Kaeding Captures Night Three

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For Tim Kaeding winning never gets old. On Wednesday in the third night of the 36th Annual DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Mopar Speedshop, the California native was able to do one of his trademark Victory Lane celebrations as he picked up the checkered flag in the 30-lap A-Feature event for the O’Reilly All Star Circuit of Champions for his second career win with the series.

“Every time you go out and win, it is like the first time you won a race,” said Kaeding. “You just have to take it and run with it, because you don’t know when the next one will come. It was unbelievable.”

Kaeding lined on the outside of the second row for the event that paid $7,000-to win, with his car owner and 20-time World of Outlaws Champion Steve Kinser to his inside. He quickly jumped to third as he and Joey Saldana chased early race leader Fred Rahmer.

Saldana took the lead from Rahmer before 10 of the 30 laps were even on the board. Kaeding patiently followed Rahmer and got past the veteran driver just past the halfway mark to set his sights on Saldana.

In heavy lapped traffic, Kaeding was able to close on Saldana and made several attempts to make the pass for the lead, each time coming up just short. With only four laps to go, Kaeding made the pass to take the lead. The yellow flag flew a lap later and bunched the field up, with one lapped car separating the leaders. Over the final three laps, Saldana tried feverishly to get around Kaeding. He tried the high side and then the low side coming off of all four turns. As the pair excited the fourth turn on the final lap, Kaeding maintained his low line on the track and held off Saldana by just inches at the line.

“I think we dropped a cylinder with about five to go,” said Kaeding. “We just prayed it would stay together for the last four or five laps there and it did. I just have to thank my crew, and everybody that is helping out, especially Steve Kinser Racing. They have given me the opportunity of a lifetime. That is why Steve hired me, to go out and wins for him. I’m just going to do what I can all year long and have fun.”

With the World of Outlaws season opener on Friday night, Kaeding knows that the competition will be just as tough as it was the last three nights. Three more nights of racing await, with 25-lap feature on Friday and Saturday, with a 30-lapper schedule for the finale on Sunday night.

“Everybody will be gunning for you tomorrow night,” he said when sizing up the competition. “You’re going to have 30 good cars, plus 25 other good ones.”

After setting quick time Saldana driving for NASCAR star Kasey Kahne had one of the fastest cars on the track all night. After a win on Tuesday night and a solid fifth on Wednesday night, Saldana felt like he had the car to beat on Thursday.

“Lapped cars were not going very well for me,” said Saldana. “That helped Tim close in on us. I just wasn’t getting through lapped traffic well enough. We’ll just come back tomorrow and see what we can do.”

Jac Haudenschild turned in a very solid performance to come home fourth in his first night of racing in 2007. Terry McCarl was fifth, for his third straight Top-Five finish.

Craig Dollansky finished sixth, with Chad Kemenah just behind him. Daryn Pittman also turned in a top-10 run as he came home ninth.

Jason Solwold, who won on Wednesday night, came home 11th, with Jeremy Campbell in 13th. Steve Kinser was running in the Top-Four all night, until a last lap contact from a lapped car relegated him to a 15th-place finish.

Also racing in the 30-lap A-Feature on Thursday night were: Paul McMahan, Tony Bruce Jr., Randy Hannagan, and Danny Lasoski.

Other World of Outlaws competitors that were in action on Thursday included: Brian Carlson, Jason Martin, and Jason Meyers.

The 2007 World of Outlaws season opens on Friday February 9 as part of the 36th Annual DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Mopar Speedshop.

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