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December 8, 2019
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Ocean Speedway: Gallaher, Hogge, Johnson win on first night of Cecil Memorial

WATSONVILLE — Rob Gallaher won the 40-lap Mike Cecil Memorial Hobby Stock race Friday night at Ocean Speedway. 

It was the fifth win of the season for Gallaher, who is the current point leader in the Hobby Stock division. 

Merced Speedway star Austin Van Hoff led for a pair of laps before Joe Gallaher went charging by. 

However, Van Hoff regained the lead on lap 13, while Rob Gallaher passed his father for the second spot on lap 17. Gallaher took the lead from Van Hoff two laps later. 

Justin Gonzales, who began the race in the 14th spot, gained the lead on lap 27 as Rob Gallaher fell back to fifth. 

Gonzales led reigning champion Matt Kile, while Rob Gallaher moved back into fourth on lap 33. Gallaher took third from Bobby Huckaby Sr on lap 37.  

A yellow flag was shown moments later, which set up an exciting finish. Rob Gallaher raced into the lead on the restart, while Kile followed behind in second place. 

But Gallaher held off Kile the rest of the way for the impressive win. Gonzales settled for third, followed by Huckaby Sr, Van Hoff, Sam Kennedy, Ryan Muller, Jerry Skelton, Kyle Bryan and Joe Gallaher.

Kile and Bobby Huckaby Jr. each won their eight-lap heat race.

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IMCA Modified >> Bobby Hogge IV took advantage of a late restart in the race to win the 25-lap IMCA Modified main event. It was the fourth win of the season for the six-time track champion. 

Alex Stanford made a surprise visit and led the first five laps before being passed by Kellen Chadwick. 

Hogge quickly settled into second, while Merced point leader Troy Foulger jumped into third place on lap eight. 

The top-three competitors had a close battle at the front of the pack but Chadwick did a good job of keeping them all behind him. 

A pair of yellow flags were shown during the final five laps. On a lap 21 restart, Hogge put the moves on Chadwick to take the lead. 

Foulger was able to gain second on lap 24 but Hogge managed to stay ahead of him for the well earned victory. 

Chadwick settled for third, followed by reigning State champion Shane DeVolder, Nick DeCarlo, Anthony Slaney, Andy Obertello, Robert Marsh, Jim Pettit II and Cody Burke.

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IMCA Sport Modified >> Kevin Johnson won the 20-lap IMCA Sport Modified  main event for his second-straight feature win of the season. He is currently ranked second in the state point standings. 

Johnson started on the second row but he wasted little to no time sprinting into the lead. Dennis Simunovich was second until losing the spot to Bruce Nelson on lap six. 

A lap eight restart enabled point leader Jarrod Mounce to take over second, while a  pair of yellow flags allowed Johnson to continue to set the pace ahead of Mounce. 

Johnson pulled away a little bit in the waning laps to score the victory. Merced point leader Fred Ryland made a pass on Mounce on the final lap to finish second.

Mounce settled for third, followed by Kenny Shrader, Simunovich, Danny Roe, Nelson, KC Keller, Justin McPherson and Adriane Frost.

Of the 26 competitors, Johnson, state pointer Guy Ahlwardt, Chuck Golden and Chuck Weir each won their eight-lap heat races. Johnson also won the four-lap Trophy Dash to make it a clean sweep. 

Nick Spainhoward made a last lap pass on Kelly Campanile to win the 12-lap B Main. Tanner Thomas finished third.

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IMCA Modifieds >> Out of 28 IMCA Modifieds competitors, Anthony Giuliani, Austin Burke, Hogge and Jeff Decker each won their eight-lap heat race. 

Hogge also won the four lap Trophy Dash. Brian Pearce picked up a win in the 12-lap B Main race just ahead of state point leader Trevor Fitzgibbon and Pettit.

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Up Next >> The action continued on Saturday with IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Mods and Hobby Stocks.

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