Fort Mojave Speedway
Mojave Crossings Event Center
Fort Mojave, Arizona
Triple-D RV Invitational
April 28, 2007 - Ft Mojave
By: Ryan Evans
Gary Hicks added another trophy to his mantle by winning the Triple-D RV Invitational at the Mojave Crossing Event Center in Fort Mojave, Arizona.
Former National Champion "Flyin" Mike Faria earned first choice of starting position in the main event as top scorer and chose gate one. Hicks then picked gate two, Buck Blair selected gate three, which left Josh Larsen with the outside.
Blair got into the tapes and was moved back to the penalty line. On the second attempt, Hicks was first to turn one and clamped down on the pole with Faria behind. Larsen went to the outside and pulled alongside Faria on the back straight. Hicks led lap one and Larsen dropped to the inside ahead Faria to secure second. Larsen pressured the leader the final two laps, but Hicks never flinched and was first to the checkered flag. Larsen settled for second, Faria finished third, and Blair was fourth.
The first of five rounds began with Yarrow taking the lead only to drift wide on the second lap and allow Larsen to take his first win of the night. Faria used the inside line to hold off Eddie Castro for the win in event 2. Bobby "Boogaloo" Schwartz used his vast experience to keep Charlie "The Edge" Venegas at bay to win the next race. Hicks began his evening with a victory ahead of Jimmy Fishback to conclude round one.
Round two started with Scott Brant getting his first win ahead of Shawn McConnell and Faria.
Event 6 featured three winners from round one. Hicks used the inside starting position to his advantage and scored his second straight win over Schwartz and Larsen.
Venegas was an easy winner in event 7. Bart Bast recovered from a nightmare first outing to win the final race of the second round.
Tommy Hedden, scoreless in his first two rides, turned his evening around by defeating Yarrow to begin the third round. Blair withstood every challenge that Faria could muster to win race 12. Castro got a good start and held on for the win which also handed Hicks his first defeat of the evening. Brant made it two wins in a row by beating Bast to close out round three.
At intermission, Hicks was the top scorer with eight points; Brant had seven points; Faria, Castro, and Venegas had six points apiece; and Schwartz, Blair, and Bast each had five.
Blair won his second straight race to open round four. Larsen defeated Brant for his second victory of the evening. Faria made a tremendous start and trapped from the outside to score his second win in event 18.
Event 19 had to be restarted when Fishback and Greg Ayers came together in turn one. On the second attempt, McConnell got the best start and led all four laps to win ahead of Bast.
Going into the final round, half the field still had a shot at the four spots in the main event. Faria, Brant, and Hicks each had nine points; Blair was next with eight points; and Larsen, McConnell, Castro, and Bast had seven points apiece.
Yarrow began the final round with a victory over Schwartz. Castro's third-place finish took him out of contention for a spot in the main.
In event 23 Larsen went into turn one last, but split all three riders on the back straight in a thrilling move to take the lead. He made no mistakes from there and booked his place in the main with the win and received a loud ovation from the appreciative crowd.
Blair and Brant entered with strong chances to make the main. Turn one got physical with some bumping and it was Wells who emerged with the lead. The fifteen year old led to the finish for his first win. Blair's second place finish locked up a place in the main, but Brant trailed in fourth and missed the main.
Faria and Hicks entered the final heat tied atop the scorechart in a race with a variety of scenarios. A victory would earn the right to be the first to choose gate position in the main, a second would still be good enough for the main, third or fourth could mean anything from elimination, a runoff, or a spot in the main. Bast could earn a spot in the main with a victory and Venegas could earn a runoff with a win and a last by Hicks.
The two overall leaders were off the line first with Faria taking the lead on the exit of turn two and Hicks cutting back to the pole to lock up second. Faria never bobbled and took the win and was top scorer from the heats. Hicks was second and his eleven points put him in the main.
Mike Bershee, who recently moved to Havasu City, Arizona, was first off the line in the Second Division Main Event, but saw his chance at victory on his "home" track slip away when he fell. Mike "Spiderman" Bloom was the beneficiary of Bershee's misfortune and assumed the lead. Bloom was never seriously threatened en route to the victory. John Marquez finished second, Eloy Medellin was third, and Bershee finished fourth.
The Triple-D RV Invitational was the second event that speedway racer Nate Perkins has promoted at the Mojave Crossing Event Center. He followed the successful Thanksgiving Invitational with another star-studded field and an entertaining evening. The event was promoted concurrently with the annual Laughlin River Run in which thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts converge on the California, Arizona, Nevada tri-state area. The second annual Thanksgiving Invitational has already been planned for November 24.
Second Division Consolation
290 - Harold Hartke
309 - Vince Giamformaggio
269 - Ed Martinez
209 - Greg Vandemore (retired)
Second Division Consolation
143 - Jamie Myers
104n - Tyler Hansen
163 - Rohn Zellner
177 - Steve Bowen (fell, remounted)
Second Division Consolation
182 - Rudy Laurer
150 - Damon Barry (fell)
77 - Bryan Buffington (two-minute exclusion)
132 - Justin Hassan (non starter)
Second Division Main Event
202 - Mike Bloom
241 - John Marquez
178 - Eloy Medellin
391 - Mike Bershee (fell, remounted)
First Division Scoring 1 2 3 4 5 T
2 - Josh Larsen 3 1 0 3 3 10
3 - Gary Hicks 3 3 2 1 2 11
6 - Shawn McConnell 1 2 1 3 1 8
8 - Bryan Yarrow 2 0 2 0 3 7
9 - Mike Faria 3 1 2 3 3 12
10 - Scott Brant 1 3 3 2 0 9
11 - Bobby Schwartz 3 2 0 1 2 8
14 - Eddie Castro 2 1 3 1 1 8
25 - Jimmy Fishback 2 R 1 1 0 4
39 - Buck Blair 0 2 3 3 2 10
40 - Tommy Hedden 0 0 3 0 2 5
43 - Charlie Venegas 2 3 1 0 1 7
87 - Bart Bast 0 3 2 2 0 7
99 - Greg Ayers 1 0 0 0 1 2
139 - Shaun Harmatiuk 0 2 1 2 0 5
142 - Ricky Wells 1 1 0 2 3 7
1: Larsen, Yarrow, Wells, Bast (fell, remounted)
2: Faria, Casto, Ayers, Harmatiuk
3: Schwartz, Venegas, McConnell, Blair
4: Hicks, Fishback, Brant, Hedden (tape penalty)
5: Brant, McConnell, Faria, Yarrow
6: Hicks, Schwartz, Larsen, Ayers
7: Venegas, Harmatiuk, Wells, Fishback (retired)
8: Bast, Blair, Castro, Hedden
11: Hedden, Yarrow, Venegas, Ayers
12: Blair, Faria, Fishback, Larsen
13: Castro, Hicks, McConnell, Wells
14: Brant, Bast, Harmatiuk, Schwartz (tape penalty)
16: Blair, Harmatiuk, Hicks, Yarrow
17: Larsen, Brant, Castro, Venegas
18: Faria, Wells, Schwartz, Hedden (fell, remounted)
19: (restarted) McConnell, Bast, Fishback, Ayers
22: Yarrow, Schwartz, Castro, Fishback
23: Larsen, Hedden, McConnell, Harmatiuk
24: Wells, Blair, Ayers, Brant
25: Faria, Hicks, Venegas, Bast
Triple-D Invitational Main Event
3 - Gary Hicks
2 - Josh Larsen
9 - Mike Faria
39 - Buck Blair (tape penalty)