By Gary Thomas
Watsonville, CA – May 4, 2014…Round two of the Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo season went off on Friday night at the Ocean Speedway and in the end it was a new face standing in victory lane, as Visalia’s Steven Tiner earned a hard fought 30-lap win in the main event for his first Winged 360 triumph at the quarter-mile.
Tiner last season was one of the most consistent drivers whenever he competed with the Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo and on Friday evening drove the wheels off his Wright Process Systems, Larry Davis Land Leveling No. 94 machine to earn the impressive victory. The veteran was able to make a late race pass of Carson Macedo and hold off all challengers for the win.
“We’ve always been really good when we have come here, but haven’t been able to get a victory, so it feels pretty awesome to finally get one under my belt tonight,” Tiner commented. “We always love racing at this track and that was one great main event. I knew Carson Macedo would be hungry for a win and he was tough, but luckily I made the right moves through traffic and we’re standing up here right now. I want to thank my whole team and all our supporters.”
At the waving of the green flag in the main event it was Macedo jumping out into the lead ahead of Tiner and Hanford’s Mitchell Faccinto. The Ocean Speedway track prep crew gave teams a tremendous surface that lent to some fantastic racing in the 30-lapper. As the lead pack sliced and diced through traffic, eyes were also kept on Fremont’s Shane Golobic, who took the Nobel Construction Back Row Challenge to start 22nd on the grid. The former Ocean Sprints champ was marching his way through the pack with authority, as action took place all over the speedway.
With just under 10-laps to go the racing heated up as lapped traffic made things very interesting up front. With Macedo also looking for his first Ocean Sprints win he continued to lead the pack, but on lap-23 Tiner made the move to get by for the lead that he would never relinquish. Watsonville’s Justin Sanders was also making some great moves to get by cars and would trade second back and forth with Macedo over a couple laps. Macedo would eventually maintain the spot and actually make one last effort to get back by Tiner, but as the white flag waved things got even wilder.
Sanders would charge by Macedo for second, but didn’t have enough for Tiner, who claimed the checkered by 0.965 seconds. Sanders crossed the stripe in second and dead last starting Golobic made a thrilling move to take third off the final corner. Macedo ended up fourth, with Mitchell Faccinto rounding out the top-five. For Sanders he was happy with the runner up finish and spoke very highly of the track in the main event. “It was a great run for us in the main event and that track tonight was awesome. You could pretty much race anywhere and it was a lot of fun. We’ll be back next week trying for a win.”
For Golobic taking the Nobel Construction Back Row Challenge certainly paid off, as the one championship point per position gained has catapulted him into the Ocean Sprints point lead by 26-markers. Golobic earned 19 additional points from the Back Row Challenge, along with his third place finishing points. He also received the High Five Pizza Hard Charger Award in the feature. “These guys had this car set up perfect in the main event and I’m glad we could make it up to third, because I was a little worried at the start. We got rolling really well there though and it was a fun main event. I gotta take my hats off the track crew; they gave us a great track tonight.”
Finishing sixth through 10th in the main event were San Jose’s Nick Green, Gilroy’s Kurt Nelson, 16th starter Nick Rescino Jr. of San Francisco, Salinas’ Jeremy Chisum and Laton’s Heath Duinkerken. The three eight lap heat races during the night were picked off by Steven Tiner, Nick Green and Anthony Simone. Shane Golobic began the evening by claiming the Ray Scheidts Electric Fast Time Award with a time of 11.872. The Beer Optics Hard Luck Award for the night went to Hollister’s Tomas Bray Scully.
Photo courtesy Fast 4 Media