6/23/18, Watsonville, CA, By Jim Allen … Hometown driver Justin Sanders became the fifth different winner of the King of the West-NARC Fujitsu Sprint Car Series season, claiming Friday’s exciting 33rd Annual Pombo-Sargent Classic at Ocean Speedway.
Sanders, piloting the Joe Von Schriltz-owned North County Plastering/Dunkel Logistics XXX-chassis sprinter, took advantage of a five-car mid-race melee to take the point from race long leader Jamie Cobby of Australia.
Cobby who captured the Sunnyvalley Bacon dash, started on the pole of the 30-lapper and quickly set the standard on the initial green flag. Sanders stayed within striking distance of the leader, pacing a highspeed freight train that included Colby Copeland, Kyle Hirst, Bud Kaeding and DJ Netto.
Lap traffic on the quarter-mile oval ramped up the pressure several notches beginning on the 12th lap. The front of the pack began to bunch up as they sliced and diced. Everything came to a head on the 15th go round as the top five cars barreled into the first turn inches apart. Cobby and Sanders made contact with the leader spinning.. Before it was over, he reeled in Bud Kaeding who had no place to go, bringing out the caution.
Sanders inherited the lead on the restart and wasn’t about to squander the opportunity. He held off several advances by Copeland. However Copeland’s challenges ended when he sustained damage after making contact with a lapped car with a mile to go. Sanders was in cruise control from that point on and raced to his second career King of the West-NARC victory. He earned $3,000 for his efforts.
“(Jamie) Cobby showed me that the bottom of the track was working early in the race which helped me out a lot,” said Sanders. “Once I got out in front I knew that I had to get after it, especially with Colby (Copeland) challenging me. Everything just worked out tonight.”
Series point leader Kyle Hirst was steady throughout the contest in the Roth Motorsports KPC running either second or third. He hung it out using the high-line for most of the race and settled for the runner-up spot at the checkered.
Shane Golobic started 12th in the grid and methodically marched to the front. He took advantage of the last restart to shoot past Chase Johnson to steal the third position aboard the Tarlton Motorsports KPC. Golobic also earned the Swift Metal Finishing hardcharger award for his efforts.
Johnson was fourth aboard the Safecraft Safety Equipment Maxim after starting 10th. DJ Netto rounded out the top five in the Netto Ag KPC.
The second five to cross the checkered were Mathew Moles, Willie Croft, semi-winner Jeremy Chisum, Colby Copeland and Billy Aton.
PHOTO CREDIT: Paul Trevino Photos
King of the West-NARC Fujitsu Feature Event (30-laps) Justin Sanders, Kyle Hirst, Shane Golobic Chase Johnson, DJ Netto, Mathew Moles, Willie Croft, Jeremy Chisum, Colby Copeland, Billy Aton, Dustin Golobic, Kyle Offill, Koen Shaw, Kurt Nelson, Mark Barroso, Jenna Frazier, Jarrett Soares, Tanner Carrick, Marcus Dumesny, Gary Paulson, Jammie Cobby, Bud Kaeding.
Lap Leaders: Cobby 1-14, Sanders 15-30
Fast Time (26 cars): Kyle Hirst – 11.502 seconds
Brown & Miller Racing Solutions Heat One (10 laps): Kyle Hirst, Jamie Cobby, Marcus Dumesny, DJ Netto, Chase Johnson, Billy Aton, Koen Shaw, Jenna Frazier.
Hydrochem PSC Heat Two (10 laps): Colby Copeland, Bud Kaeding, Mathew Moles, Dustin Golobic, Jarrett Soares, Kyle Offill, Gary Paulson, Bryan Grier.
The Cushion Heat Three (10 laps): Justin Sanders, Shane Golobic, Willie Croft, Tanner Carrick, Kurt Nelson, Mark Barroso, Jeremy Chisum, Richard Fajardo, Nathan Rolfe.
Sunnyvalley Bacon Trophy Dash (6 laps): Jamie Cobby, Justin Sanders, Kyle Hirst, Colby Copeland, Bud Kaeding, Willie Croft.
Kaeding Performance Center Semi-Main (12 laps): Jeremy Chisum, Billy Aton, Koen Shaw, Mark Barroso, Gary Paulson, Kyle Offill, Jenna Frazier, Nathan Rolfe, Bryan Grier, Richard Fajardo