Desert Empire Fairgrounds
2009 Ridgecrest Firecracker Derby Championship
July 4, 2009 - Ridgecrest
By: Ryan Evans
Shawn “Mad Dog” McConnell made his Ridgecrest debut a success by winning the Ridgecrest Firecracker Derby at the Desert Empire Fairgrounds.
“Fast” Eddie Castro entered the main event with a perfect score and chose gate one. Castro’s performance in the heats didn’t carry over to the main, though; as he was beaten out of the start by McConnell and then fell in turn one. McConnell led Jimmy Fishback and Tim Gomez through lap one with Fishback trying to get within striking distance of the veteran. Fishback tried valiantly, but his efforts were fruitless as McConnell led all the way to the checkered flag. Fishback settled for second, Gomez was third, and a disappointed Castro was credited with fourth.
McConnell opened the heats by beating Gomez for his first victory. Castro beat Fishback in the second heat for his first win. McConnell beat Fishback for his second straight win in event seven. Castro matched McConnell’s second victory by beating Gomez in the next heat. Fishback defeated Tyson Burmeister in event 10. Castro made it three straight wins in the next race while McConnell finished in third behind Castro and Austin Novratil. McConnell beat Fishback in event 16 for his third win. Castro concluded the heats by beating Russell Green to remain perfect.
Rudy Laurer led the Second Division Main Event for a lap before Drew Coats charged up the inside to take the lead as they entered turn one. Coats led the second lap but Joey Holt snatched the lead as they concluded lap two. Holt never looked back from there and went on to the victory. Coats held on for second, Laurer was third, Bubba Vazzana finished fourth, and Jonni Jade was fifth.
Rick Huspek led the Third Division Main Event until Vazzana went by him on the back straight. Vazzana was never threatened after that and claimed the victory. Huspek finished second and Jade was third.
A special Mother versus Son Match race pitted Dakota Shockley against his mother, Julie. Dakota thrilled the crowd by holding off his mother for all four laps to take the win.
Jimmy Fishback and Jimmy Olsen led the Sidecar Main Event for a lap but succumbed to the pressure of Gerard Jackson and Dave German as they exited turn two the second time. Jackson and German led the rest of the way to take the win. Fishback and Olsen were second, Sean Driggers and Missy Driggers finished third, and Tommy Thornton and Russell Green were fourth.
The next event in Ridgecrest will be Round 1 of the California Grand Prix Series on Friday, July 31.
Sidecar Main Event
66 - Gerard Jackson/Dave German
25 - Jimmy Fishback/Jimmy Olsen
23 - Sean Driggers/Missy Driggers
31 - Tommy Thornton/Russell Green
Mother versus Son Match Race
34 - Dakota Shockley
81 - Julie Shockley
Third Division Main Event
266 - Jonni Jade 20
226 - Rick Huspek 0
274 - Bubba Vazzana 20
Second Division Main Event (restarted)
244 - Joey Holt
195 - Drew Coats
182 - Rudy Laurer
274 - Bubba Vazzana
266 - Jonni Jade (fell)
First Division Scoring 1 2 3 4 T
6 - Shawn McConnell 3 3 1 3 10
14 - Eddie Castro 3 3 3 3 12
25 - Jimmy Fishback 2 2 3 2 9
30 - Tim Gomez 2 2 1 R 5
145 - Brad Pappalardo 1 1 0 1 3
181 - Austin Novratil 1 R 2 F 3
184 - Tyson Burmeister F 1 2 1 4
321 - Russell Green F 0 0 2 2
1: McConnell, Gomez, Pappalardo, Burmeister (fell)
2: Castro, Fishback, Novratil, Green (fell)
7: McConnell, Fishback, Burmeister, Green
8: Castro, Gomez, Pappalardo, Novratil (retired)
10: Fishback, Burmeister, Gomez, Pappalardo
11: Castro, Novratil, McConnell, Green
16: McConnell, Fishback, Burmeister, Novratil (fell)
17: Castro, Green, Pappalardo, Gomez (retired)
First Division Consolation (awarded)
184 - Tyson Burmeister
321 - Russell Green
145 - Brad Pappalardo
181 - Austin Novratil (fell)
First Division Main Event
6 - Shawn McConnell
25 - Jimmy Fishback
30 - Tim Gomez
14 - Eddie Castro (fell)