Kurt Nelson Victorious at Ocean Speedway for the First Time, Burke, Ryland, McClelland Also Take Home Winsracepmg
Watsonville, CA – Gilroy’s Kurt Nelson has been one of Ocean Speedway’s longest supporters over the years dating back to when Sprint Cars were added to the track’s weekly racing series in 2007. Recently, he’s also fielded cars for his two sons, Chris and Ryon. While Nelson has won features at other tracks in the area, he was never able to win at his home track – until Friday night. Another longtime supporter of the track, Jeremy Chisum of Salinas won the Dash and started on pole for the 30-lap feature and jumped out to an early lead. An incident involving Chris Nelson and Fresno’s Koen Shaw slowed the field with one lap complete. Chisum continued to lead, with Kurt Nelson and JJ Ringo of Morgan Hill stalking him for the top spot. The leaders managed lapped traffic well and the top three stayed close together throughout the midpoint of the race. On lap 19, Kurt Nelson had a good run down the back stretch and made his move foe the lead with a slider in turn three. Just after the leaders crossed the line, Jason Chisum found himself backwards in turn 4, bringing out the yellow flag. Nelson pulled away from Jeremy Chisum and Ringo while they battled for second, with Ringo sliding by for the spot. Ringo chased down Nelson for the lead, but made a couple minor errors along the way, allowing Nelson to pull away. At the checkered flag, Kurt Nelson crossed the line ahead of JJ Ringo and Jeremy Chisum. Discovery Bay’s Jayson Bright had a great run to score fourth and Gilroy’s Jarrett Soares completed the top five. Nelson was also Hard Charger in the main event and heat race wins went to Jeremy Chisum and Jarrett Soares. Qualifying was cancelled due to problems with the electronic scoring loop.
The IMCA Modifieds had a green to checker A-Main with Cody Burke of Salinas grabbing his first win of the year. A solid field of 15 cars were in attendance, including several out-of-towners. Hollister’s Anthony Copeland started on the outside pole and looked good out front early on. Cody Burke started third and quickly found himself in second behind Copeland. Copeland’s lead slowly started to diminish and Cody Burke made the move for the top spot to lead lap ten. The field continued to race around the track with no major incidents taking place. Burke went on to win ahead of Anthony Copeland and Austin Burke. Austin Burke has yet to finish outside the top five in a main event this year. Martinez’s Troy Foulger made a rare weekly show appearance and charged from tenth to fourth in the main event. San Martin’s Jeff Decker completed the top five. Prunedale’s Jim Pettit II and Austin Burke won the heat races.
Brentwood’s Fred Ryland collected another feature win Friday night in his first appearance of the season in the IMCA SportMods. A healthy field of 21 cars signed into action. San Jose’s John Ferro led the first lap before Bakersfield visitor Kevin Johnson took the lead on lap two. Johnson wasted no time from his eighth position starting spot and pulled away from the field. Two cautions in quick succession on laps ten and twelve for Merced’s Dwayne Short and Santa Maria’s Robby Claborn bunched the field up, with Kevin Johnson leading Fred Ryland and Jarrod Mounce of Atwater. Johnson found a rough patch entering turn three and slid up the track just enough to allow Fred Ryland by for the lead on lap 14. A final caution on lap 18 for Prunedale’s Max Baggett would set up a two lap shootout for the win. Kevin Johnson gave it his best shot, but came up a car length short of Fred Ryland. Jarrod Mounce, Antioch’s Guy Ahlwardt, and Watsonville’s TJ Etchison completed the top five. Heat race wins went to Tanner Thomas, Ryland, and Mounce.
Scotts Valley’s Ryan McClelland broke through for his first career win in the 4-Bangers. McClelland could be undefeated this season, but mechanical issues plagued him in the first two races this season, including losing a right front wheel last week. Those issues would step aside, allowing McClelland to dominate the feature, leading every lap en route to victory. McClelland started on pole and quickly gapped the field. With no cautions in the feature, McClelland’s lead was sizeable by the time the checker flew, with Felton’s Kate Beardsley and Watsonville’s Dakota Keldsen a distant second and third. Nicole Beardsley and Prunedale’s John Grilli rounded out the top five. McClelland and Kate Beardsley won the pair of heat races.
This Friday, it’s the Salute to Mother’s Day featuring another round of Ocean Sprints action. The 4-Bangers are back on the card again too. The Hobby Stocks return to the track after a week off and it’s the second ever appearance for the Western Midgets.
Advance tickets to the races scheduled for Friday, May 10th are available here: https://market.myracepass.com/store/tickets/?i=1175970&store=12231
Pits are scheduled to open at 2pm and Grandstands will open at 4:30pm. Pill draw will close at 4:30pm. Pit passes are $40 for 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.