Photo of Kurt Nelson by Amanda Jones / Revved Up Photography
Photo of Kurt Nelson by Amanda Jones / Revved Up Photography
Photo of Kurt Nelson by Amanda Jones / Revved Up Photography

From Steven Blakesley


Watsonville, CA — (February 12, 2013) — John Prentice’s Ocean Speedway Watsonville is preparing to embark on a landmark 2013 season with 33 race events and some of the toughest weekly competition on any dirt track in the nation.  The 2013 campaign will be highlighted by several major events throughout the year as drivers jockey for points, prize money, and their spot in the record books.


Ocean Speedway’s beautiful quarter-mile dirt oval at the Santa Cruz Fairgrounds is headlined by weekly racing action from the IMCA Modifieds and the Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo.


The IMCA Modifieds at Ocean Speedway Watsonville have been a mainstay at the speedway for many years attracting some of the nation’s top short track drivers such as 2012 champion Jim Pettit.  The Modifieds kick off their campaign on March 22nd and the season will be highlighted by the 3rd Pat Pettit Shootout on September 20th-21st.


Race teams from all over the nation will descend on Watsonville in September hoping for a piece of a $15,000 winner’s share in the Saturday night feature.  The 2013 edition of the Pat Pettit is one of the highest paying Modified events in the country.


Some of the West Coast’s best 360 Sprint Car drivers assemble each year for the Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo with 17 races on tap this season.  The hugely successful $10,000 to win 53rd Johnny Key Classic will be held on Saturday night August 24th.  A nearly sell-out crowd came out to watch Tommy Tarlton grab the victory in 2012 while Mike Henry set an all-time Ocean Speedway 360 Sprint Car track record in qualifying.


Each Ocean Sprints event will carry a special “back-row challenge” presented by Nobel Construction.  The top-two qualifiers will have the option to start the feature at the rear.  If the driver can pull off the win, they will earn an additional $1000 on top of the already posted awards.


2012 champion Shane Golobic of Fremont will have his hands full this year against a driver roster that includes veterans such as Brad Furr, Kurt Nelson, and young guns like Wingless graduate Nathan Washam, DJ Netto, Dominic Scelzi, Carson Macedo, and many more.


The Pat Pettit and Johnny Key are not the only special events on tap.  The USAC Sprint Cars will grace the quarter-mile on four occasions including July 12th as the kick-off to the 3rd Howard Kaeding Classic.  USAC Western Midgets will also be in action on July 12th.  Night two of the Howard Kaeding Classic will feature the Golden State King of the West Sprint Cars in the only appearance for Winged 410s in the south bay this year.


“With all of the improvements to the facility we have made and with this great schedule, I think this will be our best year ever,” Promoter John Prentice said.


Overseeing all of the action this season will be a two man crew of Dan Belton and Mike Andreatta sharing the Race Director roles.


“I have a lot of respect for Dan and have been trying to get him to join the Ocean team for some time now,” Prentice said.  “I have learned in business if you hire the very best staff you can good things will happen!  Between Mike and Dan I feel I have the two very best race directors in the business working for me.”

Other divisions racing weekly at Ocean this year include the American Stocks, Dwarf Cars, Four Bangers, the rapidly growing IMCA Sport Mods, Ocean Late Models, and traditional Wingless Sprint Cars.  Some divisions will incorporate a season ending “Chase” points format with more information to be announced soon.


For ticket and race day information, fans can visit the all-new OceanSpeedway.com All seating at Ocean Speedway is general admission and gets you a ticket to some of the best dirt track racing anywhere.


For more information on the Ocean Sprints log onto http://www.oceansprints.com and for more on the Ocean Speedway visit http://www.oceanspeedway.com


Ocean Speedway would like to thank Taco Bravo, Digital Delivery Networks, Nobel Construction, Get Som Sports, Ray Scheidt’s Electric, Hoosier Tires West, and Kaeding Performance for their support.