Quaid Harley Davidson Night - San Bernardino, CA, USA - June 14
"Battling" Buck Blair won his second consecutive Scratch Main Event and Aaron Fox turned an excellent performance into a Handicap Main Event victory on a night of excellent racing on an immaculately prepared track on Quaid Harley Davidson Night at Pirate Speedway.
When the riders drew for position for the Scratch Main Event Fox was the first to try his luck and he pulled gate one. The track was so well prepared that he was disappointed to start on the inside. Russell Green was satisfied with choosing gate three but Blair was elated when he pulled gate four. "Fast" Eddie Castro was left with gate two.
The first time the riders staged Castro got into the tapes and was excluded. On the second attempt Fox was off the starting line well but Blair went right to the outside cushion through turns one and two and the ample supply of dirt propelled him into the lead on the back straight. Fox instantly went to the high line as well to chase after the native of Colorado. Blair maintained a safe lead through three laps but Fox found a little more traction exiting turn two the final time and closed down on the leader as they entered the final corner. Both riders exited turn four and drag raced to the finish. Blair was first to the checkered flag by inches with Fox taking a very close second and Green finishing third.
Troy McConnell started at the front of the Handicap Main Event and led the first two laps with Green leading the charge behind the leader. McConnell did a slow spin the third time into turn one and everyone either laid their bikes down or took evasive action. The race was restarted and McConnell would be penalized.
Green, who was going to start at the front of the restart with four laps remaining, couldn't get his bike started. In a great show of sportsmanship, McConnell gave up his bike to Green for the restart. Green led the first two of the remaining four laps before Castro went around the outside for the lead. This would typically mean the end of the battle for the front but Fox had other ideas. He went to the outside the fifth time into turns one and two and then got his wheels in line, cut back, and stormed underneath Castro on the back straight. The veteran from Ojai tried to return the favor on the final lap but was unable to do so. Fox finished first, Castro was second, Green finished third, Steve Russell was fourth, Blair finished fifth, and McConnell was credited with sixth.
The Support Main seemed like a battleground as three attempts only left riders on the ground and without a finish of the race. The referee gave them one last chance to complete the race or the victory would be awarded. Steve "Beach Ball" Brown led the fourth attempt before Mike Reed, who races very sparingly, went by him for the lead. Reed left little doubt to the outcome as, despite the rust, showed his vast experience and cruised to the victory. Chris Jones finished second, Brown was third, Dave Troutt finished fourth, Kevin "Rip" Fife was fifth, and John "Racer X" Pavia was credited with sixth.
Alex Martin led the Mini 150 Main Event for two laps but Sebastian "Big Daddy" Palmese weaved through traffic and overtook him for the lead entering turn three the third time. Sebastian Palmese never looked back from there and raced away with the win. Sterling Martin finished second, Alex Martin ended up third, and Sara Cords finished fourth.
Tanner Richey led the Pee Wee Main Event for a lap before Jonas LeoGrande slipped past him. "Lightning" Luke Whitcomb got by Richey as well and a great battle between LeoGrande and Whitcomb ensued. After nearly three laps of tight racing the final charge to the finish saw LeoGrande scoring a narrow victory over Whitcomb. Richey finished third and Jason Palmese Jr. was fourth.
Luke Becker travelled from Northern California to compete in the 250 Junior class but the other scheduled riders in his division scratched. In an effort to make his track time productive a series of match races were staged. The first match race had him start 40 yards behind Sebastian Palmese. Despite a valiant effort from the Mini 150 rider Becker went by and pulled away. The second race had Becker against Blair and they thrilled the crowd with an awesome handlebar-to-handlebar race the entire four laps that brought the crowd to its feet. The final race had McConnell joining Becker and Blair and another epic side-by-side four-lap battle ensued between Becker and Blair. Becker's performance left many fans and riders hoping the young man is able to make more trips to Southern California.
What the riders lacked in quantity they certainly made up for in quality. Earlier in the week several truckloads of decomposed granite were added to the track surface and Brad Oxley, promoter of Costa Mesa Speedway, performed his usual masterful job of cutting a new race track and Benny Mears did an excellent job of putting the final touches on the track on raceday. The track was perfect and the riders put on an excellent performance with numerous wheel-to-wheel battles throughout the evening.
The next event at Pirate Speedway is Military Appreciation Night. All divisions of speedway, juniors, and pee wees will be on the program and sidecars will return as well.
Junior 250cc Main Event
|www.speedwaybikes.com - All rights reserved.|