Thursday, June 6, 2013

Kaeding claims the victory at Kokomo Speedway and the Indiana State Sprint Car Championship

Photo Courtesy of World of Outlaws STP Sprint Cars
Kokomo Speedway is a quarter mile, high banked bull ring. She has tight corners and short straightaways. She has claimed her share of the greats and last night’s Outlaws race was no different. From everything to crashes and bizarre happenings, Kokomo did not disappoint.

The field of Outlaws came through the gate 43 cars strong. By the time qualifying was over, they were down to 42 cars when Kody Kinser scratched for the night after having problems in Hot Laps. Qualifying went quickly on the quarter mile track. Sammy Swindell held the track record of 10.950 that was set on June 5, 2012. He would come home with quick time and a lap of 11.079 seconds. His night was just beginning but the gremlins had targeted the Big Game Tree Stands No. 1. The rest of the top 5 were Brad Sweet, Cody Darrah, Shane Stewart and Tony Stewart. Chad Kemenah would have engine problems on his approach lap and would not post a time.

The first heat race was a battle with close racing throughout the field. Wayne Johnson would come home the winner with Tony Stewart and Donny Schatz right on his heels. Joey Saldana and Brandon Wimmer rounded out the top five. Johnson and Stewart would advance to the Dash. Sammy Swindell would see the gremlins for the first time after finishing sixth when fifth place finisher Brandon Wimmer broke a torsion bar and hit the wall after the checkers. With nowhere to go Sammy would be collected by the accident on the cool down lap of the heat race. 

The second heat race saw Parker Price-Miller get upside down and into the catch fence on Lap 6 causing damage to it. As a result, an open red flag was shown as the fence was being repaired. On the restart, Steve Kinser split Kerry Madsen and Greg Wilson just clipping Wilson’s nose and spinning him out. The ensuing restart was single file and would see Crag Dollansky take the win followed by Brad Sweet, Jason Sides, Kerry Madsen and Steve Kinser. Dollansky, Sweet and Sides would advance to the Dash. Price-Miller would scrach for the remainder of the night.

The third heat race would be a repeat of the second. On Lap 6, Cole Duncan would get upside down and into the fence in the exact same spot in his Bobby Labonte owned No. 22. Once again, an open red would result as the fence was repaired. Tim Kaeding would take the checkers with Kraig Kinser, Daryn Pittman, Dale Blaney and Cody Darrah rounding out the top five. Kaeding, Kinser and Darrah would advance to the Dash.

The fourth heat race would again see cars on their roofs when on Lap 4 two cars flipped out of Turn 4 simultaneously. Both Wes McIntyre and Danny Smith were uninjured and would retire from the Heat but repairs were able to be made. Kyle “Yung Money” Larson would come home ahead of Shane Stewart, Paul McMahan, Casey Shuman and Bill Rose. Larson and Stewart would advance to the Dash. 

The C Main was an exciting race that saw Jimmy Light come home in first to transfer to the Last Chance Showdown. The performance of second place finisher Jacob Allen was like going back in time and watching Allen’s father, legendary racer Bobby Allen, run the race. Allen who ran the race with the Wing pulled all the way back in the tank and looked so much like his father that one could almost close their eyes and step back in time swearing they were watching Bobby Allen race that car. 

The Last Chance Showdown showed the gremlins at work again. Sammy Swindell would be slated to start on the pole. Swindell would duck into the work area two laps before the green and his crew would immediately go to work in the cock pit of the car. Swindell would beat the caution lights and return to the track but would pull right back off the track on the back stretch. With the caution lights already out, Swindell was trapped in the work area before the green flag ever fell. With Swindell out of provisionals his night was over. David Gravel would win the showdown with Danny Smith, Jac Haudenschild and Greg Wilson in tow. 

The A Main was 40 hard fought laps around one of the toughest tracks in the country. Kokomo Speedway may be small but she is mighty. Chad Kemenah would take a provisional to get into the A Main to bring the field to 25. On Lap 11, the first casualty of the night would be Joey Saldana who had mechanical issues that sent him back to the house and out of the race. The next victim would be Kerry Madsen who flipped on Lap 19 in Turn 4. Madsen was uninjured and climbed from the car. Jac Haudenschild would be the next to be bitten by the gremlins when his engine expired.

The battle for the lead would be between Tim Kaeding and Shane Stewart for most of the race. The pair exchanged the lead four times before Kaeding took it for the final time on Lap 33. Kyle Larson would lead as well but would lose the lead when he got into a lapped car and slipped out of the top 10. The three wide racing around the track for most of the race was breath taking and showed the skills of a fine swordsman carefully dissecting the space on the track. In the end, Tim Kaeding would not be denied and he would beat Shane Stewart to the checkers by 18/100th of a second. Greg Wilson would come home third and was the KSE Hard Charger of the race. Kaeding would take home the Allen Booth Indiana State Championship for the World of Outlaws with the victory. 

“I have to thank Dennis and Theresa Roth for this opportunity,” said Kaeding from victory lane. “The track took rubber about 24 to 25 laps in. You had to use the wall there in three and four. I probably have a bent right rear wheel.”

Second place finisher Shane Stewart said, “I had one shot. I got against the wall on the backstretch and I couldn’t get off it. I feel bad for Kyle (Larson) Lap cars don’t always know where to go and they can get you crossed up.”

Third place finisher Greg Wilson said, “We had a couple good restarts there. We about gave away a good finish cause we didn’t get to the rubber in time. But we were able to hold on to it.”

The gremlins were busy all night. They played their tricks on the best. In some cases they won. In some cases they didn’t. The drivers who were bit by the gremlins last night won’t be kept down. The Outlaws don’t back down. They don’t quit. They keep right on racing despite the gremlins, weather, rough tracks and difficult situations. It is was makes them the "Greatest Show on Dirt" and the "Greatest Drivers on Dirt."

Qualifying Results: 1) Sammy Swindell 11.079 2) Brad Sweet 3) Cody Darrah 4) Shane Stewart 5) Tony Stewart 6) Jason Sides 7) Tim Kaeding 8) Gary Taylor 9) Donny Schatz 10) Craig Dollansky 11) Dale Blaney 12) Jac Haudenschild 13) Wayne Johnson 14) Greg Wilson 15) Daryn Pittman 16) Kyle Larson 17) David Gravel 18) Kerry Madsen 19) Logan Schuchart 20) Paul McMahan 21) Joey Saldana 22) Steve Kinser 23) Kraig Kinser 24) Danny Smith 25) Brandon Wimmer 26) Parker Price-Miller. 27) Duncan Cole 28) Bill Rose 29) Paul May 30) Sam Hafertepe Jr. 31) Bryan Sebetto 32) Wes McIntyre 33) Paige Polyak 34) Patrick Haynes 35) Jimmy Light 36) Casey Shuman 37) Stuart Willaims 38) Jacob Allen. 39) Gregg Dalman 40) A.J. Martin 41) Miranda Throckmorton 42) Chad Kemenah (NT) 43) Kody Kinser scratch for the night.

Heat Race 1: 1) Wayne Johnson 2) Tony Stewart 3) Donny Schatz 4) Joey Saldana 5) Brandon Wimmer 6) Sammy Swindell 7) David Gravel 8) Paul May 9) Stuart Willaims 10) Miranda Throckmorton 11) Paige Polyak

Heat Race 2: 1) Craig Dollansky 2) Brad Sweet 3) Jason Sides 4) Kerry Madsen 5) Steve Kinser 6) Sam Hafertepe 7) Jacob Allen 8) Patrick Haynes 9) Greg Wilson 10) Parker Price-Miller 11) Chad Kemenah (DNS)

Heat Race 3: 1) Tim Kaeding 2) Kraig Kinser 3) Daryn Pittman 4) Dale Blaney 5) Cody Darrah 6) Logan Schuchart 7) Bryan Sebetto 8) Jimmy Light 9) Gregg Dalman 10) Cole Duncan

Heat Race 4: 1) Kyle Larson 2) Shane Stewart 3) Paul McMahan 4) Casey Shuman 5) Bill Rose 6) Gary Taylor 7) A.J. Martin 8) Jac Haudenschild 9) Danny Smith 10) Wes McIntyre

C Main: 1) Jimmy Light 2) Jacob Allen transfer to B. 3) Gregg Dalman 4) Stuart Willaims 5) Chad Kemenah 6) Miranda Throckmorton 7) A.J. Martin.

Dash: (Inversion was a 6) 1) Jimmy Light 2) Jacob Allen transfer to B. 3) Gregg Dalman 4) Stuart Willaims 5) Chad Kemenah 6) Miranda Throckmorton 7) A.J. Martin.

Last Chance Showdown: 1) David Gravel 2) Danny Smith 3) Jac Haudenschild 4) Greg Wilson 5) Gary Taylor 6) Sam Hafertepe 7) Logan Schuchart 8) Bryan Sebetto 9) Jimmy Light 10) Paul May 11) Wes McIntyre 12) Jacob Allen 13) Sammy Swindell (DNS) 14) Patrick Haynes (DNS)

A Main: 1) Tim Kaeding 2) Shane Stewart 3) Greg Wilson 4) Cody Darrah 5) Daryn Pittman 6) Wayne Johnson 7) Tony Stewart 8) Kraig Kinser 9) Donny Schatz 10) Craig Dollansky 11) Paul McMahan 12) Brad Sweet 13) Jason Sides 14) David Gravel 15) Steve Kinser 16) Dale Blaney 17) Brandon Wimmer 18) Danny Smith 19) Chad Kemenah 20) Kyle Larson 21) Casey Shuman 22) Bill Rose 23) Jac Haudenschild 24) Kerry Madsen 25) Joey Saldana.

Lap Leaders: Tim Kaeding 1, 3, 13-19, 33-40; Jason Sides 2; Shane Stewart 4-12; Kyle Larson 20-31.

Hard Charger Award: Greg Wilson, 14th to 3rd

Allen Booth Award/Indiana State Champion: Tim Kaeding

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