KAEDING HOLDS OFF KENT FOR EXCITING THUNDERBOWL VICTORY "BK takes over NARC point lead from Tiner" Tulare , CA (May 29) . . . Brent Kaeding held off the open wheel attack of Steve Kent in a great sprint car battle to win Friday's ...
KAEDING HOLDS OFF KENT FOR EXCITING THUNDERBOWL VICTORY "BK takes over NARC point lead from Tiner"
Tulare , CA (May 29) . . . Brent Kaeding held off the open wheel attack of Steve Kent in a great sprint car battle to win Friday's exciting NARC-Budweiser Shoot Out Series Black & White Classic headliner at the Tulare Thunderbowl.
It was the 10-time Northern Auto Racing Club champion's third victory of the season, and 133rd of his stellar career. His winning efforts in the 30-lap contest came aboard Al Peterson's potent Al's Roofing/Kaeding Performance Center Shaver-Maxim.
The victory also earned Kaeding the NARC-Budweiser championship point lead for the first time this season. He overhauled the 11th place finishing Randy Tiner and now leads by a 592-577 point margin.
The first half of the feature left something to be desired, slowed by seven caution flags for minor incidents as the 22-car field jockeyed for position. However, the final 15-laps ran nonstop and easily was worth the price of admission.
Polesitter and Budweiser dash winner Randy Hannagan paced the field until Kaeding passed him on the third circuit. Kent followed suit four laps later, setting the stage for the wild Kaeding vs. Kent shootout.
Hannagan managed to stay within striking distance, until he spun out on lap 14. From that point on, it was a no hold barred open wheel slugfest between Kaeding and Kent.
The two drivers challenged each other on every lap, and at one point traded the lead five times in a three-lap span. Kaeding established a narrow six-car length advantage with only a handful of laps remaining, but slower traffic had other plans.
Kaeding moved up the highest groove on the track, riding the cushion inches from the wall as Kent sliced away down low. The two continued the battle all the way to the checkered, where Kaeding nipped Kent by a two-car length margin.
"I really didn't want to go up to the top of the track," explained Kaeding afterwards. But "I felt Steve was gaining on me and I had no choice. I almost spun out twice."
"It was pretty technical racing out there," he continued. "There were holes and slick spots and rough spots, and you just had to dodge and weave your way around or through them."
Kent's aggressive second place finish took place in Duke McMillen's and Gary Mitchell's Pioneer Concrete-backed Gambler.
"I thought I had Brent's number until I got hung up in lapped traffic," said Kent. "It was a great race. I will take second tonight and try to move up a spot tomorrow."
McMahan, who never trailed the frontrunners by more than eight car lengths, scored third in Roy Bumgarner's TCR sprinter.
"I was enjoying myself out there," McMahan said. "I had the best seat in the house watching those two guys fight it out for the win."
Jason Statler piloted his D.F. Rios Construction Maxim to fourth, chased by the Suburban Propane-labeled TCR driven by Tommy Tarlton.
Australian Peter Murphy, Jimmy Sills, Paul McMahan, Brad Furr, and Lee Brewer rounded out the top ten.
Jason Meyers picked off the 12-lap semi and Randy earned the quick time honors for the third consecutive NARC program.
The heat races were won by Greg DeCaires, B. McMahan, and Furr. RACE RESULTS:
FAST TIME: Randy Hannagan - 13.656 seconds;
KSE RACING PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT (10 laps): Greg DeCaires, Paul McMahan, Peter Murphy, Kevin Pylant, Hannagan, Jason Meyers, Brian Coelho, David Fowler, Lynn Anderson, Danny Porter
LYNCH PRO-FORMANCE PRODUCTS SECOND HEAT (10 laps): Bobby McMahan, Jason Lund, Brent Kaeding, Randy Tiner, Jimmy Sills, Jim Taves, Tommy Tarlton, Gary Willey, Graydon Cross
MALLARD WINGS THIRD HEAT (10 laps): Brad Furr, Steve Coehlo, Jason Statler, Steve Kent, Lee Brewer, Todd Bammer, Lindsey Casto, Anthony Simone, Daniel Hood;
BUDWEISER DASH FOR CASH (6 laps): Hannagan, Kaeding, Kent, Murphy, B. McMahan, Statler, Brewer, Pylant;
SEMI-MAIN EVENT (12 laps): Meyers, Tarlton, Cross, B. Coelho, Taves, Bammer, Simone, Casto, Fowler, Willey, Porter, Anderson, Hood;
30-LAP BUDWEISER SHOOT OUT: Kaeding, Kent, B. McMahan, Statler, Tarlton, Murphy, Sills, P. McMahan, Furr, Brewer, Tiner, Pylant, DeCaires, Taves, B. Coelho, Simone, Cross, Lund, Meyers, Hannagan, Bammer, S. Coelho.
LAP LEADERS: Hannagan 1-3, Kaeding 4-22, Kent 23, Kaeding 24-30.