It was opening night for Pat and Jim Pettit Memorial Shooting at Ocean Speedway. (top photo of Doug)
WATSONVILLE, CA – The opening night of the Pat and Jim Pettitt Memorial Championships at Ocean Speedway saw a youngster win one of his best career performances, with Troy Morris III claiming a 33-lap IMCA-adjusted win.
Cal Kankey and three-time track champion Rob Gallagher also took wins during the Friday night portion of the 12th annual event. There were 114 cars in action across IMCA’s modified, modified, sports, and hobby stock divisions.
Morris drove offshore Cody Burke, the 2020 and 2021 Ocean Champion at the start of the lead advantage. Tim Balding stopped the fourth turn to be cautious on the fourth lap. Morris faced heavy traffic on lap 14 with a three-pointer ahead of him.
I boiled it down one lap with the cars bouncing all over the track. Les Friend was badly damaged by Matthew Hagio, which sent Hagio by plane to the first turn. Both drivers were disqualified from the event. JC Elrod was on contact as well and later pulled out of the race on lap 21.
Future Hall of Famer’s fourth Bobby Hogg broke from the pack to lead from his fifth to second. Try to pass through Morris on multiple occasions in a tight fight.
Maurice never gave up, and scored a major victory.
Hogge settled in second place followed by Burke. Former track champion Brian Cass was a hard-charged 15th-to-4th, followed by Andy Obertello in fifth.
A late raise from Cal Kaneki earned him his 23rd IMCA Athletic Modified Tour victory after a marathon with red flags and warning flags. Marcus Frazier led the opening round before being warned of the wreck. Brent Curran came out of it to lead the third lap.
Troy Morris Jr. did the third turn and almost collected Kaneki, which required additional yellow.
The deadliest moment of the night came early in the second half when a three-way collision along the front swallowed Ethan Killingsworth. He flipped violently sideways in a tangle with Andrew Beckham and took heavy hits from Kenny Schrader and KC Keeler. Killingsworth was unharmed.
The bend of the four-car bulkhead showed a warning on the next attempt upon restart.
Kanki challenged Mark Garner for second, and took the center outside on lap 13. Ryan Smith slowed at the top of the second lap to make a yellow on lap 17. Kanki challenged Curran for the lead multiple times over the last six laps.
Kaneki drove around Curran from the outside to lead lap 21 and was followed by Andrew Pearce for second. Kanki, winner of the 2021 Pettit Shootout, scored wins over Pierce, Curran, Fred Ryland and Tyler Blankenship.
The three-time Ocean Speedway champ is back on the track and into the victory lane after 23 laps. DJ Keldsen led the way from first place. Second starter Taylor DiCarlo and third Bobby Motts were both part of the warnings in the early stages.
Jon Tevis stopped for caution on lap six. Gallagher took the opportunity to drive out of Keldsen to take the lead on lap eight. Kodie Dean hit the back wall while running in the top five on lap eight, while the multi-car spin occurred simultaneously in the first turn.
Gallagher had a 2.883sec victory over Kelsen, Ryan Hart, Mark Cooper and Clarence Holbrook.
Modified IMCA Advantage (33 laps)
1. 07X – Troy Morris III; 2. 2-Bobby Hogg IV; 3. 20 Cody Burke; 4. 55-Brian Cass; 5. 29- Andy Obertello; 6. 17-Nick DiCarlo; 7. 49- Troy Folger; 8. 29C – Aaron Crowell; 9. 4X – Anthony Slane; 10. 6- Jim Petit II; 11. 77D- Cool Dick; 12. 28K- Chester Synagogue; 13. 50- Michael Paul Jr.; 14. 66- Kevin Pendergrass; 15. 22G-Paul Guglielmoni; 16. 7- Chris Crombie; 17. 84X-JC Elrod; 18. 1- Shaun Nahnstedt; 19. 168-Bou Krebs; 20. 92- Les Friend; 21. 14 H – Matthew Hagioh; 22. 1B- Tim Balding