By Steven Blakesley
Blakesley Sports Media
WATSONVILLE, Calif. (Sept. 30, 2023) – Troy Foulger completed the sweep of the Pat and Jim Pettit Memorial Shootout at Ocean Speedway in Saturday’s 103-lap finale, grabbing the 13th annual Friesen Performance IMCA Modified event in Watsonville.
The victory paid $3,006 to win in the extra distance affair at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds after Foulger snared $1,003 and Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational qualifying eligibility on Friday night.
“Thank you to the Pettit family for everything they do. They are a wonderful family and give us a great race,” Foulger said. “Hats off to the track crew and hopefully that was a good show for the fans. I saw (Nick DeCarlo’s) nose down there and I didn’t know what pace to set. Lapped traffic was thick so I just started sliding people. So I kind of moved my line down there in three and four and was able to get away.”
Hall of Famer Jim Pettit II led the 22 starters from the pole position before Foulger took over the lead on lap two. The race saw its only caution flag fly on lap 12.
Defending Pettit Shootout winner Troy Morris III took over second on the restart. Pettit challenged on the inside but Morris was able to hold the second spot.
DeCarlo used lapped traffic to advance into fourth past Robby Sawyer on lap 28. Foulger led Morris, Pettit, DeCarlo and Sawyer into the lap 50 break for refueling on the front stretch.
When action resumed, Pettit finally overhauled Morris for second on lap 55. DeCarlo followed suit, driving outside of Morris for third on lap 57.
Pettit approached Foulger in traffic, using the outside to nab the lead on lap 68. Foulger knifed back to the inside to retake the lead on lap 69. DeCarlo then took over second from Pettit on lap 80 and turned his attention to Foulger.
DeCarlo dove underneath Foulger for the lead on several occasions in turn four to no avail. Foulger persevered to win the marathon feature followed by DeCarlo, Pettit and Morris. Andrew Peckham was the quickest qualifier but finished last place in the feature to be awarded the Hard Luck award.
Cale Kanke led wire-to-wire to win his second Pettit Shootout of the last three years in Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMods. The 33-lap feature win paid $1,006 to win.
Kanke started on the outside pole but led lap one. Jacob Mallett, Jr. spun from sixth for a caution on lap six. Jeremy Hoff and Fred Ryland of Brentwood dueled for second on the restart. Ryland made the pass on lap eight.
Levi Keifer got rolling on the outside, advancing alongside Ryland for second. Hoff then took second back on lap 13 in the back-and-forth battling for the position. Ryland eventually used a crossover to seize the position on the backstretch on lap 23. Keifer then retired from the race.
Kanke cruised ahead unopposed for the win followed by Ryland, Kenny Shrader, Kc Keller and Tanner Thomas. Friday night winner Jason Ryan Jr. was the Hard Luck recipient.