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2008 Ridgecrest Speedway
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Ridgecrest Speedway
Desert Empire Fairgrounds
Ridgecrest, California

2008 Firecracker Derby
July 4, 2008 2008 - Ridgecrest
By: Ryan Evans

The Firecracker Derby changed locations, but the Scratch Main winner was the same as Buck Blair was victorious for the second year in a row in front of a boisterous crowd at the Desert Empire Fairgrounds in Ridgecrest.

Blair, who won last year’s Firecracker Derby in Victorville, got a good start from the outside, but it wasn’t quite good enough to get across “Fast” Eddie Castro in turn one. Castro held the lead on the back straight with Blair planted on his back tire. Castro led through the first lap, but was under immense pressure from Blair. Castro parked just a bit on the exit of turn four and Blair moved him off the inside and seized the lead. Castro recovered, but Blair had an insurmountable lead and led to the checkered flag. Castro settled for second, Greg Ayers finished third, and Neil Facchini was fourth.

Marvin Sonnier led the Handicap Main Event for nearly one lap, but Facchini surged past Sonnier and Travis Henderson with a burst of speed coming out of turn four. Facchini came under fire from Castro on lap three. The diminutive rider tried kept the pressure on the former Under 21 National Champion the entire distance, but Facchini was up to the challenge and crossed the finish line first. Castro was second, Blair finished third, Henderson was fourth, Ayers finished fifth, and Sonnier was sixth.

Ayers and Facchini were the first two riders eliminated in the Last of the Mohicans/Ministry Clothing Last Man Out Challenge leaving Blair and Castro for the two-lap battle. Blair was first to turn one with Castro in tow. Castro gave everything that he could to overcome the leader, but Blair held him off for the win.

The Joker Machine/Finish Line Flooring Superpole was held prior to the race meeting with 10 First Division riders competing. Ayers, who went fourth, was the leader with a time of 12.84 seconds when Castro, the final competitor, took to the track. Castro electrified the crowd with a time of 12.62 seconds and dramatically steal the victory away from Ayers.

Scott York led the Second Division Main Event with little threat the first lap. Lee Edwards charged from the back via the outside and was within striking distance of the lead. Edwards stayed wide entering turn three, but his bid ended when he slid off. York was uncontested the rest of the way and took home the victory. Matt Davis finished second, Steve Dziadus was third, Mark Sincavage finished fourth, and Edwards was fifth.

Tony DeAlmeida led the Third Division Main Event for a lap and a half before Jonni Jade took over the lead entering turn three. Jade never looked back from there and was victorious. Tim McGrath finished second, DeAlmeida was third, Paul Thornton finished fourth, and Rick Huspek was fifth.

The Firecracker Derby was the second speedway event to be held in Ridgecrest in 2008 after a 25 year absence. As was the case with the event held in April, the Firecracker Derby filled the stands and had the spectators and powers-that-be begging for more speedway in the future. The next speedway event at the Desert Empire Fairgrounds will be the Ridgecrest Track Championship and Round One of the Sidecar National Championship on Friday, October 16.


Third Division Main Event
266 - Jonni Jade 		20
186 - Tim McGrath 		20
157 - Tony DeAlmeida 		10
124 - Paul Thornton 		10
226 - Rick Huspek 		10

Second Division Main Event
155 - Scott York 		10
301 - Matt Davis 		10
212 - Steve Dzaidus 		20
213 - Mark Sincavage 		10
225 - Lee Edwards 		20	(fell, remounted)
201 - Dylan Black 		20 	(non starter)

Joker Machine/Finish Line Flooring Super Pole
 14 - Eddie Castro 		12.62
 99 - Greg Ayers 		12.84
 86 - Neil Facchini 		12.91
 55 - Travis Henderson 		13.03
 39 - Buck Blair 		13.10
 21 – Brad Sauer		13.43
 17 – Robbie Sauer		13.47
 52 – Marvin Sonnier		13.88
 32 – Billy Lyons		15.00
232 – Allen Doss		21.30

Last of the Mohicans/Ministry Clothing Last Man Out Challenge
 39 - Buck Blair
 14 - Eddie Castro
 86 - Neil Facchini
 99 - Greg Ayers

Handicap Main Event
 86 - Neil Facchini 		30
 14 - Eddie Castro 		40
 39 - Buck Blair 		40
 55 - Travis Henderson 		20
 99 - Greg Ayers 		30
 52 - Marvyn Sonnier 		10

Scratch Consolation
 21 - Brad Sauer
 55 - Travis Henderson
 52 - Marvyn Sonnier
232 - Allen Doss 		(non starter)

Firecracker Derby Main Event
 39 - Buck Blair
 14 - Eddie Castro
 99 - Greg Ayers
 86 - Neil Facchini 		(retired)
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