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September 23, 2021

Ocean Speedway: Copeland, Thorson big winners at Howard Kaeding Classic

Photo Caption: Colby Copeland (16a) and Tanner Thorson (3c) were happy winners at the 8th Annual Howard Kaeding Classic over the weekend at Ocean Speedway in Watsonville. — Joe Shivak/Contributed


Colby Copeland captured the $5,000 prize with his victory in the eighth annual Howard Kaeding Classic on Saturday night at Ocean Speedway in Watsonville.

Copeland led every lap aboard the Larry Antaya owned Goodguys Rod & Custom Association Maxim to win the King of the West/NARC Fujitsu Sprint Car Series race.

Copeland charged into the lead at the start ahead of Chase Johnson and Shane Golobic.

The leaders were in heavy traffic by lap eight, and slight contact between Michael “Buddy” Kofoid and Golobic sent the latter spinning in Turn 2 for a lap-ten caution flag.

Copeland continued to lead on the restart as Kofoid made an inside pass on Johnson for second.

Bud Kaeding dove down on the inside and made the pass on Johnson for third in Turn 1 of the 12th lap. Moments later, contact sent Matthew Dumesny flipping in Turn 4. Copeland continued to lead Kofoid on the restart, but an inside pass on the backstretch on lap 17 gained Kaeding second.

Kaeding chased Copeland the rest of the way, but even a restart with one lap to go was not enough to stop Copeland from winning the 30-lap race.

Johnson settled for third, followed by series point leader Kyle Hirst, D.J. Netto, Marcus Dunesny, Shane Golobic, Brad Furr, Mitchell Faccinto and Dustin Golobic.

There were 31 competitors for this event, and Kofoid set the fastest time of 11.681, beating the 11.809 of Shane Golobic.

Ten-lap heat race wins went to Hirst, Copeland, Kaeding and Friday night Civil War race winner Tanner Thorson.

Sean Watts was the surprise winner of the six-lap Trophy Dash, followed by Copeland.

The remainder of the 22 car main event field was made up by the top finishers of the 15-lap B Main. Justin Sanders won that race, followed by Nathan Rolfe, Kyle Offill, Jeremy Chisum and Bobby McMahon.


Bobby Hogge IV won the 25-lap IMCA Modified Main Event. This was the fourth win of the season for the six-time track champion.

Hogge started back in the fifth row, and when he got to the front of the pack, he had to deal with another past champion, Brian Cass. Hogge was up to the challenge as he won by a few car lengths ahead of Cass.

Andy Obertello was a close third, followed by Robert Marsh, Steven Hopf, point leader Cody Burke, Jeff McCoun, Jacob Pace, Anthony Copeland and Raymond Keldsen Jr. Austin Burke and Marsh won eight lap heat races.


Andrew Peckham scored the victory in the 20-lap IMCA Sport Modified Main Event.

Peckham started in the third row, but 2015 State champion Fred Ryland made a charge from the fifth row. Ryland gave Peckham all the pressure he could handle, but he was up to the task in scoring a hard-earned win.

Reigning Antioch Speedway champion K.C. Keller was a strong third, followed by Aaron Crowell, Chase Alves, Adrian Frost, Guy Ahlwardt, Kenny Shrader, Anthony Giuliani and Justin McPherson.


Racing continues next Friday night with the Taco Bravo Sprint Cars, IMCA Sport Modifieds, American Stocks, Police N Pursuit cars and a special appearance by the IMCA RaceSaver 305 Sprint Cars.



Thorson scored the victory in the 30-lap Civil War Sprint Car Main Event Friday night at Ocean Speedway.

This was the first night of the Howard Kaeding Classic, and it was a shootout event between the Civil War and local Taco Bravo Sprint Car Series.

Thorson had to battle with Hirst throughout the night. He scored the victory in the first eight-lap heat race, but Hirst set the fast time standard of 11.467 on the quarter-mile clay oval.

The six-lap Trophy Dash set up the front four rows for the Main Event, and Hirst picked up the win with Thorson in pursuit about a half straightaway behind in second.

The battle continued in the main event, but the tenacious Thorson was able to hold off Hirst down the stretch and grab the victory.

Justin Sanders was a very close third, just ahead of two-time track champion Golobic.

Kofoid settled for fifth, followed by Tanner Carrick, Netto, Koen Shaw, Tim Kaeding and Offill.

There were 28 drivers on hand, and Hirst’s fast time of 11.467 was barely quicker than the 11.546 of Netto.

In addition to the Dash win for Hirst and heat win for Thorson, the other three-heat race wins went to King of the West/NARC legend Brent Kaeding, Ocean Speedway point leader Furr and Offill.

The remaining competitors ran a 12-lap B Main, and Chisum scored an impressive win over Tim Kaeding, Jason Chisum, Dustin Freitas and Vaughn Schott.


IMCA Sport Modified State point leader Austin Manzella turned in a stellar performance in winning the 20-lap Main Event.

Manzella had a second row start for the race and wasted little time getting the lead.

Manzella managed to take the checkered flag with Fred Ryland and Austin Williams in close pursuit.

Kevin Johnson finished fourth, followed by Peckham, Todd Gomez, point leader Jim DiGiovanni, Alves, Frost and Igor Grandzuk.

Frost, Williams and Manzella picked up eight-lap heat race wins as there were 19 competitors on hand.


JC Elrod grabbed the 20-lap American Stock Main Event win ahead of Lompoc visitor Jacob Jones.

This was his second win of the season as the third ranked driver keeps his championship hopes alive.

Point leader Matt Kile was a strong third, followed by Joe Gallaher, Mike Calhoun, Merced Speedway regular Kristie Shearer, Tom Cline, Larry Roberson, reigning champion Rob Gallaher and Norm Ayers.

Rob Gallaher and Elrod won eight-lap heat races, but Gallaher fell out of the Main Event on the 13th lap.


The closest finish of the night occurred in the South Bay Dwarf Car 20 lap Main Event.

In a battle of the champions, two-time champ Terre Rothweiler won a photo finish ahead of the reigning champion, Cameron Diatte.

Championship hopeful Zach Price was a close third ahead of Gene Punky” Pires, Kyle Jones, Trafton Chandler, Eddie Claesson, Mack Acevez, Eric Wiesler and Justin McKenna.

Price and Chandler each scored wins in their respective eight lap heat races.


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