WATSONVILLE — The two-day, Pat Pettit Shootout was a West Coast modified extravaganza at Ocean Speedway at Watsonville. The busy weekend included the crowning of another division champion and a new track record for the modifieds.
Olivehurst’s Ryan McDaniel won the second annual event honoring Patricia Pettit. The only father-son team to start the 50-lap race, the younger McDaniel ran 34 exciting laps of wheel-to-wheel racing before taking the lead from Martinez’s Nick DeCarlo to win the $10,003 first-place prize. His father Randy finished 14th and DeCarlo finished ninth.
“This is a great place to race,” McDaniel said. “All of us owe the Pettit’s and the speedway a big thank you for the opportunity to race for this kind of money. Usually, we have to travel 1,500 miles or more to race for this scale of prize money.”
There were six lead changes, a remarkable drive by Oakley’s Kellan Chadwick racing from 21st to second and a spectacular drive by Hanford’s Jimmy Reeves from last place that kept the crowd on the edge of their seats.
During the final three laps, Chadwick poured on the pressure and pulled alongside of McDaniel a couple of times but track conditions and the little time remaining in the race left him short of an opportunity for a win.
“I know we had a car capable of winning,” Chadwick said. “But we caught a couple of the bad ruts and lost our momentum. After that, we just ran out of laps to in order to regroup and mount another run for the lead.”
Reeves spun his car out of control in order to avoid hitting a fellow racer. Restarting at the rear of the field, the “Hanford Hauler” blazed his way through the pack of 24 to finish third.
In addition to DeCarlo finishing in the top 10, 2011 modified champion and new modified track record holder Brian Cass finished sixth. Cody Burke of Salinas, another of the six leaders, finished eighth.
Rough track conditions eliminated two of the early race favorites. Jimmy Pettit II suffered right rear suspension failure and was towed off track. Last year’s shootout winner Bobby Hogge IV was out after breaking a driveline. Tim Clark and Robert Marsh were out by lap 30 with engine problems.
Bakersfield’s Rob Sawyer and Martinez’s Troy Foulger completed the top five.
For the complete article see the 10-02-2012 issue.
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