Watsonville, CA — (September 24, 2011) – Fremont’s Shane Golobic out-dueled “Cowboy” Craig Smith of San Martin to win a hard fought Ocean Sprints vs. Civil War feature on Friday night at Ocean Speedway. The victory is Golobic’s second of the year at Ocean to go along with a win in May.
30 cars lined the pits for action on the Santa Cruz Fairgrounds quarter-mile with the race marking the penultimate round for the California Sprint Car Civil War and the third to last race for the Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo.
Greg DeCaires, winner of the Pacific Sprint Cup during the Gold Cup, led the 22 car starting field to green. Golobic, from fourth, jumped up to second early on and challenged DeCaires for the lead.
Golobic took over the top spot on lap four with Smith following him through for second on lap five. A red flag came out on that lap when Corralitos’ Jerry Bonnema had a minor tip-over in turn three.
Smith and Golobic engaged in a back-and-forth battle for the lead with Smith taking it on lap 10 to the approval of the crowd. The next caution of the race flew on lap 11 when Justin Sanders of Prunedale stalled in turn one.
On the restart, Rico Abreu and Civil War points leader Andy Forsberg battled hard for fifth. Abreu continued his charge from tenth on the grid to pass Forsberg when the caution came out again on lap 16 for Sanders spinning out in turn three.
Sanders’ night was done, and the restart saw Tim Kaeding, who started 11th, move past both Forsberg and Abreu into the top-five.
The yellow flag came out again on lap 17 for Nick Ringo, Jr. spinning in turn one setting up an electric final 13 laps that brought the fans to their feet. DeCaires fell out of the top-five on the restart due to a damaged front wing which set the stage for the finish.
Golobic and Smith traded blows for the next 10 laps, while points leader Ronnie Day had a thrilling three-wide race with Abreu and Kaeding for third.
Golobic finally wrestled away the lead from Smith on lap 27, with Smith defending Day for second to the finish. Kaeding narrowly edged out Abreu for fourth at the line.
Kyle Hirst, DeCaires, Forsberg, Jeremy Burt, and Alissa Geving rounded out the top-ten. Hirst made up small ground on Forsberg in the Civil War championship with the title to be decided Saturday night at Placerville Speedway.
On the Ocean Sprints side, Day pulled away from Tommy Tarlton in the standings after Tarlton flipped in the semi to miss the feature. Day now leads Tarlton by 32 with just two races left to go in the series.
Heat race wins went to Burt, Koen Shaw, Geving, and Jason Statler. Day used his teammate Jeremy Chisum’s car to get the Ray Scheidt’s Electric fast-time award with an 11.500 second lap around the speedway. The DDNi Hard Charger was Kaeding.
The Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo will go dark next Friday night but return for two consecutive races to wrap up the season on October 7 and October 14.