Tim Kaeding Oval Nationals Friday summary

'TK' Runs Second in Second Oval Nationals Prelim LAKE PERRIS, CA (November 2) -- Tim Kaeding has been riding an emotional rollercoaster this week at the 12th Annual Budweiser Oval Nationals Presented by Temecula Valley Pipe & Supply at ...

'TK' Runs Second in Second Oval Nationals Prelim

LAKE PERRIS, CA (November 2) -- Tim Kaeding has been riding an emotional rollercoaster this week at the 12th Annual Budweiser Oval Nationals Presented by Temecula Valley Pipe & Supply at Perris Auto Speedway.

Although he was the fastest driver in Wednesday's practice session, he was only the 22nd-fastest qualifier and finished 15th in the "A" Feature on opening night. Kaeding turned his and Tom Rolfe Racing's situation completely around Friday with a runner-up run in the main event.

"We were definitely better than last night," Tim said. "We got to the track tonight and found a couple of things wrong with the car. They were mechanical things, so we fixed that and got things better inside the cockpit. We changed everything and went back to a standard setup. We got all the adjustments out of the car so I couldn't mess it up any more. Then we just went out there and we were really quick all night. To go from 22nd-quick to second-quick from one night to the next is really good. The track was even slicker tonight than it was Thursday so, for us to do that well in qualifying, was the beginning of a good night. We were really happy about that."

Kaeding, who started outside the third row in only his third non-winged sprint car race at Perris Auto Speedway, came close to beating feature winner Jesse Hockett.

"We passed him a few times," Tim said. "He was just basically blocking and I was trying to get in on the top and drive underneath him. When we got by him one time, the yellow came out right as we got by him, and I said, 'You've got to be kidding me.' We got by him a couple times after that and he got back by us. He was better than we were; he got down the straightaways and through the corners a little bit better. I was just happy to come out with a second-place finish. The biggest thing in my mind was to pick up as many points as possible."

Kaeding is pleased with his team's turnaround and can't wait to start Saturday's $30,000-to-win main event.

"We went from 15th to fourth in points and they invert the top six in points, so we'll start outside the second row (next to Hockett)," Tim said. "It's a 40-lap race so, for the first 20 I'm going to cruise around and not let too many cars by me. Then I'll go from there and start running the guys down.

"It would definitely be a big victory for us if we won. I've won a lot of prestigious races, but not the prestigious big-money shows. Hopefully, I can put 40 good laps together and we can end up on the front stretch. It would be great for the whole team. We've come so close; we've run second so many times in the non-winged cars. We're right there; we just need that little bit more to get to get to victory lane. We're just going to go out and do what we usually do, which is have fun, and put the car up front like it should be all night. We want the big trophy this time, not like the little ones we have. I might actually sleep with the check if they give a big one."

-credit: trr

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About this article
Series USAC
Drivers Jesse Hockett , Tim Kaeding