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2009 Golden Gate Speedway
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2009 Golden Gate Speedway
Solano County Fairgrounds
Vallejo, California

Season Opener
May 16, 2009 Golden Gate
By: Gary Roberts

Opening night at Vallejo brought some great racing from a poor rider turn out in front of a high quality, low quantity appreciative crowd. Just as last season all the riders liked the track. This year the track was larger and wider than last, allowing the riders a wide choice of racing lines.

With the limited number of riders, the Division 1 format comprised 8 qualification races for the scratch main and consi. Tommy Hedden and Kenny Ingalls each lost only one point to Ingalls and Yarrow respectively. They were in a class of their own and Hedden got the gate in the main, which secured his win.

The Division 2 format was limited in that there were only 6 riders. 4 x 3 rider heats plus a 6 rider main gave each rider 3 rides. The winner was Matt King, making a welcome return to the sport after several years.

Division 3 was slightly better supported with 10 riders. Again each had 2 heats and the top 6 went to a main and the lower 4 had a consi, giving each rider 3 rides. The D3 main event winner was Casey Cornilsen, who took his first ride on a speedway bike 8 days previously at Auburn .

From this I derive the following conclusions:
1. Many riders feel they do not get enough practice. They are disappointed at the lack of practice facilities in Northern California and in their resulting progress in the sport because of this. This track provides a solution to that problem. The track surface is smooth and consistent, making it easy for a novice rider to get sideways. Those lower division riders that I talked to felt their experience at Vallejo built their confidence and generally improved their riding.
2. For Charlie Venegas’s vision to come to fruition and for his investment to pay off, the riders need to support this facility in much larger numbers.
3. Casey Cornilsen proved that one can learn to ride a speedway track by racing. Where are all the new riders who want to learn to ride, but are waiting until there is a practice track? Their excuse has gone away!

Unofficial results:

Division 1 qualification races:
Tommy Hedden and Kenny Ingalls 11
Bryan Yarrow 7
Matt Becker and JT Mabry 6 (Becker won run off to qualify for main).
Kell Kerrigan, Bryce Starks and Devin DeFreece 2
Jim Lewis 1

Scratch Main Event
1. Tommy Hedden; 2. Kenny Ingalls; 3. Bryan Yarrow; 4. Matt Becker.

Scratch Consolation Event
1. JT Mabry; 2. Jim Lewis; 3. Devin DeFreece; 4. Kell Kerrigan; 5. Bryce Starks.

Division 2 Main Event
1. Matt King; 2. Danny Faria; 3. Charlie Haines; 4. Mike Browne; 5. Brian Leventon.

Division 3 Main Event
1. Casey Cornilsen; 2. John Wilkes; 3. John Randolf; 4. Greg Lovlien; 5. Richard Fehrman.

Division 3 Consolation Event
1. Dustin Berdollt; 2. Michelle Fehrman; 3. Rich Mignano; 4. Tor Lovlien.

1. Ryan Vaughn; 2. PJ Byrne.

Let’s hope that next week more riders chose to support Charlie and our sport.

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