Thorson Has The Key At Ocean Oval

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Tanner Thorson in victory lane. (Joe Shivak photo)

WATSONVILLE, Calif. — Tanner Thorson won the 58th running of the Johnny Key Classic Saturday night at Ocean Speedway.

Driving the famous Tri-C Motorsports No. 3c, the Minden, Nevada, driver picked up $5,000 for his efforts in the 50-lap Civil War Series race around the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds oval.

Shane Golobic’s Matt Wood Motorsports No. 17w finished second, just ahead of Bud Kaeding’s Williams Motorsports No. 0. Mitchell Faccinto and Cory Eliason rounded out the top five.

The race got off to a rocky start very shortly after the 22-car field took the green. Nick Ringo flipped his No. 3T in the third turn on the opening lap causing a red flag stoppage. On the restart, second row starter Justin Sanders flipped his No. 56 going into the first turn causing another immediate red flag.

On the restart, outside pole sitter Eliason got the jump on Thorson who started from the point. Eliason would lead the first 25 laps after fending off strong challenges from Thorson on the quarter-mile track. Kurt Nelson would hold down the third spot ahead of Faccinto and Brad Furr. A halfway break on lap 25 would allow crews 10 minutes to work on the cars and add fuel.

When the race restarted, Dustin Golobic would bring out the first caution with a turn-one spin. Nelson’s race would end on lap 30 when he ended up against the beginning of the backstretch wall. He was the fourth-place running car.

With the track starting to slick over, first Thorson would have a miscue in the second turn, almost spinning out but recovered to hold on to the second spot. Eliason wasn’t as lucky as his miscue cost him three positions. Golobic got past Eliason, but still would trail Thorson at the checkered flag.

The finish:

Tanner Thorson, Shane Golobic, Bud Kaeding, Mitchell Faccinto, Cory Eliason, Kyle Hirst, Ryan Bernal, Brad Furr, Colby Copeland, Mathew Moles, D.J. Netto, Cole Macedo, Dustin Golobic, Koen Shaw, Jeremy Chisum, Scott Parker, Kurt Nelson, Dustin Freitas, Colby Johnson, Cody Lamar, Justin Sanders, Nick Ringo.