WATSONVILLE — The racing action returns to the Ocean Speedway on Friday after a week-long break from the Independence Day holiday.
This weekend’s lineup will feature the Taco Bravo Sprint Cars along with the IMCA Modifieds, Four Bangers, South Bay Dwarf Cars and Police N’ Pursuit.
Bud Kaeding is currently listed as the point leader in the Taco Bravo Sprint Car Series after factoring in the two-race throwaway rule.
Despite having missed a pair of races, Kaeding has recorded three victories and recently finished in second place once again.
The talented third-generation lead-foot and leading three -time reigning champion is ahead of Brad Furr by 59 points in the current point standings.
Furr is still looking for his first win of the season but he has managed to rack up four Top-5 finishes this season.
James Ringo, who has four Top-5 efforts, is just six points behind Furr and is also looking for his first win.
Ringo holds a 21-point lead over Jeremy Chisum, who has topped the division with seven Top-10 efforts.
Prior to the throwaways being calculated, the standings showed Ringo and leading Chisum.
Koen Shaw, who was the 2018 point runner-up, was also mixed up in the battle but he skipped the recent race to participate in the 600 Micro Sprint Speedweek Series.
Kurt Nelson is currently fifth in the standings and has a victory to his credit so far.
One of the more interesting storylines during the last race included longtime Ocean Speedway competitor Jerry Bonnema.
Bonnema started deep in the pack and managed to work his way to a third place finish. It was one of his best efforts in recent years.
Some of the drivers to watch for this week include Mike Andreotti, Jayson Bright, two-time winner Justin Sanders, Kyler Shaw and Jason Chisum.
Merced Speedway IMCA Modified point leader Troy Foulger came to town during the last race and drove the Bowers Racing Modified car to an impressive victory.
Cody Burke finished with a fifth place finish, while his brother, Austin, finished third. The results put them in a deadlock tie for a share of first place in the overall standings.
Austin Burke is still searching for his first win of the season, while Cody has tallied two.
Jim Pettit II, who’s a past Watsonville champion, shouldn’t be counted out of the battle, yet.
With one feature win to his credit, Pettit trails by 10 points and is nine ahead Anthony Copeland, who’s been the surprising headline this year.
Other drivers to watch for include Jeff Decker, Robert Marsh, Brian Cass, rookie Anthony Giuliani and Raymond Keldsen Jr.
The Beardsley battle continues in the Four Banger division this week. But the biggest story is reigning champion Kate Beardsley and Nicole Beardsley have yet to win a race this season.
However, both drivers are letting consistency lead the way as they have a combined seven Top-5 finishes.
Kate leads her sister, Nicole, by just a point, while their dad and 2017 champion Bill Beardsley sits in third place with 31 points.
John Grilli, who’s a rookie this season, has done well this year with two wins and is just four points behind Bill Beardsley in a close race for third.
Ryan McClelland recorded a win earlier this year and is 10 points behind Beardsley.
Dakota Keldsen has experienced some bad luck and it’s thrown him out of the championship chase. But he’s still making things interesting after tallying a pair of victories in a Lloyd Keldsen Jr Special.
DJ Keldsen, a past division champion and Dakota’s brother, recently won in the No. 3 car.
Dakota is certainly a threat to win this upcoming Friday night. Other drivers to watch for include Tony Gullo, Jeff Finsand and Roy Iler.
Police N’ Pursuit
Iler is also one of the drivers in the Police N’ Pursuit class where he represents the San Benito Sheriff's Office.
Iler is currently in third place but is in a close battle for second behind Justin Rhodes, who represents the California Highway Patrol.
Rhodes holds a two-point lead ahead of Iler and is four points ahead of Steven Fernandes, who represents the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office.
With two victories under his belt, John Hohmann of the Scotts Valley Police Department is the current point leader.
Others to watch for include Adam Rikalo, Tony Weir, Jessie Mueller and Cliff Sloma. Mueller and Sloma each have a win this season.
South Bay Dwarf
Mark Biscardi is on a quest to collect his second South Bay Dwarf Car championship. He put himself in a good position by rattling off three consecutive wins to start the season.
However, previous South Bay and NorCal champion Shawn Jones returned to snap the win-streak and has won the past two races.
Reigning champion Gene "Punky" Pires will be hoping to get back into the winner's circle this week as he, Ryan Amlen and Eric Weisler are in a battle for a title.
Other racers to watch for include Barry Waddell, Eddie Claesson and Trafton Chandler.
Ocean Speedway will be busy the rest of the month with the Sprint Cars as they have the upcoming Howard Kaeding Classic on July 19 and 20.
The event will feature a Taco Bravo versus Civil War Series event on Friday, the 19th. A King of the West/NARC Sprint Car event will take place the following night.
In the meantime, the Taco Bravo Sprint Car race on Friday will be a nice warm up show for the upcoming big event. Also in the mix are the IMCA Modifieds and other classes.
For further information, go to www.racepmg.com.