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1996 Victorville Speedway
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1996 Victorville Speedway

July 27, 1996 - Gardener And Lynch Retake Sidecar National Title Victorville Speedway

by Mike Maher

Former speedway sidecar national champions Dirk Gardner and Doug Lynch retook the title from defending champions Dean Steele and Dwayne King in a dramatic and controversial finish to the 1996 Speedway Sidecar National Championships in an event that came down to the final of the evening.

Several teams established themselves as contenders early on in the championship. format event (five rounds of four lap, four rider heats, with points awarded 3-2-1-0 ) This included Peter Lewis and Jamie Macy, who scored two wins and two seconds in their first four races. Steale and King, and Gardner and Lynch, both went undefeated through their first four rides. The luck of the draw had the two of them along with Lewis and Macy, and Don Horsley and Jeff Medberry ( who with only six points were out of the running but could serve as a spoiler ).

If Gardner and Lynch, or Steele and King won, they would win the title outright. A second behind Lewis and Macy would also give either team the title. If Lewis and Macy could win, with Horsley and Medberry second, then Lewis and Macy would be the champions.

When the gate went up, Gardner and Lynch shot out into the lead with Lewis and Macy, and Steele and King in close pursuit. As they came out of turn four to complete lap one, Lewis and Macy, and Gardner and Lynch collided, forcing Gardner and Lynch into the infield and knocking Lynch off the rig. This brought out the red flag, and since a lap had not been completed, a full restart was ordered. This proved to be the saving grace for Gardner and Lynch.

On the restart, Gardner and Lynch took the lead over Lewis and Macy, and Steele and King. But Steele and King were not giving up without a fight, and blasted past Lewis and Macy and set out after Gardner and Lynch.

"Deano" and "Kingo" gave it all they had but briefly lost control, allowing Gardner and Lynch to move ahead and take the race and the title, with a perfect 15 points. Steele and King finished second with 14, and Lewis and Macy took third overall with 11 points.

On the motorcycle side of the program, Dustin Evans put in a bravado performance coming from the back of the pack and weaving his was through the field to catch "Slick Rick" Siep in the final turn to take the win. Michael Hull finished third, with Kon Baur fourth, Aaron Nichols fifth, and Mike Boyle sixth.

In junior speedway competition, Jesse Little won the second division over Donny Robinson, while Jon Childress took the third division over Tim Gomez.

With this event, one era of local motorsports comes to an end as Speedway USA closes down, and Ascot Speedway opens, shifting Saturday night action in the high desert from two wheels to four with the opening night for the new fairgrounds track set for August 17th.

Sidecar Championship (with points)
1st 15 - Dirk Gardner / Doug Lynch
2nd 14 - Dean Steele / Dwayne King
3rd 11 - Peter Lewis / Jamie Macy
4th 10 - Clyde Dennen / Dale Leeder 
4th 10 - Joe Petrgalovic / John Abright
6th  9 - Duane Carmont / Richard Tarling
7th  8 - Bob Brayton / Parke Weaver
7th  8 - Steve Stanton / Jack Straw
9th  7 - Steve Morrow / Craig Maggin
9th  7 - Don Partian / Derek Albright
11th 6 - Don Horsley / Jeff Medberry
12th 5 - Allan Hall / Dirk Votaw
13th 2 - Rob Virza / Brandon Kruse
13th 2 - Roger Loffers / Arnold Fimbres
16th 1 - Dan Lameroux / Mike Moreno

Speedway Handicap Main Event
1st Dustin Evans
2nd Rick Selp
3rd Michael Hull
4th Kon Baur
5th Aaron Nichols
6th Mike Boyle

Junior Speedway Division 2
1st Jesse Little
2nd Donny Robinson
3rd Galina Miller

Junior Speedway Division 3
1st Jon Childress
2nd Tim Gomez
3rd Justin Boyle
T.L. Clark
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