Bud Kaeding Takes Home Second Win in a Row, Biscardi Wins Again, Pettit, Gallaher, and Grilli win for First Time in 2019

Bud Kaeding Takes Home Second Win in a Row, Biscardi Wins Again, Pettit, Gallaher, and Grilli win for First Time in 2019

Watsonville, CA – Campbell’s Bud Kaeding stormed to victory for the second consecutive week in Ocean Sprint competition, once again fending off Aromas’ Justin Sanders.  The first several laps were especially wild with Brad Furr leading the first two circuits, with Kaeding railing around the high side in turns one and two to take the lead down the backstretch.  Kaeding, Justin Sanders, and Furr were three wide while battling for the lead for a moment.  The race was marred with relatively minor incidents including a lap six spin for Oakdale’s Bradly Dillard.  On the restart, Justin Sanders took the top spot from Kaeding to lead lap seven, but Kaeding quickly retook the lead with another well executed outside move.  The race was slowed again on lap ten, this time for Windsor’s John Clark, who spun in turn two.  Kaeding was able to pull away from Sanders as he bobbled just enough to allow Lemoore’s Cole Macedo for a moment.  Sanders would go back ahead of Macedo in the next set of corners.  A couple quick yellows for Gilroy’s Ryon Nelson on lap 12 and Fairfield’s Eli Deshaies on lap 15 kept the field tightly bunched up.  Kaeding and Sanders would remain the two at the front of the pack, with Brad Furr taking third from Cole Macedo on the lap 15 restart.  Macedo would get around Furr again, but the pass was negated by another yellow for John Clark on lap 17.  Bud Kaeding continued to lead the way over Justin Sanders with Furr, Macedo, and Gilroy’s Kurt Nelson the top five with 13 laps to go.  Kaeding pulled away again, but a final yellow flag came out on lap 21 for Morgan Hill’s JJ Ringo, who stopped in turn three and quickly exited the car.  On the final restart, Justin Sanders would show Bud Kaeding a nose under him, but wasn’t able to pull off a pass for the win.  Kaeding would go on to win by one and a half seconds over Sanders, with Brad Furr, Cole Macedo, and Lincoln’s Blake Carrick completing the top five.  Fresno’s Kyler Shaw took home the Hard Charger Award by advancing seven positions in the feature.  Shaw expects this to be his only race of the 2019 season.  Brad Furr won Quick Time for the second week in a row with an 11.718.  Heat race wins went to Blake Carrick, Jason Chisum of Salinas, and Bradly Dillard.  Kaeding was the winner of the Dash. 

San Jose’s Mark Biscardi has been a man possessed the past two races dominating in the Dwarf Cars.  Campbell’s Eric Weisler showed the way early leading the first two laps before Biscardi took the top spot to lead lap three.  Biscardi was gone at the front while Shawn Jones of San Jose, arguably one of the top Dwarf Car drivers in the nation, charged into second behind Biscardi.  The race ran clean and green the first twelve laps before Shawn Jones made an uncharacteristic mistake spinning in turns three and four.  With eight laps to run, Biscardi lined up ahead of Eric Weisler and Hollister’s Ryan Ameln, who were having a torrid back-and-forth battle.  Biscardi would leave the field behind and go on to win by over two seconds.  Ryan Ameln would get the better of Eric Weisler for second, and Shawn Jones recovered from his mishap to finish fourth.  Gene Pires Jr. of Los Banos completed the top five.  Heat race wins went to Shawn Jones and Mark Biscardi. 

Jim Pettit II of Prunedale took his first IMCA Modified feature win the year Friday night.  It was his first win since the passing of his father, Jim Sr.  Pettit started on pole and led every lap in a drawn out and destructive main event.  Pettit was nearly untouchable out front, but Santa Maria youngster Dylan Thornton tried to give him a run for his money in the waning laps.  Thornton won down in Ventura last week and came close to winning again Friday night, but had to settle for second this time.  Austin Burke of Salinas was one of many drivers caught up in on track incidents resulting in a trip to the work area, but he managed to salvage a good night with a third place run.  Livermore’s Brian Cass was fourth with San Martin’s Jeff Decker rounding out the top five.  Austin Burke and Jim Pettit II won the pair of heat races. 

Robert Gallaher returned to victory lane for his first win of 2019.  Gallaher started on the outside pole and led ever lap along the way.  It wasn’t for lack of effort from the other drivers, however, namely Watsonville’s Jerry Skelton, who lost his right rear wheel on lap eight while chasing Gallaher.  Joe Gallaher, Robert Huckaby Sr. of Santa Cruz and Watsonville’s DJ Keldsen all had their shot at Robert Gallaher, but in the end he was too strong on this night.  Following Robert Gallaher to the line was DJ Keldsen and Robert Huckaby Sr.  Joe Gallaher was fourth after a visit to the pit area to replace a flat right front tire at the halfway point.  Watsonville’s Tony Oliveira completed the top five aboard his Mustang.  Joe Gallaher and Tony Oliveira won the two heat races.

Prunedale’s John Grilli collected his first career win Friday night in the 4-Bangers.  This was Grilli’s second career race aboard a car that has a long and successful past at the track, including a 2009 track championship with Matt Sotomayor behind the wheel.  Grilli assumed the pole when original pole-sitter Ryan McClelland of Scotts Valley jumped the start and was moved back one row by officials.  Grilli and McClelland were the class of the field, but McClelland’s night would come to an end with six laps to go when his right front wheel left his car.  McClelland was able to pull to infield and the race would remain under green.  A great battle between Watsonville’s Tony Gullo in his debut run and the Beardsley sisters, Nicole and Kate would unfold around five seconds back of Grilli, with Gullo taking second.  Bill Beardsley completed the top five.  Ryan McClelland won the heat race for the division.

Next week, the Ocean Sprints are back for their fourth consecutive race week, along with the IMCA Modifieds and Four Bangers.  The IMCA SportMods return to action after being off the since April 12th.   

Advance tickets to the races scheduled for Friday, May 3rd are available here: https://market.myracepass.com/store/tickets/?i=1175955&store=12231

Pits are scheduled to open at 2pm and Grandstands will open at 4:30pm.  Pill draw will close at 4:30pm.  Pit passes are $40 for track and IMCA members and $45 for non-members.  All seating is general admission and tickets cost $18 for adults and $16 for seniors.  Students 12-15 are $12 and Kids 6-11 are $9 and Kids 5 and under are free.

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