WATSONVILLE, Calif. — Chase Johnson steered the Sean Quinn-owned No. 28 to a decisive victory in Friday’s Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo, leading the final 19 circuits for this third trip to victory lane of the year at Ocean Speedway.
“It was great. Tyler Silva’s got this thing on rails. Big hats off to him. Sean (Quinn) gives us the opportunity to come out here and do this. We all get along so well and the chemistry is so good,” Johnson said.
Ryan Rocha and Kurt Nelson drove off into turn one side-by-side. Rocha got sideways, sparking a multi-car incident that saw Montgomery bounce hard to end his night. Concord’s Joey Ancona, Hanford’s Zane Blanchard, and Watsonville’s Rickey Sanders all stopped in the melee but were able to rejoin the event.
On the second attempt at a start, Nelson won the hole shot over Rocha. Nelson approached lapped traffic while Johnson worked on Rocha for the second position. Johnson took over with a move on the outside on the backstretch, earning second on lap nine. The advantage for Nelson was nearly two seconds at that stage. Johnson marched towards Nelson, driving into the lead just three laps later on lap 12. The caution flew on the following lap for an incident for Adam Kaeding in turn one.
Gauge Garcia had driven from seventh to third by that stage then used the restart to trade blows with Nelson for second. Garcia earned the second spot while Rocha fell back to sixth. Steven Kent of Fresno was also charging through the field, advancing from 12th to fourth.
Nelson grabbed second back after some cross over moves on lap 19. A caution for Connor Danell of Visalia erased a 3.3 second lead for Johnson over the field.
Johnson had no trouble pulling ahead on the restart while Garcia and Nelson again traded shots at second. Garcia’s pass on Nelson was nullified when Jason Chisum of Salinas spun in turn four on lap 20.
Three-wide action ensued for the fifth position on the restart with Livermore’s Travis Labat and Steven Kent in the center of it. The top three remained unchanged with Johnson scoring the win over Nelson and Garcia. Ancona recovered to finish fourth followed by Kent, who earned the Price Rite Hard Charger award for his efforts.
the points but we’ve just been struggling. Hands down, we needed that.”
Markus Frazier survived a wild IMCA Sport Modified 20-lap feature for his first Watsonville win of the season.
Cody Burke used an outside maneuver around Andy Obertello to take the lead and the win in the 20-lap modified feature.
Joe Gallaher charged from the back to the front to win the 20-lap Hobby Stock feature.
Kate Beardsley used a last turn, last lap pass to win the 15-lap Four Banger race.
Danny Wagner dominated the South Bay Dwarf Car 20-lap feature event.
Feature (30 Laps): 1. 28-Chase Johnson; 2. 72W-Kurt Nelson; 3. 21X-Gauge Garcia; 4. 88A-Joey Ancona; 5. 37-Steven Kent; 6. 61-Travis Labat; 7. 5R-Ryan Rocha; 8. 17-Rickey Sanders; 9. 7H-Jake Haulot; 10. 7Z-Zane Blanchard; 11. 3T-Nick Ringo; 12. 72S-Bradley Dillard; 13. 36-Craig Stidham; 14. 3M-Adam Kaeding; 15. 50-Bryce Eames; 16. 25Z-Jason Chisum; 17. 5X-Mark Chaves Jr; 18. 6D-Josh Chisum; 19. 5D-Connor Danell; 20. 98-Michael Pombo; 21. 3-Kaleb Montgomery; 22. 72JR-Chris Nelson; 23. (DNS) 5-Cole Danell