Scelzi leads King of the West Sprints into Howard Kaeding Classic Saturday at Ocean Speedwayracepmg
King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series returns to Ocean Speedway for the 5th annual Howard Kaeding Classic this Saturday July 11
Eighteen-year-old Dominic Scelzi brings a 19-point lead over Bud Kaeding & Carson Macedo into Watsonville
By Gary Thomas
Watsonville, CA – July 7, 2015…Since starting in 2011 the prestigious Howard Kaeding Classic has been a destination event for the King of the West Sprint Car Series at Ocean Speedway each summer. This Saturday night the tour invades the cool confines of Watsonville, CA for the fifth annual edition of the showcase, which doubles as KWS round number nine.
The event on Saturday marks the final appearance in 2015 for the King of the West Series at Ocean Speedway and caps a big weekend of racing at the quarter-mile. On Friday night the Civil War 360 Sprint Car Series takes on the Ocean Sprints. On Saturday the Joe Hunt Magnetos Wingless Sprints then share the stage with the King of the West 410 Sprinters. Camping is allowed on the grass area near & behind the grandstands. Hook ups cost $40 per night with dry camping $20.
Reigning King of the West 410 Sprint Car Rookie of the Year DJ Netto picked up his second win of the season when the series was on hand at Ocean Speedway just a couple weeks back. The 19-year-old from of Hanford has moved his way up the ladder in recent weeks and now ranks a season-best fifth in the KWS standings. Netto on Saturday will be gunning to continue his hot streak and become the first driver to reach three wins on the season.
Defending Howard Kaeding Classic winner Bud Kaeding of Campbell will also be searching for his third King of the West victory of the year on Saturday. The three-time USAC Silver Crown champ sits in a tie with Lemoore’s Carson Macedo for second in the KWS points. Kaeding’s wins this season have come at the Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial in Chico and the Petaluma Speedway. Macedo has been in position to win multiple times this year and will look to seal the deal on Saturday.
Everyone is chasing Fresno’s Dominic Scelzi at the top of the heap however, as he brings a 19-point lead into the Howard Kaeding Classic. During the event two weeks back at Ocean Speedway he came from 16th to sixth in the feature and backed that up by claiming fourth in Calistoga the following night. Scelzi will be searching for his second win of the season on Saturday to try and extend his lead in the standings. The 18-year-old picked up a win on June 13 at the Stockton Dirt Track.
Fremont’s Shane Golobic has been ultra close to a HK Classic win on a couple occasions in his career and goes into Saturday sitting fourth in the KWS points. The two-time Ocean Speedway champion charged from 13th to third two weeks ago at the track. Chico’s Kyle Hirst has also been within reach of capturing the event before and is the most recent winner in KWS competition. The two-time series champion earned his second victory of the season at Calistoga on June 27.
Chico’s Jonathan Allard & Los Angeles’ Tyler Walker have both been near victory in recent weeks with KWS. Allard, a two-time Howard Kaeding Classic winner, charged from 16th to second in Calistoga and led the first 24-laps of the feature at Ocean Speedway on June 26. After Allard was knocked out in a lapped traffic incident, Walker then led the feature that night until the final corner, when DJ Netto was able to steal the win away. The 2009 KWS champ has three podiums in four starts this year.
More drivers expected to be on hand Saturday will include 13-time King of the West champ Brent Kaeding of Campbell, Elk Grove’s Bobby McMahan, Easton’s Tommy Tarlton, Grass Valley’s Jason Statler, Gilroy’s Jarrett Soares, Hanford’s Mitchell Faccinto, Penngrove’s Chase Johnson, Fresno’s Craig Stidham, Roseville’s Colby Copeland, Coarsegold’s Scott Parker, Hollister’s Ryan Bernal, Scotts Valley’s Evan Suggs and others.
The week begins on Wednesday night July 8, with the 2nd annual HK Classic Car Show & BBQ at High Five Pizza located at the Silver Creek Sports Plex in San Jose. Various drivers, hot rods and race cars will be on hand at the get-together in the parking lot that runs from 5pm-9pm. Tickets for the weekend will be on sale at the car show for fans to avoid lines come race day. There will be a delicious BBQ dinner from 6pm-8pm for donation, with proceeds going to the Silver Creek Sports Plex Foundation.
Following Friday nights races High Five Pizza will be hosting a post-race party at the track with appetizers, drinks and a lot of fun to be had. On Saturday afternoon the annual HK Classic Luncheon takes place. Both events are held to support the Northern Auto Racing Club Benevolent Fund. The Post Race Party & Luncheon will both be held in the Big White Tent off turn four.
The HK Classic luncheon on Saturday will feature an excellent lunch for a $20 donation to the NARC Benevolent Fund. Easy access is available to enter from both the pit area and the campgrounds. All race teams & fans are encouraged to come enjoy a great lunch prepared by Myles & the crew at Catering by 5. There will also be a 50/50 raffle and a silent auction. The Benevolent Fund uses 100% of the funds raised to support the families of injured drivers, crew members and officials running Sprint Car Series’ in California.
Tickets for Friday’s Civil War 360 vs Ocean Sprints event will be $20 for adults, $15 for kids 6-12, children five & under free. The front gate will open at 4pm. Tickets for Saturday’s 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.
The front gate on Saturday opens at 3pm, drivers meeting scheduled around 4pm, with hot laps, qualifying & racing to follow. As usual at Ocean Speedway everything starts an hour early on Saturday.
Saturday will also feature the Williams Roofing Royal Fan Pill Draw with an extra special incentive. A trivia question will be asked from the announce booth and the fan that answers correctly will pull a random number (1-22) out of a bag. The fan automatically wins $100 and if the driver wins the feature from the starting spot drawn, the driver receives a $2000 bonus! Friday will also see the draw take place, with one driver having a chance at a $1000 bonus. Big thanks to Williams Roofing Fremont, California!
The Ocean Speedway is located on the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds in Watsonville, California with the physical address being 2601 East Lake Ave, Watsonville, CA 95076.
Info on the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series can be found at http://www.racepmg.com
Upcoming KWS events
Saturday July 11: Ocean Speedway (5th annual Howard Kaeding Classic)
Saturday July 18: Placerville Speedway (Bullring Nationals)
Saturday July 25: Thunderbowl Raceway (2nd annual Peter Murphy Classic)
Saturday August 1: Stockton Dirt Track
DJ Netto scored victory at the Ocean Speedway on June 26 & will look to do so once again this weekend. The 19-year-old has moved to a season-high fifth in the KWS standings. Photos by Chuck Fry & Paul Trevino