Much anticipated HK Classic showcasing Civil War & King of the West converges at Ocean Speedway this weekend

Much anticipated HK Classic showcasing Civil War & King of the West converges at Ocean Speedway this weekend

keadingsjuly1-2Sixth annual Howard Kaeding Classic invades Watsonville’s Ocean Speedway this Friday & Saturday
Overall weekend helps benefit NARC Benevolent Fund

By Gary Thomas

Watsonville, CA – July 12, 2016…Since debuting in 2011 the Howard Kaeding Classic at Ocean Speedway has become a destination event for race fans around Northern California and this weekend the Watsonville based quarter-mile is geared up to host the sixth edition of the showcase.

Howard Kaeding was a multiple-time California state super-modified champion, a four-time Johnny Key Classic winner and once captured a record 17-straight races at the San Jose Speedway. The driver known as the “Campbell Comet” claimed over 300 main event victories in his career and raced into his 60’s, before retiring in the 1990’s. The HK Classic has been a great weekend of re-living memories from the past and will certainly be so once again in 2016.

The racing weekend fires-off this Friday July 15 with the Civil War 360 Sprint Car Series presented by Flowmaster taking on the Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo. Over the years at Ocean Speedway the Civil War Series vs Ocean Sprints events have been must see outings, with large & deep fields on hand each time.

Going into Friday night eight-time Civil War champion Andy Forsberg of Auburn holds onto a slim 13-point advantage in the series standings over Princeton’s Mason Moore. Sebastopol’s Geoff Ensign, Bradley Terrell & Redding’s Chase Majdic round out the top-five. Chico’s Michael Ing, Citrus Heights’ DJ Freitas, Visalia’s Steven Tiner, Fresno’s Koen Shaw & Roseville’s Sean Becker complete the top-10 in points.

11701056_784468931672351_7828085283792919956_nOn the Ocean Sprints side of things Stockton’s Brad Furr holds a 41-point lead over Penngrove’s Buddy Kofoid going into one the biggest events of the year for the Taco Bravo 360’s. Salinas brother’s Jeremy & Jason Chisum and Fremont’s Dustin Golobic round out the top-five in the standings. Gilroy’s Kurt Nelson, Cottonwood’s Lucas Ashe, Easton’s Tommy Tarlton, Koen Shaw & Hayward’s Danny Malfatti complete the top-10.

The Howard Kaeding Classic then concludes on Saturday July 16 with the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series taking to the Ocean Speedway for the second time in 2016. The finale will see an hour earlier start time as usual during all Saturday events at Ocean Speedway. Also on hand will be the Wingless Sprints presented by Joe Hunt Magnetos, making it an all Sprint Car show to cap the weekend. The night of racing marks the 10th round of action for the King of the West Sprints.

Defending HK Classic winner Kyle Hirst from Paradise brings a 50-point lead into Saturday over 2014 winner Bud Kaeding of Campbell. Hirst has two wins this year, while Kaeding has three to his credit. Hanford’s DJ Netto, Clarksburg’s Justyn Cox & Grass Valley’s Jason Statler round out the top-five going into the weekend. Completing the top-10 in points are Gilroy’s Jarrett Soares, Atwater’s Sean Watts, Watsonville’s Justin Sanders, Chico’s Jonathan Allard & Fresno’s Cory Eliason.

More than $10,000 in extra cash & prizes will be on the line during the night with the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series. In addition to the beefed up $4,000-to-win/ $700-to-start A-main, each heat race winner with KWS on Saturday will receive a right rear tire courtesy of Hoosier Racing Tires! Norm Martin Motorsports has also donated a front wing, 4 sleeves of tear offs & 10 gallons of fuel to be awarded during the night.

Special thanks to Buster & Ziggy Enterprise, Alviso Rock, Kyle Larson Racing, Rico Abreu Racing, Riley Collins Body Shop, Emadco Recycling, Swift Metal, Williams Roofing, Roth Motorsports, Maxima Oil, High Five Pizza and FK Rod Ends for all their support of the HK Classic.

More drivers set to take part in this weekend’s Howard Kaeding Classic will include two-time Ocean Sprints titlist & past Civil War champion Shane Golobic of Fremont, former King of the West champion Tyler Walker of Los Angeles, Hanford’s Mitchell Faccinto, Roseville’s Colby Copeland, Hollister’s Ryan Bernal, Penngrove’s Chase Johnson, Fresno’s Craig Stidham, Oakdale’s Shawn Conde, Coarsegold’s Scott Parker, Rio Linda’s Scott Hall, Murrieta’s Cori Andrews and others.

The event as a whole begins this Thursday July 14 with the annual HK Classic Car Show & BBQ, held at Martial Cottle Park in San Jose at 5283 Snell Ave. Various drivers, hot rods and race cars will be on hand at the get-together that runs from 4pm-8pm and is the official kick-off for the Howard Kaeding Classic weekend.

There will be a delicious BBQ dinner from 5pm-7pm for a $20 donation, with proceeds going to the Northern Auto Racing Club Benevolent Fund, which uses 100% of the funds raised to support the families of injured drivers, crew members and officials in West Coast Sprint Car racing. Martial Cottle Park is located near High Five Pizza at the Snell & Branham Plaza in San Jose. 13239217_10153834800899024_5555926187326308075_n

Following Friday’s action High Five Pizza will be putting on a post-race party at the track with appetizers, drinks and a lot of fun to be had. On Saturday afternoon the annual HK Classic Luncheon takes place. Both events are also held to support the NARC Benevolent Fund, with the HK Classic Luncheon featuring an excellent steak meal for a $20 donation to the benevolent fund. Teams & fans are all encouraged to come and join in.

The Friday night post race party & Saturday afternoon luncheon will both be held in the Big White Tent located just off turn four. Easy access is available to enter from both the pit area and the fairgrounds. Camping is available for the Howard Kaeding Classic behind the grandstands on the main lawn area and is a perfect way to spend the weekend with the special events taking place on site.

Tickets for the Friday July 15 Civil War 360 Series vs Ocean Sprints event will be $22 for adults, $15 for kids 6-12, children five & under free. The front gate will open at 4:30pm with hot laps at 5:30pm, qualifying around 6pm and racing to follow. All seating is general admission.

Tickets for the Saturday July 16 King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series & Joe Hunt Magnetos Wingless Sprints event will be $25 for adults, $15 for kids 6-12, children five & under free. The front gate will open at 3:30pm with hot laps at 4:30pm, qualifying around 5 and racing to follow. All seating is general admission. Tickets for both nights can be pre-purchased at as well as at the car show on Thursday. Saving seats on Saturday will not be allowed prior to the races.

The Williams Roofing of Fremont, CA Royal Fan Draw will also take place both nights. On Friday the usual bonus of $1000 will be up for grabs to the driver whose starting position is drawn. On Saturday Williams has upped the ante to a $2500 bonus for the driver whose position is drawn. As always a trivia question will be asked and a fan will win $100, before drawing the random number out of a bag.

The Ocean Speedway is located on the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds, two miles east of Watsonville, California on SR 152. The physical address is 2601 East Lake Ave, Watsonville, CA 95076. More info on all things Prentice Motorsports Group can be found at

Photos courtesy TDS Shots, Chuck Fry & George Lucas


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