Santa Maria, California
June 7, 1997 - Fairgrounds Raceway
From: Gary Roberts
Saturday's speedway started off looking a bit dismal with a track that
was so slippery going into turn one, that it was difficult to stand up
on. But after the first half dozen races, the track evened out to what
is now expected as a pretty much perfect track.
Despite all riders getting exploratory laps in before the first four
races, accidents happened. Mark Hitchcock, last week's highest points
scorer was the first victim, damaging his knee. He withdrew for the rest
of the evening.
In between rounds of speedway races we had 2 classes of flat-track, with
the rare sight of a Harley Davidson beating a whole bunch of Triumphs. A
couple of years ago I saw a similar event at Victorville speedway, where
a Triumph won the Harley Davidson race.
Fairgrounds Raceway is located in a fairly thinly populated area of
California's central coast. It was recognised early on that for the
facility to succeed, it was necessary to develop some home made talent,
rather than depend on riders from Los Angeles and Bakersfield. Since
Costa Mesa changed from Friday to Saturday, making a more atractive
alternative to the 175 mile drive from the Los Angeles to Santa Maria,
most of our top riders have been from inland Bakersfield. Not this week.
We were pleased to see our own home grown 17 year old Charlie Powell
score maximum points in the qualifying rounds and a win in the A final.
Young Charlie was riding a new machine recently purchased from fellow
Paso Robles rider, Jake Zemke. Charlie's victory was not hollow. Top
Bakerfield contenders, Robbie and Brad Sauer and Marvin Sonnier were
also in the A final.
We stole an idea from Costa Mesa. At half time we held what some call
Australian Pursuits. Does it originate from Australia? Do you ever do it
in Britain? We took 5 riders, and had four single lap races, eliminating
the last finisher each time and rotating the starting positions. The
winner of the final race, (by now down to 2 riders) was Billy Lyons. The
idea went down well with the crowd, so will become part of the regular
Charlie Powell 15
Marvin Sonnier 12
Brad Sauer 11
Billy Lyons 10
Robbie Sauer 10
John VanderMuellen 10
Gerry Duttweiler 8
Mark Maynard 8
Jimmy Collins 6
Tim Appel 6
Paul Baldwin 6
Kitt Nay 6
Jason Montgomery 5
Jason Chabot 3
Powell, Brad Sauer, Robbie Sauer, Sonnier, Lyons
Robbie Sauer, VanderMuellen, Duttweiler, Maynard, Appel (n/s)
Appel, Nay, Collins (n/f), Chabot (n/f), Baldwin (disq)
Next week is the American final down at Costa Mesa, we'll all be there,
so Santa Maria will be closed. The following week, John VanderMuellen,
rider, track manager, advertising coordinator, and cheif organizer is
getting married, so that week will be closed too.
Next event is June 28.
Gary Roberts - firstname.lastname@example.org