Photo Caption: Three-time champion Billy Nelson (11) moves past Kristie Shearer (73j) on his way to the $1,000 victory in the 80-lap Mike Cecil Race for American Stocks. — L&J Photography/Contributed
Billy Nelson scored an impressive victory in the Mike Cecil Memorial American Stock Main Event Saturday night at Ocean Speedway in Watsonville.
It was the 21st edition of the event, which is held in memory of past Street Stock champion Mike Cecil.
All three divisions competed for an increased purse. About 100 race cars filled the pits to be a part of this event.
The American Stocks ran an 80-lap race for the $1,000 prize, and for much of the distance J.C. Elrod led the way over point leader Matt Kile.
Nelson started back in 13th, but moved into the top five battle by lap 10.
By lap 57, Nelson had passed Rob Gallaher for the third position and set his sights on Kile.
Nelson made a move on the front stretch of lap 68 to take second from Kile, and an inside pass on Turn 2 a lap later landed him in first.
Nelson avoided scary moments in traffic during the final five laps, keeping his cool for the big victory.
Elrod settled for second, followed by Kile, Rob Gallaher, Kristie Shearer, Joe Gallaher, Mike Calhoun, Shannon Nelson, Jimmy Bowman in D.J. Keldsen.
Nelson, Elrod and Kile earned eight-lap heat race wins.
Bobby Hogge IV won the 30 lap IMCA Modified Main Event for a $1,500 payday and his fifth victory of the season.
While Hogge was out front blazing a trail for others to follow, Clint Reichenbach swerved through multiple racers for a runner-up finish after starting the night in 18th.
Alex Wilson settled for third, followed by State Point leader Shane DeVolder, Austin Burke, track point leader Cody Burke, Ryan Porter, Andy Obertello, Brian Cass and Chris Sieweke.
There were 34 Modifieds in action.
The eight-lap heat race wins went to Brown, Wilson, Sieweke and Hogge.
The final starting positions in the Main Event were determined by the two 12-lap B Mains.
Justin Villanueva won the first one ahead of Tim Cecil, and Reichenbach picked up the win in the second one, followed by Robert Marsh.
IMCA SPORT MODIFIEDS
Fred Ryland picked up the win in the 30-lap IMCA Sport Modified Main Event.
It was a $1,200 victory for the 2015 State champion.
Ryland battled Austin Williams early on before moving ahead.
Former state champion Nick Spainhoward had to win the second B Main to get into the show, and he made an impressive charge to the front of the pack to make things interesting. But as he and Ryland were working lapped traffic, a slower car got in his path and ended his race.
Ryland went on to score the victory, followed by Matthew Mayo, Austin Williams, Aaron Crowell, point leader Jim DiGiovanni, Anthony Giuliani, Trevor Clymens, Chris McKellar, Justin McPherson and Guy Ahlwardt.
The 36-car field ran four eight-lap heat races with Crowell, Giuliani, Ryland and Clymens earning the wins.
They ran two 12-lap B Mains to fill out the remainder of the field, and Chris Falkenberg won the first one ahead of Cody Parker. Spainhoward outran KC Keller to win the second B Main.
Racing will return on Friday night with the Ocean Sprints, presented by Taco Bravo. The IMCA Modifieds, American Stocks and South Bay Dwarf Cars will complete the lineup.