WATSONVILLE – “Outsmart, Outperform, Survive” was the motto of the Ocean Sprints main race on Friday night, as San Jose’s Bud Kaeding survived a tough main event to fend off several young Chargers for his third win of the season.
Corey Day de Clovis took top time honors but did not start the main event. Jodie Robinson of Roseville won the sprint to take pole position for the 30-lap competition. She edged out former USAC West Coast 360 champion Tristan Guardino at the start of the feature film. The leaders encountered double traffic in the fifth round. Guardino showed Robinson a nose in the first corner. Robinson then aggressively split the overtaken cars into turn three for crowd approval, before Campbell’s Adam Kaeding passed the rim and stopped for a warning flag.
Robinson recovered his front wheels on the restart and ceded the lead to Guardino. Jason Chisum slowed down for a warning on the next circuit. Kaeding jumped on the restart, passing both Robinson and Guardino in the first corner for a lead he would never give up despite several restarts.
2019 Ocean Sprints champion JJ Ringo of Morgan Hill also followed Kaeding to second. Nick Ringo, also of Morgan Hill, rode on an inside tire on turn three for a warning on lap 11. The warnings flew again during the restart attempt when Jeremy Chisum and Adam Kaeding got tangled in the second turn. Robinson passed JJ Ringo for second on the restart, before they made contact in the first corner with Ringo’s car briefly over Robinson’s tail tank. The fierce battle was slowed down after Nick Ringo stopped in turn three a turn later. An additional warning fell in round 14 for tied-up Kurt Nelson and 2020 champion Mitchell Faccinto after a battle for fifth place in round three.
Guardino used the inside in turn three to take Kaeding’s lead on lap 15. Kaeding recovered a big away run on the last lap the following lap, passing Guardino for the lead as Guardino streaked for a warning flag. Kaeding led Robinson in the restart, before a warning for Guardino, Connor Danell and Bradley Dillard got tangled in the second round. This warning necessitated a red flag for a fuel stop after 70 combined laps were covered around the speed track.
JJ Ringo, Joey Ancona who started 10th, and Lincoln’s Tanner Carrick all passed Robinson after the restart. Zane Blanchard also moved from 17th starting position to just outside the top five. The doubled traffic added to the drama for Kaeding with five laps to go, allowing JJ Ringo to come close quickly.
Kaeding’s lead fell to car length with two laps to go, with a nifty over-under move into turn three on a pair of overtaken cars giving Kaeding the separation he needed. Kaeding took the checkered flag in the hour-long affair over Ringo, Ancona, Carrick and Robinson.
Blake Bower of Brentwood won his third race of the year in Western Midget Racing by winning the 20-lap main event. Bower and 2021 points leader David Prickett of Fresno shared the eight-lap heat races.
Bower and Prickett lined up in row three for the 20-lap main event. Contact between Prickett and Cameron Beard on the first lap in the first corner ended Prickett’s night and required a warning flag. When the races resumed, the Hawaiian Kala Keliinoi took the lead ahead of Randi Pankratz of Atascadero. Bower took the lead in the second round.
Citrus Heights DJ Freitas made his debut in the # 7 Spike chassis and moved from starting eighth to second using the outside line. Freitas then challenged Bower several times, but Bower took the lead for the win. Keliinoi won a battle throughout the race with Pankratz for third place with Megan Moorhead of Santa Paula finishing close in fifth.
IMCA Sport modified
Brentwood’s Fred Ryland won his fourth 2021 IMCA Sport Modified Main Event in Watsonville. Oakley’s Scott Foster led the first round before quickly retreating, with 2020 champion Adriane Frost of Watsonville leading the second round. Ryland, starting fourth, led in round three, with Foster dropping to ninth place on round four. The warning flew for Randy Miller of the San Jose spinning mill. Todd Gomez from Antioch took a dive under the yellow but joined the race.
Miller quickly took fourth place on lap seven from behind the field. Andrew Pearce, 15, raced from ninth starting position, passing Frost for third. A 15th round restart gave Pearce a chance to overtake Trevor Clymens for second place as well. Ryland, Pearce, Miller, Clymens and Kelly Campanile were the top five.
South Bay Dwarf Car
Mark Biscardi of San Jose won the South Bay Dwarf Car title, leading the end in the 20 lap. Camarillo’s Tommy Velasquez III took second place early, then sped off into the third corner on lap nine. Velasquez quickly worked with the field, challenging Concord’s Travis Day for second place a few laps later. Velasquez ultimately won the battle for position on the 16th round. Biscardi led Velasquez, Day, Trafton Chandler and Eric Weisler among the top five.
Richard Mitchell of Watsonville won his second Four Banger Main Event of the Year. Kate Beardsley finished second, followed by points leader Tony Gullo as the only firsts in the standings.
Taco Bravo Tour 13
When: Friday, 5:45 p.m.
Or: Ocean Speedway, Watsonville
Events: 360 Sprint Cars, IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Mods, Four Bangers & South Bay Dwarf Cars