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1997 Fairgrounds Raceway
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1997 Race Results

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Fairgrounds Raceway
Santa Maria, California

October 11 1997 - Fairgrounds Raceway
From: Gary Roberts

Since Costa Mesa and Auburn are now both closed for the season, Speedway is really hotting up in Santa Maria! We were treated to the best program full of riders from both a quality and quantity perspective, that we have seen all season. There were too many riders for the regular 16 rider championship format, so the 24 rider format was adapted down to 20 riders. This gave each rider 3 rides. The top 16 riders transferred to semi-finals. The winner of each semifinal went to the main and the semifinal runner up went to the consolation. The winner of the consolation also went on to main.

Scores from the 3 qualifying races totalled up as follows:
Kit Nay            9
Tim Tucker         8
Marvin Sonnier     8
John DeVries       8
Sean Larned        7
Matt King          7
Mark Maynard       7
Rick Bishop        5
Mark Adams         5
Paul Herman        4
Tim Reilly         4
John VanderMeulen  3
Jason Steiner      3
Chris Campos       3
Jeff Smith         2
Don Johnson        2
Jason Chabot       2
Walter Baldwin     1
Brent Smith        1
Paul Baldwin       0

I don't like this format. It does not enable every rider to ride against every other rider, so there are easy heats and difficult heats. The scores are less meaningful than the 16 rider format.

Consolation race
1. Marvin Sonnier 
2. Sean Larned 
3. Rick Bishop 
4. Mark Maynard 

Main event
1. Marvin Sonnier 
2. John DeVries 
3. Kit Nay 
4. Matt King 
5. Tim Tucker

Marvin Sonnier who earlier in the season was a regular at Santa Maria scored well in the qualifying rounds, only managed a second in the semi final, but won the consolation, then went on to win the main. Local favorite, 16 year old Kit Nat won his semi, but got a bad start in the main and only managed to recover to third place. THere were some hard fought races, and a lot of overtaking.

For the first time this season we were also priviledged to have three first Division riders. They were joined for the first two of five qualifying heats by local man 17 year old Charlie Powell. Charlie managed a second behind Randy DiFrancesco in one heat. In the main event they were joined by the regular class winner, Marvin Sonnier.

 First division main:
1. Randy DiFrancesco 
2. Brian Papalardo 
3. Kon Bauer 
4. Marvin Sonnier

Both Randy and Kon have ridden at Santa Maria before they became first division. The first division riders had some outstandingly close and fast races.

This was probably the best show all season, but the smallest crowd. In view of this, the first division riders declined their prize money. This kind gesture is typical of the sportsmanship of the riders here. They want to see the track survive.

Next Saturday is the last scheduled meeting this season at Santa Maria. Again, it should be a good event, as many riders want to get in a last ride before we all disappear into the dreaded six month cultural vacuum.

Gary Roberts - gary_rob@ix.netcom.com

Fairgrounds Raceway turns 3 and 4 Fairgrounds Raceway turns 1 and 2

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