BUD KAEDING WINS 360 POMBO/SARGENT CLASSIC AT TULARE
By Lance Jennings
TULARE, CA – MAY 17, 2010… Making his first start of 2010 season with the USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Car Series, Campbell's Bud Kaeding won the 360 Pombo/Sargent Classic. The 30-lap feature victory at Tulare's Groppetti Automotive Thunderbowl Raceway made Kaeding the sixth different winner in eight races.
Piloting Junior Bowman's brand new Buster & Ziggy Enterprize #2 Bullet, the 3-time and defending USAC Silver Crown Champion, won the night's third heat race. For their efforts, Bud's team received $100 in certificates from Competition Suspension and Keizer Wheels. Starting third in the main event, Kaeding stayed within striking distance of early leaders "Showtime" Danny Sheridan of Santa Maria and Bakersfield's Chris Ennis. Using patience and the experience of a veteran driver, Bud led the final twenty-three laps to score the win. "That was a lot of fun and it was awesome to see my brother Tim win in the wing car on the same night," remarked Kaeding. "The Pombo/Sargent names mean a lot to our families and there is a lot of history there."
At the drop of the green flag, it was a drag race down the front straightaway between Ennis and Sheridan. "Showtime" took command and shot to the bottom groove in the Kittle Motorsports / Pace Lighting #18 Stinger. Ennis chose the extreme high line around the Tulare oval in the family's Skarphol Associates #86 777 entry. On lap three, action was halted for a stalled Aaron Altaffer and Justyne Hamblin. Altaffer was able to restart and Hamblin, the defending series champion, was done for the night.
On the restart, Ennis again chose to ride the outside line and banged his car off the fence. Gaining momentum, Chris edged ahead of Sheridan to take the lead on the fourth lap. The outside groove was treacherous and Kaeding slipped past Sheridan for the runner-up spot. Staying committed to the top, Ennis caught the fence on lap six and surrendered the lead to Kaeding. A few laps later, a surging Peter Murphy from Clovis claimed second.
Action was again halted on lap fourteen for Dave Knott, who flipped his Fig Garden Golf Club #28 KPC machine. Knott's night was over and he walked away uninjured. When racing resumed, Fresno's Craig Stidham found the bottom groove to his liking and worked past Murphy for second. Stidham then charged after Kaeding and challenged for the lead. Kaeding held onto the point and switched to Craig's preferred line. Murphy took to the high side and threatened for the lead as Kaeding and Stidham battled. Kaeding was still strong on the bottom and Murphy reclaimed second place. Visalia's Jace VanderWeerd took third away from Stidham as Murphy gave chase after the leader. From there, Kaeding led the rest of the way to score the win ahead of Murphy, VanderWeerd, Stidham, and Richard VanderWeerd of Visalia.
Peter Murphy had his fifth straight podium finish after starting sixth. Driving Tom Tarlton's potent Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino #21 KPC entry, the Australia native timed in third quick and finished fourth in his heat race. Battling his way forward, Peter challenged for the lead, but Kaeding was too strong. "It was fun. We had a pretty good car there too," said Murphy. "I kept trying to make the top up there work and use the fence to my advantage." Peter is second in the point standings.
Jace VanderWeerd took the family's Mid Valley Pipe & Supply #88 Maxim to his second straight third place finish. Jace was fourth quick in time trials and was fifth in his heat race. Scheduled to start fifth, VanderWeerd encountered an overheating problem before the feature. His crew made an adjustment and starting at the back of the field, VanderWeerd earned the podium finish. Jace is currently seventh in the point standings despite missing a few shows to compete with the USAC/CRA 410 Sprints.
Point Leader Craig Stidham took the Brad Johnson Trucking / KRC Safety #3S Maxim to second quick in qualifications and the victory in the second heat race. The win earned Craig $125 in certificates from BR Motorsports, Saldana Racing Products, and Keizer Wheels. Starting seventh in the feature, Stidham worked his way to the front and pressured Kaeding for the lead. The former Rebel Cup Champion fell back to a fourth place finish and has a sixty-seven point advantage over Peter Murphy.
Richard VanderWeerd tied his best run of the season with a fifth place finish after starting tenth. Richard qualified tenth quick and scored the night's first heat race victory in the family's VanderWeerd Construction #10 Maxim. VanderWeerd received $150 in certificates from Extreme Mufflers and Keizer Wheels as he currently sits tenth in point chase. Like his brother Jace, Richard missed a few point shows to compete at the Perris Auto Speedway with the USAC/CRA 410 Sprints.
Bakersfield's Rusty Carlile drove to his first Sander Engineering fast time award of the season over the twenty-three car field. Piloting the Southwest Contractors / N.T.S. Incorporated #51 Bullet, Carlile was fifth in his heat race. Starting eighth in the main event, last year's Cotton Classic winner had a seventh place finish and is now fourth in the point standings.
Ricky Kirkbride of Bakersfield earned "Hard Charger / Best Passing Job" honors on the night with an eleventh place finish after starting nineteenth. The driver of the Bob & Toni Van Meter's Fred Cummings Motorsports #87 TCR entry is eligible for a $25 certificate from King Racing Products. In just his third start of the season, Kirkbride timed in seventeenth quick and was seventh in his heat race. Ricky is now twenty-fourth in the point chase.
The USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Car Series would like to thank Southwest Contractors, Hoosier Tire, Amsoil, BR Motorsports, Competition Suspension, Cory Kruseman's Sprint Car & Midget Driving School, Crow Enterprizes, DJ Safety, Extreme Mufflers, Hinchman-Indy Racing Uniforms, Integra Shocks, Kaeding Performance, Keizer Wheels, King Racing Products, Kirkey Racing Fabrication, Port City Racing, Saferacer.com, Saldana Racing Products, and Sander Engineering for their support.
Round 9 for the USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Car Series will be Saturday, May 29th, at the Bakersfield Speedway. The "Memorial Day Classic" is also the second round of the Southwest Contractors 360 Clash. The four race mini-series will carry it’s own $5000 point fund, with $2500 to the series winner, $1500 for second, and $1000 for third. As this writing goes to press, the four main events will pay $1200 to win and $200 to start.
Bakersfield Speedway is located at 5001 North Chester Extension in Bakersfield, California. Also on the card will be American Stocks, Mini Stocks, and Mini Dwarf Cars. The Front Gates will open at 4:30pm with Racing at 6:00pm. Adult tickets are $15, Kids tickets (6-12) are $5, and Children’s tickets (5 and under) are FREE. The Pit Gate will open at 2:00pm. For event information, please visit www.bakersfieldspeedway.com or call (661) 393-3373.
For more information on the USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Car Series, please visit westcoastsprintcars.com, www.usacracing.com, www.racesantamariaspeedway.com, or follow the series on facebook.
USAC WEST COAST 360 SPRINT RACE RESULTS:
Groppetti Automotive Thunderbowl Raceway - Tulare, California
May 15, 2010 - “Pombo/Sargent Classic”
SANDER ENGINEERING TIME TRIALS:
1. Rusty Carlile, 51, Carlile-16.851; 2. Craig Stidham, 3S, Stidham-16.886; 3. Peter Murphy, 21, Tarlton-16.940; 4. Jace VanderWeerd, 88, VanderWeerd-17.007; 5. Danny Faria Jr., 8M, May-17.054; 6. Bud Kaeding, 2, Bowman-17.156; 7. Danny Sheridan, 18, Kittle-17.170; 8. Chris Ennis, 86, Ennis-17.212; 9. Davey Pombo, 3, Bowman-17.282; 10. Richard VanderWeerd, 10, VanderWeerd-17.344; 11. Aaron Altaffer, 21A, Dorothy-17.492; 12. Andy Ferris, 4J, Ferris-17.524; 13. Dave Knott, 28, Knott-17.579; 14. Wes Gutierrez, 007, WG-17.633; 15. Matt Streeter, 14JR, Streeter-17.693; 16. Albert Pombo, 83, Pombo-17.747; 17. Ricky Kirkbride, 87, Van Meter-17.771; 18. T.J. Smith, 14, LeGras-17.808; 19. Justyne Hamblin, 8, JH-17.910; 20. Dean Alexander, 11, McCowan-17.929; 21. Matt Day, 97, Day-18.075; 22. Geoffrey Strole, 09S, Strole-18.139; 23. Ray Knight, 99K, Knight-NT.
EXTREME MUFFLERS HEAT RACE 1: (10 laps)
1. Richard VanderWeerd, 2. Albert Pombo, 3. Danny Sheridan, 4. Rusty Carlile, 5. Jace VanderWeerd, 6. Justyne Hamblin, 7. Dave Knott, 8. Geoffrey Strole. NT.
BR MOTORSPORTS / SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS HEAT RACE 2: (10 laps)
1. Craig Stidham, 2. Danny Faria Jr., 3. Chris Ennis, 4. Dean Alexander, 5. Wes Gutierrez, 6. Aaron Altaffer, 7. Ricky Kirkbride. NT.
COMPETITION SUSPENSION / KEIZER WHEELS HEAT RACE 3: (10 laps)
1. Bud Kaeding, 2. T.J. Smith, 3. Davey Pombo, 4. Peter Murphy, 5. Andy Ferris, 6. Matt Streeter, 7. Matt Day. NT.
FEATURE: (30 laps - With Starting Positions)
1. Bud Kaeding (3rd), 2. Peter Murphy (6th), 3. Jace VanderWeerd (5th), 4. Craig Stidham (7th), 5. Richard VanderWeerd (10th), 6. Danny Faria Jr. (4th), 7. Rusty Carlile (8th), 8. T.J. Smith (14th), 9. Davey Pombo (9th), 10. Aaron Altaffer (16th), 11. Ricky Kirkbride (19th), 12. Matt Streeter (18th), 13. Dean Alexander (15th), 14. Danny Sheridan (2nd), 15. Wes Gutierrez (12th), 16. Geoffrey Strole (22nd), 17. Matt Day (21st), 18. Andy Ferris (11th), 19. Albert Pombo (13th), 20. Dave Knott (17th), 21. Chris Ennis (1st), 22. Justyne Hamblin (20th). NT.
**Dave Knott flipped during the feature.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS:
Laps 1-3 Danny Sheridan, Laps 4-6 Chris Ennis, Laps 7-30 Bud Kaeding.
NEXT USAC WEST COAST 360 SPRINT RACE:
May 29 – Bakersfield (CA) Speedway – “Memorial Day Classic” - "Southwest Contractors 360 Clash"
USAC WEST COAST 360 SPRINT CAR POINT STANDINGS:
1. Craig Stidham 506
2. Peter Murphy 439
3. Davey Pombo 412
4. Rusty Carlile 353
5. T.J. Smith 353
6. Justyne Hamblin 340
7. Jace VanderWeerd 331
8. Danny Faria Jr. 304
9. Andy Ferris 295
10. Richard VanderWeerd 274
11. Chris Ennis 267
12. Jonathan Logan 259
13. Danny Sheridan 224
14. Jimmy Thompson 187
15. Jesse Mack 168
16. Wes Gutierrez 153
17. Geoffrey Strole 148
18. Garrett Ishii 146
19. Dean Alexander 135
20. Dave Knott 130
21. Kevin Barnes 114
22. Albert Pombo 109
23. Matt Day 93
24. Ricky Kirkbride 87
25. Aaron Altaffer 85
26. Jared Little 71
27. Matt Streeter 69
--- Bud Kaeding 69
29. Bill Jones 55
30. Koen Shaw 49
31. Steve Osborne 47
32. Ronnie Case 44
33. Ray Knight 40
34. Scott Kinney 36
35. Joey Layman 35
36. Adam Frith-Smith 26
--- Steve DeMott 26
38. Marty Hawkins 23
39. Jeff Culver 20
40. Tyler Schmidt 13