PETERSEN MEDIA: Friday night at Ocean Speedway, Justin Sanders put on quite a show as he charged from 11th to third to open the Johnny Key Classic weekend before an unfortunate Heat Race accident on Saturday night ended his weekend early.
“Friday night we didn’t get timed in well and we couldn’t win our heat to get in the Dash,” Sanders said. “In the feature I felt really good, and we were able to race our way through the field to a third-place finish.”
With 39 cars checked into the Ocean Speedway on Friday night to open up Johnny Key Classic weekend, Sanders got his weekend started out by timing the North County Plastering/Alkaline88/Andy’s Construction backed No. 17 machine in eight fastest.
Lining up in the second row of his heat race, Sanders would need to pick up the win to earn a spot in the redraw. Able to get into second, Sanders would pressure Bud Kaeding for the top spot, but it was to no avail as his second-place finish would line him up 11th in the 30-lap feature event.
Making headway early, Sanders was able to crack the Top-5 by the 11th lap as he worked the low groove of the Santa Cruz County ¼ mile. Getting into fourth on the 13th lap, Sanders continued to pass cars as he searched for his 10th win of the season at his home track.
With five markers left in the feature, Sanders overtook the third and final position on the podium as he now set his sights on Jake Andreotti who ran in the second position.
Pressuring Andreotti in the final laps, Sanders would narrowly pick off second late, but on this night settled for third.
Back in action on Saturday night with the Sprint Car Challenge Tour for the 61st running of the Johnny Key Classic, Sanders would time in fourth fastest in his qualifying group with 48 cars on hand.
Lining up in the second row of his heat race, trouble would strike Sanders on the initial start. Going into turns one and two, Sanders’ machine would bicycle hard, and it would result in a hard flip.
With his team and numerous teams working feverishly in the pit area to make repairs, they would run out of time, and Sanders’ night would come to an early end.
“It was frustrating to have our night end like it did on Saturday,” Justin Sanders said. “I really want to thank not only my guys, but the numerous other drivers and team members who were in our pit area thrashing to try and get us back out. Unfortunately, the damage was too severe and we ran out of time.”
Justin and his team would like to thank North County Plastering, Alkaline88, Andy’s Construction, Roadside 24hr Service, Wicked Cushion, Roger’s Diner, Factory Kahne, BG Labels and Tee’s, Walker Performance Filtration, Dixon and Son Tires, Ernie’s Service Center, East Lake Village, FK Rod Ends, Triple X Race Co., DMI, Keizer Wheels, Wings Unlimited, Ti64 Titanium, AIS Heating and Sheet Metal, Fred Lint and Family, JonSan Racing, Sandblast Service, G&N Construction, Steitz Towing, Durden Construction, Ernie’s Service Center, and Steve Duppman Racing for their continued support in 2021.
ON TAP: Sanders is now set for KWS Speedweek that kicks off on Thursday night at Merced Speedway.
BY THE NUMBERS: Races-43, Wins-17, Top 5’s-26, Top-10’s-30
STAY CONNECTED: Stay connected with Justin Sanders by visiting his website, www.teamsandersmotorsports.com.
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