Sheboygan race report 2005-06-11

Kaeding Conquers Sheboygan For First World of Outlaws Victory of 2005 Plymouth, WI -- June 11, 2005 -- Tim Kaeding will never be accused of being dull. He lets his car fly around the high side on nearly every track. He prefers it that way. The...

Kaeding Conquers Sheboygan For First World of Outlaws Victory of 2005

Plymouth, WI -- June 11, 2005 -- Tim Kaeding will never be accused of being dull. He lets his car fly around the high side on nearly every track. He prefers it that way. The cushion is his comfort zone.

So it figures that when Kaeding raced to his first World of Outlaws Sprint Series victory of the season Saturday night at Sheboygan County Fair Park, there would be a little drama.

Or a lot of drama. The night was delayed to begin with because a thunderstorm around 5 p.m. dumped buckets of rain on the track. By the time the racing surface was ready for action, the schedule had to be altered in order to meet the track's 11 p.m. curfew.

With 49 cars in the pits and the clock ticking, time trials were tossed out for the first time since July 1990 at Williams Grove. Dashes also were lost in an effort to complete the race. Instead, cars were lined up for five heats by the order in which they drew for time trials. Passing points were used to score the heats and determine the field for the A- and B-mains. Passing points reward drivers for passing cars as well as their finishing position in the heats. Joey Saldana started the fifth heat from the outside of Row 2 and took the checkered flag, earning the pole for the feature as he was aiming to win an Outlaws race at Sheboygan for the second year in a row.

In the 40-lap main event, Saldana charged to the lead at the drop of the green flag while Jason Meyers and Tim Kaeding battled back and forth for second and third before Kaeding finally grabbed the position.

As the leaders started running through traffic, Steve Kinser maneuvered around his son, Kraig, to grab the fourth position on Lap 10. Saldana drove up to the cushion to put cars down a lap and try to maintain his 0.8-second advantage over Kaeding and Meyers.

With the top three running nose-to-tail, Kinser went to work on Meyers, finally slipping past on the inside as they came off of Turn 4 on Lap 19.

Kaeding continued to carry his momentum around the high side of the track like he has done so many times this season. In fact, using the same tactics, Kaeding finished third last Saturday at Eldora Speedway and second on Thursday at I-96 Speedway.

On Lap 23, Kaeding made his move. Riding the cushion, he slid by Saldana as they came off of Turn 4, completing the pass just before Jason Solwold brought out a caution when he jumped the cushion and stopped in Turn 4.

But the excitement was far from over for Kaeding. Pushing hard to stay in front of Saldana and Kinser on Lap 27, Kaeding raced down the length of the frontstretch with his front wheels in the air.

Three laps later, Kinser tangled with Saldana in a battle for second and both cars spun. Kinser managed to keep his car moving but Saldana's stopped car brought out a caution, and put Kinser directly behind Kaeding.

On the restart, Kaeding shot to the cushion in his Roth Motorsports machine while Kinser worked the bottom of the track. It was enough for Kinser to slice into Kaeding's advantage and steal the lead in Turn 4 on Lap 34. But Kaeding had already run second to Kinser a couple of times this season and wasn't about to do it again.

As the white flag came out to signal the final lap, Kaeding refused to settle. Kinser and Kaeding came up on traffic. Kinser went low, thinking he would clear the car. Kaeding shot back to the cushion. The lapped car was still there and Kinser was stuck. Kaeding shot into the lead and held on during the final lap to claim his first victory of the season by 0.56-seconds over Kinser.

Finishing behind Kaeding and Kinser were Meyers, Kraig Kinser, Donny Schatz, Daryn Pittman, Shane Stewart, Brooke Tatnell, Terry McCarl and Travis Rilat.

"I still can't believe it," said Kaeding, a native of San Jose, Calif. "Steve messed up just a little bit and I got right back around him in lapped traffic. That was it. He went low, the lapped car went to the bottom and I went to the top and just prayed I didn't crash. It was a perfect ending to a long night.

"It was just unbelievable. [The track] was greasy all night, but once it came in it got a big old curb around the top and that was all she wrote. That was our turning point. -- He messed up one time and I just said, 'OK, I'm either going to make it or I'm going to crash,' and I made it."

Kinser, who was trying to win for the 12th time this season, feels he let this one slip away when the traffic jam blocked the low side of the track as Kaeding was pushing hard on the cushion.

"I just went to the wrong spot on the lapped car," said Kinser, a 19-time series champion from Bloomington, Ind., who has a 269-point advantage in his quest for a 20th Outlaws title. "I thought he was going to clear the bottom, but he missed the bottom and I got hung in behind him and Tim got by me.

"I started in the fourth row, and I should have won the race, but I got into Joey up there, too. It was just one of those nights."

All the action between Kaeding and Kinser was happening in front of Meyers, who has finished in the top three in three of the past five races.

"One went to the top and one went to the bottom," said Meyers, a native Clovis, Calif. who is third in points. "Tim got a great run off of Turn 4 and beat Steve to Turn 1 and squeezed him on the bottom and took the lead.

"It was a great move. Tim was running the top and bounced over the cushion a couple of times. He actually lost the lead by bouncing up over the cushion. He stuck with it and kept whittling away and just hung it out there on the edge at the end and brought it home."

The adjusted qualifying format didn't seem to affect the Mean 15 racers I needed to hustle the car a little more. I got in there and didn't feel real good on the top and went to the bottom for a while. I think I should have just stayed up top and bounced around a little bit and held onto the racecar. It might have been a little better, but hindsight is 20/20.

At first it feels odd, but you just got to get over it and realize it's just another race. It was a different format, but the main goal tonight was to race good for the fans.

In the B-main, Brandon Wimmer grabbed the lead coming out of Turn 2 and drove off with the victory to continue his strong efforts in qualifying races. Also transferring the the feature were Tim Shaffer, Craig Dollansky and Joe Roe.

With passing points from the heats used to set the field for the feature, heat race winners included Kaeding, Donny Schatz, Steve Meyer, Jason Sides and Saldana. For Sides, it was his third consecutive event with a heat race victory.

The World of Outlaws Sprint Series invades Kokomo Speedway on Tuesday, then rolls June 17-18 to Eagle Raceway, June 22 to Missouri State Fair Speedway, June 24-25 to Knoxville Raceway and wraps up the month June 28 at Huset's Speedway.

All of the action from the June 1 race at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park will air at 8 p.m. (ET) June 15 on The Outdoor Channel, followed June 22 by the race at Eldora Speedway that was run on June 4. The Outdoor Channel will air the race from I-96 Speedway at 8 p.m. (ET) on June 29.

-woo-

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tim Shaffer , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Craig Dollansky , Brooke Tatnell , Daryn Pittman , Jason Meyers , Jason Sides , Joey Saldana , Kraig Kinser , Shane Stewart , Travis Rilat , Tim Kaeding
Teams Williams