By Gary Thomas
Watsonville, CA – September 19, 2016…What started back in April will officially come to a close this Friday night September 23, with the Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo set for their 2016 season finale at Watsonville’s Ocean Speedway.
The event on Friday will ultimately mark the 12th race of the year, in what has been the 10th anniversary season for the Ocean Sprints.
During those races there have been six different winners, including the hottest driver at the speedway as of late, Justin Sanders. The reigning Taco Bravo champion won’t take home the title this year, but has captured a track-high four victories this season, including the last three. The Watsonville based competitor looks to finish off the campaign with win number five on Friday.
Going into the finale Stockton’s Brad Furr is searching to lock-up his second career Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo championship.
The veteran driver has used one win and solid consistency to maintain the point lead for much of the season. He last claimed the title in 2013 and goes into Friday with a 44-point cushion over young upstart Buddy Kofoid of Penngrove. Furr has spent time in his career traveling with the World of Outlaws and throughout California at times, but has found a home at the Ocean Speedway in recent seasons.
Kofoid has also raced to a single victory this season and looks to wrap up Rookie of the Year honors on Friday, something he’s already done at the Placerville Speedway. The talented 14-year-old rising star capped the Placerville campaign with a third place finish in the standings. Gilroy’s Kurt Nelson, Fremont’s Dustin Golobic and another rookie this season, Lucas Ashe of Cottonwood, round out the top-five in points going into Friday.
Other drivers that have picked off wins this season include past Ocean Sprints champs Shane Golobic of Fremont & Tommy Tarlton of Easton, along with two-time King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series champion Kyle Hirst. Both Golobic & Tarlton have scooped up two victories apiece and have been in the thick of things all season long.
More drivers expected Friday will include Hanford’s DJ Netto, Roseville’s Colby Copeland, Salinas’ Jason Chisum, Fresno’s Koen & Kyler Shaw, Corralitos’ Jerry Bonnema, Oakdale’s Shawn Conde, Templeton’s Kaleb Montgomery, San Jose’s Darrell Taylor and others.
The front gate at Ocean Speedway will open at 4:30pm this Friday night with hot laps at 5:30pm, qualifying around 6pm and racing to follow. The pit gate will open at 2pm. Friday’s event also features the IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sports Mods, American Stocks and 4-Bangers.
All seating will be general admission with adult tickets $17, seniors 65 & older $16, children 6-12 $13 and kids five and under free. A family pack featuring two adults and two kids is available for $55. The Ocean Speedway is located on the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds in Watsonville, California with the physical address being 2601 East Lake Ave, Watsonville, CA 95076.
A-main winners this year: Justin Sanders (4), Shane Golobic & Tommy Tarlton (2), Buddy Kofoid, Brad Furr, Kyle Hirst (1)
Following this Friday the Sprint Car season will then come to a close at the Ocean Speedway on Friday October 7 when the King of the West 410 Sprints invade the quarter-mile.
The Ocean Sprints & Ocean Speedway is held under the management of Prentice Motorsports Group, which also operates the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series, the Civil War 360 Sprint Car Series presented by Flowmaster, the Wingless Sprint Car Series presented by Hunt Magnetos & the All Star Modified Tour.
The Ocean Sprints would like to thank Taco Bravo, High Five Pizza, Ray Scheidts Electric, Beer Optics, Hoosier Tires West, Flowmaster, Budweiser and Kaeding Performance for their support. For more information on the Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo log onto www.racepmg.com
Remaining Winged Sprint Car events at Ocean Speedway in 2016
Friday September 23: Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo (Championship Night)
Friday October 7: King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series