Bud Kaeding wins at Richmond

Bud Kaeding won tonight's Richmond Times-Dispatch 100 USAC Silver Crown race at Richmond International Raceway. Only five cars, out of a starting field of 14, were running at the end, with just three of those on the lead lap. Only two of the ...

Bud Kaeding won tonight's Richmond Times-Dispatch 100 USAC Silver Crown race at Richmond International Raceway. Only five cars, out of a starting field of 14, were running at the end, with just three of those on the lead lap. Only two of the victims of high attrition really mattered to the winner: Josh Wise who dominated the first 19 laps before suddenly fading, and Dave Steele who led the next 60 until his machine lost its edge and eventually fell out. Wise held on for fifth place, albeit seven laps back, while Steele's run ended with just under 20 to go.

Kaeding first took the lead on the 69th lap, forcing his way under Brian Tyler entering Turn 1, but the pass was called back when the yellow came out before the lap was scored. When the green came out, he repeated the move and took command for good on lap 77. But he was wary.

"We got the lead, Kaeding said, "and the first thing that went through my head was that the last two leaders - Josh Wise and Dave Steele - seemed to have problems. It seemed to be coming our way. We were just fortunate enough that luck lasted until the end of the race.

"Winning here at Richmond is awesome. You just see some of the great racers who have won here: Jeff Gordon, Casey Kahne, Tony Stewart, guys like that. It's a great feeling to leave here today with a win here at Richmond."

The final trio of Kaeding, Jay Drake and Brian Tyler (last night's Sprint winner) were nose to tail for much of the final 40 laps, with Tyler leading through Lap 76 and Kaeding the remainder. Drake passed Tyler for second with 15 laps to go, and set his sights on Kaeding. It looked like Drake had him on a final restart with two laps to go, squeezing low into Turn 1 and emerging in front. But Drake was too low and too fast, and slid up into the grey, letting Kaeding reclaim the lead.

"My car was picking up a little bit of a miss that was slowly getting worse and worse as the race went on," Kaeding explained. "The last thing I wanted to see was Jay get by me on that last lap. My motor kind of hesitated and Jay slipped under me. He got up high, real high, coming off sideways there. I just had to turn down and turn off. Of course, I panicked a little bit when my motor didn't take off.

"But our team succeeded and it did take off and we wound up winning the race, which is phenomenal for the whole Leffler-BK racing team. I can't say enough about them. It's amazing to see these guys putting all their efforts behind me.

This is Kaeding's third win in the USAC Silver Crown series, and his second in a row. He holds the lead in the series standings, with Brian Tyler and Dave Steele second and third.

The next Silver Crown race will be the USG Fiberock 100 at Chicagoland Speedway, on July 7th.

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Series USAC
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Tony Stewart , Dave Steele , Brian Tyler , Bud Kaeding , Jay Drake , Josh Wise , Tim Richmond