San Jose’s Bud Kaeding Wins Exciting Key Kick-Off Race
WATSONVILLE — Ocean Speedway provided several thrills Friday night during the Key Kick-Off Race. In the end, it was an epic finish between Bud Kaeding of San Jose and Caeden Steele and Dominic Scelzi of Fresno that put the fans on their feet during the Ocean Sprints feature.
Racing through heavy traffic, Kaeding got outside of Steele and crushed him to the line by just 0.060 seconds for the exhilarating victory. Sharing the path to victory at the event were Jim Pettit II with the IMCA Modifieds, Adriane Frost with the IMCA Sport Mods, Joe Gallaher with the Hobby Stocks and Shawn Jones with the South Bay Dwarf Cars.
The 30-lap main event began with sprint winner Steele taking the lead early on. A manicured surface by track prep artist Tom Sagmiller lent itself to some of the best racing of the season on Friday night. After a few early warnings, things went from green to checkered on the final 23 home runs. Steele sat up front and made great precise moves through traffic to keep the rest of the field at bay.
Things got hectic towards the end with several cars racing to position themselves ahead of the leaders. With Steele boxed in Kaeding and Scelzi closed in quickly and set up the classic finish. Rounding the final corners, Kaeding charged to the high side and fought his way to win by inches at the checkered flag, with Scelzi also there. Justin Sanders moved from 11th to fourth place, with Mitchell Faccinto rounding out the top five.
The top 10 was completed by Andy Forsberg, Chase Johnson, Kaleb Montgomery, Jake Andreotti and Max Mittry.
Prunedale’s Jim Pettit II capped off the IMCA Modified points season in style by winning the Ocean Speedway race and championship on Friday. The 25-lap streak provided entertaining races that saw Matt Hagio lead the first three laps, before Pettit moved on to lap six. Pettit then battled with Raymond Keldsen Jr. for first place until he got the position and went up against Bobby Hogge IV. The two veterans raced side by side for several laps and kept the fans on their toes.
Hogge gave him one last shot on the final corner, but Pettit hung on for the win. Hogge finished second, followed by Cody Burge, Todd Hermosillo and Matt Hagio.
IMCA sports mod
Just like in the Sprint Cars, the IMCA Sport Mods provided a last lap bye for the win. Pittsburgh’s Chuck Golden took command early until Billy Robertson clinched the lead on lap eight. Golden would regain the lead soon after as Randy Miller began to arrive, closing in on the leading pair. Miller ended up stopping 12 laps down to bring out a warning.
With Golden ahead, Adriane Frost found a good rhythm as she closed the gap. With the white flag in the air, Frost moved on, taking the lead in the backstretch and earning the thrilling victory. Golden, Miller, Jonathan Hagio and Max Baggett round out the top five. Hagio has concluded the 2022 track championship.
In Hobby Stocks action, that continued through the year of Joe Gallaher, who took the lead with just four laps to go to claim his 10th win of the year at Ocean Speedway. Brady Muller led much of the feature and came second, followed by Adriane Frost, Shane Freeman and Steve Remde.
The South Bay Dwarf Car feature saw a dominating performance from Shawn Jones of San Jose, who won by more than half a lap. Ocean Speedway promoter John Prentice finished second with Eric Weisler, Ricardo Rivera and Sean Catucci.
IF YOU ARE GOING TO
Johnny Key Classic
When: Saturday, 4 p.m.
Events: 360 Sprints, Hobby Stocks, Tri-State Pro Stocks
Where: Ocean Speedway, Watsonville