Battery Mart Saint Paddy's Day Speedfest
March 17, 2007 - Victorville
By: Ryan Evans
Scott Brant collected his first main event victory of 2007 with a sterling performance at the Battery Mart Saint Paddy's Day Speedfest at Wheel2Wheel Raceway in Victorville.
Brant earned first choice of starting position by being the high-point rider in the heats and chose gate two. "Fast" Eddie Castro then chose gate one, Buck Blair selected gate four, leaving Ricky Wells with gate three.
Castro launched first but ended up on his backside when he lifted badly off the line. The red flag came out and he was banished to the penalty line for the restart. Brant made no mistakes on the second try as he jumped to the front and to a comfortable lead. The battle was for second with Wells using the low line to inch ahead in the corners while Blair's momentum from the outside would carry him ahead on the straights. Wells surged ahead for good on the third lap. Brant was first to the checkered flag, Wells finished second, and Castro passed Blair for third.
An earned-handicap format was used for the four rounds of heats. Brant laid down the gauntlet in the first heat with an impressive victory. Castro took his first win in the second heat. Blair ran away from Greg Ayers and Castro for his first win in race 14. Perkins and Brant fought through traffic to wage a great battle in the next heat with Perkins barely beating Brant for the win.
Castro had the luxury of starting in front of Brant in their next race, but as he was passing Rick Valdez Brant boldly split the pair and blasted into the lead and took the victory. In the next race, Blair started from the back, but used the outside to go around Wells and then Jon Stasiefski for his second consecutive win. Wells was victorious over Ayers and Perkins in the next heat.
Perkins was running away with race 26 when he slid off and brought out the red flag. Brant won the restart and Stasiefski held off Perkins for second. Castro took the final heat ahead of Blair and Wells. Brant, Castro, and Blair were the top three scorers and earned automatic spots in the main. Wells won the Last Chance Race to take the final slot in the main.
In the Dr. Ink's Last Man Out Challenge Castro was eliminated first. On the second start, Wells and Perkins made contact in turn one with Wells going down on the inside and Perkins hitting the fence and riding against it throughout turn two. Wells tore the sole off his right boot, but was fine otherwise. Perkins was able to walk off the track on his own, but was forced to withdraw from the meeting with soreness in chest and ribs. In the two-lap showdown, Blair held off Wells win the challenge.
John Marquez jumped into the lead in the Second Division Main but had Blake Bowen hot on his heels. Marquez drifted wider with each lap and Bowen steadily closed ground. After taking the white flag Bowen made a dive on the inside in turn one. Although there was no contact, both riders went down in the corner and the race continued. Steve Bowen, Blake's father, avoided the carnage and took the win with Tyler Hansen finishing in second.
Blake Bowen made a mockery of the Support Handicap Main by leading from start to finish and scoring an easy victory. John Marquez fought through traffic from the 30 yard line to finish second, Steve Bowen was third, Bryan Buffington finished fourth, and Tyler Hansen was fifth.
Joe Dillard held off Mike Nutting to win the Third Division Main Event and Russell Green won the Youth Main Event.
The next event at Wheel2Wheel Raceway is Victorville Harley-Davidson Night on Saturday, March 31.
Youth Main Event
18 - Russell Green
Third Division Main Event
714 - Joe Dillard
218 - Mike Nutting
152 - Fred Remington (non starter)
Support Handicap Main
187 - Blake Bowen 10
241 - John Marquez 30
177 - Steve Bowen 20
77 - Bryan Buffington 30
104n - Tyler Hansen 10
152 - Fred Remington 0 (non starter)
Second Division Consolation
77 - Bryan Buffington
288 - Rick Fritch
Second Division Main Event
177 - Steve Bowen
104n - Tyler Hansen
241 - John Marquez (fell)
187 - Blake Bowen (fell)
Dr. Ink's Last Man Out Challenge
39 - Buck Blair
142 - Ricky Wells
13 - Nate Perkins (fell)
14 - Eddie Castro
First Division Scoring 1 2 3 4 T
10 - Scott Brant 3 2 3 3 11
13 - Nate Perkins 2 3 1 1 7
14 - Eddie Castro 3 1 2 3 9
39 - Buck Blair 1 3 3 2 9
99 - Greg Ayers 1 2 0 2 5
110 - Jon Stasiefski 0 0 2 2 4
142 - Ricky Wells 2 1 3 1 7
293 - Rick Valdez 0 1 1 0 2
7: Brant, Perkins, Blair, Stasiefski
8: Castro, Wells, Ayers, Valdez
14: Blair , Ayers , Castro  (penalty line)
15: Perkins , Brant , Valdez , Stasiefski 
18: Brant , Castro , Valdez 
19: Blair , Stasiefski , Wells , Ayers  (fell, remounted)
23: Wells , Ayers , Perkins , Valdez 
26: (restarted) Brant , Stasiefski , Perkins  (penalty line)
27: Castro , Blair , Wells 
First Division Last Chance
142 - Ricky Wells
99 - Greg Ayers
110 - Jon Stasiefski
13 - Nate Perkins (non starter)
First Division Main Event (restarted)
10 - Scott Brant
142 - Ricky Wells
14 - Eddie Castro (penalty line)
39 - Buck Blair