From Gary Thomas
Watsonville, Ca. — (July 25, 2016) — After a week off the Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo will return to competition this Friday night July 29 with the fourth & final Qualifying Race for the fast approaching 56th running of the prestigious Johnny Key Classic.
Already locked in by way of winning the three Qualifying Races held so far are Visalia’s Steven Tiner, who picked up the victory on June 11 in Placerville, as well as Roseville’s Sean Becker, who claimed the win on June 18 in Petaluma and Easton’s Tommy Tarlton, the winner at Ocean Speedway on July 8. Only the race winners will automatically lock into the Johnny Key Classic Dash. Tarlton earned his second victory of the season that night and has definitely begun to show the speed that made him a two-time champion at the quarter-mile.
Stockton’s Brad Furr goes into Friday leading the Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo standings on the strength of one victory and a number of consistent finishes in recent events. The 2013 champion will look for a strong run this week to try and lock himself into the Key aboard the Price Rite Restaurant Equipment No. 2 machine. Including this Friday there are just four races remaining, as Furr guns to become a two-time Ocean Sprints titlist.
Talented youngster Buddy Kofoid of Penngrove ranks second in the points and has also driven to one victory this season. The 14-year-old has been very impressive at times in 2016 and will be one of the favorites on Friday at the helm of his Dan Simpson Racing No. 4s mount. Salinas brothers Jeremy & Jason Chisum and Fremont’s Dustin Golobic round out the top-five in points going into Friday’s round nine for the Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo. Gilroy’s Kurt Nelson sits just on the cusp of the top-five and is only six-markers back of Golobic.
Two-time Ocean Sprints champion Shane Golobic will be a favorite to lock himself in on Friday night. Along with Tarlton the Fremont wheel-man is the only repeat winner thus far in 2016. Golobic also has a King of the West 410 win at the Ocean Speedway this season and finished runner up with the series a couple weeks back at the Howard Kaeding Classic. Reigning Ocean Sprints titlist Justin Sanders also hopes to punch his ticket into the Johnny Key on Friday. The Watsonville driver has one win so far this season and wants to get number two this week.
After finishing third on opening night of the HK Classic Hollister’s Ryan Bernal returns to the Ocean Speedway on Friday. Bernal has quickly become one of the most versatile drivers in the entire Western United States. More drivers expected in competition this Friday will include Cottonwood’s Lucas Ashe, Fresno’s Koen & Kyler Shaw, Hayward’s Danny Malfatti, Oakdale’s Shawn Conde, Corralitos’ Jerry Bonnema, San Jose’s Darrell Taylor and others.
The front gate at Ocean Speedway will open at 4:30pm this Friday night with hot laps at 5:30pm, qualifying around 6pm and racing to follow. The pit gate will open at 2pm. Friday’s event also features the IMCA Sports Mods, American Stocks and 4-Bangers.
All seating will be general admission with adult tickets $17, seniors 65 & older $16, children 6-12 $13 and kids five and under free. A family pack featuring two adults and two kids is available for $55. The Ocean Speedway is located on the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds in Watsonville, California with the physical address being 2601 East Lake Ave, Watsonville, CA 95076.
The Ocean Sprints & Ocean Speedway is held under the management of Prentice Motorsports Group, which also operates the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series, the Civil War 360 Sprint Car Series presented by Flowmaster, the Wingless Sprint Car Series presented by Hunt Magnetos & the All Star Modified Tour.
The Ocean Sprints would like to thank Taco Bravo, High Five Pizza, Ray Scheidts Electric, Beer Optics, Hoosier Tires West, Flowmaster, Budweiser and Kaeding Performance for their support. For more information on the Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo log onto www.racepmg.com
Remaining Winged Sprint Car events at Ocean Speedway in 2016
Friday July 29: Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo (Final Johnny Key Classic Qualifier)
Saturday August 20: 56th running of the Johnny Key Classic (Civil War vs Ocean Sprints)
Friday August 26: Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo
Friday September 23: Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo (Championship Night)
Friday October 7: King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series