Images by Corey Gibson Photography – www.gibsonphotography.com.au
Californian Tim Kaeding proved too strong for the 117 other rival nominations at Sungold Premier Speedway Warrnambool for the 42nd running of the Grand Annual Sprintcar classic on Australia Day – Sunday January 26th.
Kaeding took the victory after 40 laps and was followed across the line by crowd favourites Max Dumesny and Jamie Veal. It was the first time the classic has been run over three nights – a format requirement simply necessary because of the sheer volume of entries. The format was similar to a Knoxville Nationals deal where the field was split into two, and half ran qualifying on Friday night, with the other half completing the run on Saturday night. After the two nights of time trails, Tim Kaeding signalled that he was going to be well and truly in the mix with an overall QT of 10.471 sec.
Joining Kaeding in the 2014 field were another 20 fellow Americans – all just as desperate to win the $30,000 pay cheque. The total prize pool was $208,000.
The Thomos Race Graphics Hard Luck Award was taken by America’s Brad Sweet while Cameron Gessner moved from P20 to P13 to easily claim the Hard Charger Award by Skwid Signs. Kris Lacey won Best Presented Car with huis stunningly prepared #16 Oxygen Sponsored rig.
The three days saw nearly 25,000 spectators attend, with 9500 being estimated as the crowd size on the Championship night. Notable absentees from the event were regulars Jason Johnson, Gary brazier and local shoe Stephen Bell.
Keading was brillant in the final, taking the lead from pole sitter Jamie Veal on lap 5 when he snuck under the likeable local in V35. Max Dumesny was lurking and also slipped passed Veal. The track was a bit “one lane” unfortunately in the A-Main and all cars including back markers were circulating at much the same speed – overtaking was a mammoth challenge.
The race laps counted down and it was looking like a non-stop 40 lapper until uncharacteristically Donny Schatz in a desperate attempt to move forward took a sickening tumble his #15 maxim as he rode the right rear of the Robbie Farr #7. Farr continued on but Schatz was out of the running with 10 laps to go.
Tim Kaeding was simply too good and the Sean Dyson owned #99 from Singleton NSW thoroughly deserved the win.
Torque Tube will be providing a whole stack of extra images From The Classic in the next few days as well as an array from the lead up races at Avalon (Presidents Cup) and Borderline (Kings Challenge) – please come back