Tommy Tarlton joins Steven Tiner & Sean Becker as locked into the 56th Johnny Key Classicracepmg
By Gary Thomas
Watsonville, CA – July 11, 2016…Already a two-time Johnny Key Classic winner in his career Easton’s Tommy Tarlton greatly improved his odds at getting number three this season by claiming victory on Friday during Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo round seven.
It was Tarlton’s second triumph of the season at Ocean Speedway and punches his ticket into the 56th running of the Key Classic on August 20. He now joins already locked in drivers Steven Tiner & Sean Becker with one Qualifying Race still to go on July 29. Tarlton’s victory came aboard the Executive Auto Sales/ Elite Landscape Construction No. 21 Sprint Car.
“We haven’t seemed to automatically lock ourselves into the Johnny Key Classic a whole lot recently, so to be able to do that tonight is pretty awesome,” said Tarlton on the front stretch. “We had a great car tonight and it was pretty wild going through lapped traffic. I can’t thank my crew chief Paul Baines and this entire team enough for all their hard work. Big thanks also to all of our marketing partners and all the fans that came out to support us tonight.”
Tarlton ended up leading all 30-laps in the feature, but had to fend off the relentless challenges from Los Angeles driver Tyler Walker. The former King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series champ was making his first Ocean Speedway start of the season aboard the Tri-C Manufacturing No. 3c machine. Lapped traffic in the main event made things very interesting and kept the crowd on the edge of their seats. Walker stalked Tarlton for a majority of the race, but the two-time Ocean Sprints champ made all the right moves and was able to keep him at bay.
A yellow flag with two-laps left created a single file restart and during it Tarlton got a solid lead and that was all she wrote, as he took the Ed Entz checkered flag for victory. Walker came home in second to mark his third straight runner up finish since joining the Clyde & Marion Lamar owned team. Fremont’s Shane Golobic was able to claim the final spot on the podium after an intense battle with Watsonville’s Justin Sanders through traffic. The pair put on a great show fighting back & forth.
Sander’s ended up fourth, with Hollister’s Ryan Bernal taking home the High Five Pizza Hard Charger Award by carving his way from 11th to fifth. The remainder of the top-10 was filled out by Corralitos’ Jerry Bonnema, Stockton’s Brad Furr, Gilroy’s Kurt Nelson, Penngrove’s Buddy Kofoid and Salinas’ Jeremy Chisum.
Tommy Tarlton picked off the night’s six-lap dash with the two heat races captured by Tarlton & Jerry Bonnema. Shane Golobic opened the night by setting the Ray Scheidts Electric Fast Time by touring the Ocean Speedway quarter-mile in 11.768 seconds. Full results are available at www.racepmg.com
The Ocean Speedway now gears up for the sixth annual Howard Kaeding Classic this weekend. Everything begins on Thursday night July 14, with the third annual HK Classic Car Show & BBQ, held this year at Martial Cottle Park located at 5283 Snell Avenue in San Jose. Various drivers, hot rods and race cars will be on hand at the get-together that runs from 4pm-8pm, which is the official kick-off for the Howard Kaeding Classic weekend.
There will be a delicious BBQ dinner from 5pm-7pm for a $20 donation, with proceeds going to the Northern Auto Racing Club Benevolent Fund. Please come out and enjoy a fun night with some great food, all put on for a terrific cause. 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 at Ocean Speedway 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. The finale will see an earlier start time like usual during all Saturday events at Ocean Speedway.
Following Friday nights races High Five Pizza will be putting on a post-race party at the track with appetizers, drinks and a lot of fun to be had. Teams & fans are all encouraged to come and join in following the races. On Saturday afternoon the annual HK Classic Luncheon takes place, which kicks-off the final night’s action. Both events are also held to support the Northern Auto Racing Club Benevolent Fund.
The Friday night post race party & Saturday afternoon HK Classic Luncheon will both be held in the Big White Tent located just off turn four.
Tickets for the Friday night July 15 Civil War 360 Series vs Ocean Sprints event will be $22 for adults, $15 for kids 6-12, children five & under free. Tickets for the Saturday July 16 King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series & Joe Hunt Magnetos Wingless Sprints event will be $25 for adults, $15 for kids 6-12, children five & under free. Tickets can be pre-purchased at http://racepmg.com/tickets/