Penultimate Johnny Key Classic Qualifying Race set to take place at Ocean Speedway this Fridayracepmg
By Gary Thomas
Watsonville, CA – July 5, 2016…After being dark over the 4th of July weekend the cool confines of Ocean Speedway will heat back up with the first Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo Qualifying Race for the 56th Johnny Key Classic this Friday night July 8.
There has already been a pair of Johnny Key Classic Qualifiers held with the Civil War 360 Sprint Car Series presented by Flowmaster, with the final two now taking place with the Ocean Sprints in Watsonville this Friday July 8 & on July 29. Already locked in by way of winning the two main events respectively are Visalia’s Steven Tiner, who picked up the victory on June 11 in Placerville, as well as Roseville’s Sean Becker, who claimed the win on June 18 in Petaluma. Only the race winners will automatically lock into the Key Classic Dash.
Stockton’s Brad Furr goes into this Friday sitting atop the Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo standings aboard his Price Rite Restaurant Equipment No. 2 machine. The 2013 champion captured the most recent event on June 17 and has finished no worse than second in the last three races. Furr will be gunning to lock himself into the Johnny Key Classic on Friday. Penngrove’s Buddy Kofoid ranks second in the points and will be another top challenger. The talented 14-year-old scored a victory on April 29 in Watsonville and has been a consistent front runner.
Salinas, CA’s Jason Chisum, Fresno’s Koen Shaw and Gilroy’s Kurt Nelson round out the top-five going into Friday’s round seven. Last time out Salinas driver Jeremy Chisum had one of the finest runs of his Sprint Car career, coming home a close second to Furr at the finish. Chisum in fact has earned two straight podium finishes with the Ocean Sprints. Watsonville’s Justin Sanders is expected back in competition after missing the most recent event. The reigning Ocean Sprints champ will no doubt want to lock himself into the 56th running of the Johnny Key Classic.
Fremont’s Shane Golobic claimed the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series visit to Ocean Speedway on June 24 and will be looking to duplicate that on Friday with the Ocean Sprints. The two-time Taco Bravo champion has been close in the past at the Johnny Key Classic and certainly wants to punch his ticket into the event. Golobic has been the only repeat A-main winner so far in 2016.
Two-time Johnny Key Classic winner Tommy Tarlton claimed an Ocean Sprints win on June 10 and will be gunning for another on Friday. The Easton wheel-man scored wins at the Key in 2009 & 2012. More drivers set to be on hand Friday will include Hollister’s Ryan Bernal, Cottonwood’s Lucas Ashe, Fremont’s Dustin Golobic, Hayward’s Danny Malfatti, Coarsegold’s Scott Parker, Oakdale’s Shawn Conde, Corralitos’ Jerry Bonnema, San Jose’s Craig Frandsen, Fresno’s Anthony Simone and others.
The front gate at Ocean Speedway will open at 4:30pm this Friday night with hot laps at 5:30pm, qualifying around 6pm and racing to follow. The pit gate will open at 2pm. Friday’s event also features the IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Mods, Dwarf Cars, American Stocks and 4-Bangers.
All seating will be general admission with adult tickets $17, seniors 65 & older $16, children 6-12 $13 and kids five and under free. A family pack featuring two adults and two kids is available for $55. The Ocean Speedway is located on the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds in Watsonville, California with the physical address being 2601 East Lake Ave, Watsonville, CA 95076.
After this Friday’s event Ocean Speedway will gear up for the sixth annual Howard Kaeding Classic on Friday & Saturday July 15 & 16. Things will kick-off on Thursday July 14 with the annual HK Classic Car Show & BBQ, which will be held this year at the Martial Cottle Park located at 5283 Snell Avenue in San Jose. There will be a BBQ dinner from 5pm-7pm for a $20 donation, with proceeds going to the Northern Auto Racing Club Benevolent Fund. Martial Cottle Park is located near High Five Pizza at the Snell & Branham Plaza in San Jose.
The racing weekend then begins on Friday night July 15 with the Civil War 360 Sprint Car Series presented by Flowmaster taking on the Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo. The event concludes Saturday July 16 with the Howard Kaeding Classic finale featuring the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series & Joe Hunt Magnetos Wingless Sprints. More info on the overall event will be out this week.
The Ocean Sprints & Ocean Speedway is held under the management of Prentice Motorsports Group, which also operates the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series, the Civil War 360 Sprint Car Series presented by Flowmaster, the Wingless Sprint Car Series presented by Hunt Magnetos & the All Star Modified Tour.
The Ocean Sprints would like to thank Taco Bravo, High Five Pizza, Ray Scheidts Electric, Beer Optics, Hoosier Tires West, Flowmaster, Budweiser and Kaeding Performance for their support. For more information on the Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo log onto www.racepmg.com
Upcoming Winged Sprint Car events at Ocean Speedway
Friday July 8: Ocean Sprints (Johnny Key Classic Qualifier)
Friday July 15: Civil War vs. Ocean Sprints (Howard Kaeding Classic opener)
Saturday July 16: King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series (Howard Kaeding Classic finale)
Friday July 29: Ocean Sprints (Final Johnny Key Classic Qualifier)
Saturday August 20: 56th running of the Johnny Key Classic (Civil War vs Ocean Sprints)
Photos courtesy TDS Shots