Former World Finalist and Grand Prix Series rider Josh Larsen won all of his races to claim victory in an action packed finale to the 2011 season opener at Victorville Speedway. Larsen had picked the inside gate with track specialist Buck Blair off of gate 4. In between them were track Champion Eddie Castro and 16 year old Austin Novratil.
Blair made a lightening start in the first attempt though Larsen made heavy contact with Castro and Novratil leaving both of his rivals on the deck in turn one. A complete restart was ordered and this time Larsen was fastest away but Blair quickly went for the dirt line as both riders were level going into turn three. Blair went too wide out of turn 4 and made heavy contact with the fence, Castro laying down. Blair was ordered to the penalty line for the restart. Larsen gated once more in the third attempt and had a healthy lead coming out of turn two. It looked all over bar the shouting but Novratil, in second had other ideas. He astonishingly reeled in Larsen and made a brief outside pass at the end of lap two to take the lead before Larsen reclaimed 1st. The two raced hard for the next lap and it was too close to call until Novratil went down in turn 2 of lap 4. That gave Larsen victory with Castro in second and Blair third.
The Division One field had a very healthy 14 entrants and each had three heats to qualify for the semi finals. There were some surprises along the way - Castro fell in the 1st heat, Nicol hit the tapes in the third. Blair was also a victim of a tape infringement in his second ride but aggressively passed Tyson Talkington and Aaron Fox to get second. Michael Raines, who won that heat, had an amazing ride in round 3, chasing Larsen all the way.
The first semi had Larsen and Novratil as comfortable transfers over Raines and Nicol. Blair completely missed the gate in the second semi, won by Castro and aggressively first got by Talkington and then Jason Ramirez to make the Main the hard way. Michael Raines was streets ahead in the B Main but hit the wall in the same spot as Blair as he came to the checkered, gifting Ramirez the win.
American Touring Team rider Marvin Sonnier held off Rick Fehrman to win Division Two. Tony DeAlmeida won all Division Three events, a feat that Brandon Rhea repeated in the Pee Wee class. Joe Jones & Jimmy Olsen won the Sidecar Pre-Season race. Dillon Ruml doubled to win both junior classes.
Despite the very cold weather a good rider count put on an excellent show. The next Victorville event is in 2 weeks, Saturday April 2nd. It is Legends night and former World Champions Shawn Moran and Billy Hamill will be in attendance.
Division One Heat Scores:
B Main: Ramirez, Talkington, Raines fell, Nicol non starter.
Victorville Points after 19 March 2011
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