COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. — Tim Kaeding brought the fans to their feet with a run from fifth-to-first on Wednesday night at Cottage Grove Speedway for his second consecutive World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series victory on the Gold Rush Tour and ninth series win overall this season.
Kaeding and the Roth Motorsports entry battled past Cody Darrah for the lead on lap 15 and held off Kyle Larson to the checkered flag in the 40-lap feature.
World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series championship leader Daryn Pittman was third with polesitter Joey Saldana in fourth and Donny Schatz in fifth.
Saldana led the opening laps by working the bottom of the track before Darrah took a few laps to get his speed going around the top as he blazed to a solid lead coming off of turn four on lap three for the lead.
The top line took off dropping Saldana a few positions over the next few laps while Larson and Kaeding both ran behind Darrah on the top of the quarter-mile oval.
The top three of Darrah, Kaeding and Saldana remained tight as they entered lapped traffic beginning on lap 10. With traffic forcing them to swap lines the battle tightened up over the next several laps. Darrah bobbled in turn four trying to navigate the traffic and Kaeding seized the opportunity to take the lead on lap 15.
A caution flag two laps later with a spin that nearly collected Schatz. The ensuing restart saw Larson jump up to second and Pittman go from fifth to third before caution would fly another two laps later for Kerry Madsen with a flat left-front tire. Two laps later Brandon Wimmer and Madsen tangled in another incident causing caution to fly once more.
From there Kaeding took charge of the race with Larson closing the gap at the end but unable to find a way around Kaeding.
“It’s awesome to win nine Outlaw races in one year, and just to beat these guys is just awesome,” said Kaeding. “We get to go out and have fun, and I have to thank my crew, they’ve done a lot of work so far this week and we’ve still got a long way to go. We had a few mishaps earlier this year and we’ve gotten out of that hole and now we’re just trying to have fun. We’re getting closer to home and hopefully we can keep that momentum going.”
Larson worked on saving his tires, but ran out of time to finish second.
“I’ve ran second to TK too many times,” said Larson. “We fell back to fourth and then had a really good restart and got to second. From there it just took rubber and it was going to be hard to pass. I was hoping that I would have enough tire to make it longer than Tim. It gives us a little momentum going in to Chico and it would be good to get a three-peat there and then back it up with a win at Antioch maybe.”
Pittman finished on the podium and gained valuable championship points in his quest to win a first World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series crown for himself and car owner Kasey Kahne.
“We were a little free, but I was better than I have been in the last several races,” said Pittman. “We got one really good restart there and went from sixth to third. It was a good run for us and we were able to make a little headway. We weren’t bad, but we just weren’t good enough to win. We’ll still make some changes and come back and get a win.”
Pittman enters Thursday night’s race at Southern Oregon Speedway in Medford, Ore., with a 26-point lead over Schatz.