Watsonville, CA — (June 2, 2012) — Salinas’ Ronnie Day, 2011 Ocean Sprints champion and 51st Johnny Key Classic winner, led all 30 laps to win a wild Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo feature on Friday night. The victory is Day’s second in 2012 in the winged 360 series held at Ocean Speedway Watsonville.
The 30 lap feature had over 10 stoppages with multiple red flags including one open red flag for teams to add fuel. Despite Day leading all 30 laps, he had numerous challenges from Prunedale’s Justin Sanders, incoming points leader Shane Golobic of Fremont, and season-opening feature winner Bud Kaeding of Campbell, CA.
“Wow we had the car just right,” Day said. “I moved the wing back a little bit early and had to move it forward late in the race; when you’re leading you don’t really know where to go with the track. I knew if I kept my pace that Bud would have to work hard to get around me.”
Day jumped from fourth starting position to lead lap one to the approval of a strong crowd on a cold night at the quarter-mile dirt track. The first red flag came out on lap two when Nick Rescino, Jr. and “Cowboy” Craig Smith tangled, sending both cars upside in turn three.
On the restart, trouble struck again with a red flag for Jerry Bonnema with a minor flip down the backstretch. Bonnema was able to return after making repairs and stayed on the lead lap to the finish.
Brent Kaeding and Carter Train brought out cautions with solo spins and the lap eight restart saw Day leading over Justin Sanders, Golobic, Kurt Nelson, and Bud Kaeding. Golobic worked his way past Sanders for the second spot after a great back-and-forth duel. The battle eventually ended when Sanders stalled in turn two to bring out the caution and he was done for the night.
After a restart on lap 16 for Stockton’s Brad Furr spinning in turn one, Auburn’s Andy Forsberg passed Nelson for the fourth spot and Bud Kaeding moved past Golobic for the second position.
Furr’s night ended when he tangled with Selma’s Conley Scott on lap 18 in turn four, after Furr reportedly lost his brakes. On the restart, Bud Kaeding challenged Day in a great battle for the top spot, with Kaeding completing the slide job out of turn two on lap 20 before Day crossed over down the backstretch to take it back.
A wild crash on lap 21 saw Jeremy Chisum climb over Ryan Rusconi and ride the wall in turns three and four. Neither driver was injured. After an open red flag for fuel, the race went back to green with Kaeding, Golobic, and Forsberg all taking a piece of the second position in the battle. The three way battle was halted when 15 year-old Dominic Scelzi flipped in turn four.
A five lap shootout between Day and Kaeding was expected but Day proved too strong and led to the finish. Golobic took over the second position on lap 27 before surrendering it back to Kaeding on the following lap.
“We had a pretty good car there most of the race,” Bud Kaeding said. “Right now he’s got the upper hand on the field and we got to keep working harder to make sure we have the best car on lap 30 not just lap 20.”
Ronnie Day picked up his second win of 2012 ahead of Kaeding, Golobic, Forsberg, and Nelson. The DDNi Hard Charger Award worth $100 went to 16 year-old D.J. Netto of Hanford who charged from 22nd to eighth in his first career Ocean Sprints start. Brad Furr won the Ray Scheidt’s Electric fast-time award with an 11.523 second lap.
Heat race wins went to Scott, Forsberg, and Sanders with Train winning the semi. Eric Humphries of Chowchilla was involved in a serious accident in heat race two and was transported to a San Jose hospital for further treatment and observation.
The Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo will return to action on Friday night June 8 at Ocean Speedway Watsonville.
Ocean Speedway would like to thank Taco Bravo, Digital Delivery Networks, Get Som Sports, Ray Scheidt’s Electric, Hoosier Tires West, and Kaeding Performance for their support of the 2012 Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo.