San Bernardino County Fairgrounds
Speedway Billy Memorial
November 14, 2009 - Victorville
By: Ryan Evans
“Battling” Buck Blair brought the curtain down on the high-desert speedway season by winning the Speedway Billy Memorial at Wheel2Wheel Raceway in Victorville.
Ricky Wells, making his first domestic appearance since winning the SRA National Championship in September, entered the main undefeated and started in gate one. Blair started in gate four and exploded into the lead followed by Wells and former World Finalist Josh Larsen. The Colorado native immediately went to the preferred upper line while Wells tried to find a way past. Blair was up to the task and was first to the checkered flag. Wells had to settle for second, Larsen finished third, and Neil Facchini was fourth.
The Speedway Billy Memorial honored “Speedway Billy” Huspek, a longtime fan and fixture at Southern California speedway events, who passed away earlier this year. The First Division heats included four races in which a rider would honor Billy Huspek by riding as his proxy with a number five. Points earned as a proxy counted as Billy’s total and not toward the proxy rider’s total. In addition, a Match Race featured Jonni Jade, competing as “Speedway Billy” against Rick Huspek, Billy’s brother.
Larsen kicked off the heats with by cruising to victory ahead of John Marquez. Blair was leading the next heat until a mechanical failure caused him to fall in the last corner and hand the win to Facchini. Wells began his evening with a win. Larsen followed that heat by defeating Marquez and Facchini for his second straight win. Blair beat Joey Holt for his first victory. Wells beat Facchini in event 16 for his second win in a row.
Blair defeated Larsen for his second consecutive victory. Facchini, in a proxy ride for Speedway Billy, beat Robbie Sauer and Rick Valdez. Wells took event 25 for his third straight victory. Blair defeated Facchini in the penultimate heat to make it three wins in a row for himself. Wells defeated Larsen in the last heat to remain unbeaten.
Larsen led all the way in the Last Chance and was followed into the main event by Neil Facchini, who finished second.
Seventeen year old Dylan Black started in gate four and trapped the field at the start of the Second Division Main Event. Black’s lead was never threatened and he went on to victory. Geoff Herkner finished second, Butch Waymire was third, and Steve Dziadus finished fourth.
Ari Gardner shot to the front quickly in the Third Division Main Event while Tim McGrath swiftly worked through traffic to get himself into second. McGrath put the pressure on Gardner the entire distance, but was unable to get past. Gardner took the win, McGrath settled for second, Jonni Jade finished third, Gene Stone was fourth, Tony DeAlmeida finished fifth, and Rick Huspek was sixth.
Maxwell Ruml made the best start and led all four laps en route to victory in the Youth Main Event. Nicky Reimer finished second, Major Davis was third, and Amanda Ramirez finished fourth.
Jimmy McDonald led the Pee Wee Main before falling on the second lap and handing the lead and victory to Brandon Rhea. McDonald remounted and finished second with Dakota Shockley getting third.
Ally McGrath was smooth and steady from start to finish and won the Powderpuff Main Event. Julie Shockley finished second and Lexi Davis was third.
Brian Motis and Brandi McElroy put together four smooth laps to win the Sidecar Main Event while Scott Driggers and Matt Davis finished second.
Ramirez and Ally McGrath teamed up to win the Youth Sidecar Main Event and the sibling team of Major Davis and Lexi Davis finished second.
This event marked the end of the speedway season at Wheel2Wheel Raceway. Wheel2Wheel’s 2010 season is tentatively scheduled to begin on Saturday, March 27.
Youth Sidecar Main Event
78 - Amanda Ramirez/Ally McGrath
999 - Major Davis/Lexi Davis
Sidecar Main Event
4 - Brian Motis/Brandi McElroy
23 - Scott Driggers/Matt Davis
1 - Joe Jones/Jimmy Olsen (non starter)
Powderpuff Main Event
186 - Ally McGrath
11 - Julie Shockley
132 - Lexi Davis
Pee Wee Main Event
9 - Brandon Rhea
00 - Jimmy McDonald (fell, remounted)
34 - Dakota Shockley
Youth Main Event
356 - Maxwell Ruml
41 - Nicky Reimer
999 - Major Davis
78 - Amanda Ramirez
Third Division Main Event
174 - Arie Gardner 10
186 - Tim McGrath 30
266 - Jonni Jade 30
231 - Gene Stone 10
157 - Tony DeAlmeida 10
226 - Rick Huspek 0
Second Division Main Event
201 - Dylan Black
208 - Geoff Herkner
363 - Butch Waymire
212 - Steve Dziadus
Feature Match Race
5 – “Speedway Billy” Huspek (Jonni Jade)
226 – Rick Huspek
First Division Scoring 1 2 3 4 T
2 – Josh Larsen 3 3 2 2 10
5 – “Speedway Billy” Huspek 2 1 3 1 7
17 – Robbie Sauer 2 1 2 1 6
39 – Buck Blair 1 3 3 3 10
41 – John Marquez 2 2 0 1 5
86 – Neil Facchini 3 1 2 2 8
142 – Ricky Wells 3 3 3 3 12
244 – Joey Holt 0 2 1 2 5
293 – Rick Valdez 1 1 1 1 4
4: Larsen, Marquez, Valdez
5: Facchini, Sauer, Blair (fell)
9: Wells, Huspek [Blair], Valdez, Holt
10: Larsen, Marquez, Facchini
15: Blair, Holt, Huspek [Valdez]
16: Wells, Facchini, Sauer, Marquez
20: Blair, Larsen, Holt
21: Huspek [Facchini], Sauer, Valdez
25: Wells, Holt, Sauer
30: Blair, Facchini, Huspek [Holt]
31: Wells, Larsen, Marquez, Valdez
First Division Last Chance
2 – Josh Larsen
86 – Neil Facchini
41 – John Marquez
17 – Robbie Sauer
First Division Main Event
39 - Buck Blair
142 - Ricky Wells
2 - Josh Larsen
86 - Neil Facchini