WATSONVILLE – Justin Sanders of Aromas led all 30 laps to win his sixth Ocean Sprints race to extend his points lead at Ocean Speedway on Friday night.
Sanders’ victory was part of a four-division show at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds.
Keith Day, Jr. of Salinas broke a new time trial track record with a lap of 11.122 seconds, surpassing Brad Furr’s previously set record of 11.183. Sanders also clocked under the record and placed second in qualifying. Both drivers were unable to win the qualifying race but qualified for the scoreboard, where Day passed Sanders to take pole position for the feature.
Sanders rounded the outside of Day to lead the first round of the 30-lap contest, then encountered double traffic in the fourth round. Day fought with Joey Ancona of Concord and Joey Myers, Jr. of Sebastopol for second place with the trio rolling at the top of the track in traffic. Burt Foland Jr. bounced off the back stretch wall while being passed on lap 11. The bottleneck put Myers on the bindings coming off turn four with Ancona hitting him in the right-back. Myers was able to come back with a new tire but Ancona did not continue.
Hanford’s Zane Blanchard passed 2019 champion James Ringo of Morgan Hill for third place in the restart. Bud Kaeding had an inside run to potentially overtake them both, but that was canceled when Geoffrey Grimm spun into the second corner on lap 17. Nick Ringo withdrew from the race on warning, making himself seventh. James Ringo took the wrong direction on the restart, falling back to eighth. Kaeding climbed to fourth place on lap 21. Day started from second in the fourth round in the 26th round. Day’s race then ended when he stopped on lap four for an extra yellow on lap 27.
Sanders charged ahead of Blanchard and Kaeding on the final restart, Blanchard edging out Kaeding for second on the board. 2020 Ocean Sprints champion Mitchell Faccinto finished fourth. Hanford’s DJ Netto overcame a flip in the first qualifying race to drop from 16th to fifth place in the feature film.
A group of 15 Hobby Stock cars had fun in their 20-lap function with Rob Gallaher moving from 12th place on the grid to victory lane. Norm Ayers led the first round with Joe Gallaher and Nick Silva passing Scott Freeman for the second and third respectively. Joe Gallaher then took the lead on lap four when Ayers slowed down in corner four with a puncture in the front right tire.
Joe Gallaher picked the outside of Nick Silva with Silva coming back inside to lead the fifth round. Silva was making his first start since 2017 in the division. The yellow flies away on lap 10 for Adriane Frost who goes up in smoke in the home straight. Joe Gallaher used the restart to make a three-wide pass for the header before Terry Campion went in the fourth round for a yellow flag.
Silva regained the lead on the next restart, leading the 12th lap. Rob Gallaher took first place on lap 17. Joe Gallaher dove inside Silva for the second but sped off to issue a warning, setting up a sprint to the finish. Jerry Skelton scored Silva for the second, sending him into hard contact with Campion on round four. After a long warning for the cleanup, Rob Gallaher took the win ahead of Skelton, Freeman, Sam Kennedy and Joe Gallaher.
South Bay Dwarf Car
Camarillo’s Tommy Velasquez III won the South Bay Dwarf Car 20-lap race, leading 19 laps of the race. Mark Biscardi led the first lap before Velasquez passed outside down the stretch. A restart in the fourth round saw Nick Velasquez take second place. Brandon Wiley of Santa Maria made his first appearance in the ocean in several years and completed the podium. Sean Catucci and Biscardi finished fourth and fifth.
DJ Keldsen topped the feature Four Banger after taking off from the eighth and final starting position. Richard Mitchell of Watsonville led the first two home runs before Keldsen took over. Travis VanGilder had a major fall when he bounced off the front stretch wall and was boned by Mitchell. The two drivers were not injured. Keldsen crossed the line first but was disqualified after the race, allowing Kate Beardsley to be credited with victory over incoming points leader Tony Gullo and Nicole Beardsley.
Pombo / Sargent Classic
When: Friday, 5:45 p.m.
Or: Ocean Speedway, Watsonville
Events: NARC King of the West 410 Sprint Cars, IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Mods and Western Midget