The year of Justin Sanders continues on Friday with record breaking night at Ocean Speedwayracepmg
By Gary Thomas
Watsonville, CA – August 21, 2015…Lining-up from the front row on Friday night current Ocean Sprints point leader Justin Sanders showed once again that he’s the man to beat at the quarter-mile, by leading all 30-laps to score his eighth Taco Bravo victory of the year.
The triumph made Sanders the all-time winningest driver in one season with the Ocean Sprints, breaking the record Brent Kaeding had held for eight-years. It also extended his lead atop the standings to a staggering 114-points with just two events remaining this year. The 22-year-old has won four of the last five events aboard his North County Plastering/ Fire Protection Management No. 17 Sprinter.
“Wow this is so awesome that I don’t even really know what to say,” said a very happy & excited Sanders on the front stretch. “To get our eighth win and break the single-season record is pretty incredible. We’ve had a great year, but I never could have imagined a season like we’ve had so far in this 17 car. I can’t thank all our sponsors enough and everyone that helps out on this team. The car was really good tonight and hopefully we can come back next week in the Warrington 18 and have the same kind of speed.”
Early on in the feature Sanders felt pressure from Gilroy’s Kurt Nelson, who put together his best night of the 2015 campaign. The veteran driver captured the night’s Dash and stalked Sanders through traffic during the early stages, before bringing home a season-best runner up finish at the conclusion.
“This was a great night for us and I’m definitely happy to be standing up here on the podium tonight,” Nelson commented. “To finish second to someone that’s had a year like Justin has had is nothing to be ashamed of. I want to thank everyone that came out tonight and give a big thanks to all my sponsors & supporters. We couldn’t do this without all of them. We’ve had the car rolling well lately and I’m looking forward to the Johnny Key Classic next week. Hope all the fans come back as well. It’s going to be a great show.”
Campbell’s Bud Kaeding made a late surge to round out the podium, as he gears up for the 55th Johnny Key Classic next week. The 1996 winner of the event set fast time to begin the night and battled with youngsters Kyler Shaw & Ryan Robinson over much of the feature.
“We definitely wanted to get locked-in tonight, but everyone has been chasing that 17 car all year,” Kaeding said. “Justin Sanders has been the man to beat and they’ve been on a roll this season. We will come back next week and try to get a little better in the feature to have something for him. 50-laps definitely changes the ballgame, so you never know what will happen. The track should slick up a little more and we’ll have some slide jobs to give the fans a show. We’ll see everyone next week.”
Kyler Shaw came home in fourth to continue his solid summer of racing with the Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo, while 14-year-old Ryan Robinson earned his career best finish at the track by rounding out the top-five. Robinson spent time racing with Nelson for second late in the going and looked very impressive once again. The son of former Civil War champion David Robinson Jr. is certainly one of the rising stars in the state and someone to keep an eye on.
The remainder of the top-10 was filled out by Brad Furr, Jerry Bonnema, Mitchell Faccinto, Koen Shaw and Kalib Henry. Henry, who is the 15-year-old son of another former Civil War Series champion Mike Henry, was making his debut in a Winged Sprint Car. Like Robinson, Henry has also cut his teeth racing in an Outlaw Kart throughout Northern California. Jeremy Chisum came from 20th to 11th earning the High Five Pizza Hard Charger Award, while his brother Jason received the Beer Optics Hard Luck Award for his flip in the A-main.
As noted Kurt Nelson won the dash, while the three eight-lap heat races were picked off by Nelson, Tony Gualda and Jerry Bonnema. Bud Kaeding’s lap of 11.785 was good enough to give him his first Ray Scheidts Electric Fast Time Award of the season.
A-main finish: #17 Justin Sanders, #72W Kurt Nelson, #0 Bud Kaeding, #92 Kyler Shaw, #1R Ryan Robinson, #2 Brad Furr, #58 Jerry Bonnema, #37 Mitchell Faccinto, #88 Koen Shaw, #56K Kalib Henry, #8 Jermey Chisum, #83 Austin Liggett, #12 Scott Parker, #55 Danny Malfatti, #9J Dustin Golobic, #7 Nick Ringo Jr, #10 Anthony Simone, #34 Darrell Taylor, #3T Nicholas Ringo, #25Z Jason Chisum, #99 Tony Gualda, #17S Eric Rossi
The Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo will now get ready for the 55th running of the Johnny Key Classic next Saturday August 29. It will also be the second & final appearance of the season by the Civil War Sprint Car Series presented by Flowmaster, in what is sure to be a huge night of racing. With Justin Sanders winning on Friday that means there will be just five drivers locked into the dash, which sets the first five starting spots in the 50-lap feature.
The drivers locked into the dash are Sanders, Fremont’s Shane Golobic, Chico’s Jonathan Allard, Elk Grove’s Greg Decaires and Auburn’s Andy Forsberg. This means that the sixth starting spot will be available to the driver who sets fast time among the cars not already locked-in and transfers through their heat.
The front gate will open at 3:30pm next Saturday August 29, with the drivers meeting scheduled for 3:45pm. Please note the early start time like usual on Saturday events at the track. The pit gate will open at 1pm.
Ocean Speedway & Taco Bravo will be hosting a Johnny Key Classic Pre-Party at the Taco Bravo located at 1950 South Bascom Avenue, Campbell, CA from 5pm to 8:30pm on Friday August 28, 2015. All pre-qualified cars and other teams are welcome to come and display their race cars at the event. Help us sell 3055 Taco’s. Tickets for Saturday will also be available at the party.
Photos courtesy TDS Shots & Collin Markle Photography