WATSONVILLE, CALIFORNIA (July 16, 2023) – Two-time defending Western Midget Racing champion Blake Bower of Brentwood earned $1000 as the victor of the 13th annual Howard Kaeding Classic on Saturday night at Ocean Speedway in Watsonville. The win is Bower’s 12th at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds dirt track.

Bower won the fast heat race for the top-six finishers from Friday night’s feature, earning the pole for the 25-lap main event. Lodi’s Nate Wait won the second heat race.

Surprise, Arizona’s Drake Edwards put on a driving clinic in the feature that was ultimately nullified on the scales after the race. Edwards, the Friday winner, chipped away from his fifth starting position while Bower enjoyed the race lead from the pole position.

Edwards charged around the outside of Santa Cruz’s Logan Mitchell for third then drove past Oakley’s Bryant Bell for second on lap five. Edwards then soared outside of Bower to lead lap eight.

Bell slowed and exited the race on lap ten. Edwards used the outside to sweep past a majority of the 15-car field in lapped traffic, ultimately accumulating an impressive nine second advantage over Bower.

Edwards crossed the stripe first followed by Bower. Mitchell won a race long battle with Lodi’s Nate Wait followed by Livermore’s Greg Dennett and Adrianna DeMartini of Brentwood. After Edwards was light at the scales, Bower was credited with his 12th Ocean WMR victory and the $1000 prize.

Mitchell and Bell traded the points lead throughout the weekend but Mitchell will lead the series when it returns to action on July 28 at Ocean Speedway and July 29 at Antioch Speedway.

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RESULTS: Ocean Speedway *13th annual Howard Kaeding Classic* July 15, 2023

HEAT 1 (8 LAPS): 9-Blake Bower.; HEAT 2 (8 LAPS): 35W-Nate Wait

FEATURE (20 LAPS): 1. 9-Blake Bower, 2. 96x-Logan Mitchell, 3. 35W-Nate Wait, 4. 7-Greg Dennett, 5. 19-Adrianna DeMartini, 6. 54-Anthony Bruno, 7. 20-Kyle Hawse, 8. 66-Darin Horton, 9. 35X-Tyler Ruth, 10. 15-Adam Weisberg, 11. 68-Marvin Mitchell, 12. 11-AJ Hernandez, 13. 31-Todd Hawse, 14. 09-Bryant Bell, DQ: 4R-Drake Edwards

2023 WMR Schedule – Subject to Change

2.4 Adobe Mountain Speedway – Winner: Dustin Cormany

3.18 Mohave Valley Raceway – Winner: Drake Edwards

3.31 Ocean Speedway – RAIN

4.1 Antioch Speedway – RAIN

4.29 Ventura Raceway – Winner: Bryant Bell

5.12 Ocean Speedway – Winner: Blake Bower

5.13 Petaluma Speedway – Winner: Bryant Bell

6.9 Ocean Speedway – Winner: Blake Bower

6.10 Petaluma Speedway – Winner: Bryant Bell

6.17 Ventura Raceway *Wagsdash* Winner: Drake Edwards

7.14 Ocean Speedway *Howard Kaeding Classic* Winner: Drake Edwards

7.15 Ocean Speedway *Howard Kaeding Classic* Winner: Blake Bower

7.28 Ocean Speedway

7.29 Antioch Speedway

8.11 Ocean Speedway

8.12 Marysville Raceway

9.2 Bakersfield Speedway

9.30 Mohave Valley Raceway

10.21 Ventura Raceway