Sprint Car Insider – Driver Exclusive. FRESNO, Ca (September 27, 2018) -> Everyone remembers their first love and that passion cannot be replaced.
For Caden Stoll there is one weekend he counts down to on his calendar every year. That would be this weekend, – the week of the Caruthers District Fair where he gets his lone annual opportunity to race on two wheels again.
The micro sprint career is focus number one, but being reunited with his first love could not come at a better time this year considering the position he is in.
Last week at the Mark Hagopian Memorial, while driving his Restricted 600 micro sprint car, Stoll proved he is a big show performer. During his heat race on night one, he drove around the outside of the leader to take the win. What was impressive about it was how heavy the track was and most drivers complained you couldn’t make passes on it at that stage in the night. In motocross racers learn a lesson early that everyone in racing should, – you never follow. No matter which line is better, or which one is faster, you can’t pass someone if you’re in it.
That came into play for Stoll in that scenario. Once again, however, the inversion didn’t fall their way after qualifying 2nd. He would again start near mid-pack and have his work cut out for him. Stoll charged through the field eventually contesting for a top 5 but ended up settling for 7th on the night.
Night two didn’t go quite as well in the finishing column but he showed some serious speed. After being the first car on the track to qualify his lap time stood for 6th quick when it was said and done. Had he been around that time the previous night he would have had a better main event starting position. There is no pick your starting spot based off your last race finish…
In the heat race, he came away with forth and it was into the main event from there. The main got rolling and so did Stolly. This time he would match through the field and into the top 5. He was catching the leaders charging up through the pack until he went looking for the berm.
The cushion must not have been enough as he went for the Jeremy McGrath haymaker block pass on the berm that wasn’t there. He did manage to ride out the wall and give the crowd something to cheer. Unfortunately for Stoll that would cause too much damage to continue. He ended up pulling the car in after giving it one more go and feeling unsafe to continue.
After last weekend Stoll has much more confidence heading into the finale at Delta where the title is on the line. But this weekend, this weekend may be just what the doctor ordered.
See Caden Stoll has a passion for racing dirt bikes. Had he not suffered a devastating head injury while his amateur career was beginning to prosper, who knows where he would be today? For the Stoll’s it’s hard to look back and say, “what if,” considering some of the riders he beat on a regular basis are now some of the highest touted amateurs coming out of the ranks.
But Josh Stoll, Caden’s father, does not regret the decision whatsoever. To him, having his son around is worth much more than a potentially prosperous motocross career. Albeit admittedly there are times when both wish they were on a starting gate as opposed to starting straight, there is one week a year when all the memories come flooding back.
Every September rolls around and the X’s crossed out of the Calandar get closer to the weekend highlighted in bold and when the Caruthers district fair rolls around it’s time to relive the glory days.
“There is one weekend a year I let Caden race a dirt bike,” said Josh Stoll. “This is what he really loves to do so we come out here and have some fun. He lives for this weekend, as much as he wants to race bikes again, this is as close as it gets.”
But it’s much more than just fun for Stoll. This is where he feels at home, this is his comfort zone. According to Caden he’s getting the hang of the micro and he enjoys it a lot, but there is nothing like racing on two wheels. While it may not be on a full-size motocross track, or even on full-size bikes, it’s just the atmosphere and the fact that it only has two wheels that matter. Although it’s a flat track race, on yet another oval, it’s still a dirt bike race.
“You’re just more in control of the outcome yourself,” said Caden. “If I’m behind I can charge to the front and make the move. I don’t have to put much effort on making the bike perfect, it’s on me.”
With that being said when you see the look in Stoll’s eyes, they can say it’s about fun all they want, but they come to win.
And In 2017, winning is all they did.
Stoll comes into the 2018 Caruthers District fair as the defending champion after dethroning Kris Bunch and his 8-year winning streak of the pit bike class. On the outside looking in, had you never met Josh or Caden Stoll, you would have thought this race was for the AMA National Flat Track Championship with the amount of focus and preparation they put into beating Bunch.
Riding out of Caruthers as a champion was all that mattered and he did it.
Just like at Plaza last weekend in the micro sprint he rode around the outside of Bunch to assert his dominance and stop the streak. Before 2017 Bunch had not been stopped since 2008. But Stolly handed him the L.
“When I beat him it felt like I had won a national,” said Caden. “He rode by me and said ‘You killed it, you stopped my streak, now go make your own.’ Hearing him say that let me know I had really accomplished something. But I also know he ain’t giving it up that easy.
Through the rumor mill, it’s said that Bunch has been preparing to take his title back all season. He has put in work on the bikes and had this race marked on his calendar as well. Can Stoll keep his streak alive? Or does Bunch have a trick up his sleeve to take it back?
No matter how much weight the race does, or maybe doesn’t carry, a rivalry has been born. The weight this event certainly does carry for the Stoll’s however, is that reoccurring theme motorcycle racers speak of all too often – confidence.
The confidence gained with that victory certainly translates into Caden’s Micro Sprint racing career. As his victory over a local pro did two things. First, it reassured Caden he is still capable of winning on two wheels, and how much fun it is, reveals why he does it in the first place. But second, it showed him the class level he is at mentally. If he wants to win bad enough he can make it happen, according to his father. That is the confidence that translates to the four-wheel racing and displays why this one off, motorcycle bout is well worth it.
“There is no perfect formula to instill confidence in your driver,” said Josh Stoll. “But whatever does do it, keep it up! He has so much fun doing this and sometimes we need to be reminded of that. That is the reason we started, to have fun.”
Josh can say it’s about fun all he wants but if you see Caden there’s only one thing on his mind, there’s no changing the mentality of a winner.
“Yeah, I come here to have fun. But you know what is fun?
Winning!” – Caden Stoll
The saga continues Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Caruthers district fair.
Quick Results: Friday, September 21, 2018
2nd Annual Mark Hagopian Memorial
Keller Auto Raceway Plaza Park – Night One
Caden Stoll #2c– Restricted 600
- Qualifying: 2nd
- Heat Race: 1st
- Main Event: 7th
Quick Results: Saturday, September 22, 2018
2nd Annual Mark Hagopian Memorial
Keller Auto Raceway Plaza Park – Night two
- Qualifying: 6th
- Heat Race: 4th
- Main Event: 20th DNF
- Wins: 2
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- Biggest Accomplishments: Qualifying for the Loretta Lynn’ Amateur Motocross nationals and getting a top 10.
- Winning a micro sprint race in my rookie year.
- Winning 3 King of California races in two years.
- Winning the Caruthers district fair over a local pro in 2017
Catch Caden Stoll in action this next at –
- Caruthers District Fair Flat Track
- September 27, 28, 29, 2018
- Caruthers, California
On deck: (upcoming races)
- King of California Rd. 15
October 5, 2018
- King of California Rd, 16
October 6, 2018
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On the Horizon for Caden Stoll
2018 California Cup (Cal Cup)
October 12-13, 2018
Turkey Bowl XVIII
October 26-27, 2018
35th Annual Tulsa Shootout *Maybe*
January 1-5, 2019
Tulsa Expo Center
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