Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo open up the 2015 season this Friday April 3 at Ocean Speedway
By Gary Thomas
Watsonville, CA – March 30, 2015…Always one of the most competitive weekly Sprint Car tracks in the state, the Ocean Speedway in Watsonville is set to kick-off the season with the opening stanza for the Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo on Friday. In total there are 16 rounds of competition scheduled for the Winged 360’s at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds based facility this season.
The upcoming year will mark the ninth season for the Ocean 360 Sprint Cars & the sixth held with the partnership of Dennis Wuolett and local San Jose area business Taco Bravo.
“We’re really excited to have Dennis Wuolett & Taco Bravo back on board once again with the Ocean Sprints in 2015,” said John Prentice of Prentice Motorsports Group. “It should be a strong season and it all gets underway this Friday night. Last year there was lots of parity and it was really competitive, so we definitely look for more of the same this season. It’s amazing to think this will already be the ninth year for the Ocean Sprints after we started it all back in 2007 with Rick Wright. We’ve definitely been blessed with some great partners over the years so we can’t thank everyone enough for their support.”
Last season saw the third two-time champion be crowned since the Winged 360’s returned to Ocean Speedway in ‘07, with Shane Golobic joining Tommy Tarlton & Brent Kaeding in performing that feat. A very competitive 13 race season was held last year that saw 10 different winners, including Brent Kaeding, who led the way with three victories. Brad Furr earned a pair of wins & single triumphs were claimed by Andy Forsberg, Justin Sanders, Rico Abreu, Tommy Tarlton, Bud Kaeding, Shane Golobic, Jonathan Allard & Steven Tiner.
A highlight of the 2015 schedule for the Ocean Sprints is of course the grand-daddy of them all at Ocean Speedway, the 55th Johnny Key Classic on Saturday August 29. Once again it will be a “Civil War 360 Sprint Car Series presented by Flowmaster vs. Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo” event for the second year in a row. Qualifying races at Ocean Speedway for the event will be held on July 17, July 24 & August 21. Civil War will also hold three qualifying races for the Key Classic, with those being Marysville on May 23, Placerville on May 30 & Petaluma on June 20.
Golobic captured last year’s Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo crown with a very solid season, picking up a win on July 18 & overall tallying 10 top-five finishes in the 13 events, with six of those being podiums. He certainly had championship consistency, finishing outside the top six just once all year. Golobic was also tied for the most Ray Scheidts Electric Fast Time Awards last season with four to his credit. He has already started out this year strong by winning the opening Civil War Series event in Marysville on March 20 and running top-10 with the World of Outlaws in Chico last week.
Last year’s top-five in the standings was rounded out by Lemoore’s Carson Macedo, Watsonville’s Justin Sanders, Hanford’s Mitchell Faccinto & Stockton’s Brad Furr. Macedo had equally as impressive consistency as Golobic, having finished outside of the top-five just twice all year, while Sander’s was the hottest driver late in the season, earning podiums in four of the last five events, including a victory on September 19. Faccinto was named Rookie of the Year at season’s end and Furr was the only driver other than Brent Kaeding to score multiple wins during the campaign.
More drivers expected Friday to help fire-off the Ocean Sprints campaign will include Salinas brother’s Jason & Jeremy Chisum, Gilroy’s Kurt Nelson, Hanford’s DJ Netto, Fresno’s Koen Shaw, Fremont’s Dustin Golobic, Hollister’s Tony Gualda Jr. & Tomas Bray Scully, Morgan Hill’s Nick Ringo, Corralitos’ Jerry Bonnema and others.
The Ray Scheidts Electric Fast Time award, High Five Pizza Hard Charger award and Beer Optics Hard Luck award will all return this season. Each of the awards will pay $100 cash at all of the 16 Ocean Sprints events this year.
The front gate at Ocean Speedway will open at 4:30pm this Friday night with hot laps at 5:15pm, qualifying around 6pm and racing to follow. The pit gate will open at 2pm this season. All seating will be general admission with adult tickets costing $17, seniors 65 & older $16, children 6-12 $13 and kids five and under free. A family pack featuring two adults and two kids is available for $55. The Ocean Speedway is located on the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds in Watsonville, California with the physical address being 2601 East Lake Ave, Watsonville, CA 95076.
Ocean Speedway & the Ocean Sprints would like to thank Taco Bravo, High Five Pizza, Ray Scheidts Electric, Beer Optics, Hoosier Tires West and Kaeding Performance for their support.
Former Ocean Sprints champions
2014- Shane Golobic
2013- Brad Furr
2012- Shane Golobic
2011- Ronnie Day
2010- Tommy Tarlton
2009- Tommy Tarlton
2008- Brent Kaeding
2007- Brent Kaeding