59th Annual Johnny Key Classic Set for Saturday Night

59th Annual Johnny Key Classic Set for Saturday Night

Watsonville, CA – The 59th running of the Johnny Key Classic will take place this Saturday at Ocean Speedway.  The race featuring the Civil War vs. Ocean Sprints will have a $5,000 payday for the winner.  At last year’s event, Minden, Nevada’s Tanner Thorson took the checkered flag in the 50-lap affair after an exciting race with Visalia’s Cory Eliason.  Aromas’ Justin Sanders and Campbell’s Bud Kaeding finished first and second at last week’s weekly show and will both be on the hunt for their second career Key victories.  Sanders won his first in 2016 and Kaeding won his first back in 1996 when the event was held at San Jose Speedway.  Fresno’s Koen Shaw looked poised for a victory last week but a collapsed front wing took that opportunity away from him.  Shaw will certainly look for redemption this Saturday night at one of the biggest races on the West Coast.  Janesville’s Chelsea Blevins, Gilroy’s Kurt Nelson, Stockton’s Brad Furr, and Morgan Hill’s JJ Ringo are just several of the many drivers expected to compete this weekend.  Legendary West Coast announcer George Hague will once again be behind the microphone on Saturday. 

The IMCA Modifieds are back for the first time since the Mike Cecil Memorial.  Salinas’ Bobby Hogge IV swept both days at the Cecil, with Martinez’s Troy Foulger and Oakley’s Kellen Chadwick coming in second and third both days.  The fight for the championship is getting interesting with five races left this season.  Cody Burke had a 1 point lead over his brother, Austin, and a 7 point lead over Prunedale’s Jim Pettit II. 

The IMCA SportMods are also back after a week off.  At the Cecil, Bakersfield’s Kevin Johnson and Antioch’s Guy Ahlwardt shared the wins over the two days.  Atwater’s Jarrod Mounce finished in the top five both days and extended his lead in the championship to a 23 point gap ahead of Watsonville’s Adriane Frost. 

The Western Midgets return to the track for the first time since July 19th. Honolulu, Hawaii’s Keoni Texeria picked up the win, the first to dethrone Fresno’s David Prickett.  Watsonville’s Tyler Slay, Atascadero’s Randi Pankratz, Pacific Grove’s Greg Edenholm, and Hollister’s Adam Lemke completed the top five. 

On Friday, August 16th, the annual prerace party and car show will take place at the Taco Bravo location in Campbell starting at 5pm.  Presale tickets will be available.  There will be no online ticketing this week. 

Pits are scheduled to open at 1pm and Grandstands will open at 3:30pm.  Pill draw will close at 3:30pm.  The driver’s meeting is scheduled for 3:45pm.  Pit passes are $40 for track members and $45 for non-members.  All seating is general admission.

Photo Credits to Paul Trevino. 

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