By Bill Sullivan /Civil War Series Media Relations
WATSONVILLE, CA (7-8-11) – The Hoosier Racing Tires Civil War Sprint Car Series launched two consecutive days of competition at two different tracks in two different coastal regions on Friday night. When the checkered flag waved at Ocean Speedway a new face was added to the 2010 Civil War Series list of victors as San Jose's Tim Kaeding charged to victory in the 30-lap feature that slated the Taco Bravo Sprint Car Series up against the Civil War Winged Warriors at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds.
A total of 36 cars formed the field Friday night, the first of two season visits at the quarter-mile dirt oval in Watsonville. Throughout the evening the Taco Bravo regulars that compete on a weekly basis at the popular track held the upper hand against the Civil War travelers.
In the 30 lap feature event, St. Helena's Rico Abreu was the first driver into the lead at the waving of the green flag. Abreu charged off the front row ahead of Penngrove's Alissa Geving at the start of the event and would maintain his lead for all but three laps of the event. Those three laps were some of the most important ones of the race, yet some of the most exciting for the Ocean Speedway fans.
Geving pursued Abreu for the lead with Princeton's Mason Moore on her tail in the early laps of the race. Moore passed for the bridesmaid position to lead the fourth lap until Geving rallied back in to the position one lap later while Kaeding powered his way from fourth into third to begin pursuing Geving for the second spot.
With seven laps complete, the TK Express went into overdrive and powered his way into the second place over Geving to begin setting his sights on Abreu. Meanwhile, seventh place starter Kyle Larson of Elk Grove managed his way into the battle and chased down Kaeding, passing him for the second position with 19 laps complete to initiate a three way contest for the lead that went into the final 10 laps of the event.
After slicing and dicing their way through traffic and among one another, it wall came down to the final four laps. Kaeding moved back into the second position with just three laps to go and gave it everything he had in the Roth Motorsports #83jr heading into the final three laps. After leading the race since the beginning, Abreu fell victim to a late race pass by Kaeding on lap 28 that put him in victory lane in the Civil War Sprint Car Series for the first time in several years.
Kaeding was followed across the line by Larson. Abreu finished in third followed by Tommy Tarlton of Easton and Geving. Campbell's Bud Kaeding finished in the sixth spot trailed by Visalia's Steven Tiner, Moore, Ronnie Day of Salinas and Prunedale's Justin Sanders.
In preliminary competition Friday night, the B feature was claimed by Tarlton who transferred into the money race along with Sanders, Tiner, Orval Zane Burke Jr., Kirk Simpson and Kyle Hirst.
Heat race victories were claimed by Abreu, Craig Smith, Eric Humphries and Tim Kaeding. Ronnie Day was the fast qualifier of the night with an 11:692 over Bud Kaeding, Larson and Tarlton.
Friday's event was tough on some of the Civil War top point runners. Point leader and defending five time champion Andy Forsberg of Auburn rolled across the finish line in the 12th position in the A-feature Friday night. Sean Becker of Roseville was third in the standings entering the night and failed to transfer into the A-feature with a 8th place in the B main. Fourth place point man Herman Klein of Sacramento was a no show while fifth place point runner Mike Henry of Citrus Heights ended his night 14th in the B feature.
The Civil War Series will now travel to Petaluma Speedway tonight on the Sonoma-Marin County Fairgrounds for the ninth segment of the 14 race campaign that competes at six different California tracks.
For complete point standings on the Civil War Sprint Car Series visit the official series website at www.civilwarsprints.com. The Civil War Sprint Car Series is presented by Hoosier Racing Tires West. The competitive campaign is managed and officiated by Handy Racing Promotions with the cooperation of each of the six participating tracks in the campaign.