TULARE, Calif. — It wasn’t the typical place a race fan would imagine Tim Kaeding was headed after yet another victory.
Visibly exhausted and likely sore, Kaeding mustered a smile and laugh when describing his postrace celebration plans after ending his victory lane celebration surrounded by a packed grandstand of his biggest supporters on Friday night at Thunderbowl Raceway.
“Sit in an ice cold bath,” he said.
It was an elbows-up type of night during the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series opener at the high-banked, third-mile oval, which featured more cars on two wheels than a typical motorcycle race.
That fit right into Kaeding’s style and background, even if the track known to be rough was the roughest ever.
“I’m saying this was probably the roughest I’ve ever seen Tulare in (turns) one and two,” he said. “(Rough) is what I grew up on. This is kind of my home away from home. Anything that’s rough is usually what I like. It’s get in, stand on the gas, hold on and see what happens at the end.”
While many people likely picked Kaeding to record the victory – his third overall and second straight at Thunderbowl Raceway with the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series – nobody could have predicted the finish.
Donny Schatz outraced polesitter Jac Haudenschild through the opening turns of the first lap to control the top spot, which he maintained for the first 14 laps.