WATSONVILLE, CALIFORNIA (July 15, 2023) – Drake Edwards of Surprise, Ariz. won his second consecutive Western Midget Racing feature, and third of the season, during Friday’s 13th annual Howard Kaeding Classic at Ocean Speedway in Watsonville, Calif. Edwards’ win paid $500 and kicked off a double header weekend for the Midgets where $1,000 will be on the line in Saturday’s main event.

Phoenix’s AJ Hernandez and Edwards won the eight-lap heat races, then shared the second row for the 20-lap main event.

Edwards quickly knifed underneath three-time 2023 winner Bryant Bell of Oakley to lead lap one. Action slowed on that same lap when incoming points leader Logan Mitchell of Santa Cruz spun in turns three and four.

Both Tyler Ruth of Glendale, Ariz. and Hernandez slowed to bring out the next caution on lap six. Lodi’s Nate Wait retired from the race while running fifth as well.

11-time Ocean Speedway WMR winner and back-to-back series champion Blake Bower of Brentwood flipped wildly in the second heat race. He started shotgun on the 15-car field but was already up to sixth following the lap six caution.

Edwards led the rest of the way for a convincing win. Bell finished second. Livermore’s Greg Dennett fended off pressure from teenage upstart Adrianna DeMartini of Brentwood to finish third. Bower finished fifth followed by Mitchell.

Those six entries are locked into Saturday’s fast heat and Edwards drew a six invert for the fast heat during victory lane ceremonies. The top-six drivers will battle for their starting positions in the feature before the second heat race sets the grid for positions seventh on back. The Saturday feature is planned for 25-laps and $1,000-to-win.

“It’s cool that they had the Midgets as a part of this event,” Edwards said. “Track was actually really cowboy up and pretty fun.”

For more information visit www.WesternMidgetRacing.com

RESULTS: Ocean Speedway *13th annual Howard Kaeding Classic*

HEAT 1 (8 LAPS): 11-AJ Hernandez.; HEAT 2 (8 LAPS): 4R-Drake Edwards

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

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*

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