Stars and Stripes Night - San Bernardino, CA, USA - July 5
"Battling" Buck Blair celebrated the Independence Day Holiday in style by winning the main event on a Stars and Stripes Night that provided a lot of great racing all night at Pirate Speedway.
After running off three consecutive wins apiece, former National Champion Bobby "Boogaloo" Schwartz and Steve Russell both finished second in their fourth heat and entered the main event tied on 11 points. Blair, who finished second to Schwartz and then Russell after hard fought battles in his first two heats, rattled off two consecutive wins to enter the main event with 10 points. Shawn "Mad Dog" McConnell was on position to qualify directly for the main event, but endured a tough third place in his last heat and won the Last Chance to book his place in the main event.
Schwartz won the draw to determine which one would have first choice of starting position and he picked gate one. Russell quickly chose gate two. Blair picked gate four which left McConnell with gate three.
Schwartz led the field into turn one along the inside line while Blair was rounding the outside and swiftly building up momentum. Schwartz was well aware of the Colorado native's strategy and drifted up wide in turn two in an effort to slow him down. Blair narrowly got past the wily veteran and swept around him for the lead. Schwartz turned his eyes forward and chased after the new leader on the back straight and into turn three. Blair, who had successfully used the ample outside line all night, continued his outside path through the end of lap one and put gained some breathing room. Schwartz had his hands full with Russell and McConnell who were battling side-by-side with each other and also trying to get second. Blair cruised to the victory, Schwartz hung on for second, McConnell finished third, and Russell was fourth.
Jeramiah Allen led the Support Main Event, but Kyle Hicks stormed through the field and took the lead. Hicks parked in turn three which caused riders to lay their bikes down and take evasive action. The race was restarted and Hicks would have to try again from the penalty line. Tom Bryant led the field on the restart but only held that position for a lap before Mitch Pierson took over. Hicks carved his way through the competition and was in second place putting pressure on the leader. Pierson withstood the pressure for two laps and was still in front when entered the final corner. He went a little wide and Hicks exploiting the opening and went by to snatch the victory at the finish line. Ron Davis finished third, Allen was fourth, Bryant finished fifth, and John Pavia finished sixth.
The Junior 250 Main Event began with a scary crash in turn one that left Hayley Perrault and her bike cart wheeling before coming to a stop. She was down for several minutes before walking off the track unassisted. Junior National Champion Broc Nicol trapped from the outside on the restart and blistered the track on his way to victory. Dalton Leedy finished second and Michael Wells was third.
Luke Whitcomb weaved passed his competitors to take the lead and went on to victory in the Pee Wee Main Event. Dakota Shockley was second, Jason Palmese finished third, Tanner Richey was fourth, and Nick Dunn finished fifth.
A couple of flat track heats and a TT Main Event were added to the program and it attracted speedway riders past and present and several other competitors as well. In the main event it was Pirate Speedway referee and former National Speedway Champion Steve Lucero who went home victorious. Former speedway racer Bobby Tocco finished second, Blair was third, Dave Zetterlund finished fourth, and Tyson Talkington was fifth.
The next event at Pirate Speedway will be Harley Night. All divisions of speedway will be competing and the program will also include the popular street-legal Harley races.
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