Bud Kaeding Takes Third Win of the Season, Ahlwardt, Gallaher, Biscardi, and McCabe Also Grab Victories

Bud Kaeding Takes Third Win of the Season, Ahlwardt, Gallaher, Biscardi, and McCabe Also Grab Victories

Watsonville, CA – Bud Kaeding of Campbell collected his third win of the 2019 Ocean Sprints season, but it didn’t come easy.  Aromas’ Justin Sanders jumped out to the lead on the start ahead of Dash winner Mitchell Faccinto of Hanford.  Sanders looked solid out front and quickly encountered lapped traffic, which he handled easily.  The first caution came out on lap six for Corralitos’ Jerry Bonnema, who came to a halt on the back stretch with a destroyed front end, bringing his night to a premature conclusion.  Sanders continued to lead Faccinto, with Fresno’s Dominic Scelzi and Bud Kaeding lurking in third and fourth.  Sanders continued to lead, but Faccinto peaked to the inside as they entered lapped traffic.  Just behind them, Kaeding moved past Scelzi for third.  The red flag came out on lap 14 when Joey Ancona of Concord went wide in turn two, backed into the wall, and had a soft rollover.  Ancona was able to rejoin the field.  Sanders jumped out the lead on the restart, but Faccinto, Kaeding, and Scelzi were engaged in a dog fight for second.  Kaeding would slide past Faccinto for second and soon after the final caution of the night came out for Lemoore’s Cole Macedo, who stopped on the backstretch with a flat tire.  Justin Sanders would lead the field back to green, but Bud Kaeding made his presence known as he dove to the inside of Sanders, with Sanders able to drive back around the outside of him.  The following lap, Kaeding threw a slider into turn one and barely cleared Sanders’ left front wheel.  Sanders, having the momentum on the high side, slammed into the back of Kaeding, but the pair were able to keep their cars pointed in the right direction.  Bud Kaeding was able to pull away for his third win of the season as Justin Sanders and Dominic Scelzi fought over the runner-up spot, with Sanders just edging Scelzi across the line.  Mitchell Faccinto came home fourth in his first Ocean Sprints appearance of the year.  Morgan Hill’s JJ Ringo had another stellar run aboard the Keller Motorsports entry to collect his third top five of his rookie campaign.  Castro Valley’s Jake Andreotti was Hard Charger, advancing four spots in the feature.  Heat race wins went to Bud Kaeding, Dominic Scelzi, and Gilroy’s Kurt Nelson.  Kaeding was also Quick Time on the night with an 11.757 lap. 

Antioch’s Guy Ahlwardt won his first IMCA SportMod feature of the season, making it four different winners in four races.  The IMCA statewide point leader charged from seventh on the grid to take the win.  Tracy’s KC Keller started on pole and led the first eight laps before Ahlwardt took over the lead.  Two Bakersfield visitors in Kevin Johnson and Michael Johnson were Ahlwardt’s closest competition.  Atwater’s Jarrod Mounce and Watsonville’s TJ Etchison completed the top five.  A great field of 18 cars were in attendance.  Heat wins went to KC Keller, Kevin Johnson, and Jarrod Mounce. 

San Jose’s Robert Gallaher picked up his third Hobby Stock after an entertaining A-Main.  Gallaher traded the lead with DJ Keldsen of Watsonville several times, with Gallaher eventually getting the upper hand.  Robert’s father, Joe, was also in contention throughout the majority of the race.  At the checkered flag, Robert Gallaher won by less than half a second over DJ Keldsen, with Joe Gallaher completing the podium.  Unfortunately, Keldsen was DQed in post-race tech, moving Joe up to second.  The original fourth place finisher, Bobby Huckaby Sr. of Santa Cruz was also DQed for not reporting to tech.  This moved his son Bobby Jr. up to third, Los Banos’ Allen Neal to fourth, and Gilroy’s Chris McCabe to fifth.  Freedom’s Wally Kennedy and DJ Keldsen won the pair of heat races. 

San Jose’s Mark Biscardi has driven flawlessly thus far in 2019, winning his third Dwarf Car feature of the year in the division’s third race.  Biscardi’s only blemish on his record Friday was that he didn’t lead every lap.  Campbell’s Eric Weisler led the first circuit before Biscardi made the pass for the lead.  A scary incident occurred at the halfway point of the race when Gene Pires Jr. of Los Banos had a violent series of rollovers in turn three after he caught the cushion wrong, sending him for a big ride.  Thankfully, he was OK.  Mark Biscadi went on to win by nearly two seconds ahead of Hollister’s Ryan Ameln and Eric Weisler.  Redwood City’s Barry Waddell and Atwater’s Lonnie Tekaat completed the top five.  Tekaat and Biscardi were winners in the heat races. 

The 2012 4-Banger champion, Dan McCabe of Tracy, made a triumphant return to Ocean Speedway, taking home the victory.  Prunedale’s John Grilli started on pole and led the first 19 laps, with Scott’s Valley’s Ryan McClelland and McCabe hounding him for the lead.  McClelland and McCabe would come to blows, with McClelland getting the worst of it.  McCabe would continue on and catch Grilli for the lead on the final corner.  McCabe threw a slider as best he could with his front-wheel-drive car and made it stick to grab the win.  John Grilli was second, with Watsonville’s Tony Gullo a distant third place.  Kate and Nicole Beardsley of Felton completed the top five.  John Grilli and Ryan McClelland won the heat races. 

This Friday, it’s a Midget invasion with a co-sanctioned BCRA and WMR Midget program headlining the action.  The IMCA SportMods, Hobby Stocks, and Dwarf Cars are all back on the card.  It is also the third Police in Pursuit race of the season. 

Advance tickets to the races scheduled for Friday, June 7th are available here: https://market.myracepass.com/store/tickets/?i=1176018&store=12231

Pits are scheduled to open at 2pm and Grandstands will open at 4:30pm.  Pill draw will close at 4:30pm, with the driver’s meeting scheduled for 4:45pm.  Pit passes are $40 for track and IMCA 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.

Photo Credits to Joe Shivak Imagery.

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