Inland Motor Speedway
National Orange Show
San Bernardino, California
Ben Mears Appreciation Night
June 24, 2011
By: Ryan Evans
Photos by: Dorcey Wingo
|It was Ben Mears Appreciation Night at Inland Motorcycle Speedway Friday evening.
If anyone at IMS is married to his job, it would be Benny. Thanks for all your hard work and dedication, Mr. Mears!
|First Division Star #14 "Fast" Eddie Castro sports a new top hat, looking like a short, modern version of Abe Lincoln as he hurries about in the IMS pit area. "Four engines and seven rear tires ago," he began....
||On the first race of the evening, First Division rider #293 Rick "The Rage" Valdez (in two) lifted badly after the tapes went up and crashed hard. Tough way to start your evening, Rick!
|Pee Wees come off the track after a race. It's hard to tell who's having more fun: the crowd, the Pee Wees or their dads!
||Pee Wee Main Event: #14 Sara Coats comes from the twenty yard line as the rest of the field takes off. On the pole is #27 Luke Whitcomb, #275 Jimmy Fishback IV is on two; #34 Dakota Shockley is in three; #45 Charlie Larsen is on four, and (partially obscured) is #000 Mikey Ortega against the wall.
||The Third Division Consolation was won by a determined Beach Ball Brown, gating from the pole position. Kip McClain (in three) would lose control on the final turn, whereupon his bike smacked the referee and yours truly, hiding behind a hay bale.
|IMS Referee Tom Fox is tended to by the paramedic following his encounter with McClain's Jawa. Pit Steward Gary Hicks Sr. lends his support. Tom was unable to continue but didn't require hospitalization.
||Youth Main Event: #18 Sebastian Palmese gates from the pole as #23 Shea Bendykowski comes from the 10; #222 Dalton Leedy starts from the 20, and #104 Kurtis Hamill starts from the 40. Palmese was the winner, Leedy second, and Hamill third.
||Third Division Main Event: #3131 Joey St. Louis starts from the pole.
#275 Mike Betor is in two; #157 Tony DeAlmeida is in three and #311 Kevin Fife gates from four. St. Louis was the winner, DeAlmeida was second and Fife took third.
|Second Division Main Event: #333 Mike Salyer gates from the pole as #175 digs out in lane two. In three is #195 Drew Coats and #113 Gabe Price is on the wall. Coats won it, Price was second, and Fife was third.
||First Division Last Chance: #19 Dale Facchini is on the pole with #46 Aaron Fox in second. Making a rare appearance is a game #139 Shaun Harmatiuk in third, and former World Finalist #2 Josh Larsen on the wall. Larsen advanced to the Main Event.
||First Division Main Event: #25 Jimmy Fishback III starts from the pole adjacent to a scrambling #14 Eddie Castro. In three is #2 Josh Larsen and former British Leagues rider #15 Dukie Ermolenko. Dukie is in lane four.
||Left - #2 Josh Larsen battled head to head more than once during the evening, but it was #25 Jimmy "Li'l Animal" Fishback III who prevailed in the end on Ben Mear's Appreciation Night at IMS. Many GREAT races!
Defending Western States Champion Jimmy "Little Animal" Fishback claimed victory on Ben Mears Appreciation Night at Inland Motorcycle Speedway in San Bernardino.
Fishback and "Fast" Eddie Castro entered turn one together with Josh Larsen close behind. Fishback and Castro went deep into the corner while Larsen cut back underneath the pair as they exited turn two. Larsen and Fishback were handlebar to handlebar entering turn three. Fishback's outside line proved slightly better and he was slightly ahead at the end of the first lap. Larsen made another inside move through turns one and two but Fishback held the advantage on the back straight and cut to the inside line entering turn three the second time. Fishback remained on the inside line but he could not afford to make a mistake because Larsen was planted on his back tire. Fishback was flawless on the final two laps and held Larsen at bay for the win. "Fast" Eddie Castro finished third and Dukie Ermolenko was fourth.
Fishback kicked off the heats with a win over Tyson Talkington. Castro beat Bobby "Boogaloo" Schwartz in event two. Ermolenko beat Austin Novratil in event three. Aaron Fox ended round one with a win over Shawn "Mad Dog" McConnell.
Fishback and Larsen began round two with a great battle before Larsen went down in turn four and brought out the red flag. Fishback won the restart with Larsen getting second from the penalty line. Ermolenko was awarded the victory in event 12 after McConnell went down. Castro passed Austin Novratil for his second straight win. Shaun Harmatiuk beat Brad Pappalardo to finish the second round.
Harmatiuk started round three by beating Fishback for his second straight win. Fox beat Steve Russell in the next heat for his second win. Larsen powered to victory over McConnell in event 23. Castro came from the penalty line to end the third round with his third straight win.
Fishback defeated Castro to begin round four and earned first gate choice in the main event. Dale Facchini beat Joey "The Bolt" Holt in event 28. Ermolenko stalked Harmatiuk for two laps before getting past for his third win. Larsen beat Fox for his second straight win in event 30. Facchini was victorious in the final heat to earn a place in the Last Chance.
Larsen trapped from the outside and ran away from everyone to easily win the First Division Last Chance and the final spot in the main.
Drew Coats held off the constant pressure from Gabe Price to win the Second Division Main Event for the second consecutive week. Jake Myers finished third and Mike Salyer was fourth.
Seventeen year old Joey St. Louis led the Third Division Main Event, but Mike Betor closed ground fast as they took the white flag. Betor went for broke on the outside of the final corner, but went down in the process. St. Louis was first to the checkered flag, Tony DeAlmeida finished second, Kevin Fife was third, and Betor was credited with fourth.
Sebastian "Big Daddy" Palmese led from start to finish and collected the victory in the Youth Main Event. Dalton Leedy finished second, Kurtis Hamill was third, and Shea Bendykowski finished fourth.
Sara Cords assumed the lead from Charlie Larsen on the second lap and went on to her third straight Pee Wee Main Event win. Dakota Shockley was second, Jimmy Fishback IV finished third, Luke Whitcomb was fourth, Charlie Larsen finished fifth, and Mikey Ortega was sixth.
The next event at IMS is the Firecracker Derby and will feature an all-scratch format in First Division.
Pee Wee Main Event
14 - Sara Cords
34 - Dakota Shockley
275 - Jimmy Fishback IV
27 - Luke Whitcomb
45 - Charlie Larsen
000 - Mikey Ortega
Youth Main Event
18 - Sebastian Palmese 0
222 - Dalton Leedy 20
104 - Kurtis Hamill 40
23 - Shea Bendykowski 10
Third Division Main Event
313 - Joey St. Louis
157 - Tony DeAlmeida
311 - Kevin Fife
275 - Mike Betor (fell)
Second Division Main Event
195 - Drew Coats
113 - Gabe Price
175 - Jake Myers
333 - Mike Salyer
First Division Heat Scoring1234T
2 – Josh Larsen E2338
6 – Shawn McConnell 21216
11 – Bobby Schwartz 20103
14 – Eddie Castro 333211
15 – Dukie Ermolenko 331310
17 – Robbie Sauer 10113
19 – Dale Facchini 12339
23 – Steve Russell 112R 4
25 – Jimmy Fishback 332311
27 – Austin Novratil 220N 4
28 – Joey Holt 11226
45 – Brad Pappalardo 02013
46 – Aaron Fox 31329
48 – Tyson Talkington 2FNrN 2
139 – Shaun Harmatiuk 03328
141 – Josh Abbott 12115
293 – Rick Valdez NrN - - 0
1: (restarted) Fishback, Talkington, Sauer, Valdez (non starter – restart)
2: Castro, Schwartz, Abbbott, Pappalardo
3: Ermolenko, Novratil, Russell, Larsen (engine failure)
4: Fox, McConnell, Facchini, Harmatiuk
11: (restarted) Fishback, Larsen (penalty line), Holt, Schwartz
12: (awarded) Ermolenko, Abbott, McConnell, Valdez (non starter)
13: Castro, Novratil, Fox, Sauer
14: Harmatiuk, Pappalardo, Russell, Talkington (fell)
21: Harmatiuk, Fishback, Abbott, Novratil
22: Fox, Russell, Schwartz
23: Larsen, McConnell, Holt, Pappalardo
24: (restarted) Castro (penalty line), Facchini, Ermolenko, Talkington (non starter – restart)
27: Fishback, Castro, McConnell, Russell (retired)
28: Facchini, Holt, Pappalardo
29: Ermolenko, Harmatiuk, Sauer, Schwartz
30: Larsen, Fox, Abbott, Talkington (non starter)
33: Facchini, Holt, Sauer, Novratil (non starter)
First Division Last Chance
2 - Josh Larsen
19 - Dale Facchini
46 - Aaron Fox
139 - Shaun Harmatiuk
First Division Main Event
25 - Jimmy Fishback
2 - Josh Larsen
14 - Eddie Castro
15 - Dukie Ermolenko