By Gary Thomas
Watsonville, CA…Penngrove’s Chase Johnson made a late move in traffic to get by Blake Carrick and score victory in a thrilling Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo feature on Friday.
Sharing victory lane with Johnson were Markus Frazier with the IMCA Sport Mods, Terry Campion in the Hobby Stocks, Ryan McClelland with the Four Bangers and Roy Iler in the Police In Pursuit division.
Campbell’s Bud Kaeding won the night’s Dash and took command in the main event at the waving of the Ed Entz green flag. Extra track work took place following the most recent event and made for some of the best racing we have seen all season at the quarter-mile.
Behind Kaeding early on, a tremendous battle occurred between Blake Carrick, Chase Johnson and rookie driver Rickey Sanders. The trio exchanged positions multiple times and that wasn’t settled until the very end.
With 17 circuits complete Carrick charged to the outside of Kaeding to snag the lead, as Sanders also snuck by for second. Sanders, Kaeding and Johnson then proceeded to have an exhilarating tussle for the position over the next several laps until Johnson assumed P2.
With five laps to go and locked in heavy duty traffic Johnson then squeezed to the inside of Carrick to put the Quinn Motorsports/ Our Heroes Dreams No. 28 out front. Carrick continued to hound his rear bumper while running the high-side, but Johnson hit his marks and chose the right spots to cross the checkered flag for the breathtaking triumph.
Carrick finished second to cap off a great night that also saw him earn the Dirt Travel Fast Time Award. Kaeding, Sanders and Jake Haulot completed the top-five.
Ocean Sprints finish: 1. 28-Chase Johnson; 2. 38B-Blake Carrick; 3. 69-Bud Kaeding; 4. 17-Rickey Sanders; 5. 7H-Jake Haulot; 6. 7P-Jake Andreotti; 7. 2K-JJ Ringo; 8. 72W-Kurt Nelson; 9. 83T-Tanner Carrick; 10. 87-Ashlyn Rodriguez; 11. 50-Bryce Eames; 12. 3M-Adam Kaeding; 13. 88-Koen Shaw; 14. 6D-Josh Chisum; 15. 72JR-Chris Nelson; 16. 72S-Bradley Dillard; 17. 8-Jeremy Chisum; 18. 56Z-Don Hart; 19. 34B-Glenn Bryan; 20. 25Z-Jason Chisum (Jason Chisum was found to have a transponder issue and was scored 7th in the final rundown)
The 20-lap IMCA Sport Mod feature saw Igor Gandzuk take the early lead and hold command over the first five laps. After that Markus Frazier was able to make the move past to take over the point. Jim DiGiovanni then moved to second and hounded Frazier keeping him honest up front. Frazier hung tough though to earn the win over DiGiovanni, Adriane Frost, Gandzuk and Charlie Hunter.
IMCA Sport Mod finish: 1. 15F-Markus Frazier; 2. 75X-Jim DiGiovanni; 3. 22-Adriane Frost; 4. 9B-Igor Gandzuk; 5. 22W-Charlie Hunter; 6. 33P-Paul Espino; 7. 71-Aaron Farrell; 8. 42B-Max Baggett; 9. 46-Jonathan Hagio; 10. 89-Duane Bieser; 11. 34-Cody Bryan; 12. 30H-Orion Messina; 13. 30C-Codie Hample
The pride of Santa Cruz, California Terry Campion scored a dominating win in the Hobby Stock division on Friday night. Campion drove the always beautiful Santa Cruz Apparel No. 83 stock car to the victory over 2021 track champion Joe Gallaher, Jerry Skelton, Brady Muller and Ryan Muller.
Hobby Stocks finish: 1. 83-Terry Campion; 2. 1-Joe Gallaher; 3. 69-Jerry Skelton; 4. 73A-Brady Muller; 5. 73B-Ryan Muller; 6. 31W-Steve Remde; 7. 3OG-Dan Fassler
The 15-lap Four Banger feature saw Kenny Stragalinos take the early lead, until contact from Tony Gullo sent him around. Both drivers were then summoned to the rear and that put Travis Van Golder up front. Ryan McClelland had immense speed in his No. 17 Four Banger however, and moved to the lead on lap six. Troy Moore in the No. 07 entry closed up at the end, but McClelland crossed the stripe in first to pick up the win.
Four Banger finish: 1. 17-Ryan McClelland; 2. 07-Troy Moore; 3. 2-Nicole Beardsley; 4. 112-Travis VanGilder; 5. 9-Nick Scentani; 6. 14-TJ Santos; 7. 5-Bill Beardsley; 8. 51-Charlie Hernandez; 9. 37-Peter Vannerus; 10. 6-Dylan Chairez; 11. 720-Kenny Stragalinos; 12. 52-Tony Gullo; 13. (DNS) 10-Amaya Flowers
Defending track champ Roy Iler scooped up the win with Police In Pursuit on Friday. He enjoyed a large lead over much of the contest but did have to fend off a late charge John Hohmann who finished second.
Police “In” Pursuit finish: 1. 805-Roy Iler; 2. 01-John Hohmann; 3. 243-Kyle Wowak; 4. 06-Kevin Elliott; 5. 520-Jackie Yeung; 6. 134-Pat Sullivan; 7. 5149-Neil Cahir; 8. (DNS) 14-AJ Waltrip