van Aagten on the trailer for the rest of the night.
When action resumed, Kaeding began to open a lead gaining a 10-car length lead at times over Kent and the field as it stretched out around the track.
During the race, four time NST champion Roger Crockett of Eugene, OR had been working forward from his 13 place starting spot and he was closing the gap to Furr's rear nerf bar. T.J. Winningham of Gold Hill, OR helped the cause when he spun with just two laps left in the 25-lap event to bring out the yellow flag, collecting Gary Taylor of Snohomish, WA in the process.
The closing of the ranks gave Kent another shot at the lead but the Kaeding was not about to let him pass. Both Furr and Crockett made hard charges exiting turn four to the checkered flag with Furr losing 2econd by half a car length with Crockett just a few feet behind in the crowd pleasing finis.
"Brent and I have been trading paint for quite a few years," commented Kent. "We were racing hard and clean and I knew when that last yellow came out the slide job was not gonna happen again."
"We've been struggling all this week and this is not the car we wanted to run here but it worked out pretty good. The high line was the fastest and I wish we could have been able to run even higher. Maybe tomorrow night."
"We were there," said Furr, "but we lost a plug wire late in the race and we were only running with seven dogs. At the end I knew Crockett was there but I managed to hold on to the finish. We have some time on the track now so I think with some adjustments we can be there tomorrow night."
Taylor took the B-Feature win, moving to 2nd on lap 6, taking the lead on lap 10 from Jeff Hodgson of St Albert, AB and then opening a quarter lap lead at the finish. Barnes captured second place after getting past Hodgson mid-race of the 15-lap event and keeping him at bay at the finish.
Shawn Rice of Puyallup, WA won battles with both Billy Nutter of Central Point, OR and Jacobson to capture fourth. Jacobson made the feature event via a scratch after taking the alternate spot from Nutter in the final laps.
Rick Fauver of Everett, WA led from flag to flag in the C-Feature event, maintaining a comfortable lead throughout most of the race. Livermore, CA driver Chuck Gurney, Jr., made a valiant effort for the lead on the white flag lap but was unable to get by on the high side.
Brad Holmes of Cosmopolis, WA finished third with Adam Main out of Grass Valley, CA in fourth. One of the best battles was for fifth place with Richard Brace, Jr. of Auburn, CA edging out Cottage Grove, OR rookie contender Danny Horner.
Heat race action saw Travis Ritz of Langley, BC take the win in the opening heat. Dean "Kiwi" Alexander of Auckland, NZ and racing out of Hanford, CA won the night's second heat.
The final two heats went to Vague in heat three and Winningham in the fourth and final heat.
Kent lead the way in the dash to take the A-Feature pole followed by Kaeding, Van Aagton Furr and Olson. Nick Engberg was unable to start the dash but made the call for the main event.
Heat 1 (10 laps): Travis Rutz, Travis Jacobson, Marc Makay, Nick Engberg, Jayme Barnes, Gary Taylor, Garrett Ishii, Brad Holmes, Herman Klein, Derek Ingalls(DNS).
Heat 2 (10 laps): Dean Alexander, Shawn Smith, Randy Van Aagten, Roger Crockett, Doug Machado, Rick Fauver, Jeff Hodgson, Danny Horner, Josh Dewitt, Wayne Williams.
Heat 3 (10 laps): Steve Vague, Mitch Olson, Brent Kaeding, Barry Martinez, Paul Zimmerly, Brian Kirkpatrick, Billy Nutter, Steven Tiner, Dale Smith, Steve Martin.
Heat 4 (10 laps): T.J. Winningham, Steve Kent, Brad Furr, Randy Pierce, Shawn Rice, Chuck Gurney, Jr. Chris Adams, Henry Van Dam, Steve Witte, Glenn Borden, Jr.
Dash (6 laps): Kent, Kaeding, Van Aagten, Furr, Olson, Engberg(DNS).
1st Non-Qual (8 laps): Randy Rogers, Adam Main, Danny Kirkpatrick, Joe Ramaker, Marc Huson(DNS), Jared Ridge(DNS), Rob McNulty(DNS).
2nd Non-Qual (8 laps): Richard Brace, Jr., David Gilmore, Jay Cole, Rob Johnson, Jeff Thompson, Richie Peterson(DNS), Dallas Zuniga(DNS).
C-Main (10 laps): Fauver, Gurney, Jr., Holmes, Main, Brace, Horner, Cole, Olson, D. Smith, Witte, Gilmore, Thompson, Rogers, Peterson, Martin, McNulty, Makay, D. Kirkpatrick.
B-Main (15 laps): Taylor, Barnes, Hodgson, Rice, Jacobson, Nutter, Klein, Ishii, B. Kirkpatrick, Machado, Gurney, Jr., Van Dam, Tiner, Adams, Dewitt, Zimmerly, Fauver, Borden, Jr., Williams(DNS)
A-Main (25 laps): Keading, Kent, Furr, Crockett, S. Smith, Hodgson, Barnes, Winningham, Rutz, Taylor, Makay, Pierce, Vague, Alexander, Rice, Olson, Van Aagten, Engberg, Jacobson, Martinez.