WATSONVILLE — Justin Sanders got his second win of the season in the 30-lap Taco Bravo Sprint Car main event on Friday night in front of dozens of racing fans at the Ocean Speedway.
Sanders, who was the 2015 champion, earned the outside front row starting spot in the main event after finishing second to Cole Macedo in the six-lap Trophy Dash.
Macedo paced the first eight laps but Sanders made his move and slipped past him for the lead.
As Sanders led the way, Macedo was challenged by Bud Kaeding for second place.
Kaeding charged past Macedo for the second spot on lap 20. He then set his sights on Sanders in his quest for a fourth feature win.
However, Sanders continued to run strong down the final stretch and scored the impressive victory ahead of Kaeding.
Macedo placed third, followed by James Ringo, Brad Furr, Jake Andreotti, Koen Shaw, Jayson Bright, incoming point leader Jeremy Chisum and Keith Day Jr.
The 19 competitors in the Sprint Car event ran the usual time trials with Kaeding coming out 17th and setting the quickest lap of 11.609 on the quarter-mile clay oval.
Sanders was the second quickest at 11.720.
The drivers ran three eight-lap heat races with Shaw outrunning Keading to win the first race.
The second heat victory went to Macedo in front of Sanders, while Jake Andreotti grabbed a heat race victory ahead of three-time reigning champion Furr.
IMCA Sport Modified
Jarrod Mounce scored the victory in the 20-lap IMCA Sport Modified main event. He also recently won the Bill Egleston Memorial race just a few weeks ago.
Mounce lined up in the third row of the feature alongside IMCA State point leader Guy Ahlwardt.
During the first four laps, Stephen Alee and Justin McPherson took turns leading the pack before Mounce took over the top spot on lap five.
Ahlwardt found his way into second place by lap eight and briefly took the lead from Mounce two laps later.
Mounce regained the lead on lap 11 and led the rest of the way for the win.
Ahlwardt finished a close second ahead of Max Baggett, who enjoyed a season-best third place finish.
Alee placed fourth ahead of rookie Kelly Campanile, Billy Robertson, Charlie Hunter, incoming point leader Adriane Frost, McPherson and Jay Marks.
The drivers ran two eight-lap heat races with Mounce and Ahlwardt grabbing the victories.
Joe Gallaher picked up his first win of the season in the 20-lap Hobby Stock main event. He took the lead on lap four as DJ Keldsen's race ended.
Gallaher and Bobby Huckaby Jr. briefly exchanged for the lead before Gallaher gained the position for good on lap seven.
Incoming point leader Rob Gallaher started back in the sixth row and managed to move up to challenge Huckaby for second place by lap 11.
The two drivers exchanged the lead for second a couple of times before Rob Gallaher gained the position for good on lap 16.
Joe Gallaher scored the satisfying win ahead of his son Rob Gallaher, Huckaby Jr, Wally Kennedy, Tony Oliveira, John Farrell, Brody Miller, Nick Triolo, Bobby Huckaby Sr and Kevin Counterman.
Keldsen and Joe Gallaher won their respective eight-lap heat races.
John Grilli edged Police N’ Pursuit competitor Roy Iler to win his second 15-lap Mini Stock main event of the season.
Iler led for a lap, while Dakota Keldsen led for five laps before Grilli charged into the lead.
Iler fell back a few positions, still, he made a late charge into second place. He nearly stole the win in the end but lost a photo finish to Grilli in the closest battle of the night.
Nicole Beardsley placed third ahead of her sister, Kate, Jeff Finsand, Bill Beardsley, Ryan McClelland, Keldsen, Luke Babcock and Steven Ragsdale.
Keldsen and McClelland each won their respective eight-lap heat race.
The racing action resumes Friday night with a special event. It's the annual Pombo/Sargent Classic, featuring The King Of The West/NARC Fujitsu 410 Sprint Car Series. Joining them will be the IMCA Modifieds, Four Bangers, South Bay Dwarf Cars and Ocean Midgets. For further information, go to www.racepmg.com/
Editor's Note: This article will be published in the June 21 edition of the Register-Pajaronian.