By Gary Thomas
Watsonville, CA – July 13, 2014…For the first time since 2011 the Ocean Speedway presented an Ocean Sprints vs Civil War Sprint Car Series event and in the end it was defending Taco Bravo champion Brad Furr beating out a stout 37-car field for victory on Friday night.
It marked Furr’s second consecutive Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo main event win and his first Civil War Sprint Car Series presented by Flowmaster triumph since 2003. The Stockton, CA driver’s victory during opening night of the HK Classic came aboard the familiar Kenny Thorp prepared Price Rite Restaurant Equipment/ Brad Furr Racing No. 2 machine.
“This is pretty cool to come out here and win opening night of the Howard Kaeding Classic,” Furr commented on the front stretch. “This car was absolutely perfect tonight so I can’t thank my guys enough. Some of those cautions were wearing on me a bit, but I just kept focusing on my restarts and hitting my marks as well as possible. We’re really clicking right now and that’s definitely a good thing. It’s been a lot of fun running so well lately.”
Furr started on the pole by way of his win in the night’s six-lap dash and jumped into the lead at the waving of the green flag. Although having to battle through some pressure in the early going from Penngrove’s Alissa Geving, Furr had his way for much of the 30-lap feature. Various yellows and reds plagued the contest, but through it all fans were treated to some exciting racing throughout the field.
Geving was making her first Ocean Speedway start in some time and did a tremendous job aboard the Chick-o Motorsports No. 3x mount all night long. Chico’s Jonathan Allard made his presence known early and battled Geving for second, along with Watsonville’s Justin Sanders. At one point the trio went three-wide to the delight of the crowd, with Geving powering her way through the middle to maintain the runner up position.
Allard would take the second spot for good on lap 11, but didn’t quite have enough for the fast moving Furr out front, who ultimately took the checkered flag by over two seconds for the big victory. Allard’s runner up effort though continued his string of success at the Ocean Speedway this season aboard the Tri-C Manufacturing No. 3c Sprinter. Going into the night the Chico, CA driver hadn’t finished off the podium at the track in 2014.
“I really want to congratulate Brad Furr on winning the main event tonight, because he was really fast and did a great job,” Allard said. “We’ve really come together as a team lately and I can’t thank Clyde & Marion Lamar enough for the opportunity to drive this 3c car. Alissa Geving also did a tremendous job tonight and it’s cool to see her up here on the podium. Big thanks to all the fans for coming out to support the Howard Kaeding Classic tonight.”
After running second for a number of laps in the feature Geving fought off the mid-race challenges of 16th starter DJ Netto to earn the final spot on the podium. “This is really awesome to finish on the podium tonight,” said a very happy Geving on the front stretch. “We don’t race here very often, but it’s always been one of my favorite tracks to come to. I want to thank my whole team for helping me to get up here and I couldn’t be happier right now.”
After running in the top-five early on, defending Ocean Sprints champ Shane Golobic had fallen back to 11th at one point, but was able to claw his way forward and score a fourth place finish at the checkered. By doing so, the Fremont, CA wheel-man also will re-take the Civil War Series point lead. Netto’s charge through the field ended in the fifth spot, after being penalized two positions at one point for passing before the cone on a single file restart. It was still a very impressive run for the Hanford, CA youngster, who earned the High Five Pizza Hard Charger Award.
Competing the top-10 in the feature for night one of the Howard Kaeding Classic were Justin Sanders, Campbell’s Bud Kaeding, Hanford’s Mitchell Faccinto, Fresno’s Dominic Scelzi and Roseville’s Colby Copeland. Roseville’s Sean Becker had led the Civil War Series presented by Flowmaster standings going into the night, but had issues knock him out of the race early on.
Laton’s Heath Duinkerken captured the evening’s 12-lap b-main, while Rancho Cordova’s Clayton Snow claimed the eight-lap c-main. The four 10-lap heat races held during the night were picked off by Jonathan Allard, Justin Sanders, Colby Copeland and Auburn’s Andy Forsberg. Brad Furr won the six-lap dash and also began the evening by setting the Ray Scheidts Electric Fast Time Award by clocking an 11.941 around the Ocean Speedway quarter-mile to top the solid 37-car field. Full results can be found by logging onto www.oceanspeedway.com and clicking on the results tab.
The Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo will return to action this coming Friday July 18 at Ocean Speedway for round number eight in the battle for the championship. The Civil War Sprint Car Series presented by Flowmaster will be back at it on Saturday August 9 with the annual Mark Forni Classic at the Placerville Speedway.