Opening Night, Take #2 set for this Friday, April 14racepmg
Watsonville, CA – After a sensational 2016 season, the Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo fires off for the first time in 2017 this Friday night, April 14th, after rain forced the cancellation of last week’s race. Last year saw Stockton’s Brad Furr pick up his 2nd Ocean Sprints title of his career, holding off 2016 Rookie of the Year winner Michael “Buddy” Kofoid of Penngrove. Furr, a former fulltime World of Outlaws competitor only visited victory lane once en route to the championship at Ocean Speedway, but consistency proved to be enough. To go along with his sole victory, Furr earned 7 top 5s, 10 top 10s, 4 Quick Time Awards, and one Dash win.
The season’s biggest winner was Justin Sanders of Watsonville. The 2015 champion, Sanders went to victory lane five times in 2016, including a massive win at the annual Johnny Key Classic in August. Sanders continued to show his dominance of the Central Coast quarter-mile at the last race of the season, where he picked up his first career King of the West feature. Fellow past champions Shane Golobic of Fremont and Easton’s Tommy Tarlton each took a pair of victories in 2016. Second place in the standings went to Michael Kofoid, who picked up his first career 360 Sprint Car feature win in April. Kofoid also grabbed 5 top 5s, 8 top 10s, and won one heat race over the year. Third in points went to longtime campaigner Kurt Nelson of Gilroy, who grabbed 2 top 5s, 7 top 10s, 2 heat race wins, and a dash win in 2016. Fourth went to Fremont’s Dustin Golobic, with rookie Lucas Ashe of Cottonwood rounding out the top five in last year’s standings.
As for this year, the 2017 Ocean Sprints, which were scheduled to meet 16 times this year, are now scheduled for 15 night of racing. The customary Civil War vs. Ocean Sprints races July 14th at the Howard Kaeding Classic and the $5,000-to-win Johnny Key Classic, August 12th highlight the schedule. The 11th season of the Ocean Sprints pres. by Taco Bravo will come to a close and crown a champion on October 13th.
Also competing Friday night are the IMCA Modifieds, IMCA SportMods, American Stocks, and 4-Bangers. Pits open at 2pm and Grandstands open at 4:30pm. Pits open at 2pm, and pit passes are $45 for non-members and $40 for track and IMCA members. 2017 memberships will be for sale at the pit gate. 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 just $6. As always, Kids 5 and under are free.
Bobby Hogge IV of Salinas was last year’s IMCA Modified champion and will look to do it again in 2017.
Photo Credits to David Spencer