Ken Maely's Ranch
Youth North vs. South (Round 2)
July 27, 2003 - Ken Maely's Ranch
By: Ryan Evans
The South got revenge for their defeat to the North the previous week with a 44-28 victory in round two of the first Youth North versus South at Maely's Ranch in Corona, California.
The same team format that was used in Auburn on July 18 was applied to the second round. There were six riders, divided into three pairs, on each team. Three rounds would be held and every pair faced each of the opposing team's pairs once. After three rounds there were three main events in which the pairings were determined by the individual rider's point total.
The South team from round one remained intact, but the North team had several different members. Jay Ricketts was promoted from reserve and Mitchell Johnson joined his brother, Paul, in the lineup. Only five Northern riders made the trip so Southern California rider Dylan Stark was drafted into the team.
The meeting began with Krystal Cramer and Ricky Wells getting to the front, but Youth National Champion quickly thwarted any ideas of a 5-1 by passing Wells for second in turn three. Fowler then turned his attention on Cramer. After pressuring her for a lap, Fowler went by as they went into turn one the third time and then pulled away for the win. Tim Gomez jumped into the lead at the start of race two and never looked back as he cruised to an easy win ahead of the North's J.T. Mabry in the second race. Paul Johnson grabbed the lead at the start of race three while Dale Facchini gave chase. Johnson maintained the lead but his line got wider with each lap allowing Facchini to close ground. Facchini finally made the pass with half a lap left and held on for the win. After the first round, the South led 11-7.
Cramer began round two by trapping from the outside and taking the lead just ahead of teammate Wells. The Southern duo remained in front the rest of the way to capture the South's first 5-1 of the day. Gomez was out quick for the second straight round and the South appeared headed for another 5-1 when Jason Ramirez passed Paul Johnson for second. Johnson wasn't about to let that happen as he regained second from Ramirez, but he couldn't catch Gomez who took his second victory of the day. Stark was unable to make the start of race six so Fowler was left to take on the home team by himself. The start was exciting as Fowler, Facchini, and Dario Galvin were three-wide through the first half lap. Fowler found enough grip to pull in front entering turn three and the drama ended there as he went on to the win. After two rounds the South had pushed their lead to 23-13.
Round three began the same way as the previous round, a dominant 5-1 from the team of Cramer and Wells with the young lady being first to the checkered flag. Race eight was the showdown between Fowler and Gomez, the only undefeated riders after two rounds. Gomez took the initial lead, but Fowler passed him as the entered turn three. Gomez tried to regain the lead but his pursuit ended when he slid off. Fowler was left with an easy victory to make himself three for three for the day. Facchini gated the field in race nine and was followed by his teammate, Galvin, as they entered turn three. Facchini bobbled which caused Galvin to fall. Meanwhile, Mabry slipped by on the inside for the lead. Mabry seemed to have the race in hand with teammate Jay Ricketts in second for a sure 5-1 when he suffered an engine failure on the third lap and left Ricketts to take his first win of the day. After three rounds the South held a 34-20 lead.
The main event round began with Facchini and Ramirez romping to a dominant 5-1 race win in the C Main. In the B Main, Galvin was first out of the gate but the action got tight on the back straight as three riders were shoulder-to-shoulder. Galvin parked in turn three and was forced to retire. Ricketts emerged with the lead and was chased by Wells. The race-long battle had Ricketts on the inside and Wells on the outside. The inside line proved best as Ricketts was able to get some breathing room on the last lap and take the win. The final race of the day, the A Main, began with Paul Johnson in the lead, followed by Fowler. Gomez went under Fowler on the second lap and went after Johnson. On lap three, his effort paid off as he went by on the inside. Gomez was first to the checkered flag for the third time on the day. The final tally was 44-28 for the South.
In addition to the team competition, there were races featuring the 80cc two-stroke machines that have been integrated into American youth speedway this year. Several of the team competitors took part as well as two other riders. One rider was Tyler Odom, whose father, Donnie Odom, is importing the machines. Making his debut was Connor Penhall, son of two-time World Champion Bruce Penhall.
The first race had a great three-lap battle between Wells and Galvin for first with Wells finally securing the lead and the victory. The second race had Odom, Wells, and Galvin battling the first half lap with Wells inching into the lead and Odom securing second in turn three. Wells cruised to the win while Odom valiantly held on to second until the final corner when Galvin took the position away. Race three looked to be an easy Galvin victory when he had bike problems in the final corner. As Galvin coasted to the finish line, Wells snatched the victory just inches ahead of Galvin. Odom was the fast-starter in race four, but Galvin took the lead at the end of lap one and cruised to the win ahead of Stark.
When the tapes went up in the main, it was Wells who took the lead with Stark right behind him. Wells maintained his lead, but Stark kept the pressure on him. As much as Wells tried, he couldn't shake the first-year rider. Wells remained cool under fire as he held on for the win ahead of an impressive second place for Stark.
This was the first time that a Youth North versus South has been held. The fact that there were rounds held on each side of the state shows that the youth program is on the rise in California. There are tentative plans to hold more events like this in 2003 and promote the growth of youth speedway.
South Scoring 1 2 3 4 T (44)
1 - Krystal Cramer 2 3 3 0 8
2 - Ricky Wells 1* 2* 2* 2 7+3
3 - Tim Gomez (C) 3 3 1* 3 10+1
4 - Jason Ramirez 1 1 2 2* 6+1
5 - Dario Galvin 1 2 2 0 5
6 - Dale Facchini 3 1* 1* 3 8+2
North Scoring 1 2 3 4 T (28)
1 - T.J. Fowler (C) 3 3 3 2 11
2 - Dylan Stark 0 N 0 0 0
3 - J.T. Mabry 2 1 E 1 4
4 - Jay Ricketts 0 R 3 3 6
5 - Paul Johnson 2 2 1 1* 6+1
6 - Mitchell Johnson 0 0 R 1 1
Race Results (South scores listed first)
1: Fowler, Cramer, Wells, Stark 3-3, 3-3
2: Gomez, Mabry, Ramirez, Ricketts 4-2, 7-5
3: (restarted) Facchini, P.Johnson, Galvin, M.Johnson 4-2, 11-7
4: Cramer, Wells, Mabry, Ricketts (retired) 5-1, 16-8
5: Gomez, P.Johnson, Galvin, M.Johnson 4-2, 20-10
6: Fowler, Galvin, Facchini, Stark (non starter) 3-3, 23-13
7: Cramer, Wells, P.Johnson, M.Johnson (retired) 5-1, 28-14
8: Fowler, Ramirez (fell, remounted), Gomez (fell, remounted), Stark 3-3, 31-17
9: Ricketts, Galvin (fell, remounted), Facchini (fell, remounted), Mabry (engine failure) 3-3, 34-20
C Main: (restarted) Facchini, Ramirez, M.Johnson (tape penalty), Stark 5-1, 39-21
B Main: Ricketts, Wells, Mabry, Galvin 2-4, 41-25
A Main: Gomez, Fowler, P.Johnson, Cramer 3-3, 44-28
80cc Scoring 1 2 3 4 T
19 - Dylan Stark 0 0 2 3 5
81 - Connor Penhall 1 1 0 0 2
142 - Ricky Wells 4 4 4 2 14
145 - Dario Galvin 3 3 3 4 13
146 - Tyler Odom 2 2 1 1 6
80cc Race Results
1: (restarted) Wells, Galvin, Odom, Penhall, Stark (penalty line)
2: Wells, Galvin, Odom, Penhall, Stark
3: Wells, Galvin, Stark, Odom, Penhall
4: (restarted) Galvin, Stark, Wells, Odom, Penhall
Main Event: (restarted) Wells, Stark, Galvin, Penhall, Odom (non starter)