Tommy Tarlton wins a thrilling opener with the Ocean Sprints on Friday

Tommy Tarlton wins a thrilling opener with the Ocean Sprints on Friday

Two-time track champ Tommy Tarlton comes out on top of a thriller over Brent Kaeding & Shane Golobic during Ocean Sprints opener Friday

By Gary Thomas

Watsonville, CA – April 3, 2015…Tommy Tarlton, Brent Kaeding & Shane Golobic waged an epic battle for the lead over the final eight-laps on Friday night at Ocean Speedway, but in the end it was Tarlton who pulled away to kick-off the 2015 Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo season in victory lane.

“That was one awesome race right there,” screamed a very jubilant Tarlton on the front stretch. “I hope everyone enjoyed that because I know all the fans got their monies worth tonight. I love racing with a guy like Brent Kaeding. Good hard clean racing, maybe we touched once I don’t know, but it doesn’t get better than that. I can’t thank all my guys and all our partners enough for letting me do this. We enjoy coming to this track and hope to get a lot more wins this year as we go on.”

The 30-lap main event started out with Kaeding and Gilroy’s Kurt Nelson on the front row leading the 22-car field down to green. Kaeding was able to slice his way out in front and began to distance himself from the field. The action behind him was fast and furious however, with a well prepared surface lending to some great racing at the opener. Tarlton fought with Stockton’s Brad Furr for the runner up spot over a number of laps, before finally getting by and setting his sights on Kaeding.

Tarlton would eventually grab the lead, prior to caution period that left Furr spun on the track trying to avoid the stopped car. At this time reigning Taco Bravo champ Shane Golobic had worked his way through the field after starting last due to issues under the hood lining up for the feature. The final restart of the night occurred on lap 22 and after that it was an all-out fight for the win between Tarlton & Kaeding, with Golobic right there in the mix. Watsonville’s Justin Sanders, who got upside down lining up for his heat race, also poked his nose into the fray on occasion.

With the crowd on the edge of their seats Tarlton & Kaeding traded sliders and exchanged the lead numerous times, as Golobic made it nearly three wide at one point off the second corner. Racing through traffic the final few laps Tarlton was able to distance himself just enough and race off to take the Ed Entz checkered flag. Kaeding, Golobic, Sanders and Laton’s Heath Duinkerken rounded out the top-five. Nicholas Ringo, Kurt Nelson, Jerry Bonnema, Scott Parker and Jeremy Chisum completed the top-10.

“That was so much fun racing with Tommy and although I’m disappointed not to win, I can never be disappointed running second to a guy like him,” said a happy Kaeding after the race. “We had a great year last season and to start it off with a second tonight gives me some confidence. I want to thank my whole team and all the people that support us. I guess it’s on to Placerville to see if we can get a win up there with KWS.”

Golobic’s run was impressive coming from 22nd to third and nearly having a shot at victory over the later stages of the race. “We had a great run in the main event to get up here on the podium. I would have liked to see what we could have done starting up front in third where we were supposed to. The track was great tonight so as a driver that’s all you can ask for. We had a lot of fun and are really excited about the season in this 22 car.”

Three 10-lap heat races were held during the night and were picked off by Hollister’s Ryan Bernal, Kaeding and Stockton’s Brad Furr. A field of 23-cars signed into the pits and Tarlton kicked-off the night by taking the Ray Scheidts Electric Fast Time Award. Scott Parker took home the High Five Pizza Hard Charger Award and Austin Liggett earned the Beer Optics Hard Luck Award, after flipping while lining up for his heat and scratching for the night.

A-main finish: 1. Tommy Tarlton, 2. Brent Kaeding, 3. Shane Golobic, 4. Justin Sanders, 5. Heath Duinkerken, 6. Nicholas Ringo, 7. Kurt Nelson, 8. Jerry Bonnema, 9. Scott Parker, 10. Jeremy Chisum, 11. Brad Furr, 12. Kyler Shaw,13. Jason Chisuim, 14. Tony Gualda, 15. Koen Shaw,16.Ken Fredenburg, 17. Mark Barroso, 18. Danny Malfatti, 19. Dustin Golobic, 20. Ryan Robinson, 21. Darrell Taylor, 22. Ryan Bernal

The Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo return next Friday night April 10 for round number two on the season at Ocean Speedway. Info can be found at www.oceansprints.com and www.racepmg.com

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