Marsh, Allee sail to IMCA wins at Ocean

Robert Marsh led all 25 laps in winning the Friday night feature for Friesen Performance IMCA Modifieds at Ocean Speedway. (Photo by Top Dawg Racing Photos)

By Steven Blakesley

Blakesley Sports Media 

WATSONVILLE, Calif. (May 10, 2024) – Robert Marsh and Steven Allee were IMCA feature winners on Friday night during round five at Ocean Speedway.

Marsh led all 25 laps for the Friesen Performance IMCA Modified victory. Outside polesitter Todd Hermosillo drifted outside the top five within the first two laps of action. Eighth starting Jim Pettit II, aiming for his third consecutive track championship, drove up to second by lap six and brought along Jacob Mallett, Jr. into third on lap seven.

Pettit ran on Marsh’s bumper through traffic before the caution flew on lap 19 for debris in turn four.

Pettit drove inside of Marsh twice in turn three to no avail. Marsh and Pettit raced side-by-side down the front stretch on lap 24 but Marsh edged ahead. Robert Marsh scored the win followed by Pettit, Mallet, Bobby Hogge IV and Raymond Keldsen.

Allee earned his first career Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMod feature win in a 20-lap contest.

Mike Kofnovec Jr. led from the pole position and was also searching for a breakthrough win. A caution flew on lap one when Mike Gil and Jim DiGiovanni had hard contact in turn one. On the restart, Jeff Mead seized the lead on the outside line.

By lap seven, Mead had accumulated a half-lap advantage over Kofnovec and a close pack behind him. 

But the old adage of a car running best before it expires came true on lap nine, with Mead going up in smoke out of the rear end with mechanical issues. He was unable to continue.

The close battle for second then became the battle for the lead, with Kofnovec in command. 2023 track champion Chuck Golden spun from fourth to bring out the caution, setting up a five-lap run to the finish.

Allee stormed to the outside line, driving fourth to second on lap 16. Allee worked to the outside of Kofnovec on the final lap and charged to the checkered flag in a last-corner pass. Kofnovec settled for second followed by Matthew Hagio, Emali VanHoff and Igor Gandzuk.

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