2007 Pure Rite Water Pairs Track Championship
September 1, 2007 - Victorville
By: Ryan Evans
Buck Blair and Michael Hull dominated their competition en route to the overall victory in the 2007 Victorville Pairs Track Championship at Wheel2Wheel Raceway.
Blair and Hull scored 22 out of a possible 23 points through five rounds of competition to secure the championship. Shawn McConnell and Tim Gomez scored 17 points to finish second overall. The Sauer Brothers, Robbie and Brad, and the duo of Eddie Castro and Jon Stasiefski scored 16 points to tie for third overall.
The first heat ended in turn one when turn one bunching left Stasiefski on the ground. Blair and Hull jumped to the front on the restart and scored an easy 5-1 when both Castro and Stasiefski had mechanical issues. Brad Sauer had an impressive victory in the next heat while his brother, Robbie, finished third to earn a 4-2 heat. McConnell and Gomez ran away from John Marquez and John Stunkard for a 5-1 to end round one.
Round two began with Castro finishing first, but the Sauers were able to block Stasiefski and salvage a 3-3 drawn heat. Shaun Harmatiuk and Dale Facchini were easy 5-1 winners in the next heat. Blair and Hull jumped to the front in the next heat, but McConnell was able to push past Hull for second to limit the damage to a 4-2 heat for Blair and Hull.
Blair started round three by getting another great start, but the strong sibling tandem, the Sauers, kept Hull at the back to keep the heat at 3-3. Castro and Stasiefski scored a 5-1 over Stunkard and Marquez in the next heat. Harmatiuk won race 24, but Gomez and McConnell kept Facchini in fourth to draw the heat.
Hull and Blair were never challenged in a 5-1 romp to begin round four. Harmatiuk and Facchini were on their way to a 4-2 heat, but Castro came from far back to chase down and pass Harmatiuk on lap three to force a drawn heat. Gomez and McConnell handed the Sauers their only heat loss after Brad Sauer went down and Robbie could only manage third.
Entering the final round Blair and Hull sat atop the standings with 17 points; McConnell and Gomez had 15 points; Facchini and Harmatiuk had 13 points; Castro and Stasiefski had 12 points; and the Sauers had 11 points.
The Sauers began the last round with a 5-1 over Stunkard and Marquez.
McConnell and Gomez led the penultimate race, but Stasiefski fell in turn one and forced a restart. Castro took advantage and won the restart after a brilliant outside pass and Gomez suffered a mechanical problem which gave Casro and Stasiefski a 4-2 heat and cost McConnell and Gomez any chance at the overall title.
Blair and Hull entered the final race only needing to avoid a 1-5 to clinch the title. The pair jumped to the front of Harmatiuk and Facchini, but Facchini brought out the red flag when he fell in turn three. With Facchini on the penalty line the task became a lot easier. Blair launched into the front with Harmatiuk behind him. Hull wasn't satisfied with a mere heat win and stalked Harmatiuk for two laps before blasting underneath for second. Blair and Hull weren't challenged and sealed their evening with a convincing 5-1 heat win.
Facchini, the defending Golden Helmet Match Race Champion, arrived with a gold-painted helmet created by his father, Fred, to be held by the champion. Facchini had to relinquish his helmet after being defeated by Blair, two wins to one.
Six riders, including youth rider Joey Holt, participated in the wheelie contest. The three judges placed Robbie Sauer at the top before the final two, Blair and McConnell, took their turn. Blair, having just won the golden helmet, decided to wear his trophy during the wheelie contest. Blair's sense of fashion and his skill earned him the top spot. McConnell, who has been dubbed the "Wheelie King" for a number of years lived up to his billing by earning near-perfect scores to top the scoring.
Allen Doss and Bryan Buffington won the Second Division Pairs title after Doss's victory in the third round served as the tiebreaker with Max Eddy and Tyler Hansen after both teams scored 16 points.
The Third Division Pairs title was also tied, but Tony DeAlmeida and Ralph Chudy were the winners since they won two heats compared to one heat victory for Mike Nutting and Jeff Remington.
The Youth Main Event was a battle of attrition with third attempt beginning with Richard Crocker and Dylan Black watching from the infield. Austin Novratil held off Russell Green and Holt to earn his first win of the season.
Nathan Remington was victorious in the Pee Wee Main Event with Erika Lyons finishing second.
Joe Jones and Jimmy Olsen led all four laps to win the Sidecar Main Event. Dale Facchini and Matt Davis finished second, Scott and Shawn Driggers were third, and Brian Motis and Loren Thurston finished fourth.
Speedway racing will take a hiatus from Wheel2Wheel Raceway throughout the month of September. The next scheduled event will be Saturday, October 20 with the Major Speedway League match between the Victorville Vikings and the Los Angeles Aces. All other divisions will be in action as well.
Sidecar Main Event
15 - Joe Jones/Jimmy Olsen
19 - Dale Facchini/Matt Davis
13 - Scott Driggers/Shawn Driggers
4 - Brian Motis/Loren Thurston
Pee Wee Main Event
12 - Nathan Remington
77 - Erika Lyons
Youth Main Event (restarted twice)
8 - Austin Novratil
18 - Russell Green
4 - Joey Holt
91 - Richard Crocker (non starter)
7 - Dylan Black (non starter)
Third Division Pairs Scoring 1 2 3 T
157 - Tony DeAlmeida 0 1 0 1
362 - Ralph Chudy 2 3 3 8
218 - Mike Nutting 1 2 1 4
252 - Jeff Remington 3 N 2 5
Second Division Pairs Scoring 1 2 3 T
77 - Bryan Buffington 5 2 1 8
232 - Allen Doss R 3 5 8
148 - Max Eddy 3 5 3 11
104n - Tyler Hansen 2 1 2 5 16
R/R 1 0 0 1
212 - Steve Dziadus 4 4 4 12
Golden Helmet Match Race (two out of three)
39 - Buck Blair 2
19 - Dale Facchini 1
6 - Shawn McConnell
39 - Buck Blair
17 - Robbie Sauer
21 - Brad Sauer
4 - Joey Holt
77 - Bryan Buffington
First Division Pairs Scoring 1 2 3 4 5 T
39 - Buck Blair 3 3 3 3 2' 14+1
320 - Michael Hull 2' 1 0 3 2' 8+2
6 - Shawn McConnell 3 2 1' 2' 2 10+2
30 - Tim Gomez 2' 0 2 3 R 7+1
14 - Eddie Castro 1 3 3 3 3 13
110 - Jon Stasiefski R 0 2' 0 1 3+1
17 - Robbie Sauer 1 1' 2 1 2' 7+2
21 - Brad Sauer 3 2 1' F 3 9+1
19 - Dale Facchini 0 2' 0 1' 0 3+2
139 - Shaun Harmatiuk 2 3 3 2 1 11
241 - John Marquez 1 1 0 1 0 3
249 - John Stunkard 0 0 1 0 1 2
Race Results 4: (restarted) Blair, Hull, Castro Stasiefski (retired)
6: B.Sauer, Harmatiuk, R.Sauer, Facchini
8: McConnell, Gomez, Marquez, Stunkard
11: Castro, B.Sauer, R. Sauer, Stasiefski
13: Harmatiuk, Facchini, Stunkard, Marquez
15: Blair, McConnell, Hull, Gomez
20: Blair, R.Sauer, B.Sauer, Hull
22: Castro, Stasiefski, Stunkard (fell, remounted), Marquez (fell, remounted)
24: Harmatiuk, Gomez, McConnell, Facchini
26: Hull, Blair, Marquez, Stunkard
28: Castro, Harmatiuk, Facchini, Stasiefski
30: Gomez, McConnell, R.Sauer, B.Sauer (fell)
40: B.Sauer, R.Sauer, Stunkard, Marquez (fell, remounted)
42: (restarted) Castro, McConnell, Stasiefski (penalty line), Gomez (retired)
44: (restarted) Blair, Hull, Harmatiuk, Facchini (penalty line)