Justin Sanders Takes Convincing Victory at Ocean Speedway, Gallaher, Keldsen, Prickett All Win Againracepmg
Watsonville, CA – Justin Sanders dominated Friday’s Ocean Sprints feature to collect his first win of the 2019 season. Sanders led every lap on his way to the win. Morgan Hill’s JJ Ringo won the Dash and started on pole, but Sanders wasted no time jumping out to the lead. Sanders pulled away as an intense battle for second took place between Jason Chisum of Salinas, Campbell’s Bud Kaeding and Ringo. Chisum would start to lose spots, with Ringo and Kaeding trying to chase down Sanders. The race was clean and green for the first 28 laps, allowing Justin Sanders to pull away to over a straightaway length lead. The first and only caution involved Discovery Bay’s Jayson Bright and Jason Chisum, who collided entering turn one. Bright returned, but Chisum’s night came to an early end. The caution bunched the field back up with Justin Sanders leading JJ Ringo, Bud Kaeding, 12th-place-starting Koen Shaw of Fresno, and Castro Valley’s Jake Andreotti. On the restart, Bud Kaeding threw a slider on JJ Ringo to take over second. Koen Shaw had an excellent run through turns three and four to take third from Ringo and pull alongside Kaeding as they took the white flag. Shaw would clear Kaeding in turn two, but Justin Sanders was gone at the front. Sanders would pick up the win, with Shaw, Kaeding, Ringo, and Stockton’s Brad Furr, who passed Jake Andreotti in the final laps, completing the top five. Koen Shaw’s stellar drive netted him Hard Charger honors, advancing ten positions in the feature. Justin Sanders and JJ Ringo were heat race winners. Justin Sanders also won Quick Time with a 12.219 lap.
San Jose’s Rob Gallaher won a bruising Hobby Stock A-Main for his second victory of the young season. The race started off with pole-sitter Quintin Harris of Prunedale spinning, leaving nowhere to go for Santa Cruz’s Terry Campion, who hit Harris head on, ending both of their nights prematurely. Gilroy’s Nick Triolo led the race early, but another caution on lap two for Watsonville’s Jerry Skelton and Devon Sanders would bunch up the field again. Meanwhile, Rob Gallaher was on the charge from 12th and was up to fourth by lap two. Gallaher would then take the lead on lap five and pull away from the field. Nick Triolo lost his battle with an incredibly loose car and would spin twice, bringing his night to an end on lap ten. Another caution on lap 12 for Santa Cruz’s Kevin Counterman would see Freedom’s Wally Kennedy briefly challenge Gallaher on the restart, but Kennedy started fading, losing second to Santa Cruz’s Robert Huckaby Sr.. Rob Gallaher would go on to win his second main event of the season, with Huckaby coming in second and Joe Gallaher in third. Joe Gallaher suffered two flat tires in the feature, but recovered nicely to take the final spot on the podium. Wally Kennedy and Watsonville’s Terry Traub completed the top five. Quintin Harris and Nick Triolo won the heat races.
Dakota Keldsen of Watsonville dominated to win his second feature of the year. Keldsen started on the outside pole and led every lap en route to victory. The race only had one caution for a slowing DJ Harrington of Watsonville on lap six. This brought everyone back together, but Kelden easily sped away to take the win. Nicole and Kate Beardsley ran nose-to-tail much of the race to take second and third. Nicole Beardsley and Dakota Keldsen picked up wins in the heat races.
Fresno’s David Prickett is now undefeated in Western Midget competition at Ocean Speedway. Prickett led from the drop of the green flag, never to relinquish it. Atascadero’s Randi Pankratz battled with Aromas’ Rickey Sanders around the midpoint of the race, with Prankratz getting the upper hand. Pankratz tried to chase down Prickett, but just barely ran out of time. While working the final lap, David Prickett’s car started to struggle with engine issues, eventually coasting across the finish line, just ahead of Pankratz. Clovis’ Jackson Dukes came in third to complete the podium. Rickey Sanders won the lone heat race. Randi Pankratz officially holds the track record for the division by winning Qualifying with a lap time of 14.715.
This Friday is the Bill Egleston Memorial, featuring a $2,015-to-win feature for the IMCA Modifieds, $715-to-win IMCA SportMods, and $515-to-win Hobby Stocks. The 4-Bangers are back in action as well. It is also First Responders Appreciation Night, featuring the second Police in Pursuit race of 2019.
Advance tickets to the races scheduled for Friday, May 17th are available here: https://market.myracepass.com/store/tickets/?i=1175985&store=12231
Pits are tentatively scheduled to open at 2pm and Grandstands will open at 4:30pm. Pill draw will close at 4:30pm, with the driver’s meeting scheduled for 4:45pm. Pit passes are $40 for track and IMCA 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 Joe Shivak Imagery.