Ocean Sprints opener now on deck this Friday night at Ocean Speedwayracepmg
By Gary Thomas
Watsonville, CA – April 12, 2016…With mother nature not playing nice last weekend the Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo are ready for take two at the season-opener, which now kicks-off this Friday night April 15 at Watsonville’s Ocean Speedway.
The upcoming year marks the 10th anniversary season for the Ocean Sprint Cars & the seventh held with the partnership of Dennis Wuolett and San Jose area business Taco Bravo. All of the nightly incentives for drivers are returning in 2016, including the Ray Scheidts Electric fast time award, the Beer Optics hard luck award and High Five Pizza hard charger award. Each of the awards will pay $100 cash at all of the 15 Ocean Sprints events this year at the Ocean Speedway in Watsonville. Norm Martin Motorsports has also put up $300 to the winner of this Friday’s Dash.
Highlights on the schedule once again include a pair of Ocean Sprints vs Civil War Series events, with those taking place on Friday July 15 and Saturday August 20. The July outing marks opening night of the sixth annual Howard Kaeding Classic weekend, which also showcases the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series the following night. The August date will be the 56th running of the prestigious Johnny Key Classic. Both events are two premier Sprint Car showcases in California each year.
Last season saw Watsonville’s own Justin Sanders have a year to remember, winning a record nine main events with the Ocean Sprints en route to his first track title. This season the 23-year-old has expanded his schedule to compete not only with the Ocean Sprints, but also with the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series. Sanders though is expected to remain a constant sight at the Ocean Speedway, as he looks back-up the historic season that he put together in 2015.
Despite missing a few events Fremont’s Shane Golobic was the biggest threat to Sanders last season. The two-time Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo champion led the way in Ray Scheidts Electric qualifying last year and also scooped up three main event victories along the way. Golobic has already started off the season strong by winning his first career USAC National Midget Series event in Illinois on March 19.
Stockton’s Brad Furr, Gilroy’s Kurt Nelson, Fremont’s Dustin Golobic & Salinas’ Jeremy Chisum rounded out the top-five in points last year and are all expect back in 2016. Furr, the 2013 Ocean Sprints champ, picked up a victory last season on April 24. After suffering a rib injury Easton’s Tommy Tarlton made sporadic starts with the Ocean Sprints after winning the first two rounds of competition. The two-time Ocean titlist is also expected to make numerous starts this season.
More drivers expected this Friday to help kick-off the season will include Campbell’s Brent Kaeding, Fresno’s Koen & Kyler Shaw, Hanford’s Mitchell Faccinto, Hollister’s Tony Gualda, Salinas’ Jason Chisum, Penngrove’s Michael Kofoid, Hayward’s Danny Malfatti, Cottonwood’s Lucas Ashe, Corralitos’ Jerry Bonnema, San Jose’s Craig Frandson, Ryan Rusconi & Darrel Taylor, Templeton’s Kaleb Montgomery and others.
The front gate at Ocean Speedway will open at 4:30pm this Friday night with hot laps at 5:30pm, qualifying around 6pm and racing to follow. The pit gate will open at 2pm. All seating will be general admission with adult tickets $17, seniors 65 & older $16, children 6-12 $13 and kids five and under free. A family pack featuring two adults and two kids is available for $55. The Ocean Speedway is located on the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds in Watsonville, California with the physical address being 2601 East Lake Ave, Watsonville, CA 95076.
The Ocean Sprints would like to thank Taco Bravo, High Five Pizza, Ray Scheidts Electric, Beer Optics, Hoosier Tires West, Flowmaster, Budweiser and Kaeding Performance for their support. For more information on the Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo log onto www.racepmg.com
Former Ocean Sprints champions
2015- Justin Sanders
2014- Shane Golobic
2013- Brad Furr
2012- Shane Golobic
2011- Ronnie Day
2010- Tommy Tarlton
2009- Tommy Tarlton
2008- Brent Kaeding
2007- Brent Kaeding
Photos courtesy TDS Shots