WATSONVILLE ó Race fans packed the house Friday and Saturday night for the Howard Kaeding Classic at Ocean Speedway.
The open wheel extravaganza featured the United States Auto Clubís Western Classic sprint car series and USACís Western States Midget Tour Friday night and the King of the West winged sprint car series Saturday night.
Brent Kaeding, the eldest of the Kaeding sons, opened the weekend that honors his father by winning USACís Western Classic series 30-lap main event for traditional non-wing sprint cars.
ďIím very happy to claim this win that honors my dad,Ē Kaeding said. ďHis attitude to achieve success has permeated each of our generations.Ē
His sons, Bud and Tim, are also carrying the familyís legacy. Bud is a three-time USAC Silver Crown Champion. He has 10 sprint car wins this season and is tied for the top spot in national sprint car rankings. His older brother Tim equaled his fatherís accomplishments Friday night by winning his third World of Outlaw feature in Cedar Lake, Iowa. Heís also a King of California sprint car champion.
Approaching 80, Howard Kaedingís career spans 45 years. Heís competed in 2,500 races and has won approximately 10 percent of his main events. He was also a four-time Johnny Key Memorial winner and a four-time California State NASCAR champion.
Placervilleís Kyle Hirst was a bridesmaid for the second time in a week to the 13-time King of California champion. Kaeding led Hirst across the line in round 13 of the King of the West feature at Placerville Speedway on June 30.
Morgan Hillís Eric Rossi finished third, the only other local driver finishing in the top five. Oceanís local Taco Bravo racers Tommy LaLiberte and Jerry Bonnema finished sixth and ninth, respectively.
The divisionís fast qualifier, Ryan Bernal, Oceanís Taco Bravo series leader Shane Golobic and Bud Kaeding were involved in a crash on lap three, eliminating them from the competition.
Bernal, 18, is currently the trackís youngest champion. He won his first title and rookie honors at 14 in Oceanís non-wing spec-sprint division and a second title at 16.
The qualifying heat races were won by Golobic, Bernal and Hirst.
Two ladies, Shana Hogg and Shannon McQueen, are the current point leaders in USACís Western Classic and Western States Midget series.
For the complete article see the 07-10-2012 issue.
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