Watsonville, CA — (March 31, 2012) — Campbell’s Bud Kaeding drove the Werbach Motorsports #20 to victory in the 30 lap Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo feature on Friday night at Ocean Speedway Watsonville to kick off the 16 round 2012 season. Kaeding’s win came from fifth on the grid and was his third feature win this year already, adding to his two USAC West Coast 360 victories.
Kaeding won by a comfortable 1.9 second margin over 2011 Ocean Sprints champion Ronnie Day of Salinas in the #22 Keith Day Trucking entry, successfully defending the lead through a series of restarts through lap 23.
Auburn’s Andy Forsberg started on the pole alongside Stockton’s Brad Furr, but Furr jumped the initial start and was sent back one row. The next attempted start saw Forsberg alongside Day, but action was quickly halted due to a pair of opening lap incidents. Salinas’ Carter Train and Fremont’s Shane Golobic got tangled up in turn 1. Slowing for the yellow flag, Tommy Laliberte went for a wild ride in turn three over the front wheels of 16 year-old Cole Wood.
Laliberte was uninjured but done for the evening, while the other three drivers restarted the race from the rear of the field. The ensuing complete restart saw Forsberg take off with the lead while Kaeding stormed from fifth to pass Day for second by lap four.
Train slowed on lap five to bring out the next yellow and Kaeding used to the bottom to take the lead from Forsberg on the restart. Furr passed Day for third on the restart as well.
Golobic made quick work from the rear of the field, passing Nick Green for the sixth spot on lap 12. Day began to pick up the pace under green, working the topside to pass both Furr and Forsberg and move back into second.
Despite numerous yellow flags and stoppages, including a red flag on lap 21 for Orval Zane Burke, Jr. flipping wildly in turn one, Kaeding continued to hold off Day on each restart. Kaeding stuck to the bottom while Day stayed committed to the top.
Over the final seven laps, Kaeding grew his lead over Day while Golobic continued his charge to the front. At the finish, Forsberg beat out Golobic in a drag race for the third position with Furr rounding out the top-five.
The Ray Scheidt’s Electric / Get Som Sports Fast Time Award went to 2011 USAC Western Classic champion Geoff Ensign of Sebastopol with a 13.679 second lap in the Ted Finkenbinder #3F. Ensign failed to the finish the feature however due to steering problems.
The DDNi Hard Charger went to rookie Jason Chisum of Salinas who drove from 14th starting to finish ninth in his Ocean Sprints debut. Heat race wins went to Ensign, “Cowboy” Craig Smith, and Forsberg.
Ocean Speedway would like to thank Taco Bravo, Digital Delivery Networks, Get Som Sports, Ray Scheidt’s Electric, Hoosier Tires West, and Kaeding Performance for their support of the 2012 Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo.