20th Annual Mike Cecil Memorial on tap Saturdayracepmg
Watsonville, CA – The 20th Annual Mike Cecil Memorial is this Saturday, August 5th, and will feature the biggest purse in the event’s history. Over $20,000 in money and raffle prizes is up for grabs for drivers in the IMCA All Star Modified, IMCA SportMod, and American Stock divisions. $1,000 will go to the winner of each main event, with the Modifieds paying $100 to start the 30-lap A-Main, with the IMCA SportMods and American Stocks paying out $50 to start, respectively. The IMCA SportMods will go for 30 laps in their A-Main, while the American Stocks have an endurance race on their hands, as they will go for 80 grueling laps around the ¼-mile. During the first 60, laps under yellow will count with only green flag laps counting in the final 20. The top 5 non-transfers in all B-Mains will also receive $50. All drivers in every division will also be eligible for valuable raffle prizes.
None of this would be possible if it wasn’t for the tireless work of Mike’s son, Tim. Tim Cecil, who will be also competing in the Modifieds, has worked extremely hard since last year’s event to make the 20th edition the best yet. Tim gathered much of the sponsorship money and raffle prizes, so a very special thanks to him and all who have supported this year’s race goes out to them.
In the IMCA All Star Modifieds, Plumas Lake’s Duane Cleveland is coming back to Ocean Speedway on a hot streak after picking up his first Tour win of the season just a couple weeks ago at the Kaeding Classic. Unfortunately for Olivehurst’s Ryan McDaniel, he was on the losing end of the 0.002 of a second deficit to Cleveland. Coincidentally, it was the same margin he lost to Bakersfield’s Robby Sawyer in Hanford on July 1st. It wasn’t all bad news for McDaniel, as he extended his lead in the point standings to 19 over Robby Sawyer. Ocean Speedway regular Cody Burke sits in third, 23 points out of the lead. A full field of locals and out-of-towners is expected, including last year’s winner, Bobby Hogge IV of Salinas. Alex Wilson, Cody and Austin Burke, Jim Pettit II, Nick DeCarlo, Tim Balding, Freddie Plourde, Troy Foulger, Brian Cass, and Kellen Chadwick are just a few of the many other drivers also expected.
The IMCA SportMods are also on the card and it’s anticipated to be another instance of local versus visiting drivers. One shoe-in for the win is Bakersfield’s Nick Spainhoward. Spainhoward won the SportMod portion of the Cecil race last year and will look to repeat this Saturday. Spainhoward is also fresh off of wrapping up the inaugural West Coast Sport Mod Tour championship last weekend in Marysville. One of the locals he will have to contend with is Prunedale’s Matt Hagio. Hagio picked up his seventh main event victory of the season in track competition last Friday and will be a force to be reckoned with this Saturday. Hagio also leads rookie Mark Hartman of Hollister and Charlie Hunter of San Jose in the weekly point standings. Other drivers expected include Chase and Tanner Thomas, Guy Ahlwardt, Shane DeVolder, Justin McPherson, Jim DiGiovanni, and the Rylands, Patti and Fred, among a host of others. A huge thank you to Ryland Racing in Brentwood for sponsoring the SportMod division this year and for putting up the Shaw by Ryland chassis in the raffle.
The American Stock’s annual endurance race is also expected to be a showdown between Watsonville and Central Valley drivers. Over the past several weeks, Merced regulars have paid the track a visit in hopes of taking the checkered flag this Saturday. Kristie and Michael Shearer, Dexter Long, James Stockton, Nick Lawrence, and Darren Miguel have all had a sneak preview of the track this season, but have come up winless thus far. They and a large contingent of other Valley competitors will attempt to wrestle the Cecil away from the track regulars, but it won’t be easy. Current leader in points, Robert Gallaher, captured his third win of the season last Friday and leads the charge of locals looking to defend their home turf. Gallaher will look to win the Cecil for the second year in a row. Gallaher’s father, Joe, will be back in action and will seek to take the trophy back to his home in Manassas, Virginia. Local drivers expected to vie for the win in the prestigious event include Nick Silva, Bobby Huckaby Sr., Tony Oliveira, JC Elrod, Devon Sanders, and Katie Briggs, among others. Extra incentives for drivers in the division include $100 for the fastest lap in the feature, $100 for the driver leading at halfway, $200 if the driver leading at halfway goes to the rear and comes back to win, and a $250 bonus if a Merced/out-of-town driver can win, all thanks to 1 Hour Drain in San Jose.
Other sponsors we would like to thank include Tire Time, Dick’s Arco, Dick’s Towing, D & L Pump Service, Johnson Pump Company, Large’s Metal Fabrication, and C & N Tractors.
Advance tickets are available here: http://market.myracepass.com/store/tickets/?i=1121088&store=12231
Pits are scheduled to open at noon and Grandstands will open at 3:30pm. Pit passes are $45 for non-members and $40 for track and IMCA members. All seating is general admission and tickets cost $17 for adults and $16 for seniors. New for 2017, Juniors 12-15 are $12 and Kids 6-11 are $6. As always, Kids 5 and under are free.
It is highly recommended that all drivers bring their transponders to the check in table to ensure they are scored correctly throughout this very busy night of racing. Transponders and RACEceivers are mandatory at all times when cars are on track. Transponders will be available for rent for $20 and RACEceivers will be for sale for approximately $110.