Dennis Simunovich and Tony Oliveira win May 20th at Ocean Speedwayracepmg
Simunovich and Olivieira take first wins of 2016
By Sean Stanish
Watsonville, CA – Hollister’s Dennis Simunovich swept the evening and ended Anthony Giuliani’s winning streak in the IMCA Sport Mods, but it wasn’t for lack of effort from the Morgan Hill driver. In the first of two heat races, Turlock’s Chris Falkenberg took the victory. San Martin’s Justin McPherson, Prunedale’s Matt Hagio, Pacifica’s Shane DeVolder, and San Jose’s Charlie Hunter rounded out the top five. Atascadero’s Vaughn Vondero was scored sixth. In the second heat race, Dennis Simunovich was victorious. Watsonville’s Adriane Frost, Morgan Hill’s Jim DiGiovanni, Anthony Giuliani, and San Jose’s John Ferro completed the top five. San Jose’s Michael Kofnovec Jr. was sixth. In the 20-lap A-Main, outside pole-sitter John Ferro spun on the opening lap, collecting Justin McPherson, Anthony Giuliani, and Adriane Frost in the process. This forced a complete restart, with Dennis Simunovich starting on the outside of Shane DeVolder. Simunovich took the lead from the rookie driver and started to gap the field, with Anthony Giuliani buried in the pack after his first lap dust-up. A frightening incident on lap seven halted the race, when Vaughn Vondero flipped in turn two and then caught fire after the officials righted his car. Vondero, a regular at Santa Maria Raceway, was reported to be uninjured in the crash. On the restart, Dennis Simunovich pulled away from the pack as Shane DeVolder, Chris Falkenberg, and Matt Hagio battled behind him. Meanwhile, Anthony Giuliani was up to fifth and then up to second several laps later. Giuliani set his sights on Dennis Simunovich, who had pulled out nearly a straightaway lead. Giuliani took chunks of time off of Simunovich and was on his rear bumper by the time there were just two laps to go. As the white flag waved, Giuliani was side-by-side with Simunovich, but looped it in turn one, ending his bid for a third victory this season. This set up a two lap dash to the finish, with Dennis Simunovich going unchallenged. Defending champion Matt Hagio wound up second with Shane DeVolder, Jim DiGiovanni, and Chris Falkenberg completing the top five. The IMCA Sport Mods are back in action June 3rd.
In the American Stocks, Watsonville’s Tony Oliveira’s win made it four different race winners in four races thus far in 2016. Car count forced a single heat race for the division, with San Jose’s Robert Gallaher grabbing the win. Corralitos’ Ron Bonnema, Tony Oliveira, San Jose’s Katie Briggs, and Freedom’s William Kennedy rounded out the top five. In the 20-lap feature, William Kennedy led from the drop of the green flag with Tony Oliveira running second. Several laps in, Ron Bonnema made his way by Oliveira and started tracking down William Kennedy for the lead. On lap 11, while battling for the lead, Bonnema’s car appeared to push up into Kennedy’s in turn three. Contact ensued and Bonnema wound up backwards and out of contention for his second win of the season. On the restart, Tony Oliveira took the lead from Kennedy, with Robert Gallaher and Nick Triolo running closely behind. The next yellow came out on lap 12 for Katie Briggs, who lost a right rear tire entering turn one. On the restart, Tony Oliveira managed to hold off Robert Gallaher and Nick Triolo to take his first win of the year. Gallaher was second, with William Kennedy completing the podium. Nick Triolo spun out of turn four on the last lap, which allowed Watsonville’s George Fernandez to take fourth with a nearly shot transmission. Triolo was scored fifth. The American Stocks return June 3rd.
The speedway will be closed this Friday in observation of Memorial Day.
Photo credits to Racing Edge Video Productions & Photo