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Justin Sanders Wins Explosive Johnny Key Classic With Civil War Series presented by Flowmaster


(PETERSEN MEDIA- Aptos, CA)-  After 50 laps around the Ocean Speedway on Saturday night, tempers flared and emotions ran high, but one man with a smile on his face was Justin Sanders as he claimed his first career Johnny Key Classic and first Civil War Series presented by Flowmaster win of the 2016 season.

Starting on the front row of the feature event by way of his Dash for Cash win, the Watsonville, CA driver jumped out to the early lead over fellow front row starter, Sean Becker at the start of the grueling feature event.

With Sanders quickly gapping the field over Becker Tommy Tarlton, and Andy Forsberg, Kyle Hirst would make noise from his seventh row starting spot as he quickly worked his way forward and into the top-seven.

Sanders quick pace would become his own worst enemy as he would quickly encounter traffic on the immaculately prepared Ocean Speedway surface and allow Becker to close in on him.

On the 12th marker, Sanders would be forced to check up, and behind him Becker would overtake the top spot with a full head of steam just before the caution flag flew one lap later.

As Ed Entz showed the green flag to the field, Becker would look strong in open track as he opened up a sizeable lead and set a quick pace out front as the action picked up behind him with drivers doing anything they could to race their way forward with dive bomb moves and daring passing attempts the norm on this night.

With two and three wide racing in the back of the pack thrilling the crowd, Becker would run have the same fate Sanders did on the 20th lap, as he would take evasive action in traffic and give Sanders the lead.

Lap 25 would see the mandatory red flag fly with Justin Sanders leading the way over Becker, Tarlton, Mitchell Faccinto, and Shane Golobic rounding out the top-five.

Following a quick five minute stop where crews could make any changes they saw fit, the Civil War Series presented by Flowmaster feature would come back to life with Sanders continuing to flex his muscle out front.

The battle for second would heat up, as Becker and Tarlton would exchange blows as the duo began to run wheel to wheel.

On the 30th lap, the duo would fight for the same piece of real estate and it would result in Becker getting upside down. With Becker flipping, fourth running Kyle Hirst would get a piece of the action and Willie Croft would too get involved in the mess.

With Becker and Hirst both on the shelf, Croft would be able to restart from the tail end of the field.

A couple of caution flags on lap 37 and 40 would set up an exciting 10-lap shoot out to the finish. The restart on lap 40 would see Shane Golobic storm out to the lead in turns one and two, but as the rest of the field got through the corner, Klint Simpson would get upside down and force a single file restart.

Sanders would get the jump, but Golobic would hang right with him, as Cory Eliason was able to get around Tommy Tarlton to take over the third spot, as Mitchell Faccinto and DJ Netto began to battle.

With Sanders leading the way, traffic would come into play with just a few laps to go in the wild feature event.  Golobic would get close to Sanders on a pair of occasions, but in the end it was the local product picking up his first career Johnny Key Classic win.

Golobic would hang to finish second, Eliason third, Tarlton fourth, and Faccinto rounding out the Top-Five. DJ Netto would finish sixth, Brent Kaeding would have a strong showing as he advanced from 22nd to finish seventh, Logan Seavey eight, Jason Statler ninth after starting 23rd, and Michael Kofoid would round out the Top-10.

Saturday night would see a total of 38 cars check into the pit area, with 34 drivers vying for 18 spots in the Johnny Key Classic feature event.

Shane Golobic would get the night started off with quick time honors, and heat race wins would go to Cory Eliason, Andy Forsberg, Mitchell Faccinto, and Willie Croft.

Twin B Mains were ran on this night with wins going to Klint Simpson and DJ Netto. The special Johnny Key Classic format also offered a Last Chance Qualifier and Scott parker would win that to punch his ticket into the feature event.

The eight lap Dash for Cash made up of the four Johnny Key Classic lock in drivers and four heat race winners would be won by Justin Sanders.

2016 Schedule

September 7th– Silver Dollar Speedway (Gold Cup)

September 17th– Marysville Raceway

September 24th– Petaluma Speedway

November 5th– Stockton Dirt Track (Tribute To GP)

ON TAP: The Civil War Series presented by Flowmaster will take a couple of weeks off before taking to the Silver Dollar Speedway on Wednesday September 7th as the curtain raises on the 63rd Annual Gold Cup Race of Champions.

WINNERS: Willie Croft (March 25th, Silver Dollar Speedway), Andy Forsberg (May 28th, Marysville Raceway), Cory Eliason (May 29th, Silver Dollar Speedway), Steven Tiner (June 11th, Placerville Speedway), Sean Becker (June 18th, Petaluma Speedway), Kyle Hirst (July 15th Ocean Speedway), Sean Becker (August 6th Placerville Speedway), Justin Sanders (August 20th Ocean Speedway).

STAY CONNECTED: Keep up with the Civil War Series Presented By Flowmaster, and find complete results and point standings by clicking over to, ‘Liking’, or following us on twitter at For more information on Flowmaster, please visit

CIVIL WAR SERIES PRESENTED BY FLOWMASTER- Founded in 1991 as the North-South Series, the Civil War Sprint Car Series was born in 1993 giving 360ci Sprint Cars in California a sanctioning body. What started as just a handful of races at three different tracks has evolved into quite the series. In 2016, the Civil War Sprint Car Series will host 12 events at 6 different tracks around California.




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