ALLARD WINS SPRINT FEATURE AT CALISTOGA SPEEDWAY
Jonathan Allard came out on top of a two-man duel with Tim Kaeding to win the sprint car feature at Calistoga Speedway Saturday night after the pair played a game of chase through slower lapped traffic for most of the 25 lap event.
Bud Kaeding, Tim’s older brother, paced the early laps from the pole after traveling from Indianapolis and his second place finish at the Indiana Fairgrounds the night before.
But Allard powered by the elder Kaeding on the fifth lap and the younger Kaeding took advantage of a scramble on the front straightaway as the field came up on a slower car to grab second. For the remainder of the race, the pair ran nose to tail several car lengths ahead of the field, with Kaeding closing up on Allard’s rear bumper as they got bottled up behind slower cars on a track that was ultra fast but with little passing room.
“I definitely knew Tim was right there behind me,” said Allard. Besides coping with a the narrow racing groove and the pressure of Kaeding chasing him, Allard said the air coming off the wings of the cars in front of him posed a problem as well. “I just kept the car straight and rode the brakes to keep the car stable in the dirty air,” he said.
Kaeding, taking a break from the national World of Outlaws sprint car tour to race in California, believed he had the horsepower to pass Allard, but just never got the chance. “We had something for him, but we just couldn’t get to him,” said Kaeding, the night’s fastest qualifier. “Lapped traffic tried to stay out of our way, but they played havoc with us,” he added. “But when the track is this fast, somebody has to make a mistake and Jonathan didn’t.”
Kyle Larson took advantage of lapped traffic, making a bold move to power past 13-time Golden State Challenge champion Brent Kaeding and Bud Kaeding in one sweep through turn three as the two cars in front of him got temporarily bottled up behind a slower car, moving him from sixth to third, where he finished.
Randy McDaniel won the companion “Calistoga Modified Invitational,” a crash-marred and curfew-shortened race that no one seemed to want to win, as four drivers broke or crashed while leading. Minutes before the state-mandated 11 pm curfew, the race was ended after running only six of the scheduled 25 laps after a multi-car crash wadded several cars up again the wall in turn one at the end of the straightaway. No drivers were seriously injured.
The Golden State Challenge Sprint cars and the California Modified Invitational returned for a second round of racing Sunday night on the half mile oval at the Napa County Fairgrounds.
Calistoga Speedway, Golden State Challenge Sprint Cars (Sat.): Fast Time Qualifier; Tim Kaeding, Campbell, Ca. (16.761 sec.). Heat 1 (8 laps): Zach Zimmerly, Sacramento; Alissa Geving, Penngrove; Tim Kaeding; Bud Kaeding, Campbell; Colby Copeland, Roseville; Pat Harvey, Nevada City. Heat 2: Mike Bensen, Calistoga; Jason Statler, Nevada City; Brent Kaeding, Campbell; Jonathan Allard, Chico; Denise Simpson, Rio Vista; Mitch Hawkins, Calistoga/ Heat 3: Evan Suggs, San Jose; Kyle Larson, Elk Grove; Bobby McMahon, Elk Grove; Matthew Davis, American Canyon; Dan Simpson, Rio Vista; Brian Sperry, Sacramento. Main Event: Allard; T.Kaeding; Larson; Bud Kaeding; Brent Kaeding; Suggs; Zimmerly; Statler; Bensen.
Calistoga Modified Invitational: Heat 1 (8 laps): Randy McDaniel, Hurst; Mark Abouzeid, Chico; Duane Cleveland, Plumas Lake; Jeff Olschouka, Chico. Heat 2: Shaun DeForest; Kevin Fitzgerald, Brentwood; Mark Haas, Petaluma; Bobby Motts, Jr., San Pablo. Heat 3: Keith Brown, Pittsburg; Steve Stone, Winton; Nick DeCarlo, Martinez; Scott Busby, Martinez. Heat 4: Paul Anderson, Windsor; Jeff Thomas, Penngrove; Jeremy Petrell, Oakley; Sean O’Gara, Fairfield.
-by Bill Sessa