Blown Tire Costs Kaeding Top-Five Finish in 'Vegas LAS VEGAS, NV (October 27) -- Lady Luck didn't smile -- or even wink -- at Tim Kaeding during Saturday's USAC/CRA Non-Winged Sprint Car event at the Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor ...
Blown Tire Costs Kaeding Top-Five Finish in 'Vegas
LAS VEGAS, NV (October 27) -- Lady Luck didn't smile -- or even wink -- at Tim Kaeding during Saturday's USAC/CRA Non-Winged Sprint Car event at the Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Instead, the half-mile oval's tough, sandy racing surface wore a hole in the right rear tire on the #10 Tom Rolfe Trucking Maxim and cost him a top-five finish. "TK" was in third place when the tire lost air pressure with four laps remaining.
"The tire just got a hole in it," said Tim, who was credited with 21st place. "It was a rubber-down deal all night. A lot of guys had tire issues, and we just happened to be one of them. We had a good night though."
Kaeding, racing in only the seventh non-winged sprint car race of his career, was the fourth-fastest qualifier in the 40-car field. The 2002 Golden State Challenge King of California Series champion put on a show in the Fourth Heat Race. Starting on the fourth row of the 10-lap race, "TK" made his way into third place only to spin out. After racing past seven cars to regain third place, he spun again. Kaeding raced into third place a third time and, despite Brett Mellenberndt passing him, was one of only two drivers to qualify for the "A" Feature from the first four rows of the heats.
"We qualified well," Tim said. "Our heat race was funny at times. We went from the back to the front three times and we still transferred, so we were pleased with that. It was the best part of the night for us.
"We thought we were going to have a decent main event, but we had a shock go bad and the tires didn't last. They had 40 sprint cars and 35 midgets, and the track took rubber from the top all the way down to the bottom. It was definitely a struggle to get by anybody. We got lucky and had the car set up just right in the heat race, but the tires just wouldn't make it in the feature."
Although Kaeding was unable to finish the race, car owner Tom Rolfe couldn't have been happier with his effort.
"Tim was the most exciting driver there," Rolfe said. "It was incredible how he raced from the back to the front three times in the heat. In the feature, the track just took rubber and it was like asphalt."