WATSONVILLE — The Kaeding’s of California are a tenacious bunch of racers and Le Moore’s Carson Macedo found out the hard way as he watched Bud Kaeding fly by him on the last lap for the win in Friday night’s 360 winged sprint car series feature at Ocean Speedway.
“That kid (Macedo) has really matured,” Kaeding said. “He’s getting really good. I was counting laps and when I saw the white flag, I thought one last pass around the outside could make the win.”
Macedo led 29 of 30 laps before Kaeding’s win or lose outside pass sealed the victory.
“Yeah, I just kind of feel like I can’t get the job done sometimes,” Macedo said. “Every race I feel like our car’s fast and we can win. But there’s not much you can say when you get beat by a veteran like Bud Kaeding. All you can do is learn from it and move on.”
Kaeding’s victory was reminiscent of series point leader Brad Furr’s win over Justin Sanders on the opening race of the Taco Bravo sponsored series.
Gilroy’s Kurt Nelson had an exceptional run defending his runner-up position against Visalia’s Steven Tiner. Tiner passed Nelson for second but a few laps later Nelson returned the favor only to give up the spot to Kaeding on lap 20. Tiner finished fourth, with Fresno’s Dominic Scelzi completing the top five.
Tommy Tarlton, two-time Taco Bravo series champion, passed Brent Kaeding on the final lap for sixth place and earned Scotts Valleys Digital Delivery Networks Inc. Hard Charger award racing from an 18th place starting position.
Justin Sanders of Watsonville won the Ray Scheidt’s Electric Fast Time qualifier award but withdrew from the race with engine problems after a second-place finish in the second heat race.
Arizona’s Josh Williams won the “B” main event. Heat race winners were Brent Kaeding, Nick Foster and Macedo.
Sean Markley Jr., under heavy pressure from current point leader Joe Willoughby, pulled off his first win in the American stock 20-lap main event.
Santa Cruz’s Terry Campion redeemed himself after last week’s disqualification during post-race tech inspection to finish third. Corralitos’ Ron Bonnema, winner of last week’s American stock feature, started last and drove to a well-earned fourth place finish. Santa Cruz’s Jill Merlin placed fifth. Merlin and Markley Jr. were heat race winners.
Watsonville’s Al Sotomayor regained the 4-Banger division point lead by leading all 20 laps in Ocean’s first level division. Starting on the outside of the front row, Sotomayor got the jump on San Jose’s Robert Gallaher and never looked back.
Sotomayor ties Boulder Creek’s Andy LaVerne with two wins thus far. LaVerne started 12th as a result of his last win and managed a sixth-place finish.
Gallaher, Bobby Huckaby Jr., Ryan Fischer and Katie Briggs completed the top five. Sotomayor and Gallaher were heat race winners.
With just two laps remaining in the IMCA sport modified main event, Stephen Hopf of Gilroy pulled an inside pass on Matt Sotomayor for his third feature win of the season. This was Sotomayor’s first appearance since his 2012 campaign which netted him the national sport modified rookie of the year award, 12 feature wins and the 2012 track championship. Hopf extends his current point lead in the division.
There were four lead changes during the 20-lap race. Tim Clark Sr. led from the start and was cruising to a win when the air cleaner came off the car, ending his race on lap 11. Adrian DeSousa grabbed the lead on the restart, then two laps later Sotomayor led through lap seventeen.
American stock champion Matt Kile finished third. Mike Shapiro of Campbell and Alexander Mead were fourth and fifth, respectively. Dan Bryant and Clark Sr. were heat race winners.
First time driving a sprint car, Terry Rothweiler of Santa Cruz cruised to win in Ocean’s non-wing sprint car division Friday night. The 2012 Bay Area Dwarf car champion inherited the lead when non-wing regular Tommy LaLiberte flipped his car in the 20-lap feature.
“I’d never driven sprint car before,” Rothweiler said. “So when car owner Doug Shanoian offered me the ride, I said yes, I’ll take it. I really have to thank him for giving me my first ride. I guess I just gave him his first win, too.”
The five-car field included another first-timer in a sprint, Watsonville’s T.J. Etchison. He’s no stranger to the track but didn’t fare as well due to mechanical and chassis problems. Rookie Brent Maggi of Santa Clara finished second with San Jose’s Pete Carlotto third. LaLiberte won the heat race.
The Taco Bravo series returns next week for round six, accompanied by IMCA modifieds, 4-Bangers, IMCA sport modifieds and Ocean’s non-wing sprint cars.
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