Eddie Mulder's W.C.V.D.T. S. Round #8
October 24, 2010
Willow Springs – Walt James Stadium
Story by Jamey Blunt
The final round of Eddie Mulder's West Coast Vintage Dirt Track Series at Willow Springs has always paid double points. This was no exception and several class championships were still undecided. Tension and a cold breeze were everywhere as the one hundred thirty four entrants signed in, went through tech inspection, and waited for grid sheets to be posted after practice. The nineteen heat races set the stage for the seventeen main events that followed after the track grooming break was completed.
The five lap Dash 4 Cash that took the top two finishers from each of the three pro heat races jump started the programs main events. The six riders were Jared Mees, Sammy Halbert, Mike Rush, Briar Bauman, David Brown, and Jimmy Wood. Mees launched from pole to lead through turns one and two with Halbert second, Brown third, Wood fourth, Bauman fifth, and Rush sixth. With $2,000 at stake Mees put his head down and rode mistake free posting a 21.68 second lap time while Halbert tried everything he could think of to gain some ground, but slowly was loosing it. After three laps Bauman got by Wood for fourth and Rush was alone in sixth as Mees and Halbert were pulling away. Coming to the white flag Halbert posted his fastest lap of the dash at 22.00 seconds flat. On the exit from turn four to the checkered flag Bauman made a run at Brown but Brown held tough to keep his third place position. The finishing order was Mees, Halbert, Brown, Bauman, Wood, and Rush. Mees then proceeded to take Eddie Mulder on a victory lap ride with the front wheel skyward.
Tom Horton, Ken Thiebaud and Joe Steffen were side by side through turn one on the start of the K&N Filters/Maxima Racing Oils Senior main event. Thiebaud twisted the throttle hard on his Triumph to lead down the back straight, Steffen dropped in at second with Horton in third. Steve Craft (who would win the class championship) settled in at fourth with Jeff Lessley making an appearance on a larger bike running fifth. Entering turn one for the second time Horton ran up the inside of Steffen to take second away which caused Steffen to make a mistake in turn two loosing even more ground. Thiebaud at the front turned a 23.62 second lap attempting to get clear of Horton. At the finish the running order remained unchanged.
Lloyd McGregor nailed the start in the Motion Pro/ Rod Lake Racing Vet "A" main event. Steve Nichols ran second with Don Howard third. Down the back straight for the first time Howard shot past Nichols and locked cross hairs on McGregor. On the exit from turn two for the second time Howard got a drive to shoot past McGregor for the lead. Back in fourth ran Jim Ottele with Jason Craven fifth and Robert Bush sixth. Once out front Howard started to pull away which Nichols couldn't allow and made an outside pass on McGregor through turn four to secure second and attempt to reel in Howard. This lap also saw Jim Rosa from no man's land in the back charge his way up to fifth dropping Craven to sixth. With a lap and a half remaining Nichols was within four bike lengths of Howard when he almost ran off the track on the back straight causing him to back off the throttle. This cost Nichols any chance he had dreamed of for a victory. Howard smooth and fast (22.70second lap) cruised to the victory with Nichols second, McGregor third, Ottele held on in fourth from a fast closing Rosa in fifth and the new class champion Craven sixth.
The Brown's Cycles/JRC Engineering Super Senior/Senior Novice class once again pitted the Triumph of Herb Wolff against the BSA of Tim Thomas. Wolff nailed the start to lead through turns one and two with Thomas glued to his backside. Jack Alexander slotted in at third with Dave Cheney fourth and Guy Duckett fifth. From the start Wolff and Thomas were the class of the field and began to gap the others rapidly. On lap three Thomas went wide on the exit from turn two and almost went off the track, but quick thinking and action saved his race as he regrouped for another attack on Wolff. Thomas worked the high line carrying corner speed and on the exit from turn four on lap four it worked as he took the lead at the stripe. At this point Thomas and Wolff had a full straight distance over third place Alexander who had Cheney starting to close in on him. A lapper came into play as the leader's exited turn four to the checkered but Thomas held his line and took the victory by a bike length and the class championship with it.
The Classic 500 main event by Bartels Harley Davidson/Coventry Spares was a two rider duel. Chris Rudy hit turn one first in the middle of the track, Tom Horton tried to slip up the inside but couldn't hold the line and Rudy led down the back straight. As they came to the stripe Horton wasted no time and took over at the front. Once out front Horton put his head down and turned a 23.78 second lap pulling away from Rudy. Back in third Jack Alexander and Lenny Rodriguez were staging their own world war while James Kohls and Joe Pape fell back from their pace. Exiting turn four on the fourth lap Rodriguez made his move and took the third spot from Alexander. At the white flag Horton had a second and a half gap but Rudy knew second place would secure him the class championship as they brought it home. The final tally read Horton, Rudy, Rodriguez, Alexander, Kohls, and Pape.
A&A Racing's/GT Graphics Modern 250 class was an air cooled rolling museum of vintage race bikes with anyone of five riders capable of winning on this day. Mike Gonzales left the start line first only to have Joe Steffen find some traction and lead through turns one and two. Tom Horton ran third with Jeff Lessley fourth and Nick Armstrong in fifth. Entering turn one for the second time Horton bobbled allowing Lessley and Armstrong both past dropping him to fifth. Down the back straight Horton ran it up the inside of Armstrong to take fourth back while Gonzales was looking for a way past Steffen for the lead which a lap later he would have as Steffen went wide with a problem and Gonzales moved forward. This dropped Steffen to third which a lap later would become fourth as Horton advanced. On the run to the checkered flag Paul Ott clipped Armstrong's handlebar at the stripe causing Armstrong to fall hard on the straight. Armstrong was still credited with fifth and Ott sixth which gave him the class championship over second place Lessley by one point. Not to forget Horton in third.
Jason Craven led from the start in the Megacycle Cams/Barnett Clutches & Cables 500 support main event. Jay Gosvenor sat in second with Steve Nichols third, Jeff Gonzales fourth, Ron Moore fifth and Gary Ritchie sixth. On the third time through turns three and four Nichols squared up Gosvenor and made his move to take over at second. On the next trip into turn three Gonzales would drop Gosvenor yet another position. With a lap and a half remaining Moore put pressure on Gosvenor and he ran off the track advancing Moore to fourth and Ritchie to fifth. On the final lap Craven had less than a bike length gap from Nichols but would hold on for the victory. Gonzales would finish third, (good enough to give him the class championship) with Moore fourth and Ritchie fifth.
Fifteen riders were staged for the MAXXIS Tires/ Kawasaki of Simi Valley Open Amateur main event. Dillon Allen got a flyer to lead into turn one Don Howard was away second with Bronson Bauman third, David Bush fourth, and Zachery Lenhof fifth. By lap two Garrett Stout had passed Lenhof for fifth fighting to advance from his ninth place start. Two laps complete Allen was still our leader with Howard pressuring and taking over the lead on the exit from turn two with Bauman following past Allen in the same move. The front order was now Howard, Bauman, and Allen. Then on the exit from turn four Bush got past Allen for third with Stout dropping Allen yet another rung in turn one putting him back to fifth. All the while Lenhof now had pressure from Dan Brown for his sixth place position. Entering turn one with two laps remaining Bauman took the lead from Howard thus securing the victory and the class championship for himself. But Howard's slip backward wasn't finished as Bush came through a wide open door when Howard went high in turn three giving Bush second and Howard now found himself in third. Stout would stay in fourth with Allen safe in fifth, and Brown took Sixth from Lenhof on the final lap.
Most of the pro riders and fans in the seats owe their gratitude to Digger Helm. Without Digger and his support of the series dirt track racing would be greatly diminished on the west coast and across the country for that matter. Thank-You Digger!!!
Sixteen Pros staged for the twenty lap Digger Helm final, which by paying double points left the MAXXIS TIRES money still up for the taking. The front row consisted of Jared Mees on pole with his leg over his potent H.D. 750. Next to Mees sat Sammy Halbert riding brother Jethro's single cylinder machine for this event with Mike Rush, Briar Bauman, David Brown, and Jimmy Wood all to his right and on singles as well. Starter Fred Allen turned them loose but on the second trip through turn one two riders (Jimmy Wood and Kayl Kolkman) went down rearranging the hay bales. Thankfully both were uninjured and made the full restart. This time Mees shot to the front with Sammy Halbert second, Bauman third, Luke Gough fourth, and Henry Wiles fifth. Down the back straight Gough got swallowed up as David Brown shot past into fourth with Wiles staying in fifth as things got sorted out. Mike Rush sat in sixth with Kayl Kolkman way back in eighth starting his march forward. Jethro Halbert and Chad Cose both on unfamiliar bikes rounded out the top ten. With six laps complete the front three had distanced themselves form the field, baring a mechanical the rest of the race was for fourth on back. A pack of five riders all had a shot at fourth place which Brown occupied. On lap seven entering turn three Wiles ran a wheel under Brown to take fourth away, thus began the backward slide for Brown who appeared to have the speed and a ton of talent just perhaps not the stamina. At this point Kolkman was at seventh and Gough in eighth as the leaders now had a full straight over fourth place. At crossed flags (half way) Bauman had worked his way by Sammy Halbert into second, but don't think for a minute Halbert wouldn't come right back at him which he did taking the spot back exiting turn four a lap later. All this was taking place no more than four bike lengths behind our leader Mees. For a few laps Bauman kept showing Halbert a wheel and challenging for his position but by lap fifteen Halbert had a small breathing space and Bauman settled in at third. At this point Kolkman had climbed up to fifth where his march forward would stop and Rush fought his way into sixth. With a lap and a half remaining Gough regrouped and made a final push to secure seventh dropping Brown back to eighth, this made the finishing order Mees, Halbert, Bauman, Wiles, Kolkman, Rush, Gough, Brown, Jethro Halbert, and Cose. Thus concluded the West Coast Vintage Dirt Track Series for 2010, next year holds new promise with new and exciting venues in the process of being secured. Did someone say the mile?
|Super Sr/Sr Novice|
|36||Robert Bacosa, Jr||43G||0||1||1|
|DIGGER OPEN PRO|
|14||Rodney Spencer, Jr||74Z||5||4||9|
|30||Stewart Barber Jr.||38Z||0||0|