Kings: Race report

Kaeding makes history as Outlaws open 25th Anniversary season. HANFORD, CA (February 21) -- Tim Kaeding ushered in the O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series' 25th Anniversary Season Friday at Kings Speedway with a feat never before accomplished. The...

Kaeding makes history as Outlaws open 25th Anniversary season.

HANFORD, CA (February 21) -- Tim Kaeding ushered in the O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series' 25th Anniversary Season Friday at Kings Speedway with a feat never before accomplished. The defending "King of California" became the first non-regular to win a season opener with sprint car racing's premier series.

Kaeding, who started outside the second row, passed Mark Kinser early in the 10th lap on his way to winning his first O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series "A" Feauture.

"Man, this is unbelieveable!" Kaeding said. "This car's fast already, and this is just the start -- there's more to come. I have to thank my crew chief, Rod Tiner, and everyone on the ABC Ready-Mix team. They gave me a great car all night long, and all I had to do was get in and steer it. We're just going to go to Perris (Auto Speedway) tomorrow night and have fun just like we did tonight, and hopefully the fans come down and support us again."

Kaeding won an O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series Preliminary Feature, driving the #7T ABC Ready-Mix sprinter for the first time last September 6th during the Gold Cup Race of Champions at Silver Dollar Speedway. Surprisingly, Kaeding was the second-fastest qualifier in each program. He was only .005 seconds off Danny Lasoski's pace-setting lap around Hanford's semi-banked, 1/3-mile oval.

Kaeding finished fourth in the First Heat Race and earned the right to start the 30-lap main event outside the second row by following Kinser across the finish line in the First Dash Race.

A front-straightaway crash involving heat-race winners Garrett Ishi and Brian Coelho, along with Toni Lutar and Mike Faria brought out the red flag and delayed the start of the "A" Feature. The collision turned Ishi's and Coelho's cars over, leaving only Faria able to restart.

Kinser, who won O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series championships in 1996 and 1999, raced around his cousin, pole-sitter Steve Kinser, as the green flag replaced the red. Steve steered his #11 Quaker State Maxim into the low groove between turns one and two early in the opening lap, but was unable to pass Mark for the lead. Jason Meyers lost sixth place when he hit the outside retaining wall and flipped down the front stretch, nullifying the original start.

Mark Kinser drove the #5M Maxim into the lead again when the race resumed. Kaeding took the high line through turn one to pass Steve Kinser, the defending and 17-time series champion, for second place early in lap three.

Mark Kinser was three car-lengths ahead of Kaeding when he entered lapped traffic early in the seventh lap. Jac Haudenschild steered the #5 Wirtgen Maxim into the low groove between the first and second corners to pass Lasoski for sixth place several seconds later.

Kaeding almost took the lead with an inside move between turns one and two early in the ninth lap. He used the high groove in the second corner to execute the winning pass the next time around.

Tim Shaffer stopped on the back straightaway when the #83 Beef Packers Eagle broke a throttle linkage late in the 12th lap. Shaffer's crew was unable to repair the car in time for him to restart.

"The Wild Child" raced into fifth place early in lap 14, passing Tommy Tarlton deep in turn two. Sammy Swindell, who started inside the ninth row, took the high line around Lasoski and Tarlton between the third and fourth corners to take over sixth place several seconds later.

Kaeding was a straightaway ahead of Mark Kinser when he caught lapped traffic three laps later.

"B" Feature winner Joey Saldana steered the #17 Eagle Raceway Eagle to the deepest point in turn four to pass "The Dude" for sixth place late in the 24th lap. The 1996 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year lost the position when he stopped on the front straightaway with a broken front end several seconds later, however.

Haudenschild and Swindell took advantage of the caution period as the race resumed. "The Wild Child" passed Steve Kinser for third place in turn three, then Swindell took over fifth place by passing Daryn Pittman in the fourth corner.

Steve Kinser and Swindell, who have combined to win 20 of the 25 O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series championships, collided in turn four while battling for fourth place late in lap 28. "The King of the Outlaws" maintained the position while Pittman and 19th-starting Craig Dollansky passed Swindell.

Mark Kinser was racing down the back straightaway when Kaeding took the checkered flag. Haudenschild finished in third place, ahead of Steve Kinser, Pittman, Dollansky, Swindell, Lasoski, Donny Schatz and Brad Furr.

Engine problems in the #15 Parker Stores J&J forced Schatz to take one lap at the end of the qualifying session. Although the 1997 Rookie of the Year was the 11th-fastest qualifier, he was scored 17th. Schatz won the First Heat Race and raced into ninth place in the main event.

Dollansky was battling Schatz for the lead in the First Heat Race when fuel line problems forced him into the pits. The 2000 World of Outlaws Gumout Series champion finished third in the "B" Feature and sixth in the "A" Feature.

Brent Kaeding, Tim's father, has won four O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series "A" Features. Mechanical problems in his #69 kept the elder Kaeding from taking a qualifying lap.

-WoO

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tim Shaffer , Mark Kinser , Danny Lasoski , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Sammy Swindell , Jason Meyers , Joey Saldana , Toni Lutar , Jac Haudenschild , Tim Kaeding