From Gary Thomas
Watsonville, CA – June 28, 2011…Following a week off the Golden State King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series will get ready for a big double-header on the 4th of July weekend paying honor to the legendary Howard Kaeding this Friday and Saturday at Watsonville’s Ocean Speedway.
Howard Kaeding was a multiple-time California state super-modified champion, a four-time Johnny Key Classic winner and once captured 17-straight races at the San Jose Speedway, which is a record. The driver known as the “Campbell Comet” claimed over 300 main event victories in his career and even raced into his 60’s, before retiring in the 1990’s.
The Kaeding entourage will try and keep the family name towards the front of the field at the “Howard Kaeding Classic” with Tim Kaeding leading the way, currently holding a 44-point lead in the Golden State King of the West standings. The driver of the Roth Motorsports No. 83 raced to victory during the most recent series event at the Ocean Speedway in April and will look for his fourth KWS victory of the year this weekend.
Campbell’s Brent Kaeding goes into the “Howard Kaeding Classic” ranking third in the KWS 410 standings and will be searching for his first win of the 2011 season this weekend aboard the famed Al’s Roofing Supply No. 69 mount. “BK” led laps at the Ocean Speedway series event in April, before finishing the race in fourth at the conclusion.
Three-time USAC Silver Crown Series champion Bud Kaeding will be in action at the “HK Classic” on Friday night at the helm of his Buster & Ziggy Enterprise No. 29 sprint car. The veteran driver was a winner last season in 410 competition at the Ocean Speedway and will be gunning to claim his first KWS win of the year on Friday.
Fresh off a $40,000 score at the Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup two-week’s back Chico’s Jonathan Allard will be trying to ride the wave of momentum he has built up recently. The two-time Golden State 410 champ picked off the most recent KWS event held in Medford, OR to score his second series win of 2011.
Continuing his consistent season Scotts Valley’s Evan Suggs goes into his home track of Ocean Speedway sitting second in the Golden State King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series standings. The 24-year-old has had an impressive year thus far and appears close to getting his first ever KWS win.
Sacramento’s Willie Croft comes into the “Howard Kaeding Classic” rounding out the top-five in the Golden State King of the West Sprint Car Series points. “Double Down” was extremely fast during the April KWS visit, but tough luck left him further back in the rundown than he would have hoped.
Former Golden State 410 champ Jason Statler of Grass Valley currently sits sixth in the KWS standings while driving the familiar DF Rios Motorsports No. 00 mount. Placerville’s Andy Gregg ranks seventh in the points and has one win already on the season, which came at the Santa Maria Speedway in May.
Elk Grove’s Bobby McMahan sits seventh in the standings and will be shooting for his first victory of the season this weekend. Fremont’s Brent Bjork is ninth in the points and completing the top-10 is Hoseheads/ Grant’s Fine Art Rookie of the Year contender Kenny Allen of Chico.
A top contender this weekend is sure to be two-time and defending Ocean Speedway champion Tommy Tarlton of Easton, who claimed victory with the Golden State King of the West Sprint Car Series in May at the Tulare Thunderbowl. Prunedale’s Justin Sanders had an impressive runner up finish with KWS in April at Ocean and will try to move up one more position at the “Howard Kaeding Classic.”
Other drivers expected this weekend will include Stockton’s Brad Furr, Clovis’ Peter Murphy, Fremont’s Shane Golobic, St. Helena’s Rico Abreu, Australian Jamie Veal, Merced’s Mark Barroso, Rio Vista’s Dan and Danielle Simpson, Lake Stevens, Washington’s Austen Wheatley, American Canyon’s Matthew Davis, Oakhurst’s Doug Gandy, North Kingstown, Rhone Island’s Eli Deshaies and more.
On Friday night when the front gate opens there will be four Kaeding’s signing autographs with Howard, Brent, Bud and Tim so be sure to get there early for the autograph session located just inside the front gate. Also on hand for the two nights will be the vintage Okiebowl Hardtops, bringing back a glimpse of the days gone by from when Howard Kaeding first began his racing career back in the 50’s.
For fans wanting to camp at the “HK Classic” on the grass area by the front gate of Ocean Speedway, please contact the fairgrounds at (831) 724-5671. For those wishing to camp by the pit gate please check in at the pit gate. The camping at the fairgrounds costs $25 a night and will have full hook ups. The camping on the road by the pit gate has no charge and no hook ups.
On Friday July 1 the front grandstand gate will open at 4:30pm with racing scheduled to start around 6. On Saturday July 2 there will be an earlier start with the front grandstand gate opening at 3:30pm, wheel packing at 4, qualifying around 4:45 and racing to follow.
Adult tickets will cost $20 each night, children 6 to 12 will be $15, seniors 65 and older are $18 and kids five and under will be free. A family pack featuring two adults and two children will be available for $60.
The Ocean Speedway is located on the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds, two miles east of Watsonville, California on SR 152. The physical address is 2601 East Lake Ave, Watsonville, CA 95076. More information can be found at http://www.oceanspeedway.com or by calling 831-662-9466.
More info on the Golden State King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series can be found at http://www.kwssprints.com or by contacting 707-374-2222.