Ocean Sprints set to take on Civil War at 55th Johnny Key Classic this Saturday night

Ocean Sprints set to take on Civil War at 55th Johnny Key Classic this Saturday night

11032482_784472071672037_2065399623818380811_nOcean Speedway hosts the prestigious $6,000-to-win Johnny Key Classic this Saturday featuring the Ocean Sprints vs Civil War Series

By Gary Thomas

Watsonville, CA – August 24, 2015…An exciting season of racing at the Ocean Speedway has all been an appetizer leading up to this Saturday August 29, when the 55th running of the Johnny Key Classic takes place at the quarter-mile bullring. The night of action also marks the second & final Ocean Sprints vs Civil War Series event of the season at the track.

Please note an earlier start time is also scheduled for Saturday, with the front grandstand gate opening up at 3:30pm. The pit board meeting will be held at 3:45pm with track packing at 4pm and qualifying & racing to follow. The pit gate opens at 1pm. This is the same time frame used during all Saturday shows at the Ocean Speedway. All seating will be general admission with adult tickets $20, $15 for kids 6-12 and children five & under free.

The Johnny Key Classic originally started out at the paved San Jose Speedway following the passing of driver Johnny Key during a racing crash in 1954, before moving to the fairgrounds dirt track in 1978. The event had been a staple at the speedway until the closing of the dirt oval in 1999. After a number of years sitting idle, John Prentice & Ocean Speedway decided to bring the event back in 2007 and this year will mark the ninth consecutive season that it’s held at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds facility.

The Key Classic will pay $6,000-to-win & $300-to-start on Saturday. A special thanks goes out to Jason Newton of 35 Industries, who donated extra money to the winner’s share, along with $500 for fast time & $500 for the hard charger in the A-main. With the weekly support of Ray Scheidts Electric added in, fast time will pay $600 on Saturday, while hard charger will also pay $600 with the support of weekly sponsor High Five Pizza. 11242071_784472825005295_134622478625232802_n

The Key Classic A-main will consist of 50-laps. There will be two 25-lap segments. At the conclusion of the first segment the cars will be stopped on the front straight in front of the grandstands. There will be a 10-minute intermission in which cars can refuel, change tires, and make whatever adjustments the crews can do on the front straight, before teams are signaled to leave the track and cars are pushed off. Cars will be lined up to resume the race in the order in which they finished the first segment.

With Justin Sanders winning last Friday that means there will be just five drivers locked into the six-lap dash on Saturday, which sets the first five starting spots in the 50-lap feature. The drivers locked into the dash are Sanders, Fremont’s Shane Golobic, Chico’s Jonathan Allard, Elk Grove’s Greg Decaires and Auburn’s Andy Forsberg. This means that the sixth starting spot will be available to the driver who sets fast time among the cars not already locked-in and transfers through their heat, or earns their time back in the B-main.

This Saturday’s event is also the penultimate race of the season for the Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo. Sanders has extended his lead in the standings to a large 114-markers following his record breaking eighth win of the year last week. The 22-year-old also sits atop the Civil War Sprint Car Series presented by Flowmaster points going into the Johnny Key Classic. When the tour last competed at Ocean Speedway on July 10 it was Sanders who took the checkered flag. 1922354_926919117354827_7967413167300108422_n

Shane Golobic has been the driver that has battled Sanders all season at Ocean Speedway and is likely to do so once again on Saturday. The now 24-year-old has scored three Ocean Sprints wins this year and also claimed the season-opener with the Civil War Series back in March. Golobic earned his lock-in position by winning the July 17 Taco Bravo event, with Sanders earning his during the July 24 outing. Allard, Decaires & Forsberg claimed their lock-in spots during Civil War events in Petaluma, Placerville & Marysville respectively.

Going into the penultimate Ocean Sprints event of the season Stockton’s Brad Furr, Gilroy’s Kurt Nelson, Salinas’ Jeremy Chisum & Fremont’s Dustin Golobic round out the top-five in the standings. Nelson is fresh off a season-best runner up finish last week, while Golobic has moved into the top-five by just five-points over Jason Chisum. More Taco Bravo regulars ready to do battle at the Key will include Koen Shaw, Nicholas Ringo, Jerry Bonnema, Danny Malfatti, Austin Liggett, Nick Ringo Jr., Tony Gualda and others.

A solid field of Winged 360 Sprint Cars are expected to tackle the Ocean Speedway at the 55th Johnny Key Classic on Saturday, including Pombo/Sargent Classic winner DJ Netto of Hanford & Howard Kaeding Classic winner Kyle Hirst of Chico, along with Campbell’s Bud & Brent Kaeding, Sebastopol’s Bradley Terrell, Lemoore’s Carson Macedo, Wilton’s Matt Peterson, Foresthill’s Ryan Robinson, Grass Valley’s Jason Statler, Fresno’s Craig Stidham, Roseville’s Sean Becker & Colby Copeland, Visalia’s Steven Tiner, Hanford’s Mitchell Faccinto, Laton’s Heath Duinkerken, Clarksburg’s Justyn Cox, Coarsegold’s Scott Parker and more.

Thedy Auto Repair of San Jose has donated $300 to the winner of Saturday’s dash at the Johnny Key Classic!

They are also offering a fan appreciation promotion to anyone who brings in their ticket stub from this Saturday’s Key race. You can get $25 off on any service of $50 or more when you present your 2015 Key race ticket stub. Ask for Corky. Corky will honor the offer on a $49.95 oil change, or on any service $50 or more. Offer is good through Dec 31, 2015. Tickets can not be combined on one service. Thedy Auto Repair is a friend of local racers and many involved in the sport look to Thedy Auto Repair for their automotive services. Thank you to Corky and Thedy for their support!

Thedy Auto Repair was established in 1994, offering complete automotive service and auto repair including oil changes and tire sales/ installation. We are proud to provide auto repair and service for San Jose CA. We will take care of your car and treat it like our own. We will gladly provide all the necessary auto repair services from major repair to regular maintenance. When you bring in your automobile, our auto repair technicians will do their best to bring your car back to perfect shape. We guarantee our parts and service. Thedy Auto Repair is located at 1169 N 5th St San Jose, CA 95112.

Ocean Speedway & Taco Bravo will be hosting a Johnny Key Classic Pre-Party at the Taco Bravo location at 1950 South Bascom Avenue, Campbell, CA from 5pm to 8:30pm on Friday August 28, 2015. All pre-qualified cars and other teams are welcome to come and display their race cars at the event. Help us sell 3055 Taco’s. Tickets for Saturday will also be available at the party.

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.

Ocean Speedway & the Ocean Sprints would like to thank Taco Bravo, High Five Pizza, Ray Scheidts Electric, Beer Optics, Hoosier Tires West, Bullet Proof Energy Drink, Flowmaster and Kaeding Performance for their support. For more information on the Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo log onto www.racepmg.com

Upcoming Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo events

Saturday August 29: 55th Johnny Key Classic (Civil War vs Ocean Sprints)
Friday October 9 Championship Night

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Last week’s Ocean Sprints podium was made up of winner Justin Sanders, runner up Kurt Nelson and third place Bud Kaeding. Photos courtesy TDS Shots & Collin Markle

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