Just a few tidbits this week for all you diehard dirt fans currently in the middle of what we call “the deep slumber” of dirt season where the off season doldrums have taken hold. The NDRL finished up their “pre” season festivities with a three day party in a rather chilly El Paso Texas. Tim Kaeding will now have to have serious discussions with Australian customs officials involving why he’s leaving the country with $30,000 stuffed into and falling out of his pockets. And locally, it appears that the rumors have teeth in the case of Tri City Speedway’s coming back to life in 2014.
So, if you’ve been locked out of the house because your wife caught you with perfume on your clothes and $1,000 of credit card receipts from hotels she’s never heard of. Or perhaps you’ve suffered a case of temporary amnesia and forgot all of your passwords only to discover that somebody found where you wrote them down and cleaned out your bank account, don’t worry about it, we’re here to help you catch back up on what happened in …..THIS WEEK IN DIRT
Kaeding Claims 2014 Classic Victory
California Native Tim Kaeding took home the prize and showed a packed house how to celebrate after winning the 2014 Sprint Car Classic!
from Tim Hodges at speedcafe.com.
Popular Californian Tim Kaeding won a memorable Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic at a sold-out Premier Speedway at Warrnambool.
But it’s what happened next which proved unforgettable in what will go down as one of the wildest celebrations in Australian motorsport history.
The American World of Outlaws star celebrated with a series of high speed donuts, which ended only after he flipped and wrecked his car to the delight of the massive crowd.
He emerged triumphant, jumping on top of his upside down, smouldering machine along the front straight.
“I thought l might flip over,” Kaeding said.
“But l didn’t expect to wreck that hard.
“Put it this way, l was going down the front straight still trying to find my bearings after the donuts down the back straight.”
“l blame Millsy (Premier Speedway’s General Manager David Mills) for encouraging me, l celebrated that a little too much.”
Kaeding’s vigorous celebrations capped off a spectacular 42nd edition of the Classic – the first to be contested over three nights.
Such was the popularity of the event, organisers had to take the unprecedented step of locking the gates at 5.30pm – more than an hour before the final night’s racing began.
Warrnambool’s Jamie Veal started from pole beside Kaeding in the prestigious $30,000 to win 40 lap final.
Veal got the jump and led the opening 6 laps, before Kaeding made the decisive move of the race, and from there was never headed on a race track that was unfortunately at its worst all weekend for the final.
The race was halted 31 laps in after a vicious rollover involving Knoxville Nationals legend Donny Schatz.He’d spent several laps locked in a brilliant duel with Daryn Pittman and Robbie Farr, before Schatz rode the right rear of Farr and was pitched upside down into the turn one concrete wall, destroying his Luch Monte-owned machine.
A visibly shaken Schatz hobbled from the wreck and said he was sore, but otherwise uninjured.
On resumption Kaeding continued to set a hot pace to take the victory and top off a stunning week for the likeable American – who finished second at Avalon on Wednesday, second at Mount Gambier on Thursday, before his Sunday night Classic success.
“It’s one of the most amazing weeks I’ve ever had,” Kaeding claimed.
“I hate to ruin Australia Day, but America’s got the gold tonight.”
Two Warrnambool racers – one a veteran, the other a rising star – completed a popular podium, with Max Dumesny second ahead of Jamie Veal.
Trevor Green was fourth ahead of Kerry Madsen, Luke Dillon, Jason Meyers, James McFadden, Matt Egel and Robbie Farr completed the top 10.
A record field of Americans now return to the States for the opening to the Outlaws campaign, while the Aussie contingent heads to Tasmania for next week’s Australian title.
With a three-day crowd just under 30,000, a record car count, and a popular US victor, the classic again stamped itself across the weekend as the ultimate prize in Australian sprint car racing.
Here’s some video of Tim’s Donuts. It’s definitely worth checking out!
Blankenship Dominates in El Paso; Phillips Finally Snags Early Win
John the “COALMAN” Blankenship took some momentum from the last few races of the NDRL’s winter extreme and translated it to instant success in El Paso, Texas this weekend in the three race “Battle At The Border”. Blankenship Took home close to $10,00 for the three nights, winning the Friday and Saturday portions while taking home a fourth place finish on Sunday. The 2013 World 100 winner will focus on running the Lucas Oil Late Model Series and the NDRL full season campaign, and if voting started tomorrow, many might give him a good chance to win both and we figure he’ll definitely top Jimmy Owens in the NDRL standings no matter what!
Terry Phillips had a disappointing week in Tucson, showing signs of brilliance and suffering heartbreak. But the heartbreak is now past him for the meantime. Phillips held off various charges to take the Sunday night 40 lap $5,000 to win feature at El Paso this weekend. The veteran driver looks primed to make the most of a true outlaw schedule in 2014.
TRI City Speedway (PA) Announcement
When Tri City Speedway in Franklin shut it’s doors in the summer of 2011, it continued a trend that made dirt racing fans across western Pennsylvania wonder if the area was too saturated with facilities for the existing amount of cars and fans.
But even with that possibility, Tri City was most likely the one track that if area fans had to choose to bring back from the dead so to speak, save possibly for the former Challenger Raceway, that would top the “bring back” list, and there had been rumors circulating for months about a possible re-opening.
For diehard Tri City fans, there may be some light at the end of the tunnel as a potential new ownership group plans to re open the facility in 2014 and has apparently scheduled 5 Sunday night special programs including Sprints, Big Block Modifieds, Stocks, and Fastrak Late Models. We can’t speak for the group, or to the likelihood that this is actually going to happen. Officially only PLANS to purchase and operate the facility are in place, and there is some doubt among skeptics about the seriousness or capability of the Thomas Group, the organization which has stepped forward to re kindle the Tri City flame.
All we can say at this time is to look forward with guarded optimism and continue the hope and stay tuned for more official announcements. In the meantime here is a statement and a video explaining the plans and facility acquisition process from a video conference held last Friday.
Statement from the Thomas Organization:
They’ve also started a new website which we’ll link here so you can all bookmark it.