Bud Kaeding Captures Another Ocean Sprints Win, Johnson, Elrod, Grilli, and Mueller Also Take Victoriesracepmg
Watsonville, CA – Bud Kaeding of Campbell won his fourth Ocean Sprints main event of the season, but it certainly did not come easy. After an incident on the first lap involving Salinas’ Jeremy Chisum and Coalinga’s Tucker Worth necessitated a complete restart, Kaeding showed the way jumping out to the early lead from the outside pole ahead of Dash winner Koen Shaw of Fresno. Shaw and Justin Sanders of Aromas battled for second while Kaeding pulled away to a slight advantage. The field was slowed on lap four for JJ Ringo of Morgan Hill, who stopped high up turn four. Ringo would go to the work area, but his Keller Motorsports team was unable to make repairs in time for the restart. On the restart, the top three were right on top of each other as they fought for track position. Third place running Justin Sanders would then make his presence known. As Kaeding went to the high side and Shaw the very inside of the track, Sanders split the difference and took them three wide in turn one. Sanders would try and slide by Kaeding, but wasn’t clear and slowed them both down in the process. This allowed Koen Shaw to take the lead down the back stretch and lead lap six. Shaw would stay committed to the bottom of the speedway while Kaeding and Sanders ran all over the track as they battled for second. Unfortunately for Shaw, lapped traffic was also committed to the bottom as he got stuck behind a slower car, allowing Bud Kaeding, Justin Sanders, and Stockton’s Brad Furr by. Kaeding and Sanders pulled away from the rest of the pack, with Sanders closing in looking for an opportunity to strike. As the white flag flew, Sanders would attempt a slide job into turn one, but a lapped car slipped up off the bottom, forcing Sanders to take evasive action and spin his car out, ending his chance at a win. With two laps left to run, it was then Brad Furr’s shot at the lead. Kaeding got a good jump on the restart and had a several car length lead as they took the white flag. But Brad Furr ran the bottom of turns one and two to near perfection and took the lead down the back stretch. Furr would run the bottom of turns three and four while Kaeding railed around the outside to get back by Furr and take the win by less than half a second. Koen Shaw came home third after another stellar run. Arguably the biggest surprise in the top five was Sebastopol’s Joel Myers Jr. who finished fourth in his second ever appearance at the track. Salinas’ Jason Chisum also had a great run to finish in the top five for the third time in the last four races. Brad Furr, Jeremy Chisum, and Justin Sanders won the three heat races, with Furr also winning Quick Time with an 11.689. The Ocean Sprints will have a week off before returning on August 9th.
Bakersfield’s Kevin Johnson finally shook the monkey off his back to win his first IMCA SportMod feature of the year. Johnson had finished second or third in all six of his previous appearances this season. Adriane Frost of Watsonville was on the hunt for her third win of the season and led early. Johnson had to start back in 7th due to his high point average but made quick work of the field and passed Adriane Frost to lead lap 7. Johnson would survive a couple restarts and challenges from Atwater’s Jarrod Mounce and state point leader Guy Ahlwardt of Antioch to win by just under two seconds. Adriane Frost held on for fourth with San Jose’s Randy Miller completing the top five. Jarrod Mounce and Guy Ahlwardt won the pair of heat races.
A wild Hobby Stock feature resulted in San Martin’s JC Elrod going to victory lane for the third time this year. DJ Keldsen led the first lap before a caution for Gilroy’s Nick Triolo on lap 2 slowed the race. As the race progressed, JC Elrod found himself in second after starting at the rear since he won the last time he competed. Elrod would go to the inside of Keldsen numerous times but was unable to complete the pass. With five laps to go, Elrod finally managed to clear Keldsen, but Keldsen drove deep into turn three making contact with Elrod, getting both cars out of shape. This let San Jose’s Rob Gallaher lead lap 16 while Elrod corrected himself and pulled to the inside. Elrod and Gallaher would race side by side for a couple laps before Elrod would gain the advantage again. Gallaher would then lose second to Nick Triolo, who would try to chase down Elrod. Elrod would go on to win by less than a second ahead of Triolo, with Rob Gallaher, Jerry Skelton of Watsonville, and Santa Cruz’s Terry Campion completing the top five. Unfortunately, Triolo was stripped of his runner-up finish in post-race tech for over compression. Triolo won the heat race for the division.
Prunedale’s John Grilli won his third 4-Banger feature of the season, although he crossed the line second. Grilli was promoted to the front row after the initial outside pole sitter jumped the start. Grilli would lead the first two laps before giving way to Watsonville’s Dakota Keldsen. The race ran caution free with Keldsen crossing the line first. However, officials deemed he jumped the initial start of the race and since there were no cautions, was moved back at the checkered flag. This gave John Grilli the victory ahead of Kate Beardsley of Felton and Jeff Finsand of Watsonville. Finsand didn’t report to post race tech and was subsequently disqualified. This would give Nicole Beardsley a podium finish. Keldsen won the heat race.
Jesse Mueller of the CHP won his second Police in Pursuit feature of the season. John Hohmann of the Scotts Valley PD started on the outside pole and jumped out the early lead as Mueller and fellow CHP officer Justin Rhodes made contact racing for second. Hohmann pulled away to a sizable lead, but Mueller got passed Rhodes and started to track the leader down. On lap 11, Mueller caught Hohmann and dove to the inside to take the lead. Hohmann tried to fight back but Mueller eased away to take the win by over a second ahead of John Hohmann. Justin Rhodes was third with Kyle Dorris of the San Jose PD and Roy Iler of the San Benito Sheriff’s Office completing the top five. Justin Rhodes and John Hohmann won the heat races.
This weekend is the first ever two-day Mike Cecil Memorial featuring two separate shows for the IMCA Modifieds, IMCA SportMods, and Hobby Stocks. The Modifieds will have a $700 to win feature on Friday and a $1,500 to win feature on Saturday. SportMods will go after $400 on Friday and $750 on Saturday while the Hobby Stocks will battle for a $250 top prize on Friday and $500 on Saturday.
Advance tickets to the races scheduled for this weekend, August 2-3, are available here: https://market.myracepass.com/store/tickets/?store=12231
Pits are scheduled to open at 2pm and Grandstands will open at 4:30pm. Pill draw will close at 4:30pm. The driver’s meeting is scheduled for 4:45pm. On Saturday, everything is tentatively scheduled to start an hour earlier. Pit passes are $40 for IMCA and track members and $45 for non-members. All seating is general admission and tickets cost $18 for adults and $16 for seniors. Juniors 12-15 are $12 and Kids 6-11 are $9 and Kids 5 and under are free.