Kaeding Wins at Davenport, Spoils Night for Two In the end, it was a return to the old days for one of the National Sprint Tour's top teams. But before the Steve Kinser Racing team recorded a 1-2 sweep June 14 at Davenport Speedway in...
Kaeding Wins at Davenport, Spoils Night for Two
In the end, it was a return to the old days for one of the National Sprint Tour's top teams.
But before the Steve Kinser Racing team recorded a 1-2 sweep June 14 at Davenport Speedway in Davenport, Iowa, it appeared one of two drivers might create a fairy tale ending.
Brian Paulus, who has struggled throughout the season just to finish in the top-10, won his dash race Wednesday and led the first 19 laps before finishing eighth.
After Paulus started sliding back, Kerry Madsen had a chance to win in his first race for David Helm's Selma Shell Racing team. The team, which parted ways this week with Lucas Wolfe, had also struggled near the back of the field often this year.
Alas, there was no dream ending. Challenging for the lead on the final restart with two laps to go, Madsen started running out of fuel and ultimately finished sixth.
That allowed Tim Kaeding to score his sixth victory of the year, as teammate Steve Kinser took second in front of Jason Solwold, Jason Meyers and Shane Stewart.
Kaeding won his fifth race of the year June 2, but crashed the next night at Eldora Speedway. Kaeding struggled mightily in last week's four-race stretch, losing the points lead to Danny Lasoski in the process.
"I was glad to get out of Pennsylvania," Kaeding said. "I don't know why we struggled so much. We tried a car, and it didn't work well. When you get a bad car, you get a bad car. You get a good car, you get a good car."
Kaeding ended the Pennsylvania stretch with a new car and finished fourth, then won Wednesday.
"That last race gave me a good confidence boost coming in here," said Kaeding, who was scheduled to leave 6 a.m. Thursday to compete in the Dirt Cup in Washington state. "It feels great to be back on top."
Paulus led until Kaeding got by after a red flag for Tim St. Arnold's flip in turn 3 on lap 17.
"On the restart, I stuck it in hard in turn 1," Kaeding said. "Next lap, it stuck even harder, and I let it slide up in front of him. It's a great feeling to be back in victory circle."
For Paulus, the night was encouraging.
"We've been working on the car all season," Paulus said. "We're finally finding out what this car needs to go fast. We were really good. On that caution, I let the tires cool down too much. We'll work on that.
"We've been off-pace all season," Paulus added. "It's a good confidence boost for us to run up front with the Kinser cars. We've been back around 10th to 15th all season. No disrespect to the guys running there -- we've been running there -- but you're not learning how to win back there. An eighth, it's sad to say, is a good run for us right now. Next time, we need to finish seventh or better."
Once Kaeding got the lead, the win wasn't certain as Madsen lined up on his nerf bar on the last restart.
"It's a shame we ran out of fuel," Madsen said. "We take the green for the restart, and I'm trying to stay right with Tim. Then the car goes bap. It's a shame we didn't finish second, but I'm proud of how we worked as a team. Anytime you come to a series like the NST and have a strong run, it's good."
As Madsen dropped back with fuel issues, Kaeding feared he would be doing the same thing.
"The white flag was coming out, and I was running out of fuel," Kaeding said. "I was lucky I had the lead I did. Another lap to go, and I would have been 10th. I knew we were going to be close (on fuel). I was praying for no more yellows, then we got yellow after yellow."
Two yellows and a red in the second half of the 30-lap feature created fuel concerns for many.
"Everyone was close to running out," Kinser said. "I was pretty good on the first lap of that final restart, but I was having a hard time keeping up on restarts. I couldn't get off turn 4 on the restarts. My biggest problem was I couldn't get going."
Another problem for Kinser was using up his equipment after starting ninth and battling hard with Meyers and Solwold.
"I had to go where nobody else was at," Kinser said of the beginning. "Me and Jason Meyers and Jason Solwold raced hard, and killed our tires. My left rear was blistered. You couldn't get in a rhythm. Everyone was taking each other's rhythm away. That lets the leaders get away from you. We were just killing ourselves, but that's what you do when you're battling for position."
Solwold got ahead of Kinser a couple of times, only to have a caution come out.
"We were good," Solwold said. "We usually do have (good battles). Me and Steve and Jason had three of the fastest cars out there, but then we would catch traffic. It was an exciting race. For a while, third through sixth was all in a ball. Our car was fast."
Solwold set fast time in qualifying with a lap of 17.553 seconds. Heat races were won by Larry Ball, Trevor Green and Stewart. Dashes were won by Paulus and Ball.