From Gary Thomas, L&J Photo
Watsonville, CA – August 20, 2010… Making his return to California pay off on Friday night San Jose’s Tim Kaeding took full advantage of his pole position in the main event and led all 30-laps to record his first win of the season at Ocean Speedway, during what was his initial start of the year at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds bullring.
It marked Kaeding’s second Ocean Sprint Car Series presented by Taco Bravo triumph of 2010, after also claiming victory at the Groppetti Automotive Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare on May 22. It was also good enough to guarantee him a starting spot in the first three rows for next week’s $5,000-to-win Johnny Key Classic at the Watsonville, CA based track.
“The reason we came home early was definitely because of the Johnny Key Classic,” said the former King of California. “My dad, brother and grandpa have won the race before and I haven’t yet so I certainly want to change that next week. I just have to thank Dennis and Teresa Roth and my whole team for giving me great stuff and hopefully we can get rid of some of the bad luck we’ve been having and keep getting wins like tonight.”
With the number eight pill being drawn for the inversion it put T. Kaeding and Stockton’s Brad Furr on the front row and when the green flag waved it was “TK” jumping out front aboard the Roth Motorsports, DTR Transport Inc. No. 83jr mount. A trio of cautions prior to lap-eight slowed things down, but after that a number of green flag laps were run, with some very exciting side by side racing seen throughout much of the pack.
As T. Kaeding led the field out front Furr stayed within a handful of car lengths for much of the distance, while at the same time having current Ocean Sprints point leader Tommy Tarlton right on his bumper applying pressure for second. During the main event the racing surface started out very fast, but as the race played on it became two grooves on both ends of the speedway and created some great action on the quarter-mile oval.
Just past the halfway point Kaeding became bottled up in traffic and it allowed Furr to close in quickly, but with 18-laps complete “TK” flung his mount to the inside of the speedway and got around a couple slower cars to give him breathing room and stretch out his advantage. The next lap Furr had to deal with the same lapped cars and it gave Tarlton the chance he needed to slice to his inside and grab the runner up spot.
The final caution of the race would come out on lap 24 when Elk Grove’s Kyle Larson spun around in turn two and came to a stop, after he charged from his 16th starting spot and looked to get within a cusp of the top-five. When the green lights came back on for the final time it was all about “TK” up front and the 31-year-old driver scooted off to take the checkered flag and record his fourth consecutive victory with the Ocean 360 Sprints.
Tarlton crossed the line in second to score another consistent finish and stretch out his current Ocean Sprint Car Series point lead at the helm of the Corporate America Lending, Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino No. 21. “It was another good run for us tonight, but Tim is always tough and it seems like we’ve been second to him a million times recently,” said Tarlton. “I have to thank all my guys and our sponsors and we’ll be back next week hoping to defend our Johnny Key win from last year.”
Coming home in third and keeping up his recent trend of strong runs at the Ocean Speedway was Furr in the Ray Scheidts Electric, Brad Furr Racing No. 2 sprint car. It marked the veteran drivers’ third podium finish in the last four races with the Ocean Sprint Car Series presented by Taco Bravo. “We’d like to get a win here really soon, but we’ll take a third tonight,” Furr said. “We changed to a Maxim here this year and it’s been working really well for us so that’s been nice.”
Making some nice moves in the main event to claim fourth at the finish was Scotts Valley’s Evan Suggs aboard the Suggs Racing, Lucas Oil Products No. 33e and rounding out the top-five was the Keith Day Trucking, Agri-Trade School No. 22 of Salinas’ Ronnie Day.
Completing the top-10 in the 30-lap feature were Fremont’s Shane Golobic, Campbell’s Brent Kaeding, Clovis’ Peter Murphy, San Jose’s Matt Sargent and San Martin’s Craig Smith. Grass Valley’s Jason Statler had a strong run cut short when he lost a motor on the final lap while running sixth after starting from 15th.
A pair of 12-lap b-mains were run during the night and were captured by Brent Kaeding and Visalia’s Cory Eliason respectively, with the four 10-lap heat races being picked off by Craig Smith, Ronnie Day, Jason Statler and Kyle Larson. For the second straight event in Ocean Sprints competition it was Evan Suggs turning the fastest lap in qualifying on Friday with a very quick 11.556 to top the 31-car field.
Full results and the updated Ocean Sprint Car Series presented by Taco Bravo point standings can be found at http://www.oceanspeedway.com
With qualifying events now done for the Johnny Key Classic we have a total of six drivers locked into the starting field for the event. Those six competitors will also be part of the dash for the cash to determine the first three rows of the 50-lap main event next Saturday night August 28.
The four drivers locked in from the qualifying events include Kyle Larson, Ronnie Day, Tommy Tarlton and Tim Kaeding.
The top-two drivers in the Ocean Sprints standings not qualified through the races, but also being included in the locked in spots will include Campbell’s Brent Kaeding and Clovis’ Peter Murphy. Drivers not already locked in will compete in qualifying time trials and then b-mains next Saturday to determine their starting position behind the already pre-qualified drivers in the A-main.
In addition to the main event purse, which will be $5,000-to-win and $300-to-start there is also lap money continuing to be sold for the Johnny Key Classic. The cost is $50 a lap with $25 going to the leader, $15 for second and $10 for third. Thank you to everyone who also already bought a lap. For anyone that would like to purchase a lap please contact Gary at firstname.lastname@example.org or Samantha at email@example.com
Stay glued to http://www.oceansprints.com for all your news and info concerning next Saturday nights 50th running of the Johnny Key Classic at Watsonville’s Ocean Speedway.