Bud Kaeding has already won six Sprint Car races in 2010. He won two in Australia, three in California and one in New Mexico. While the wins have been nice, Kaeding has yet to win a race in the series that matters most to him.
Bud Kaeding has three USAC K&N Silver Crown Series podium finishes.
Kaeding wants to win as many USAC K&N Silver Crown Series races as he can this year. So far, he's 0-for-3. But he leads the USAC K&N Silver Crown Series standings after three races.
"We won three championships with the car already," said Keading, a 30-year-old driver from Campbell, Calif. "Our goal this year, obviously, is we want to win another championship. But we want to win more races. Winning one or two races a year isn't what we want to do. This is only an 11-race series; it's a tough series. It's tough to win multiple races."
Keading won the Silver Crown championship in 2006, 2007 and 2009. He started the 2010 Silver Crown season with a runner-up finish at USA Raceway in Tucson, Ariz. He qualified eighth and moved his way up to the lead, but he lost it on the last lap of the race and finished second.
He followed the Tucson race with a third-place finish at Iowa Speedway on May 22.
"We started 10th in Iowa and got to second real early in the race," Kaeding said. "We had a restart on lap 12, running second. On the restart, our engine didn't take off. We fell back to like 11th. Throughout the race, just kind of picked cars off. I think I used up my car too early, used my tires up way too early. The last few laps of the race we were running second. We got a yellow with like eight laps to go. On the restart, we just really didn't have enough left for the leader. On the restart, we lost second place and we ended up third there."
At the Indiana State Fairgrounds, Kaeding finished second to Shane Hmiel on May 28. It was his third podium finish in a row and gave him an 18-point cushion over Jerry Coons Jr. in the Silver Crown standings. The next Silver Crown race is July 8 at Illiana Motor Speedway in Indiana.
Kaeding traveled to Australia in January to race at Brisbane International Speedway. He won two races there and said he had little competition in the second win.
"We killed them that race," Kaeding said. "We won by nine seconds. It was a pretty exciting race for us. We started fourth and got the lead on like lap eight. From there on, we checked out. It was one of the best cars that I've had in a long time."
When he returned to the United States, he won a race in Las Cruces, N.M., and followed with a win in Tulare, Calif., at Thunderbowl Raceway. He agreed to race in New Mexico as a favor for a friend.
"A buddy of mine's got a Sprint car out there," Kaeding said. "He hadn't raced it in a couple of years and wanted me to come out and shake it down for him. We got it going pretty good and picked up a win out there."
"In that race, we started sixth and we had a yellow flag with four or five laps to go. On the restart we just kind of squeaked by the guys leading the race. They have double file restarts. That put us right in the second row. Our car was real good in clean air. Once we got out in the lead, we kind of checked out in that race again."
Kaeding won back-to-back races at his home track, Ocean Speedway in Watsonville, Calif., in April. In his most recent win, Kaeding said he was able to pass the leader through lapped traffic late in the race. He took over the lead with about 10 laps to go and pulled away from the leaders. Kaeding said it was a case of experience over youth.
"If we're not winning the races, we're right there to win them," Kaeding said. "That's what it takes to become a consistent winner is learning how be up there. Once you start winning a race or two, that's when they start clicking off. There's a lot of momentum going with our team right now. Running up front it keeps everyone excited and enthused. That's what we need."
Bud Kaeding Racing and K&N have been working together for about six years, Kaeding said.
"It's been really good," Kaeding said. "The people are really easy to work with there. There's never really much of a hassle. Our engine builders love their stuff. The product's proven. We're a team that likes to run in the front and likes to win. That's what K&N expects of us."
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