WATSONVILLE, CALIF. (July 17, 2021) – Templeton’s Kaleb Montgomery won his first career Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo feature on Friday night, grabbing the 30-lap night one of the 11th Howard Kaeding Classic worth $2,000. Montgomery outran Tim Kaeding through lapped traffic for the coveted win at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds quarter-mile oval. Photo by Paul Trevino

A blistering fast race-track rewarded the strong crowd with a new track record in time trials, as Keith Day, Jr. lowered his 11.122 second mark from June with a 10.979 second lap. Day went on to win the dash as well, with lucrative cash awards for both. The 31-car turnout was narrowed to 24 starters for the feature which paid $500 to start.

The initial start attempted between Day and Concord’s Joey Ancona was called back, with Sacramento’s Kalib Henry flipping into turn one around a spinning Bradley Dillard in the process. When racing resumed, Montgomery and Corey Day made up a fresh front row. Corey Day charged ahead on the outside in the Tarlton & Son no. 21 to lead the opening circuit. Action was red flagged on the second lap when Jerry Bonnema of Corralitos flipped on the backstretch.

Ninth starting Tim Kaeding used the inside to go two-for-one to take third by lap three. The leaders encountered lapped traffic by lap six. Gilroy’s Kurt Nelson spun in turn two to require a caution on lap eight. The lap eight restart proved to be the exclamation point of the race.

Montgomery attempted to turn underneath Day on the restart as they drove into turn one. They collided exiting turn two, with Day then clipping points leader Justin Sanders and getting hit from behind by Keith Day, Jr. Roseville’s Sean Becker and Nelson tangled, 2019 champion JJ Ringo spun, while Jeremy Chisum, 2020 race winner DJ Netto, and Burt Foland all incurred damage as well. Corey Day was unable to continue, ending his bid for victory.

Montgomery assumed the lead on the restart while Kaeding and Sanders battled for second behind him. The leaders spent the second half of the feature darting around lapped traffic, with Kaeding looking both inside and outside to try to overhaul Montgomery. Montgomery took the white flag in the lead while Sanders tried a slidejob for second on Kaeding into turn one. Kaeding crossed him over before Sanders spun exiting turn four. Montgomery won ahead of Tim Kaeding, Ancona, Bud Kaeding, and Sanders. Koen Shaw drove 17th to sixth to earn the hard-charger cash as well.

Brentwood’s Blake Bower won his fourth Western Midget Racing presented by Masters Design and Construction feature of 2021. Bower overcame a hard bicycle in turn one early in the feature, preserving over a sore knee for the win in the 20-lap race.

Santa Paula’s Megan Moorhead started second and led the opening lap of competition with Bower driving into third quickly. The caution flew when Bower bicycled to a stop in turn three while his teammate Antonia Boscacci of Mountain View spun to a stop as well. Bower was briefly checked by medical officials before restarting at the back of the field.

Keoni Texeira took over the lead on the restart, moving underneath Moorhead on the inside of turn four to lead lap three. Antioch’s Shawn Arriaga, the heat race winner, duplicated the pass to grab second from Moorhead on lap six. Bower and points leader David Prickett of Fresno followed suit.

The top-three of Texeira, Arriaga, and Bower ran in close formation as they approached the lapped car of Kyle Hawse from Las Vegas. Bower went to the outside in a bid to steal the lead. Texeira looked low on Hawse in turn two and rode over Hawse’s left rear wheel for a violent flip. Texeira was uninjured but eliminated from the race. Bower led the final four laps for the win over Arriaga, Prickett, Moorhead, and Hawse.

Watsonville’s Billy Nelson topped a 16-car turnout for the 20-lap Hobby Stock feature win. Adriane Frost led the way for the first 13 laps, defending challenges from Santa Cruz’s Terry Campion and Nelson. Steve Remde of Watsonville spun in turn one for a caution on lap 13. Nelson went around Frost on the outside on the restart to take the lead. Remde spun again on lap 18, but Nelson held the lead over the final two laps for victory. Rob Gallaher finished second followed by 13th starting Chad Ragsdale of Merced, DJ Keldsen of Newman, and Frost.

San Jose’s Randy Miller added to his IMCA Sport Mod points lead with his second win of the season on Friday night. Scott Foster led the opening lap before five-time 2021 winner Fred Ryland of Brentwood took over on lap two. Miller started eighth but advanced to second by lap five. Ryland spun from the lead in lapped traffic, moving to avoid Justin Carr and getting tagged by Charlie Hunter. Ryland hit the backstretch wall to bring out the yellow on lap 11. He restarted from the rear of the field but surrendered the lead to Miller.

Miller led through a pair of restarts to take the win while Jarrod Mounce of Atwater won a back-and-forth battle for second. Trevor Clymens of Oakley, 2020 champion Adriane Frost, and Jim DiGiovanni of Morgan Hill rounded out the top-five.

The 11th Howard Kaeding Classic continues Saturday night with a $6,900-to-win, $1,000-to-start feature for the NARC King of the West Fujitsu Racing Series. The 410 Sprint Cars will be joined by IMCA Modifieds, Hobby Stocks, and Police-in-Pursuit. Grandstands open at 3:30pm with hot laps at 4:45pm and racing to follow. Tickets will be available at the gate. The NARC Benevolent Fund fundraiser luncheon takes place at 1pm with a $20 donation for a BBQ lunch.

Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo – 11th Howard Kaeding Classic July 16, 2021

1. 3-Kaleb Montgomery[3]; 2. 42X-Tim Kaeding[9]; 3. 88A-Joey Ancona[2]; 4. 69-Bud Kaeding[12]; 5. 17-Justin Sanders[5]; 6. 88-Koen Shaw[17]; 7. 83T-Tanner Carrick[8]; 8. 88N-DJ Netto[11]; 9. 22-Keith Day Jr[1]; 10. 83V-Sean Becker[7]; 11. 38B-Blake Carrick[15]; 12. 25Z-Jason Chisum[20]; 13. 15T-Tristan Guardino[21]; 14. 5R-Ryan Rocha[23]; 15. 8-Jeremy Chisum[19]; 16. 4F-Burt Foland Jr[18]; 17. 7H-Jake Haulot[13]; 18. 72S-Bradley Dillard[14]; 19. 21-Corey Day[4]; 20. 2-JJ Ringo[6]; 21. 72W-Kurt Nelson[10]; 22. 34-Ryon Nelson[24]; 23. 58-Jerry Bonnema[22]; 24. 5J-Kalib Henry[16]

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About Steven Blakesley

Steven Blakesley is a motorsports announcer and public relations specialist with more than 15 years of experience. His biggest pet peeve is race fans who only enjoy one form of racing over all others.