The Calistoga Hall of Fame announced last week that Brent Kaeding, the most decorated California sprint car driver of all-time, has been named Grand Marshal of the 12th Annual Louie Vermeil Classic at the famed half-mile Calistoga Speedway dirt track.
The Louie Vermeil Classic will again be held during the Labor Day weekend, Aug. 31 and Sept. 1.
This year, the King of the West-NARC Fujitsu series will join the AMSOIL USAC/CRA non-winged sprint cars for a doubleheader night of racing. On Friday night, Aug. 30, the Calistoga Speedway Hall of Fame dinner will take place inside the Tubbs Building at the Napa County Fairgrounds.
A Campbell, Calif. native, Kaeding is a Hall of Fame member at Calistoga Speedway and a 13-time champion of both the Northern Auto Racing Club and the Golden State Challenge Series. He’s the all-time leader in wins for both series, and his 21 main event wins at Calistoga place him second all-time on the wins list. He is also listed with seven wins as a car owner at Calistoga.
Kaeding and Steve Kent are tied for the most Tribute to Gary Patterson wins at Calistoga. Kaeding is one of the few drivers to win a non-winged and winged sprint car race at Calistoga Speedway.
“It’s a wonderful honor to be named Grand Marshal of the Louie Vermeil,” said Kaeding, 61. “I have so many great memories of racing there with a wing and without.
“The racing was always great but the things that stick out to me are all pre- or post-race activities like the pancake breakfasts, racing during the fairs, and drinking out in the pavilion until the sun came up.”
Kaeding was helped by legendary crew chief Billy Albini, leader of the hogs, who passed away in March.
This year, the Calistoga Speedway is inducting Albini to join Kaeding in the Hall of Fame.
“I knew of Billy in the ‘70’s, but we actually partnered up in 1987. We had a lot of success and won too many races to remember.” Kaeding said. “We miss Billy tremendously and will be honored to be a part of his Hall of Fame induction to Calistoga Speedway.”
Tickets for either the Hall of Fame dinner or Louie Vermeil Classic can be purchased by calling (916) 773-7223, Tuesday through Sunday.
Fans can also purchase general admission tickets online at hmc-promotions.ticketleap.com/2019-louie-vermeil-classic.