Tanner Carrick Lifts Curtain on Ocean Speedway’s 2024 Season With Taco Bravo Victory

Lincoln’s Tanner Carrick withstood an onslaught of restarts and challengers to triumph in the curtain raiser for the 2024 Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo, Friday night at Watsonville’s Ocean Speedway. Carrick prevailed in a 30-lap contest as part of a five-division program at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds.

Clovis’ Dominic Gorden led time trials as the only car dipping into the 10 second lap times driving car No. 10. Penngrove’s Chase Johnson then won the dash to earn the pole for the 30-lap feature.

Johnson sprinted ahead and led the field into lapped traffic quickly. Johnson spun on the exit of turns one and two in traffic, however, for the first caution on lap seven – surrendering the lead to Carrick.

Carrick and Gorden ran side-by-side on the restart with Carrick narrowly edging Gorden to lead lap nine. Carrick solidly had the top spot in hand by lap 10. The red flag flew that same lap for Vince Giannotta flipping in turn two. When action resumed, Johnson marched through the pack. His march came to an early end when he flipped in turn two for a red flag on lap 14.

Caeden Steele tried to seize second from Gorden on the restart using the bottom line. A series of incidents slowed the action including fifth running Seth Standley of Yuba City crashing on the front stretch.

Gorden retook second from Steele from the outside line, then used a lap 21 restart to approach Carrick. Gorden nearly nabbed the lead but fell short. Carrick darted to victory over the final nine circuits. Gorden settled for second followed by Steele, Kurt Nelson of Gilroy, and Arizona’s Nick Parker.

The nightcap was the 25-lap IMCA Modified feature, with multiple track champions from across California littered throughout the field. Salinas’ Bobby Hogge put on a master class of passing, then dominated the rest of the way. Hogge charged from tenth to second in the first few laps, avoiding a crash involving Jacob Mallet, Jr. of Oakley, Salinas’ Cody Burke, and Robert Marsh of Salinas. Hogge then drove up the inside of Hollister’s Andy Obertello on lap eight to take the lead.

Hogge accumulated a 6.4 second advantage at the stripe followed by Obertello, Jim Pettit II of Prunedale, Andrew Peckham of Grass Valley, and Austin Burke of Salinas.

IMCA Sport Modified action saw Buddy Kniss of Oakley fend off Fred Ryland of Brentwood in a classic 20-lap duel to start the season. The pair went side-by-side on lap 16 but Kniss held court once again. Kniss saw the checkered flag with a three car length advantage followed by Ryland, Mark Garner of Antioch, Emali VanHoff of Chowchilla, and 2023 champion Chuck Golden of Pittsburg.

Track champions ruled in both the Hobby Stocks and Four Bangers. In Hobby Stock racing, Joe Gallaher advanced from sixth on the grid to take the lead from DJ Keldsen of Freedom on lap five. The lone caution of the race fell on lap 13 when his 16-year-old grandson Bobby Gallaher had a trip through the infield in turn three. Joe Gallaher was undeterred as he took the win over Keldsen, Shane Freeman of Prunedale, Adriane Frost of Watsonville, and Bobby Gallaher.

Moss Landing’s Jason Lazzerini won ten Four Banger features in 2023 and the track championship. He resumed his winning ways on Friday night in the 15-lap contest. Tony Gullo of Watsonville ran second followed by Kate Beardsley of Felton, Travis VanGilder of Felton, and Shelbie Freeman of Prunedale.

Ocean Speedway races again on Friday April 19 for round two of the Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo plus IMCA Modifieds, Hobby Stocks, and Four Bangers

Ocean Speedway April 12, 2024 – Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo

A Feature 1 (30 Laps): 1. 83T-Tanner Carrick[2]; 2. 10-Dominic Gorden[3]; 3. 121-Caeden Steele[4]; 4. 72W-Kurt Nelson[17]; 5. 115-Nick Parker[7]; 6. 17-Rickey Sanders[8]; 7. 28X-Gauge Garcia[9]; 8. 61-Travis Labat[15]; 9. 3D-Caleb Debem[6]; 10. 29-Bud Kaeding[10]; 11. 72S-Bradley Dillard[13]; 12. 9-Adrianna DeMartini[12]; 13. OB1-Orville Burke[14]; 14. 25S-Seth Standley[5]; 15. 28-Chase Johnson[1]; 16. 25Z-Jason Chisum[11]; 17. 72JR-Chris Nelson[16]; 18. 98-Vince Giannotta[18]

Ocean Speedway PR