East River Drive
Owego, New York
Patrick Ahlund Memorial Race
By: Kelvin Herrala
Photos by Sheera Myers
May 27, 2012
It was Casey Donholt that rose up to the top just like the flood waters in the flood of 2011.
Donholt started his night off in the second heat coming out of gate 2 and taking the lead from start to finish. The next round of heats saw him matched up against Jeremy Parsons who always looks good. Donholt had gate 1 and Parsons was coming out of gate 4. Parsons had also won his first time out. It was and epic battle from start to finish with Donholt taking the win.
In his next ride Donholt gated from 4 and never looked back putting him on 9 points so far for the night. In the fourth round of heats Donholt had to gate from the third position with Tuff McBride on the left of him in gate 2. McBride is an experienced rider and always a hard charger so you knew it was going to be a good race. It was dead even all the way through turns one and two, side by side they roared down the backstretch with Donholt going hard into turn 3 and side by side they went up the front straight nobody giving an inch. Donholt used his momentum to carry himself past McBride the next time around to take the win thus putting himself on a 12 point maximum. In the final it was Donholt in gate 1, Parsons in gate 2, Dave Clark in gate 3 and Jason Bonsignore in gate 4.
Both Clark and Bonsignore went into the final with two heat wins apiece. Clark only dropping a point against Donholt in the first round and Parsons in the fourth. Bonsignore had two heat wins and he only gave up points to Clark in the third round of heats and Keith Hawkins who came to life in the fourth round of heats and passed Bonsignore using the outside cushion and a lot of throttle. At the tapes for the start of the main event there was a little battle for real estate between Donholt and Parsons with Parsons crowding to the left lining right up on the chalk line between gate 1 & 2. Donholt wanted the rut he picked out in the first position and wasn't going to let Parsons crowd him out. Once that was settled we were ready to go with Donholt and Parsons arms locked together like they were going down the aisle to get hitched. The tapes went up and everybody came off the line hard with Clark going to the point at the apex of the first turn only to slide out and go down. The ref threw the red flag and called for all four back original restart drawing protest from some of the other riders. They lined up and this time Parsons and Donholt were locked in a battle which allowed Clark to run the outside and get around Parsons. While Parsons was busy with Clark Donholt got a little breathing room and cruised to the win.
Keith Hawkins let it be known that he was going to be a threat in 2012 after beating Bonsignore in his last heat ride and then topping the B main against McBride, Jerry Harmon and Lee Bailey all guys who could be in the A final on any given night.