WATSONVILLE — For the second year in row a Kaeding won the opening round of the two-day Howard Kaeding Classis at Ocean Speedway.
Grandson Bud Kaeding rolled to his third win of the season at the speedway, doing it wingless in the United States Auto Clubs (USAC) Western Classic sprint car series. The three-time USAC Silver Crown champion only led seven of 30 laps, defeating teen phenom Domonic Selczi of Fresno.
“This kid is getting good,” Kaeding said. “That was an impressive run for his first time in a non-wing car. But this is a Kaeding weekend and I really wanted a Kaeding name on the winners list. This is twofold win—first to honor my grandfather for his remarkable racing career and the Kaeding family for their sacrifices and commitment to racing. The second is my season-long tribute to my good friend Jason Leffler.”
Kaeding also led the field as the fastest qualifier, turning his best of two laps in 12.898 seconds. Bud’s father Brent, last year’s winner, qualified third and finished fifth in the feature. D.J. Netto and Tony Hunt placed third and fourth. Local racer Evan Bonnema of Corralitos finished tenth in the feature. Heat race winners were D.J. Johnson and Marty Hawkins.
Ronnie Gardner of Norco, California led the 20-car field to the checkered flag in USAC’s 30-lap midget main event. The drivers of these four cylinder 350hp 1000LB. mighty midgets entertained fans with exciting passing maneuvers and close wheel to wheel action. Randi Pankrantz led the first ten laps before giving the lead to Gardner, the current USAC Western midget series leader.
Stockton’s Jonathan Henry and new track record holder Jake Swanson of Anaheim finished on the podium. Taylor Simas finished fourth with 2012 Taco Bravo champion Shane Golobic completing the top five.
Last year’s one-lap midget qualifying record of 13.463 was broken by Gardner, with a fast time of 13.409 seconds. Shortly after, Swanson’s drive was more than a tenth of a second faster at 13.3 seconds. Both Gardner and Swanson ran laps under the qualifying record during the main event.
Heat race winners were Oklahoma’s Trey Marcham, Fresno’s David Prickett, and Manteca’s Nick Chivello.
Jonathan Allard is the first back-to-back winner leading all 30-laps in Saturday night’s The King of the West feature. The 2012 champion led a contingent of 30 410-winged sprint cars. He also topped the qualifying charts with a 13.499 second lap.
Kyle Hirst finished a close second. Scelzi returned Saturday night with a wing on top of the car and finished a very respectable third ahead of Bud Kaeding. Jason Statler completed the top five.
Three of the speedway’s Taco Bravo champions, Tarlton, Shane Golobic and Brent Kaeding, finished sixth through eighth, respectively.
Heat race winners were Tarlton, Statler, Bud Kaeding and Willie Croft.
Michael Cunningham of Australia won the “B” main event and was the first of six transfers to complete the 22-car starting field.
Saturday night Colton Slack outmaneuvered Tommy LaLiberte to win his first Ocean non-wing main event of the season. San Jose’s Mark Chaves Jr. finished third. Terry Rothweiler and Chase Wood finished fourth and fifth. Rothweiler also finished 13th in the USAC Friday night show.
Slack and Jimmy Christian were heat race winners. Christian, the 2012 non-wing track champion, finished sixth in the feature.
In Friday night’s preliminary events, Gene Pires Jr. won his first Bay Area Dwarf car main event of the season. After taking the lead away from Mark Biscardi, Pires led the final 12 rounds under heavy pressure by division leader Camron Diatte. Terry Rothweiler finished third. Heat race winners were Eric and Marty Weisler along with Diatte.
Alex Wilson won the IMCA sport modified feature with Campbell’s Mike Shapiro and Adriane DeSousa finishing second and third.
Saturday night’s supporting cast included Stephen Hopf winning the IMCA 20-lap feature with DeSousa and Alex Wilson joining him on the podium.
San Jose’s Robert Gallaher won the 20-lap 4-Banger main event. Robert Huckaby Jr. and Ryan Fischer finished second and third. Joey Bataglia and Luke Babcock completed the top five.
Ocean’s Taco Bravo sponsored 360 winged sprint cars return next week. It will be the second qualifying race for the Johnny Key Memorial on August 24. The American stocks, 4-Bangers, IMCA sport modifieds and Ocean’s non-wing sprint cars are also scheduled.
Share on Facebook