Kaeding beats Swindell in Second Gold Cup Prelim. CHICO, CA (September 6) -- Few young drivers can say they pulled off a feature victory against living legend Sammy Swindell. That's exactly what Tim Kaeding did Friday, however, at Silver Dollar...
Kaeding beats Swindell in Second Gold Cup Prelim.
CHICO, CA (September 6) -- Few young drivers can say they pulled off a feature victory against living legend Sammy Swindell. That's exactly what Tim Kaeding did Friday, however, at Silver Dollar Speedway in the Second Preliminary Feature at the 49th Annual Gold Cup Race of Champions.
Kaeding, who a week before left Rick Wright's #35 car for Terry Cowan's #7T, exchanged the lead with the three-time Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series champion three times before beating Swindell under the checkered flag by half a car-length. Kaeding is the 12th driver to win a Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series Preliminary Feature this season.
"I hope you guys like that one!" Kaeding yelled to the capacity crowd. "Sammy was fast on the top, and I got lucky and got a car that was hauling butt on the bottom. This ABC Ready Mix, HD Graphics car got it done for me. My guys gave me a great car. I just hope we can be back here tomorrow night. These guys will be tough."
Nobody was tougher than Kaeding Friday. He qualified third quick, only .15 seconds off Joey Saldana's pace-setting time, finished fourth in the Third Heat Race and earned the right to start the 30-lap feature inside the third row by following Swindell and his father, Brent Kaeding, across the finish line in the First O'Reilly Auto Parts Dash.
Swindell, who won both 1981 Gold Cup Race of Champions features, drove the #83jr Beef Packers Eagle into the lead as the green flag fell in the evening's main event. Brent Kaeding passed Craig Dollansky for second, while Tim took third place from 1999 Gold Cup champion Jac Haudenschild early in the opening lap.
Tim Kaeding passed his father deep in turn four the next time around and started challenging Swindell for the lead almost immediately. Kaeding passed Swindell in the low groove exiting the second corner early in lap four.
Within seconds after Dollansky passed 2000 Gold Cup champion Danny Lasoski for fifth place early in lap five, Roger Crockett stopped in turn two with a mechanical problem. Stevie Smith, who won the Gold Cup Race of Champions in 1993, hit the retaining wall in turn four as the green flag replaced the yellow. Although Smith was uninjured, the damage to the #11H Vivarin Maxim kept him from restarting the race.
Brent Kaeding steered his familiar #69 into the high groove between the first and second corners to pass Swindell as the race resumed. He lost the position a lap later, however, when he slid over the bank on the back straightaway while battling his son for the lead.
Dollansky and "The Wild Child" sandwiched passes for fourth place around a caution for Andy Forsberg, who stopped on the back stretch with a flat right rear tire late in lap nine. Daryn Pittman passed P.J. Chesson for seventh deep in the second corner two laps later, just before Destiny Hays and Nick Rescino, Jr., collided in turn two. Mark Henry also stopped in the fourth corner as the caution flag flew.
Brent Kaeding duplicated his sixth-lap move around Swindell to take second place as the race resumed. Chesson, who started outside the seventh row, passed Pittman and Lasoski in the high groove between turns one and two early in the 13th lap.
Chesson challenged Dollansky for fifth place after Chris Scott spun in the first corner midway through the race. Pittman, the defending World of Outlaws Gumout Series champion, raced past Chesson deep in turn three late in lap 17.
Kaeding was eight car-lengths ahead of his father when he entered lapped traffic during the 21st lap. Swindell used an inside move through the first and second corners to pass Brent Kaeding for second the next time around, and took the lead three laps later with an inside move in turn four.
The night belonged to Tim Kaeding, however. He regained first place one lap later, passing Swindell in the high groove between the third and fourth corners. Swindell raced wheel-to-wheel with Kaeding through turns one and two as the white flag waved, but was unable to surge ahead.
"I didn't know who was running behind me on that last restart," Kaeding said. "I just tried to keep the car straight and run good laps. Chico's kind of been my home away from home the last couple of years. We didn't get to run this race last year, but it seems like we get lucky every time we come here."
Pittman raced into third place from inside the fifth row. Dollansky finished fourth, ahead of Chesson, Haudenschild, Brent Kaeding, Lasoski, Third Heat Race winner Johnny Gray and 20th-starting Jason Statler.
Saldana, who leads the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series with 17 fast times, circled the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds' high-banked, ¼-mile oval in 12.183 seconds, an average speed of 73.873 M.P.H. Suspension problems on his #17 Eagle Raceway/HEM Saw Eagle caused Saldana to finish sixth in the First Heat Race, which cost him a position in the First O'Reilly Auto Parts Dash.