Watsonville, CA…August 25…,Tanner Thorson scored his second win of the season in the 58th Annual Johnny Key Classic Saturday night at Ocean Speedway. The Taco Bravo and Civil War Sprint Car show produced a big 37 car field. The 50 lap race was run in 25 lap segments with a 10 minute break, and Cory Eliason led Thorson at the break.
There were 22 starters for the big money race, but two red flags flew before a lap could be completed. The first happened when Nick Ringo flipped in Turn 3, and Justin Sanders flipped in Turn 1 on the next attempt. Eliason charged into the lead on the next restart attempt ahead of Thorson and the lead two cars ran that way to the lap 25 break ahead of Kurt Nelson, Mitchell Faccinto and track point leader Brad Furr.
Dustin Golobic spun early in the second segment, and Nelson’s Top 5 run ended in a bout with the back wall on lap 30. As the track conditions changed, it became more of a challenge for the leaders. Thorson nearly spun in Turn 2, and a few laps later, Eliason got sideways and fell back a few positions. This put Thorson into the lead, and he would lead the remainder of the race ahead of Shane Golobic, Bud Kaeding, Mitchell Faccinto, Eliason, Kyle Hirst, Ryan Bernal, Furr, Colby Copeland and Mathew Moles.
37 drivers timed in, and Furr and Eliason each clocked in with a lap of 11.476. Furr got the nod as the fast qualifier since he was the first driver to turn that lap. 10 lap heat races were won by Nelson, Thorson, Sanders and Faccinto. Thorson also won the six lap Dash ahead of Eliason to put the two drivers on the front row for the big show. There were two 12 lap B Mains, and DJ Netto won the first one ahead of Nick Ringo and Civil War point leader Cole Macedo. The second 12 lapper was won by Scott Parker ahead of Dustin Freitas and Cody Lamar.
Anthony Giuliani collected his first 20 lap IMCA Sport Modified Main Event win of the season after a good race with Adriane Frost, who settled for second. Austin Williams also ran close to the front in third, followed by past Street Stock champion Doug Hagio, Justin McPherson, point leader Jim DiGiovanni, Jarrod Mounce, Jason Womack, Alex Bieser and Travis Slayter. Giuliani and Frost picked up the wins in the eight lap heat races.
Matt Kile continued his strong bid for the American Stock championship with his fifth 20 lap Main Event win of the season. Despite blowing a motor in his own car in hot laps, Rob Gallaher jumped into the Joe Gallaher car and gave Kile a good battle before settling for second. Previous feature winner JC Elrod was a close third with fourth place Mike Calhoun a straightaway behind in fourth as Jerry Skelton, George Fernandez, Wally Kennedy, Terry Traub and DJ Keldsen completed the finishing order. Gallaher and Kile were the eight lap heat race winners.
The IMCA 305 RaceSaver Sprint Cars made their second appearance at the speedway, and point leader Grant Duinkerken won the 25 lap Main Event. Duinkerken came from the third row and beat championship contender Albert Pombo by half a straightaway at the checkered flag. Jacob Pacheco beat Grant Champlin in good battle for third. Kyle Rasmussen, Ricky Seldate, Mauro Simone, Jared Faria, Michael Pombo and Brooklyn Holland completed the Top 10. Duinkerken set the fast time of 12.505, beating the 12.591 of Holland. Eight lap heat race wins went to Michael Pombo and Rasmussen.
The next race is Friday, September 7th. The USAC/CRA Wingless Sprint Cars will be there along with American Stocks, Four Bangers and Police N Pursuit cars. For further information, go to www.racepmg.com.