Another Instant Classic: Jason Sides Wins Thriller over Tim Kaeding at Houston Raceway Park Baytown, TX-March 13, 2010-Jason Sides drives as hard as he can anytime he takes to the race track, whether it's for hot laps, time trials, a heat race,...
Another Instant Classic: Jason Sides Wins Thriller over Tim Kaeding at Houston Raceway Park
Baytown, TX-March 13, 2010-Jason Sides drives as hard as he can anytime he takes to the race track, whether it's for hot laps, time trials, a heat race, a dash or a main event. On Saturday night at Houston Raceway Park in Baytown, Texas, he drove 40 of the hardest and best laps he has ever turned as he and Tim Kaeding put on a phenomenal show at the ¼-mile bullring trading slide jobs lap after lap as they worked their way through traffic. In the end, Sides came out on top in the thrilling battle to win The Texas Showdown which was his first victory of 2010 and the fifth of his World of Outlaws career.
While there were only two official lead changes at the line, Sides and Kaeding swapped the top spot countless times over the course of the 40-lapper, sometimes multiple times on the same lap as they weaved in and out of traffic in an event that had just one caution on the third lap and went the remaining 37 circuits green-to-checkers. Sides took the checkered flag just 0.160 seconds ahead of Kaeding.
"It was a great race," said Sides. "Tim (Kaeding) was there the whole time and the track really got good and wide where you could run the bottom and the top made for a great race as well running up there. I felt like it was our race to lose and we kept plugging away and plugging away and came out on top. I am so proud of this team and everything that helps us."
Sides led at the start from the pole in the Wetherington Tractor Service Maxim with Kaeding, who started third quickly jumping into second and challenging him in the early going. The only caution of the night flew on the third lap setting up a double file restart with Sides choosing the low line. He used a strong restart to jump to a lead, though Kaeding was able to track him down just a couple of laps later as the pair entered lapped traffic.
In traffic is where they began their battle that raged for the remainder of the 40-lap contest. A couple of times they split a lapped car and ran side-by-side a number of times as the jockeyed for the top spot. Kaeding officially took the lead on the 10th lap in traffic, with Sides keeping pace with him for the next nine circuit and charging around him on the high side of the track on the 20th lap to take the lead officially for the final time.
"You try not to give it away and hope that you can get back by or get back in traffic," noted Sides. "You watch for opportunities where he isn't. If he goes to the top, then you got the bottom and vice versa. It was good we got in lapped traffic and that got us bottled up a little bit. We were able to get back by him."
Sides is one of just three drivers that has finished in the Top-10 in all seven World of Outlaws events this season, joining current series point leader Joey Saldana and Jason Meyers in that category. Sides has finished in the Top-Five in five of those events as well and is currently fourth in the series championship standings.
"It shows that our team is capable of running up front with these guys," he said after his win. "Hopefully we can keep plugging away and stay up there. It's been a great start to the season. I'm proud of everyone on the team and very thankful to everyone that helps us out."
Kaeding wound up second in the DTR Transport KPC to earn his third Top-Five finish of the season. After getting caught up in a couple of accidents last weekend in his home state of California, he was glad to finish and be in contention for the win at Houston Raceway Park, a track he had not competed at for a number of years.
"We have struggled the last few races and it was more racing incidents than anything, so to get a solid second place run tonight is great for the team," explained Kaeding. "Jason (Sides) raced me clean and I raced him clean and we battled hard and we put on a great show for the fans in my eyes."
Kaeding was a little surprised that there was only one caution in the 40-lapper, though he used lapped traffic to his advantage to track down Jason Sides a couple of times, after the latter jumped out to a lead in open track.
"As slick as it started getting toward the end of the race, I thought there would be a yellow or two," stated Kaeding. "There were a lot of good cars out there and I didn't have any problems with that. We made it through the night and had a good night. Everybody had fun and it's exciting. I have a great team behind me and now it's my job to keep the thing going straight and have some fun."
After getting caught up in an early accident on Friday night at Lone Star Speedway which relegated him to a 14th-place finish, four-time and defending World of Outlaws champion, Donny Schatz turned in a very solid third-place effort on Saturday night in the Armor All J&J. It was his fifth Top-Five finish of the season.
"We've just been in the wrong spot at the wrong times lately,'" Schatz said. "It's good to have a strong run like this tonight and it's fun to get in the car every night when it's fast and rolling around like we had it here. We'll just keep working at it and see if we can pick up a win next weekend."
Joey Saldana finished fourth in the Budweiser Maxim to earn his seventh Top-10 of the season and extended his lead in the series standings to 23 markers over Jason Meyers as he chases his first series title.
Paul McMahan came home fifth in the Great Clips Maxim for Kasey Kahne Racing to wrap up a very strong Texas Two-Step Weekend. Lance Dewease was sixth in his debut at Houston Raceway Park aboard the Advanced Developments J&J. Terry McCarl was seventh piloting the Big Game Treestands Maxim. Lucas Wolfe, who began the night by setting a new track record in qualifying, was eighth in the Allebach Racing Maxim. Danny Lasoski was ninth in the Casey's General Store JEI. Jason Meyers rounded out the Top-10 in the GLR Investments KPC and moved into second in the series standings in the process.
The World of Outlaws return to action on Friday, March 19 and Saturday, March 20 at Volunteer Speedway in Bulls Gap, Tennessee for Kasey's King of Bulls Gap Presented by Budweiser.
HOUSTON RACEWAY PARK NOTES
*FAST QUALIFIER: Lucas Wolfe paced the 29 cars that took time with a record setting AMB i.t. timed lap around the semi-banked 1/4-mile oval at 11.561 seconds at 77.848 mph. For his qualifying effort, Wolfe earned five bonus points. The next four fastest qualifiers also earned bonus points, including: Kraig Kinser (4), Bill Rose (3), Joey Saldana (2) and Jason Sides (1).
*LONE STAR SPEEDWAY QUALIFYING WINNERS: Sam Hafertepe Jr., Lance Dewease and Tim Kaeding won heat races. Jason Sides won the dash. Terry McCarl won the B-Main.
* FEATURE WINNERS: There have been seven World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series A-Feature events held in 2010. The winners include: Jason Meyers (The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Thunderbowl Raceway), Craig Dollansky (Lone Star Speedway), Steve Kinser (Volusia Speedway Park), Joey Saldana (Thunderbowl Raceway), Donny Schatz (Volusia Speedway Park) and Jason Sides (Houston Raceway Park).
*1/4--MILE WINNERS: Houston Raceway Park is a semi-banked 1/4-mile oval. The World of Outlaws have raced once this season on a track that size. The winner was Jason Sides (Houston Raceway Park).