Ocean Speedway: Gallaher, Sanders score wins in feature races

Ocean Speedway point leader Rob Gallaher poses with some of his young fans after he won his sixth Hobby Stock feature race of the season. (Photo by Gallaher Racing)

WATSONVILLE — Justin Sanders battled his way to win the 30-lap Taco Bravo Sprint Car main event Friday night at Ocean Speedway. The 2015 champion recorded his third win of the season. 

Point leader Bud Kaeding continued his string of impressive performances using a car that belonged to his father, Brent Kaeding, for his fifth second place finish of the season. 

Kurt Nelson positioned himself to win his second main event of the season after he outran Koen Shaw to capture the six-lap Trophy Dash. 

Nelson and Shaw started in the front row for the feature race. But it was Shaw who charged into the lead once the green flag was waved.

Nelson held his ground in second place until he was passed by Sanders on lap five. 

Sanders kept pursuit of Shaw, who did a fine job of holding the lead for the first 19 laps.

However, Sanders slipped past Shaw on lap 20 and began to pull away to about a straightaway advantage by the time the checkered flag was waved. 

Kaeding began to pressure Shaw until making his move on lap 25 to take second place. 

Shaw settled for third, followed by Nelson, Zane Blanchard, Jake Andreotti, James Ringo, Jeremy Chisum, Keith Day Jr. and Ryon Nelson.

Nelson set the fastest lap time of 11.941 seconds, which barely beat the 11.954 effort by Sanders. 

Andreotti brushed off any pressure put on by Kaeding throughout the eight-lap heat race to earn the win, while Shaw won the other heat ahead of Jeremy Chisum.

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Hobby Stock >> Rob Gallaher won the 20-lap Hobby Stock main event for his sixth victory of the season. 

Rob's father, Joe Gallaher, led the race from the start ahead of heat race winner DJ Keldsen, who stayed closely behind in second place. 

The lead battle got a little too close for comfort as the drivers entered the final turn. A bit of contact between Keldsen and Joe Gallaher sent Gallaher spinning, which triggered a yellow flag. 

Rob Gallaher, who’s the current point leader, suddenly found himself in the lead after the restart. He managed to hold off a determined Terry Traub for the victory. 

Ryan Muller, Joe Gallaher and Cody Bryan rounded out the top-5 at the checkered flag.

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Police N’ Pursuit >> Dan Anderson won the 15-lap Police N Pursuit main event for his second win of the season.

Anderson, who represents the Task Force Racers, led every lap just ahead of point leader John Hohmann of the Scotts Valley Police Department. 

Jesse Mueller of the California Highway Patrol earned Passing Honors after making his way from the sixth row to capture third place. 

Mueller made a late push to pass up Kyle Dorris during the second half of what turned out to be a rapid race.

Dorris settled for fourth, followed by Nate Graham, Justin Rhodes, Roy Iler, Adam Rikalo, Steven Fernandes and Chris Murphy. 

Hohmann and Anderson each won their respective six-lap heat races.

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Four Banger >> Tony Gullo won the 15-lap Four Banger main event for his second win of the season. 

Ryan McClelland led a lap before Gullo passed him by for the lead. 

Gullo led the rest of the way and stretched his advantage over McClelland by nearly a straightaway at the checkered flag. 

John Grilli, who won the previous feature, zoomed past Ray Bunn for third place on lap 10.

Grilli, who won the eight-lap heat race, stayed in the same spot until the finish, while Bunn settled for fourth.

Point leader Kate Beardsley placed fourth, followed by Nicole Beardsley, Bill Beardsley and Allen Kuykendall. 

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Up Next >> The 59th Annual Johnny Key Classic for the Taco Bravo Sprint Cars and the Civil War Series will take place next Saturday night. The Ocean Midgets, IMCA Modifieds and IMCA Sport Modifieds will surely make an exciting lineup for this weekend’s event. For information go to www.racepmg.com.

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