WARRANAMBOOL, Australia — Californian Tim Kaeding wildly celebrated a $30,000 victory in Sunday night’s 42nd Lucas Oil Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic before a crowd of more than 9,000 at Sungold Stadium.
Kaeding’s car ended up rolling on its side on the main straightaway after he concluded a succession of high-speed donuts in outrageous and entertaining celebrations after the race.
Kaeding outran 23 other drivers in the 40-lap finale and became the first American to win Australia’s equivalent of the Knoxville Nationals since Shane Stewart in 2010.
Kaeding grabbed the lead on lap five when he raced under early leader Jamie Veal, who won Saturday’s preliminary feature. Kaeding led home multiple Classic winner Max Dumesny and Veal.
Kaeding said of his celebrating that it was unexpected how his car would end up.
“I wasn’t expecting that to happen,” he said. “In the race I never once left the bottom. I didn’t expect to have the week I’ve had. It was one of those weeks with no expectations. This win will be awesome for me as I go into a new season back home.”
Kaeding’s car-owner Sean Dyson was still coming to terms with his team’s effort 90 minutes after the race.
“I’m still pinching myself that we’ve just won the Classic,” Dyson said. “Two years ago I was just sitting in the crowd. Then I came home and said to my wife I want to do this and go and race that Classic. We bought the KPC Chassis car that Jason Meyers raced here two years ago and now really the rest is history. TK did an amazing job the whole time he’s been here.”
Seven-time Knoxville Nationals champion Donny Schatz went for a wild ride after running over Robbie Farr’s right-rear wheel on lap 31.
This year’s Lucas Oils Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic was the club’s first three-day extravaganza with prize money totaling $208,000, beating all records with a field of 118 cars, including 20 visiting American drivers.