Cole Macedo Finally Wins in Watsonville, DeCarlo, Ahlwardt, Gallaher, and Hohmann Also Take Home Victories; Ocean Speedway Dark on July 5thracepmg
Watsonville, CA – Lemoore’s Cole Macedo has been one of the more common sights at Ocean Speedway over the past several years aboard the recognizable Tarlton Motorsports machine. Always a contender for the checkered flag, Cole had come close numerous times but wasn’t able to break through for the win until doing so on Friday night. Macedo started on the outside of Campbell’s Bud Kaeding and jumped out to the early lead. Stockton’s Brad Furr suffered a flat right front tire and slowed on the track to bring out the first caution. Macedo would continue to lead as the caution flew again on lap six and ten for Chowchilla’s Eric Humphries, who spun twice ending his night. Right before the second caution for Humphries, Castro Valley’s Jake Andreotti’s night would come to an early end on the infield, ending his streak of sixth-place finishes. Macedo and Kaeding continued to be the class of the field out front with two youngsters running behind them in Keith Day Jr. and Jayson Bright. The next caution came out on lap 19 for Gilroy’s Kurt Nelson, who stopped in turn four. On the restart, his son Ryon would spin to a stop to bring out another yellow. Cole Macedo and Bud Kaeding continued to lead while the battle for third started to heat up. Morgan Hill’s JJ Ringo slotted himself in third and Corralitos’ Jerry Bonnema was up to fourth after Keith Day Jr. bobbled on the cushion. Ringo would then find himself backwards in turn four to bring out the caution. Another caution shortly after for Salinas’ Jeremy Chisum, who spun and knocked an infield tire marker onto the track, kept the field tightly bunched up and nearly eliminated the risk of catching lapped traffic as the race neared its conclusion. The red flag had to be displayed on lap 27 when Hanford’s Zane Blanchard flipped in turns one and two. At the front, Kaeding seemingly couldn’t do anything but hope for a mistake from Cole Macedo. In the waning moments, Macedo would get a little out of shape on the cushion, but kept it pointed in the right direction to take the win. Bud Kaeding was second ahead of Jerry Bonnema and Salinas’ Jason Chisum, who stuck to the bottom of the track the entire race, avoiding the treacherous highline. Keith Day Jr. came in fifth to collect his first career top five. Cole Macedo set Quick Time with an 11.968 and Jayson Bright, Jake Andreotti, and Zane Blanchard won the heat races.
Martinez’s Nick DeCarlo won his first IMCA Modified feature of the year on Friday. Morgan Hill’s Anthony Giuliani and Salinas’ Robert Marsh traded the lead early before Marsh would bring out a caution on lap nine. Austin Burke of Salinas moved to the front on lap 11 with Nick DeCarlo up to second. The caution and ensuing restart on lap 15 would be a point of contention. DeCarlo was deemed to have jumped the restart, but then passed for the lead on lap 17. After another caution on lap 20, DeCarlo was moved back to second with Austin Burke back out in front. On the white flag lap, Burke would hop the cushion in turns one and two, allowing DeCarlo and Giuliani by. DeCarlo would take the checkered flag, with Giuliani, Austin Burke, Prunedale’s Jim Pettit II, and Cody Burke rounding out the top five. Nick DeCarlo and Robert Marsh won the pair of heats.
Antioch’s Guy Ahlwardt grabbed his second win of the 2019 season in the IMCA SportMods. San Martin’s Justin McPherson led the first lap before Ahlwardt made the move for the lead. Bakersfield’s Kevin Johnson was hungry for his first win of the season after finishing second several times. Ahlwardt would stay committed to the bottom of the track while Johnson utilized the high side. Johnson would pull alongside Ahlwardt and the two raced side by side for several laps. Unfortunately for Johnson, Ahlwardt would be too strong on the bottom and would go on to win. Johnson again had to settle for second, with Atwater’s Jarrod Mounce, Justin McPerson, and Grass Valley’s Andrew Peckham completed the top five. Johnson, Watsonville’s Adriane Frost, and Ahlwardt won the three heat races for the division.
Joe Gallaher won his second Hobby Stock A-Main of the year on Friday night and it came at the expense of his son, Robert. DJ Keldsen showed the way early with San Jose’s Matt Kile and Robert Gallaher hounding him in second and third. Keldsen would then lose a right rear wheel, knocking him out of contention. Robert Gallaher would find himself out front while Joe Gallaher moved into second ahead of Matt Kile. On the final lap, Joe bumped into the back of his son’s car just hard enough to turn it around. Officials kept the green light on with Joe Gallaher grabbing the win ahead of Matt Kile, Freedom’s Wally Kennedy, Watsonville’s Jerry Skelton, and Santa Cruz’s Ryan Muller. DJ Keldsen won the heat race for the division.
John Hohmann of the Scotts Valley PD flat out dominated the Police in Pursuit Main Event. Hohmann led every lap en route to victory. A late race caution for Mike Mount of the Sand City PD brought everyone back together, but no one could touch Hohmann out front. Santa Cruz County Sheriff AJ Waltrip, Justin Rhodes of the CHP, Adam Rikalo of the CHP, and Steven Fernandes of the Santa Clara Sheriff’s Office rounded out the top five. Jesse Mueller of the CHP won the first heat and charged through the field to the top five, but fell back late in the race with car troubles. John Hohmann won the other heat race to sweep the night.
Ocean Speedway will be dark on July 5th for the Independence Day holiday. The track will return to action on July 12th featuring the Ocean Sprints, IMCA Modifieds, 4-Bangers, Dwarf Cars, and Police in Pursuit. The annual Howard Kaeding Classic is coming up on July 19th and 20th.
Advance tickets to the races scheduled for Friday, July 12th are available here: https://market.myracepass.com/store/tickets/?i=1176075&store=12231
For Friday July 12th, the pits are scheduled to open at 2pm and Grandstands will open at 4:30pm. Pill draw will close at 4:30pm. The driver’s meeting is scheduled for 4:45pm. Pit passes are $40 for IMCA and track members and $45 for non-members. All seating is general admission and tickets cost $18 for adults and $16 for seniors. Juniors 12-15 are $12 and Kids 6-11 are $9 and Kids 5 and under are free.
Photo Credits to David Spencer.