Four Past Winners
Kevin Thomas Jr. (19) and Chris Windom (5g) are both past winners of the Oval Nationals. (Brendon Bauman photo)

Four Past Winners Set For Oval Nationals

PERRIS, Calif. – Four previous champions of the Budweiser Oval Nationals hope to collect another eagle trophy for their mantles in the 24th running of the event, Nov. 7-9 at Perris Auto Speedway.

Two drivers, Bud Kaeding and Damion Gardner, aim to become the first four-time winners in Oval Nationals history.  Kaeding won his three Oval Nationals titles in 2001, 2002 and 2007.

The 2006 and 2007 USAC Silver Crown champion is one of the most-tenured of all Oval Nationals participants, with 16 starts to his credit. Kaeding has reeled off seven top-five and 12 top-10 finishes.

In his most recent Oval Nationals start in 2018, Kaeding finished 19th.

No driver has made more starts in the Oval Nationals than Damion Gardner, whose 17 appearances in the event have all come consecutively since his rookie campaign in 2002.

The Concord, Calif., native accumulated Oval Nationals wins in 2009, 2011 and 2016, where he became the most recent CRA regular to notch a win in the final night’s A-Main.

In addition to his most consecutive starts streak, Gardner owns the longest streak of top-10 finishes in the Saturday night finale, with 10 in a row dating back to 2009. He has nine top-five finishes and 12 overall top-ten finishes and arrives as leader of the CRA standings, where he’s in the midst of pursuing his eighth CRA driving title and seventh-straight.

Chris Windom, meanwhile, enters with the longest streak of top-five finishes on the final night of the Oval Nationals, with three. The 2017 USAC National Sprint Car Series champion was second in 2016, followed by a fourth in 2017 and a third in 2018.

A veteran of nine starts, Windom won his first in the event in 2010 to become the youngest winner in race history at the age of 19.

Three drivers have won two-straight on the final night of the Oval Nationals. However, none have three consecutive victories, which is the task that lies ahead for Kevin Thomas Jr. at Perris.

Thomas has had his share of luck both good and bad luck at the Oval Nationals over the years, but the last two years have gone just about to perfection during the dwindling laps, with the Cullman, Ala., driver making the winning move during the final circuits of the 40-lapper.

The AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car road trip to the west begins Nov. 7-9 at Perris Auto Speedway for the 24th Budweiser Oval Nationals presented by All Coast Construction.

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