Bud Kaeding Wins at Ocean Speedway

Bud Kaeding. (Top Dawg photo)

From Steven Blakesley

WATSONVILLE, Calif. (July 22, 2022) — Bud Kaeding drove back to victory lane for the first time in 2022, taking Friday’s Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo feature in Watsonville, Calif. Kaeding topped 17-year-old Joey Ancona from Concord on the dirt track at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds.

“You guys have no idea. We’ve been working – it’s been a year since we’ve won here. Won period. My guys work as hard as any guys in the pits. I’ve worked less hard against 108 cars and won. This kid in the 88 (Ancona) is definitely up and coming. To win tonight in front of you fans that support this track is great. Winning is why we do this,” Kaeding said.

Auburn’s Andy Forsberg visited the dirt track by the ocean and won the dash race for the pole position. Forsberg led the field into turn one for the 30-lap affair. Travis Coelho of Long Beach spun in turn two for a caution on lap four.

Ancona worked his way to the outside of Forsberg on the restart, driving past to lead lap six. Jake Hodges of Simi Valley, Don Hart of Campo, and Cameron Suoja of San Ramon came together in turn two for the next caution. Hodges was unable to rejoin the action.

Coelho then brought the race to a red flag stoppage on lap four when he flipped on the backstretch and was tagged by Suoja in the aftermath. Coelho won the Beer Optics Hard Luck for the incident.

Bud Kaeding started to make progress on the bottom side of the track, working past Forsberg for the second position on lap 13 in turn four. Kaeding showed his nose inside Ancona for the lead in turn one on lap 20, and they raced side-by-side down the front stretch on lap 21. Ancona attempted to shut the door and Kaeding soared to the outside. Kaeding drove past Ancona in the decisive maneuver for the win. Ancona finished second followed by Forsberg, Watsonville’s Rickey Sanders, and Gilroy’s Kurt Nelson.

Atascadero’s Orion Messina won his first career IMCA Sport Modified event, leading the final 17 laps for the victory in the 20-lap contest. 18 starters took the green flag with Watsonville’s Jeff Mead racing side-by-side with Messina on the opening lap. Mead grabbed the lead and held it for the first three laps before Messina worked his way inside on the backstretch to lead lap four.

Austin McMillian of Atascadero spun in turn four for a caution on lap eight. Cody Bryan of Freedom spun from the second position on the restart yet the race remained under green.

Eleventh starting Tyler Rodgers of Chico advanced to fourth, then followed points leader Jonathan Hagio of Prunedale as they moved into the top-three.

McMillian brought out another caution in turn four on lap 13. Mead and Jacob Mallet, Jr. of Oakley collided before the caution, with Mead coming to a stop on the backstretch during the yellow flag with heavy damage. A multi-car skirmish brought out the red flag on the restart when Prunedale’s Max Baggett, Aaron Farrell, Nicholas Zapatero, and Igor Gandzuk crashed on the backstretch.

Santa Rosa’s Chris Seweke spun from third for the final caution on lap 16. Messina held the lead over the final four laps to top Hagio, Mallet, Rodgers, and Pittsburg’s Chuck Golden.

Kenny Stragalinos of Boulder Creek charged from 12th on the grid to win the 15-lap Four Banger feature. Watsonville’s Tony Gullo started on the outside pole and led the opening lap. Stragalinos and Travis VanGilder collided in turn two, ending VanGilder’s race and bringing out a caution on lap two. Pole sitter Kate Beardsley slowed on the restart to surrender the second position.

Stragalinos was already up to second by that point as Gullo led them into lapped traffic on lap six. Stragalinos went to the outside line and took over the lead on lap ten. Gullo finished second over Nicole Beardsley, TJ Santos of Gilroy, and Dylan Chairez of Atascadero.

Delta Dwarf regular Danny Wagner of Bay Point won the 20-lap South Bay Dwarf Car feature. Fred Dickey of Valley Springs led lap one before Terre Rothweiler of Santa Cruz led the second lap. Wagner took over second on the next lap.

Wagner took over the lead on lap ten. Lapped traffic allowed Camarillo’s Nick Velasquez to take over second on lap 16. Rothweiler finished third ahead of Dickey and Eric Weisler of Campbell.

Roy Iller of San Benito Sheriffs won the Police-in-Pursuit 15-lap feature. The race was halted by a red flag when Kevin Sullivan of Scotts Valley Police flipped in turn four. He was uninjured. Jackie Yeung of Capitola Police Department came back from a pit stop to finish second followed by the Scotts Valley Fire Department of first-time driver Jeff Nehf.

Ocean Speedway races again this Friday night with the Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo, IMCA Sport Mods, Four Bangers, Police-in-Pursuit, and Western Midget Racing.

Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo – July 22, 2022 (30 Laps)
1. 69-Bud Kaeding[3]; 2. 88A-Joey Ancona[1]; 3. 92-Andy Forsberg[2]; 4. 17-Rickey Sanders[5]; 5. 72W-Kurt Nelson[4]; 6. 37-Steven Kent[7]; 7. 50-Bryce Eames[6]; 8. 25Z-Jason Chisum[9]; 9. 72S-Bradley Dillard[10]; 10. 21X-Gauge Garcia[11]; 11. 33H-Eric Humphries[12]; 12. 4-Jake Hodges[13]; 13. 56Z-Don Hart[15]; 14. 6C-Travis Coelho[8]; 15. 28K-Kameron Suoja[14]