By Gary Thomas
Watsonville, CA – May 6, 2014…Coming off an ultra exciting night of racing last week, the Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo will be right back in action this Friday night May 9 at Watsonville’s Ocean Speedway for round number three on the season. Adding to the lure will be an additional $500 added into the Nobel Construction Back Row Challenge & a special bonus offered to the podium finishers from this past Saturday’s Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial.
Last Friday night saw Visalia’s Steven Tiner race to his first career Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo main event win. The 30-lapper was about as good as you can get in Sprint Car racing, with passing and side by side action very prevalent in the feature. Tiner made the winning pass on lap 23 and drove a great race to fend off all challengers the rest of the way. Going into Friday he sits sixth in the Ocean Sprints standings and will be looking to move up the ladder.
The biggest mover & shaker last week though was Fremont’s Shane Golobic, who took the Nobel Construction Back Row Challenge and charged from 22nd to third in the main event. The 2012 Ocean Sprints champ earned the High Five Pizza Hard Charger Award and also began the evening by setting the Ray Scheidts Electric Fast Time. With the additional points in the feature Golobic has catapulted himself to the top of the Ocean Sprints standings, as he searches for a second title at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds bullring.
Lemoore’s Carson Macedo led 23-laps in the main event last week and will return Friday looking for his first Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo victory. The youngster has finished fourth in each of the two events held so far this year and ranks second in the points, 21-markers back of Golobic for the top-spot. Hanford’s Mitchell Faccinto was part of the fight for the lead at times last Friday and eventually finished fifth in the main event. Faccinto is currently in his first full-time season aboard a Winged 360 Sprinter and goes into Friday sitting third in the standings, 26-digits out of the top-spot.
Watsonville’s Justin Sanders was exciting to watch in the feature last week and ultimately brought home a runner up finish at the checkered flag. The always hard charging driver went on the following night to pick up a victory at the Placerville Speedway and goes into this Friday maintaining fourth in the Ocean Sprints standings. Rounding out the top-five in points heading into round three is San Jose’s Nick Green, who is coming a solid night last week. The second generation driver picked up an exciting heat race win and then capped the evening by finishing sixth in the feature.
Completing the top-10 in the Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo standings going into Friday includes Salinas’ Jeremy Chisum, Gilroy’s Kurt Nelson, Corralitos’ Jerry Bonnema and Tulare’s Dylan Black. More drivers expected Friday will include defending Ocean Sprints champ Brad Furr of Stockton, Campbell’s Brent Kaeding, Laton’s Heath Duinkerken, Hanford’s DJ Netto, Salias’ Jason Chisum, Fresno’s Koen Shaw, Pleasanton’s Nathan Washam, San Francisco’s Nick Rescino Jr., Hollister’s Tomas Bray Scully and others.
Prentice Motorsports Group is also offering a special bonus to the drivers that finished on the podium at last week’s KWS Dave Bradway Jr Memorial in Chico. If any of the three drivers (Rico Abreu, Kyle Hirst or Willie Croft) come to Ocean Speedway and win on Friday they will receive a $1000 bonus making it $2500-to-win. If they are in position to accept the Nobel Construction Back Row Challenge (which will have an extra $500 added into it this weekend for all teams) and can win the main event from 22nd it then pushes the winning total to $4500.
Friday will be the third opportunity for drivers to take advantage of the “Nobel Construction Back Row Challenge,” which returns for the second straight year. The challenge features an extra $1500 on the line each night if the driver eligible accepts the challenge & can win the main event from the tail. The extra cash is courtesy of former San Jose Speedway racer & owner of Nobel Construction Earle Stanton, who is putting up $1000, as well as Ocean Speedway promoter John Prentice, who is putting up $500. If the driver eligible chooses to take the challenge and can win the feature from the last starting spot they’ll go home with $3,000.
The kicker this week is that an extra $500 will be added in for all drivers, so if they take the Back Row Challenge and can win the main event from dead last they will take home $3500.
If a driver accepts the Back Row Challenge & chooses to start in the last position of the main event, they will be awarded with one championship point per position gained during the feature from their official starting spot (which would be last place). As an example, if at the end of the main event they advance 10 spots from their official starting position, they will receive 10 bonus points, in addition to their regular finishing position points.
The eligibility for the “Nobel Construction Back Row Challenge” this season has also been shaken up a little. Like last year the driver that sets fast time during the night & transfers through their heat will draw for their A-main starting spot. After drawing their spot the fast time qualifier that transfers out of the heats will have the option to forfeit that starting spot & take the challenge to start from the rear. If that driver refuses then the second fastest qualifier that transfers out of the heats will be given the option to take the challenge. If that driver refuses, the option will not be offered to anyone else.
The front gate at the Ocean Speedway will open at 4:30pm this Friday night with hot laps at 5:15pm, qualifying around 6pm and racing to follow. All seating will be general admission with adult tickets costing $17, seniors 65 & older $16, children 6-12 $15 and kids five and under free. A family pack featuring two adults and two kids is available for $55. The Ocean Speedway is located on the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds in Watsonville, California with the physical address being 2601 East Lake Ave, Watsonville, CA 95076.
Ocean Speedway & the Ocean Sprints would like to thank Taco Bravo, High Five Pizza, Nobel Construction, Ray Scheidt’s Electric, Beer Optics, B Scadden Designs, Hoosier Tires West and Kaeding Performance for their support.
(Shane Golobic leads the Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo into the third race of the season on Friday night. Fast 4 Media caught Golobic on the gas last week aboard the Keith Day Trucking No. 22 mount)