2018 Ocean Speedway Season Set to Begin Friday, March 30thracepmg
Watsonville, CA – Although it is a week later than anticipated, Ocean Speedway will roar back to life and start their 2018 season this Friday, March 30th. Last week, rain sadly washed out the World of Outlaws show, which will not be rescheduled. This week, however, the Ocean Sprints pres. by Taco Bravo will get their season underway. 2017 Ocean Sprints champ Geoff Ensign hasn’t let it be known yet if he intends to defend his title, but you can bet if he’s in attendance he’ll be a threat for the win. Reigning Ocean Sprints Rookie of the year, Mathew Moles from Fresno, will be one of the heavy hitters we’ll have to keep an eye on as he goes for his first career Ocean Sprints victory. Lemoore’s Carson Macedo will be in attendance driving for Jason Meyers Racing. Gilroy’s Kurt Nelson and Jarrett Soares, Stockton’s Brad Furr, San Jose’s Gary Nelson Jr., Corralitos’ Jerry Bonnema, and the Chisums – Jeremy, Jason, and Josh – from Salinas, are all expected with the possibility of an entry from the Tarlton Racing stable as well, with many other local and regional stars expected to make the tow to the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds 1/4-mile in Watsonville.
The IMCA Modifieds kick off their season as well, with defending champion Nick DeCarlo of Martinez leading the charge. It’s a good bet a driver from Salinas will find victory lane in 2018, with drivers such as Bobby Hogge IV, Kyle and Alex Wilson, Cody and Austin Burke, and Robert Marsh. Hogge led in the wins category last year, picking up seven checkered flags, but came up short in the point standings, as he did not compete full time in 2017. Bay Point’s Danny Wagner and Gilroy’s Stephen Hopf are both expected this Friday, among others.
The 2018 American Stock season is expected to showcase a lot of excitement, as several of the top drivers are set to duke it out for the title. Last year’s champion Robert Gallaher from San Jose will be the one of the ones to beat, but Matt Kile, also of San Jose, Santa Cruz’s Terry Campion, and last year’s Rookie of the Year, San Martin’s JC Elrod, and many others will all surely test Gallaher throughout the year. An entry from Oliveira Racing is also expected, but it’s unclear if Tony will be behind the wheel after a medical scare at last year’s Pettit Shootout. San Jose’s Katie Briggs and Salinas’ Kyle Reeder are also expected to be in action this Friday. It should be noted that this season will see two “drop dates” for the division, meaning that the two lowest scoring nights for each driver are not counted towards the final point’s total, which determines the champion. Complete details on the rule changes for the division can be found here: www.racepmg.com/oceanspeedway/driver-info/rules/
The Four Bangers also open their season this Friday. The Beardsley clan, composed of father Bill and daughters Kate and Nicole, had a good season last year, with the elder statesmen of the group grabbing the championship and Nicole picking up two feature wins. The Keldsen brothers, DJ and Dakota, each grabbed two wins last season. The most dominant driver in the division, however, was Logan Doglione from Hollister. Doglione only showed up five times, but went to victory lane in every appearance As with every new season in this division, someone new or previously unheard of may come out of the woodwork and etch their name on the championship trophy at year’s end. Only time will tell!
Pits are scheduled to open at 2pm and Grandstands will open at 4:30pm. Pit passes are $40 for IMCA and track members and $45 for non-members. All seating is general admission and tickets cost $17 for adults and $16 for seniors. Juniors 12-15 are $12 and Kids 6-11 are $6 and Kids 5 and under are free.
Photo Credits to David Spencer.