By Dan Fleisher

            What do Richard Harvey Jr., Michael Trimble, Peter Murphy and to a lesser degree “Cowboy” Craig Smith and Rob Hammond all have in common? They have damaged machines!! What does Brent Kaeding have in his hand, a second SCRA 360 Sprint victory. Those were the two featured stories during the first of three visits to Ocean Speedway in Watsonville (CA) on June 9th.

            Kaeding, the incredible, multi-talented driver barely held off the hard charging Daniel Hood to capture his second main event of the young season. Starting from the outside of the second row, Kaeding moved up slowly but surely. By lap ten, he moved into third behind leaders Hood and Michael Trimble. On the next lap, Trimble bounced his right-rear off the backstretch wall and flipped wildly, moving the wily veteran Kaeding into second for the anticipated restart. Trimble was uninjured but the front-end of his No. 15 machine was “gone.” Unseen to most of the fans was the fact that while in the midst of his flip, his machine bounced off the No. 39 of Smith who was running a comfortable fifth, waiting to make his move to the front. Unfortunately, repairs couldn’t be made to either machine.

            Hood took starter Lee Jaskowiak’s green flag and was determined to hold off Kaeding but it was to no avail. Kaeding made a slick move entering turn one to pass Hood on lap 16 and appeared headed for a comfortable win. However, Jonathan Logan came to a stop in turn four with a broken rear-end bringing out the final yellow of the evening. He was still credited with a seventh-place finish

This allowed Hood to ride Kaeding’s bumper and set up a made dash to the finish. It was just that. Exiting turn two on the final lap, Hood attempted to pass Kaeding on the outside but the Campbell, CA resident would have none of it. They brushed against each other, they bounced off the outer retaining wall, they regained control of their respective machines and received the checkers only one car length apart in an exiting finish. Rounding out the top five were Rusty Carlile and Peter Murphy, who were only 100 yards behind, and Albert Pombo, who looked very “racy.”

            They action was not over however. After Carlile crossed the stripe, he slowed his red machine but Murphy was still on the gas. Unable to stop in time, and not wanting to rear-end Carlile, Murphy attempted to fit through the narrow track exit, but it was too narrow. He bounced off two huge tractor tires and nearly destroyed his car. Fortunately, he suffered no injuries.

On the subject of suffering no injuries, Richard Harvey Jr. flipped while attempting to pass Rob Hammond in the second heat race and landed on top of the crash wall. The front end was heavily damaged and repairs could not be made trackside. It was especially disappointing for Harvey as he had qualified for the Dash and would have started within the first three rows. Hammond’s car suffered a broken shock tower but repairs were completed in time for him to run the feature.

            Steve Osborne and Murphy won the heat races while Trimble captured the Dash. Trimble, fresh from his victory in the Grand Slam at Bakersfield a few weeks ago, impressed all in attendance. He started the main from the pole and quickly jumped to a five-car length lead. It looked as though he might run away with the race although it was early. Hood, who was exceptionally strong in his heat, worked his way past Trimble on lap nine before the teenage experienced his flip. Trimble hopes to compete in next weekend’s back-to-back events at Watsonville next Friday and Chowchilla on Saturday.


Time trials: #69 Brent Kaeding 14.438, #39 Craig Smith 14.490, #33 Daniel Hood 14.575, #59 Richard Harvey 14.853, #15 Michael Trimble 14.913, #51 Rusty Carlile 14.952, #21 Jonathan Logan 14.964, #9 Steve Osborne 15.029,#4 Peter Murphy 15.118, #17 Rob Hammond 15.432, #13 Jeff Fiscus 15.499, #3 Albert Pombo 16.277


MAIN 20 Laps:  Kaeding, Hood, Carlile, Murphy, Pombo, Fiscus, Logan, Osborne, Trimble,  Smith, Hammond, Harvey.