From Gary Thomas

Watsonville, CA — (August 17, 2011) – In the midst of a heavy battle for the points lead in the Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo championship, drivers will also be seeking a berth in the 51st Johnny Key Classic in Friday night’s action at Ocean Speedway.

Four drivers will be locked in to the Johnny Key Classic through qualifying nights with Tim Kaeding, Kyle Larson, and Tommy Tarlton already locked in. The two highest drivers in the points after Friday night’s races will also earn berths meaning that points leader Ronnie Day of Salinas is a near lock to make the show as is rookie sensation Rico Abreu.

Day leads Tarlton by just four points after the most recent feature on July 29 with Tarlton closing down rapidly on him. Day has driven the #22 Keith Day Trucking to a consistent season with only one finish outside of fourth. Tarlton has won twice in the Ocean Sprints in 2011, with one win at Ocean Speedway and one coming at the Tulare Thunderbowl in April.

The battle for third in the points standings is getting interesting as third place running Abreu, in the #89 Abreu Vinyards mount, has seen his advantage over Prunedale’s Justin Sanders diminish to just 10 points. Tommy Laliberte runs fifth in the points and 42 points behind Abreu.

Laliberte will drive a new mount starting on Friday, taking the reigns of the TW Performance #20 and stepping out of the family-owned #20x. Young Michael Twitchell is set to make his series debut this weekend in the #37 and Eric Rossi is expected to return driving the #99 for Wayne Katen.

“Cowboy” Craig Smith, Kurt Nelson, Kevin Pylant, Fremont’s Shane Golobic, and Ryan Rusconi of San Jose round out the top-ten in the points. Golobic will remain in the Steve Osborne Motorsports #9J car for Friday but may end up back in the #121 for the Johnny Key Classic.

The highest finishing car on Friday that is not yet qualified into the Johnny Key Classic will be awarded a spot in the 50 lap marathon for Saturday August 27.

Laps are currently for sale for the Johnny Key Classic with interested parties urged to contact Laps are $50 each to be paid out to the top-three cars each lap.

The Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo show this Friday night includes Wingless Sprints and Four Bangers along with the 2nd annual Police N Pursuit. Adult tickets are just $17 with seniors 65+ $15 and kids ages 6-12 are $12. The family pass for two adults and two children is value priced at just $50. Qualifying will get underway at 6 p.m. with fan gates opening at 4:30 p.m.

For more information on the Ocean Sprint Cars presented by Taco Bravo log onto and for more on the Ocean Speedway visit