Kansas: Race report, Kaeding wins tite

KAEDING CLAIMS SILVER CROWN TITLE AT KANSAS; PIERCE WINS FASTEST SILVER CROWN RACE IN HISTORY! Aaron Pierce won the battle, but Bud Kaeding won the war Saturday at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan. Pierce led 65 of the 67...

KAEDING CLAIMS SILVER CROWN TITLE AT KANSAS; PIERCE WINS FASTEST SILVER CROWN RACE IN HISTORY!

Aaron Pierce won the battle, but Bud Kaeding won the war Saturday at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan.

Pierce led 65 of the 67 laps in the "KansasSpeedway.com 100" at the 1.5-mile track, while a fourth-place finish for Bud Kaeding clinched the title by 44 points over Brian Tyler.

Pierce, the event's polesitter, took the lead on Lap 2 and led until Lap 53 when Chilean Pablo Donoso led for the first time in his career. Pierce retook the lead from Donoso on Lap 54, and was never challenged thereafter.

Soon after losing the lead, Donoso was black-flagged -- due to spilling liquids from the rear of the car -- for several laps. His failure to comply with the flag ceased the scoring of his car after 62 laps, and he was credited with eighth.

Jay Drake picked up second, but he was unable to challenge Pierce, who drove the No. 26 Sam Pierce Chevrolet/Fatheadz Riley/C&R to his second win of the season. He finished ahead of Wayne Reutimann Jr. -- who led the opening lap after starting eighth -- Kaeding and Thiago Medeiros.

Pierce now owns the speed record for Silver Crown qualifying (174.295 mph, Chicagoland) and race (159.211 mph, Kansas). He also won the race at Chicagoland. Both victories have come during NASCAR Nextel Cup visits to the track during the same weekend.

Kaeding suffered problems all weekend. The team replaced the electrical system Saturday morning, and the car bellowed small amounts of smoke midway through the race.

But Kaeding's only title challenger -- Tyler -- suffered worse fate. The Parma, Mich. native, who passed Kaeding for position just moments after the start, began backpedaling around Lap 20 and fell out of competition after completing 30 laps, the victim of overheating problems.

Said Kaeding moments after pulling into Victory Lane to celebrate the championship: "My dad has won a lot of championships out in California, and I've learned a lot from him, chasing points and not letting that get to you. Before the race, I was as nervous as heck, just because we've had problems all weekend. I tried to stay near Brian when he passed me, but when he fell out, I just laid back."

Pierce was third in points, while Reutimann and two-time reigning champion Dave Steele were fourth and fifth in the final standings.

<pre> FINAL USAC SILVER CROWN SERIES STANDINGS (Series presented by K & N Engineering)

1.  Bud Kaeding         665
2.  Brian Tyler         621
3.  Aaron Pierce        570
4.  Wayne Reutimann     522
5.  Dave Steele         508
6.  Josh Wise           408
7.  Jay Drake           402
8.  Tim Barber          348
9.  Bryn Gohn           336
10. Pete Shepherd III   324

-credit: usac

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Series USAC
Drivers Dave Steele , Brian Tyler , Bud Kaeding , Jay Drake , Tim Barber , Aaron Pierce , Josh Wise , Pablo Donoso , Wayne Reutimann , Pete Shepherd , Bryn Gohn