Justin Sanders Charges to Second Win of the Season, Mounce, Gallaher, Grilli Also Drive to Victory Laneracepmg
Watsonville, CA – Aromas’ Justin Sanders drove to the win on Friday night for his second win of the 2019 season. Cole Macedo won the Dash and was on the hunt for his first career win at the track. Macedo showed the way early with Justin Sanders and Campbell’s Bud Kaeding in hot pursuit. Macedo was able to pull to a decent lead before a caution came out on lap five for Chowchilla’s Eric Humphries, who spun in turn two. On the restart, Macedo stayed committed to the bottom line, while Sanders tested the cushion. On lap nine, Justin Sanders built up a big run off of turn two and drove around the outside of Cole Macedo. The next lap, Macedo threw a slider on Sanders, but Sanders was able to turn under and retake the lead. Sanders entered lapped traffic and was able to pull away while Cole Macedo and Bud Kaeding started battling for second. Just after Kaeding passed Macedo, Gilroy’s Kurt Nelson spun in turn two on lap 21 to bring out the caution. This eliminated the massive lead Justin Sanders had, with Bud Kaeding now right on his tail tank. Kaeding tried to pull a slider on the restart, but wasn’t able to complete the pass. Sanders pulled away from Kaeding, but a couple more quick cautions on lap 28 allowed Kaeding one final shot at the lead. On the restart, Sanders eased away from Kaeding to lead the final two circuits and win by a second over Bud Kaeding. Cole Macedo brought his car home third and Morgan Hill’s JJ Ringo won Hard Charger honors after another stellar drive from the rookie. Stockton’s Brad Furr completed the top five. Bud Kaeding won Time Trials with a blistering 11.609 lap time. Fresno’s Koen Shaw, Cole Macedo, and Castro Valley’s Jake Andreotti, another rookie in the division, won the heat races.
Atwater’s Jarrod Mounce picked up his second win of the season in the IMCA SportMods on Friday. Santa Cruz’s Steven Allee led the first couple laps before San Martin’s Justin McPherson and Jarrod Mounce traded the lead. Guy Ahlwardt was able to take the lead on lap ten after a restart, but Mounce was able to take it back the lap after. An odd incident brought out a caution. Justin McPherson and Bakersfield’s Jay Marks were both running in the top five when Marks’ car stumbled and McPherson piled into the back of the stricken car. Both cars would exit the track. On the final restart, Jarrod Mounce was able to keep Guy Ahlwardt at bay to take the win. Prunedale’s Max Baggett recovered from an early spin to take home his first career top five. Steven Allee and San Ramon’s Kelly Campanile also recovered from earlier incidents to complete the top five. Jarrod Mounce and Guy Ahlwardt won the heat races.
A Gallaher went to victory lane in the Hobby Stocks, but it wasn’t Robert this time. On this occasion, it was Robert’s father, Joe, breaking through for the first time this season, his second of his career. Freedom’s Wally Kennedy led the first lap, with Watsonville’s DJ Keldsen leading the second. Keldsen then pounded the outside wall, handing the lead to Santa Cruz’s Robert Huckaby Jr.. Keldsen lost a tire when he hit the wall, eventually spinning on lap three to bring out the first caution. Huckaby led the next several laps before Joe Gallaher drove around him in turns three and four the lead lap seven. Santa Cruz’s Kevin Counterman would spin to a stop in turn two on lap eight to bring out the final caution. Joe Gallaher sped away to the victory, while his son Robert charged from the back of the pack to take second. Robert Huckaby Jr., Wally Kennedy, and Watsonville’s Tony Oliveira completed the top five. DJ Keldsen and Joe Gallaher picked up the heat race wins.
In the 4-Bangers, Prunedale’s John Grilli grabbed his second win of the season after leading every lap in the feature. Grilli started on pole and jumped out to the lead. Dakota Keldsen of Watsonville and Scotts Valley’s Ryan McClelland both were in contention for the win as well, but couldn’t quite pull off a pass on Grilli for the lead. The racing between Keldsen and McClelland got a little too close in the waning moments of the race as the two collided down the backstretch, with McClelland winding up on his roof. On the restart, Grilli was easily pull away from Hollister’s Roy Iler, with sisters Nicole and Kate Beardsley of Felton, and Watsonville’s Jeff Finsand rounded out the top five. Dakota Keldsen and Ryan McClelland won the heat races.
This Friday is the 32nd Pombo-Sargent Classic, featuring the first appearance of the year for the King of the West 410 Sprint Cars. Joining the program are the IMCA Modifieds, Dwarf Cars, 4-Bangers, and Western Midgets.
Advance tickets to the races scheduled for Friday, June 21st are available here: https://market.myracepass.com/store/tickets/?i=1176048&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 $25 for adults, $15 for Juniors 12-15, Kids 6-11 are $9, and Kids 5 and under are free.
Photo Credits to David Spencer.