Kaeding Wins NST Northwest Speedweek Opener Southern Oregon Speedway -- Medford, OR -- Monday -- July 12, 2004 -- Campbell, CA veteran Brent Kaeding bided his time for 24 laps, then moved to the lead and the win at the Northern Sprint Tour's ...
Kaeding Wins NST Northwest Speedweek Opener
Southern Oregon Speedway -- Medford, OR -- Monday -- July 12, 2004 -- Campbell, CA veteran Brent Kaeding bided his time for 24 laps, then moved to the lead and the win at the Northern Sprint Tour's "Northwest Speedweek" opener at Southern Oregon Speedway in Medford, OR Monday July 12th. With 47 cars on hand for the first of five races in six days at four tracks, Kaeding is in for a week of hard competition with his eyes set on winning.
With his long time crew chief missing Speedweek because of medical problems, Kaeding was on the phone and telling him of the win before he was out of the car. "I was telling Billy we were kicking butt and winning races like he's going win his battle," said Kaeding. "We're going to kick as much as we can during the week. It was a tough night with lots of equipment getting damaged. I hate to see that and I'm glad we made it through with out any problems," Kaeding told infield announcer Ed Williams.
After a green flag lap yellow, rookie Matt Menne of Ft. Jones, CA grabbed the lead at the green on the restart with Everett, WA's Rick Fauver taking the spot two laps later. Fourth starting Kaeding moved to third on the second lap over Stephen Allard of Chico, CA and had second behind the leader on lap 13 with a pass on Menne in heavy traffic.
Fauver had managed to keep a good gap and lapped cars between his car and second place for several laps until Menne and Billy Nutter tangled on lap 16 to bring out the yellow. Having the gap closed, Kaeding never fell back as far again, being in position for the lead as heavy traffic slowed Fauver. Going low exiting turn two Kaeding made the pass for the lead on the back straight on lap 24.
"Brent did a good job. He had a better line in the corners than I did," commented Fauver following the race. "It was a little hairy in traffic. I knew he was there but I couldn't keep the car on the bottom and he could."
A lap 27 yellow set up what looked to be a four lap run to the finish until Cottage Grove, OR driver Dale Smith and Henry Van Dam of Enumclaw, WA got together in turn four as the leaders were heading into the back straight for the checkered flag. Van Dam took a nasty flip and the incident set up a green, white, checkered dash to the winner's circle.
At the finish line it was Kaeding, Fauver, Allard, Jeff Hodgson, St Albert, AB and Jimmy Trulli, Placerville, CA filling the top five.
"It hasn't been a good year so far," said Fauver, "but this might turn things around. Just hope we can keep it going now."
Running the Medford, OR based Ron Smith car for the first time, Allard commented, "It was a good car. I'm familiar with the Rocket Chassis and have worked with some of the crew before so it all worked good. I liked the track. It was dry slick on one end and hooked on the other. I thought it was pretty racy. We'll see if we can do this or better again tomorrow."
The hard charger had to be three time and defending NST champion Roger Crockett of Eugene, OR who suffered problems all night and came from last to finish in sixth place. Also making a good run was Meridian, ID Driver Randy Pierce, moving from 18th to 9th place.
The opening lap of the B-Main looked like mayhem in turn two on the opening lap. Shelton, WA's Jay Cole, starting third, spun in the middle of the track with the rest of the 18-car field bearing down on him. When the cars had all stopped several had damage with Shawn Smith of Nampa, ID, Drew MacDonell of Chirpman, AB and Gold Hill, OR's TJ Winningham out of the race.
Once action resumed, Barry Martinez took the lead with the remaining cars chasing him to the checkered flag of the 15-lap event. The Lynnwood, WA driver had little trouble as he maintained a 5 -- 10 car length lead over the field and second. Crockett never posed a challenge, even on the single yellow flag restart.
The battle of the race was for third with Trulli and the Smith Brothers, Marvin and Dale of Cottage Grove, OR swapped the position for most of the race. At the finish line it was Trulli, Dale and Marvin Smith, with Chad Hillier of Sedro Woolley, WA rounding out the first six cars.
The 10-lqp C-Main had Wade Fleming of Androssan, AB going wire to wire for the win with Mark Makay of Cameron Park, CA getting second an the other transfer to the C-Main. With in four laps Fleming had a 10-car length lead and never looked back.
The 6-lap Non-Qualifiers race was won by Paul Zimmerly of Richland, WA, with Jason Solwold of Burlington, WA second.
Heat race action had wins by Dallas Zuniga of Creswell, OR, Lake Stevens, WA driver Travis Hawthorne, Central Point, OR's Billy Nutter and Richard Brace, Jr. of Auburn, CA.
Fast time of the night went to Roger Crockett with an 11.840 second lap.
The Northwest Speedweek now moves to Cottage Grove Speedway in Cottage Grove, OR, racing on Tuesday, July 13th. July 14th will see the Tour moving to Willamette Speedway in Lebanon, OR. Rounding out Speedweek will be the Evergreen State Sprint Challenge at Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma, WA on July 16th and 17th. Scheduled to race at Grays Harbor Raceway is rookie NASCAR sensation Kasey Kahne of Enumclaw, WA.
Fast Time -- Roger Crockett -- 11.840
Heat 1 --Dallas Zuniga, Henry Van Dam, Brice Fugate, Bob Brooke, Mark Mackay, Barry Martinez, Dale Smith, Jimmy Trulli, Duane Scott, Roger Crockett (DNS).
Heat 2 --Travis Hawthorne, Chris Schmelzle, Rick Fauver, Matt Menne, Dawn-L Morrison, Jay Cole, Todd Zeitler, Wade Fleming, Steve Martin, TJ Winningham.
Heat 3 --Billy Nutter, Stephen Allard, Randy Rogers, Randy Pierce, Marvin Smith, Chad Hillier, Nick Evans, Shawn Smith, Josh Dewitt, Charlie Cash.
Heat 4 --Richard Brace, Jr., Brad Sweet, Jeff Hodgson, Brent Kaeding, Herman Klein, Drew MacDonell, Mark Torres, Scott Russell, Jade Parker, Shannon Wheatly.
Dash --Fauver, Menne, Allard, Kaeding, Nutter, Hodgson. Non-Qualifier -- Paul Zimmerly, Jason Solwold, David Gilmore, Dan Dunlap, Vern Wheeler, Wes Ingram.
C-Main -- Fleming, Mackay, Scott, Dewitt, Martin, Parker, Dunlap, Gilmore, Zimmerly, Torres, Ingram, Wheeler, Solwold, Cash, Anthony Nunes.
B-Main --Martinez, Crockett, Trulli, D. Smith, M. Smith, Hillier, Evans, Zeitler, Cole, Morrison, Fleming, Mackay, Russell, Wheatly, Klein, MacDonell, Winningham, S. Smith.
A-Main --Kaeding, Fauver, Allard, Hodgson, Trulli, Crockett, Nutter, Sweet, Pierce, D. Smith, Schmelzle, Menne, Brace, Rogers, Fugate, Van Dam, Martinez, Hawthorne, Zuniga, Brooke.