Watsonville, CA…August 4…Billy Nelson scored an impressive victory in the Mike Cecil Memorial American Stock Main Event Saturday night at Ocean Speedway. This was the 21st annual event that is held in memory of past Street Stock champion Mike Cecil, and 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 $1,000 to win, and for much of the distance JC Elrod led the way over point leader Matt Kile. Nelson started back in 13th, but he was part of the Top 5 battle by lap ten. By lap 57, Nelson had passed Rob Gallaher for the third position and set his sights on Kile. There was smoke coming from the Elrod car by lap 65, but he continued to race out front. Nelson made a move on the front stretch on lap 68 to take second from Kile, and he made an inside pass in Turn 2 a lap later to grab the lead from Elrod. Nelson started to pull away, but he had scary moments in traffic during the final five laps. However, he kept 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 DJ Keldsen. The eight lap heat race wins were earned by Nelson, Elrod and Kile.
Bobby Hogge IV won the 30 lap IMCA Modified Main Event for a $1500 payday. It turned out to be another great night at the races for Hogge as he led all the way for his fifth win of the season. While Hogge was out front blazing a trail for others to follow, the bigger story was Clint Reichenbach. Reichenbach started in eighteenth and was up to seventh by the waving of a lap 17 yellow flag. Reichenbach made a few more passes and was fourth by the lap 24 caution flag that flew when Randy Brown’s run in fifth ended. Hogge continued to lead on the restart, and Reichenbach made late passes on Alex Wilson and Ryan Porter for a strong second place finish. Wilson settled for third, followed by State Point leader Shane DeVolder, Austin Burke, track point leader Cody Burke, 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.
Fred Ryland picked up the win in the 30 lap IMCA Sport Modified Main Event. This was a $1,200 victory for the 2015 State champion. Ryland battled Austin Williams early on before moving ahead. The bigger story of the race was 2014 State champion Nick Spainhoward. 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. Unfortunately, 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.