Speedway Racer Remembrance Night - June 15
2011 Southern California Points Champion Jimmy "Little Animal" Fishback thrilled his fans by winning his first main event victory of the season in Southern California on Speedway Racer Remembrance Night at Inland Motorcycle Speedway in San Bernardino.
Former National Champion Charlie "The Edge" Venegas entered the main event unbeaten, had first choice of starting position, and picked gate one. Tim Gomez was next and he chose gate two. Fishback selected gate four. "Fast" Eddie Castro took gate three which left Bobby "Boogaloo" Schwartz, who made the main by winning the Last Chance, with gate five. In a brilliant show of sportsmanship, Schwartz spent his time during the rider introductions advising Fishback on the technique of starting on the blue groove. Fishback was soaking in the former World Best Pairs Champion's instructions.
Fishback's listening skills paid off when the tapes went up because he got huge jump on his competitors as they entered turn one. Venegas got a run up the inside of Fishback on the back straight and tried to force his way into the lead as they entered turn three. Fishback isn't intimidated by anyone on the race track and he thwarted Venegas's attempt. The defending ICE Champion didn't go away quietly and the next time they entered turn three he tried the same thing. It would prove to be his last chance to snatch the lead because Fishback steadily pulled away on the final two laps and was first to the checkered flag much to the delight of his many fans in the Inland Empire. Venegas had to settle for second, Castro was third, Gomez finished fourth, and Schwartz was fifth.
Kip McClain led the Second Division Main Event but Mike Fuson took the lead away from him. Fuson opened up some breathing room on the field and was never challenged on his way to the win. "Rattlesnake" Steve Bowen finished second after starting 30 yards back, Ron Davis finished third, Davey Shaw was fourth, and Mike Salyer was fifth.
Sebastian Palmese led Youth 200cc Main Event but had Braydan Galvin, who started on the 60 yard line, closing fast. Palmese didn't fold under the pressure and kept Galvin at bay for three laps. Galvin went to the outside in turn four but slid off. Palmese cruised the final lap to get the victory. Dylan Smith finished second in his first youth main event, and Galvin was credited with third.
Joe Jones and Johnny Glover made the best start and led the Sidecar Main Event through lap one. Dylan Beard and Jimmy Olsen tried to stake their claim for the lead the second time on the back straight and pushed Jones and Glover through turns three and four. The pressure didn't faze the leaders and it was their only chance to be in front. Jones and Glover tightened their grip on the lead and went unchallenged the rest of the way. Beard and Olsen were second, Jeff Medberry and Josh Bennett finished third, and Kevin Brown and Nick Hertrick were fourth.
The Last of the Mohicans Last Team Out Sidecar Challenge saw Jeff Rowe and Johnny Bach eliminated first with Gerard Jackson and Dave German eliminated second. That left Jones and Glover against Brown and Hertrick in the final, two-lap challenge. Jones and Olsen led from the start to take the win.
Speedway Racer Remembrance Night honors racers who lost their lives during motorcycle competitions. The program cover included Ernie Roccio, Ken Berry, Randy Evans, and Nick Varner. It also included a picture of the late popular fan Speedway Billy with the legendary Kelly Moran.
The next event at IMS will be Bobby Schwartz Night. It will honor the man who has spent nearly 40 years racing speedway and has won many championships both domestically and internationally. He has also had a positive impact on the careers of many racers throughout that time by sharing his experience and knowledge with many riders as was evidenced before the main event.
Second Division Main Event (restarted)
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