WATSONVILLE — Hanford’s DJ Netto put together a dominating performance Friday night for his second Ocean Sprints feature win of the season at Ocean Speedway.
Sharing victory lane during Hall of Fame Night were Bobby Hogge IV in IMCA Modifieds, Jacob Mallet Jr. in IMCA Sport Mods, Terry Campion in Hobby Stocks and Danny Wagner in South Bay Dwarf Cars.
Netto jumped into the lead at the waving of the green flag in the feature after earning the pole, by way of his win in the six-lap Dash earlier. The initial nine laps clicked off fast and furious following some track work just before the 30-lap contest. Ocean Sprints point leader Kurt Nelson then slowed to a stop in turn two, which drew the caution flag and set up a double file restart. Once getting back under way a long green flag was seen and during it Netto pulled away from the field with ease.
The 2019 NARC champion worked traffic to perfection, at one point having the comfort of six lapped cars between himself and second running Bud Kaeding. A yellow flag on lap 24 brought the party to a stop, but after that things started to heat up. After Ed Entz waved the green flag again, fifth running Kaleb Montgomery made a wild move down low passing three cars to move up to second. He and Kaeding proceeded to battle back and forth in a thrilling duel before Montgomery solidified the spot prior to a caution with three circuits left.
Netto hit his marks on the final restart and drove off to accept the checkered flag aboard his Netto Ag/ Mission Foods No. 88n machine. Montgomery crossed the stripe in second to cap a solid night during his second start with the Keller Motorsports team. Kaeding, JJ Ringo and Jake Andreotti completed the top-five. Both Ringo and Andreotti raced close together for virtually the entire contest. Rounding out the top 10 in the feature were Mitchell Faccinto, Dylan Bloomfield, Rickey Sanders, Joey Ancona and Travis Labat.
On a night when we honored Bobby Hogge III and Al Balding Sr. it was only fitting that their sons ran first and second in the IMCA Modified finale. Early on, it was Andy Obertello who set the pace out front, but he soon had to deal with pressure from Hogge. On lap eight, the duo went side by side only to have a caution slow the pace. On the restart, Hogge shot to the lead but was deemed to have jumped, which docked him two positions for the ensuing attempt.
Hogge did not let that deter him however, as the multi-time Ocean Speedway champion moved back to second shortly after and then blasted to the lead on lap 14. At that point Tim Balding was putting on an exhilarating charge from the 13th starting spot. A green, white, checkered restart would settle things and during it Balding tucked right up to the inside of the leader, but Hogge hung tough and accepted the Ed Entz checkered flag for yet another Watsonville triumph.
Balding came home with an impressive runner up finish followed by Obertello, Cody Burke and Jim Pettit II. It marked the fourth Ocean Speedway win of the year for Hogge.
IMCA Sport Mod
The 20-lap IMCA Sport Mod main event saw Billy Robertson lead early, before Jacob Mallet Jr. dispatched of him to take over the top-spot shortly after. The driver known as “J-Money” continued his recent dominance of the quarter mile to dominate the remainder for his fifth victory of the 2022 campaign. Point leader Jonathan Hagio came home in second, followed by Richard Ragsdale, Adriane Frost and Robertson.
The Hobby Stocks put on a wild, back-and-forth affair. Veteran Wally Kennedy carved his way to the early lead but had intense pressure in the form of Terry Campion after a few laps. Campion eventually charged his way past Kennedy to snag the lead on lap eight and brought along a very fast Joe Willoughby. The fight for the top spot was a good one and Willoughby jumped ahead of Campion on lap 12 to snag the point.
Current point leader Joe Gallaher, who was on the move after restarting from the rear of the pack earlier, picked off cars one by one and challenged for the lead until Willoughby slowed with issues just four laps shy of the finish. Gallaher looked to be headed for a ninth win on the season however, slowed down with a flat tire in the final corners, which allowed Campion the chance to pounce for the victory.
Dakota Keldsen, Norm Ayers and Brady Muller rounded out the top five.
South Bay Dwarf Cars
The South Bay Dwarf Cars put on the race of the night as Danny Wagner and Shawn Jones thrilled the crowd. Unofficially, the lead at the line changed hands a total of six times between the talented pair. Jones led the opening circuit until Wagner took command on lap three. The duo raced side by side for nearly 15 consecutive laps. Jones took back the lead at the line on lap eight, before Wagner led lap 11.
Two laps later, Jones held command at the line, but Wagner blasted back by to lead lap 14. After this Wagner pulled away over the final stages to pick up another Ocean Speedway victory this season. Jones, Eric Weisler, Mark Biscardi and Ricardo Rivera completed the top five.
IF YOU GO
Taco Bravo Night No. 16; Tribute to Terry Traub Night
When: Friday, 6 pm
Events: Ocean Sprints, IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Mods, Hobby Stocks, and WMR Midgets
Where: Ocean Speedway, Watsonville