|Track Records (Current Divisions)|
|Please note all records prior to 2008 are not from electronic timing|
|360 Sprints Cars|
|6 Laps||1.16.784||Ricky Wright||8/29/2008|
|8 Laps||1.35.710||Ronnie Day||10/16/2009|
|10 Laps||2.03.069||Brett Rollag||9/25/2009|
|12 Laps||2.28.721||Andy Gregg||8/29/2009|
|30 Laps||7.44.127||Jason Statler||7/31/2009|
|50 Laps||50.41.411||Brent Kaeding||8/29/2008|
|410 Sprint Cars/World of Outlaws|
|6 Laps||1.11.218||Jason Meyers||3/14/2008|
|8 Laps||3.04.412||Danny Lasoski||10/17/2008|
|10 Laps||1.58.646||Tim Kaeding||5/30/2008|
|12 Laps||2.29.124||Bud Kaeding||10/17/2008|
|30 Laps||20.57.168||Bud Kaeding||8/8/2009|
|40 Laps||18.57.029||Steve Kinser||10/17/2008|
|8 Laps||2.34.814||Steve Leonard||10/3/2008|
|4 Laps||1.15.800||Adriane DeSousa||10/3/2009|
|12 Laps||4.08.043||Richard Dragonetti||10/2/2009|
|20 Laps||6.03.768||Jeff Wilson||8/14/2009|
|4 Laps||1.10.794||Nick Silva||4/16/2010|
|6 Laps||1.53.09||Chad Bisordi||6/4/2004|
|8 Laps||2.20.717||Matt Sotomayor||3/26/2010|
|10 Laps||3.14.53||Chris Juhl||8/6/1999|
|12 Laps||3.57.55||Jesse LaVerne||5/27/2005|
|15 Laps||4.49.51||Jimmy Bowman||6/20/1997|
|20 Laps||5.59.317||Bill Neslon||4/16/2010|
|50 Laps||23.22.866||Bill Sorg||8/1/2008|
|Bay Area Dwarf Cars|
|4 Laps||1.03.201||Gilbert Toste||8/8/2008|
|8 Laps||1.58.371||Dave Mosier||4/25/2009|
|10 Laps||2.09.694||Gilbert Toste||10/25/2008|
|12 Laps||3.14.876||Mark Biscardi||6/27/2008|
|20 Laps||5.23.723||Gilbert Toste||5/2/2008|
|30 Laps||20.05.742||Gilbert Toste||10/24/2009|
|Qualifying||14.93||Bobby Hogge, IV||8/22/1997|
|4 Laps||59.85||Eric Jacobsen||8/31/2001|
|8 Laps||2.01.395||Andy Obertello||3/26/2010|
|6 Laps||1.30.66||Dave Byrd||8/31/2001|
|10 Laps||2.39.315||Jeff Taylor||10/2/2008|
|12 Laps||3.05.488||Paul Stone||10/2/2009|
|15 Laps||4.04.62||Scott Busby||6/7/1991|
|20 Laps||5.15.78||Bobby Scott||8/1/2003|
|25 Laps||8.22.396||Andy Obertello||4/9/2010|
|30 Laps||17.29.403||Tim Balding||10/2/2009|
|50 Laps||34.23.570||Jim Pettit, II||7/24/2009|
|4 Laps||53.169||Devon Osthemier||8/8/2008|
|8 Laps||1.46.753||Christine Root||3/19/2010|
|20 Laps||4.37.025||Christine Root||3/26/2010|
|Ocean Late Models|
|4 Laps||58.168||Bobby Hogge, IV||4/25/2008|
|8 Laps||1.55.505||Jeff Decker||5/9/2008|
|25 Laps||6.16.815||Bobby Hogge, IV||4/25/2008|
|Wingless Sprint Cars|
|4 Laps||43.742||Dave Press||9/26/2008|
|8 Laps||1.50.847||Ryan Bernal||7/17/2009|
|20 Laps||4.52.694||Billy Aton||6/13/2008|
|USAC Ford Focus|
|8 Laps||1.58.579||Cody Swanson||7/10/2009|
|20 Laps||7.16.031||Cody Swanson||5/14/2009|
History of Watsonville/Ocean Speedway
By Dennis Mattish
During the winter of 1959 retired racer Bert Moreland and a group of men hatched a plan to build a ¼-mile racetrack within the confines of the existing ½-mile horse track.
The track was completed in the spring of 1960 and the first race was held on May 27, 1960. The division that ran the first couple of years was called $99 Claiming Cars; meaning if you had $99 you could buy the car after the main event for that price. This helped keep the cost down to an affordable price for anybody who wanted to race.
The most notable driver who got his start in the claimer class was Ray Elder. Years later Ray would win races in NASCAR’s premier division against the likes of Richard Petty and A.J. Foyt.
The track was an immediate hit with the local community and standing room only crowds were common in the first two years. It was the place for families to gather on Friday nights.
By the mid 1960’s the Claimers had evolved into the more sophisticated Sportsman racecar, complete with a wing on top and a narrowed body. Vic Irvan and Jerry Cecil were the drivers with the most wins during this era.
Figure 8 racing was introduced to the Bay Area by way of Watsonville Speedway in 1964 and was an instant success. This slam-bang novelty event proved to be popular with the fans. You cannot think of figure 8 racing at Watsonville Speedway without thinking of the Keldson Clan and Ken Nott (over 250 wins combined).
Stock Cars became part of the weekly show in 1967. A driver named Ernie Irvan emerged out of this class in the 1970’s and went on to win the Daytona 500, the granddaddy of all Stock Car races.
The Sportsman class started to lose popularity when NASCAR demanded the body style return to normal width. This resulted in the class becoming a secondary status behind the Late Model Stock Cars in 1980. The class was discontinued altogether in 1981.
Late Model Stock Cars/Modified era
Watsonville Speedway enjoyed resurgence when NASCAR Late Model Stock Cars became the featured division during 1980 and especially when the track started running for National and Regional points in the Winston Racing Series. Car counts were up and rivalries were heated, which in turn sparked fan interest. Doug McCoun, Ray Morgan, Ed Sans Jr, Bobby Hogge, Dave Byrd, Jim Pettit II, Jeff Silva and Ted Stofle were some of the drivers of note during this period.
Street Stocks were added to the weekly show in 1980 with car counts of 50 being the norm. Bobby Large and Lloyd Antonetti were the drivers with the most wins.
Grand American Modifieds made their first appearance during 1991 and would be the featured division at the track a couple of years later. Many of the Late Model drivers joined the Modified ranks where they found stiff competition from drivers like Kenny Nott, Bobby Hogge IV and Scott Busby.
By the end of the nineties the speedway was running a dozen classes of racecars on a staggered schedule. There was something for everyone.
In 2006 local racer John Prentice became the new promoter and changed the name of the track from Watsonville Speedway to Ocean Speedway. Under John’s guidance, Ocean Speedway has emerged as one of the most successful tracks in the Western United States.
Like most forms of entertainment, attendance has ebbed and flowed with the economy, but one thing is clear, auto racing at Watsonville/Ocean Speedway has been the number one attended sport in not only Watsonville but also Santa Cruz County for the last 51 years.
2010 marked the 50th anniversary of one of California’s most successful weekly racetracks.