Aaron Fox had undoubtedly the best evening of his speedway career by winning both main events as the riders continued to soldier on despite the loss of a fellow competitor on FST Sand and Gravel Night at Inland Motorcycle Speedway in San Bernardino.
The evening began with a pall in the air as the Southern California speedway community was still mourning the loss of youth speedway racer Nicholas Varner two days earlier. Varner passed away from head injuries suffered in a motocross crash the previous weekend. A moment of silence was observed prior to the races and money was collected from the spectators in attendance. IMS reported via Facebook that over $2900 was collected and an anonymous person pledged to match that total. Varner's parents, showing incredible fortitude, were in attendance and the outpouring of support toward them was tremendous. Many racers were displaying tributes to Varner, most by displaying his number 333, on their bikes and race suits.
Fox led the Scratch Main Event through the first corner with Joey "The Bolt" Holt and Jimmy "Little Animal" Fishback chasing him down the back straight. Holt used the inside line while Fishback was trying to make the outside work. Neither line proved to be useful in making up ground and Fox opened a little breathing room. As he was approaching the white flag Holt fell behind him with "Fast" Eddie Castro laying his machine down. The remaining riders throttled down and coasted into the infield as a tribute to Varner. Fox was credited with the win, but announcer Bruce Flanders enhanced the tribute by announcing Varner as the winner.
Drew Coats led the Handicap Main Event until Fox passed him on the back straight. Fox led through lap four when the red flag came out after a crash. Fox began the restart at the tapes with Shawn "Mad Dog" McConnell just 10 yards behind him. When the tapes went off Fox took off and McConnell was unable to cut into his lead the entire way. Fox completed his double main event evening,McConnell finished second, Castro was third, Fishback finished fourth, and Tyson Talkington was fifth.
Brandon Leedy and Gabe Price left the starting line together in the Second Division Main Event and raced handlebar-to-handlebar through out the first lap. Price made a bold outside move as they exited turn four and dropped down in front of Brandon Leedy as they entered turn one the second time. Brandon Leedy remained within striking distance the final three laps but Price never afforded him a shot at the lead. Price was victorious for the second straight week, Brandon Leedy had to settle for second, Chris Jones finished third, and Joey St. Louis was credited with fourth.
Sebastian Palmese led the Youth 200cc Main Event for a lap, but Shea Bendykowski passed him on the back straight of the second lap. Bendykowski raced off into the sunset after that and took home the main event victory. Hayley Perrault finished second, Dalton Leedy was third, Michael Wells finished fourth, and Sebastian Palmese was credited with fifth.
Jimmy Fishback IV led the Pee Wee Main Event throughout the first lap, but Luke Whitcomb went by him at the end of lap one. Whitcomb never looked back from there and went on to victory. Fishback finished second, Sara Cords was third, Jack Jones finished fourth, Luke Jones was fifth, and Mikey Ortega finished sixth.
Dan Jones and Brandi McElroy led all four laps en route to victory in the Sidecar Main Event. Dylan Beard and Trever DeSherlia were second, Joe Jones and Jimmy Olsen finished third, and Scott Driggers and Casey Driggers were fourth.
The next event at IMS is the first Flyin Mike Faria Night. The evening will honor the three-time National Champion for his many years dedicated to racing speedway. Former World Champion Billy "The Bullet" Hamill will lead a 20-racer First Division field of racers trying to claim the title.
Handicap Main Event (restarted)
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