Carl Berendsen, Randy Miller, Terre Rothweiler and Nick Scentani snag Ocean Speedway wins on Friday
Watsonville, CA – July 23, 2021…Carl Berendsen, Randy Miller, Terre Rothweiler and Nick Scentani earned victories in their respective divisions on Friday night at the Ocean Speedway in Watsonville, California.
Four classes of race cars graced the quarter-mile on Friday, which greeted competitors with temperatures barely above 70, while the valley was socked in with triple digit weather.
The 30-lap IMCA Dirt Modified feature started out with Prunedale’s Fred Lind jumping into the lead. The complexion of the race changed on lap three however, as a major stack up in the first corner eliminated five cars from the field. Antioch’s Carl Berendsen showed his muscle early and pressured Lind for the top-spot, getting alongside him on lap seven. The following circuit saw Berendsen get the drive he needed to take over the lead and after that he began to stretch it out.
Track favorite Tim Balding followed along for second shortly after as well, before Salinas legend Bobby Hogge IV sliced his way to the runner up spot on lap 15. Berendsen had a sizeable advantage but in typical Bobby Hogge fashion that did not last till the end. Hogge closed right up to his bumper and got alongside him with 25-laps complete. Slight contact occurred between the pair and Hogge would slow one lap later to draw a caution.
When the green flag waved again Berendsen cut perfect laps and went to take the checkered flag over Balding, JC Elrod, Rick Diaz and Freddie Plourde. Heat race wins during the night were pocketed by Jim Pettit II and JC Elrod.
The 20-lap IMCA Sport Mod finale turned out to be a final corner thriller for the crowd on hand. Oakley’s Scott Foster assumed the lead on the opening lap but felt heavy pressure from Chowchilla’s Kodie Dean, prior to a caution waving on lap 10. An extremely close and competitive race then developed between Foster, San Jose’s Randy Miller and Brentwood’s Trevor Clymens. The trio put on a show up front until a yellow on lap 16 set up a quick dash to the finish.
Foster continued to lead but had to deal with the challenges of Miller, who sat all over him. When the white flag waved it was a two-man race up front. Rounding the final corner Foster got a bit wide as Miller shot to the bottom and took the win away coming to the checkered. Foster contacted the front stretch wall but still motored on to score second at the stripe over Adriane Frost, Clymens and Jim DiGiovanni. Heat race wins went to Dean, Clymens and Foster.
The South Bay Dwarf Car feature was another closely contested battle up front. Santa Cruz driver Terre Rothweiler jumped into the lead at the green flag but things were certainly not easy for him up front. Multiple-time Ocean Speedway winner this year Tommy Velasquez III of Camarillo closed up and kept the leader honest every step of the way. T-3 was able to get alongside Rothweiler at the halfway point before a yellow waved with six-laps remaining.
Velasquez would pop his nose in a bid for the lead on several occasions, but Rothweiler remained calm, cool and collected to grab the win over the So-Cal driver. Travis Day, Eric Weisler and Fred Dickey completed the top-five in the 20-lap contest. Ocean Speedway Promoter John Prentice captured the opening heat race for the Dwarf Cars while Velasquez snagged heat two.
Not very often does a driver win the main event in their first ever race, but that’s exactly what Nick Scentani did on Friday in the Four Banger division. The Morgan Hill driver piloted a car owned by veteran Wally Kennedy and led all 15-laps in the feature. Kate Beardsley, Kenny Stragalinos, Nicole Beardsley and Bill Beardsley rounded out the top-five. Stragalinos claimed the lone heat race held during the evening.
The Ocean Speedway returns to action next Friday July 30th with the Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo, IMCA Sport Mods, Four Bangers, Police-N-Pursuit and the WMR Midgets.
Images courtesy of TOP Dawg Photos