SCFTA Round 1 Perris - Feburary 15th, 2014

Photos by Janice Blunt

Article by Jamey Blunt

By the numbers the opening round of the S.C.F.T.A. was a huge success! A total of one hundred sixty four riders made up the thirty six heat races and twenty eight main events.

With forty five of those riders entering the youth classes the future of flat track racing appears brighter with every new season. For the middle of February one could not ask for better weather, a high of eighty degrees with night time temperatures dipping into the fifties. Back for another season with the S.C.F.T.A. is Lucas Oil providing all kinds of great products for the class winners at each round. Over the winter break some fresh dirt was added to the racing surface and after the 4:30 p.m. riders meeting, with practice following the track looked fast.

The youth 250cc open class for riders under sixteen years of age had some new faces and thousands of dollars of shinny new equipment. Eleven riders staged for the main event with Clayton Williams starting from pole. Williams sporting new gear from head to foot nailed the start and led the first lap. Dominic Careron was away in second with Allison Stacey third. On the second run through turn four Stacey gave Careron a little nudge to take over the second place position while Justin Hanson ran in fourth. Making his first appearance on a 250cc machine was Travis Petton the 4th working his way forward getting used to his new mount. Out front Williams was getting away and turned the fastest lap of the race at 15.25 seconds. With two laps remaining Williams and Stacey had separated themselves from the field and Williams held a one and a half second gap over Stacey. Tanner Dean was in fifth position with Petton right behind at this point in sixth. The finishing order would remain the same when the checkered flag fell at Williams, Stacey, Careron, Hanson, Dean, Petton, and Alex Crosby.

The Youth 85cc Open class is pretty much the same field as the Youth 85cc 2-stk. Novice. In the Open class Grant Holmes and 82 Travis Petton the 4th both jumped the start and were sent back to the third row penalty line. This gave 12 James Ott an opportunity to go to the front and he took it. Ott led the ten rider field through turns one and two with Tanner Dean running second and Frank Flores third. But on the first exit from turn four Petton was on a mission and passed Flores for third and wasted no time going after Dean. At the front Ott put in a 16.27 second lap time and looks to have elevated his racing another notch. With two laps complete the front three had gapped the rest of the field and Petton was all over Dean as time ticked away. On the entrance to turn one just after the completion of lap three Petton slipped up the inside of Dean to take over at second. One question though was what happened to Holmes? He was still at the back of the field; however he's usually found at the front and did turn a 16.10 second lap time in the heat race. Meanwhile up front Ott held a six bike length lead over Petton and laps were winding down. Petton's fastest lap was a 15.90 seconds, but would this be enough to catch Ott in the time remaining? It would, as Petton slipped under Ott as they crossed the stripe and went on to lead for the remaining lap and a half to take a well earned victory. Ott came home second with Dean a solid third, Flores fourth and Tyler Raggio fifth. Petton would also come back to take the victory over Ott in the 85cc Novice final. This giving him two victories at round one and proving Ott is a major threat in these classes.

25 Travis Horn

Other Youth class winners of note were Kave Johnson, Lilyanna Carlson, Travis Horn, Zaden Flores, Dustin Shumate, Reece Watowa, Matt Ott, Ava Bush and Page Britt, who all took first place in their classes.

4 Vince Graves didn't get the start in the Super Senior +60 class, but then again it hard to beat David Molitor to the first corner. Over the winter break Graves found out his suspension really wasn't working and he had raced the 2013 season basically on a rigid. With fresh suspension his lap times improved quickly to the 15.3 second range and Graves reeled in Molitor for the victory with 3j DeWayne Jones third and 22 Paul Claybaugh fourth.

The Classic Vintage final saw 4r Lenny Rodriguez pick his pace up and turn a 16.79 second lap time. But the class leader everyone is still shooting at is 95 Tom Ferguson who took the victory aboard the Jim McMurren H.D. Sprint. Ferguson's time of 16.67 seconds was still good enough but Rodriguez, 14 James Kohls, 44s Robert Bush, and 75x Joe Pape are getting closer.

Preston Petty continues to develop the Zero electric motorcycle and sometimes seems to struggle. But usually manages to take the victory in the Premier Senior +70 class. At round one Petty topped Mike Brooks and Alan Girdler who made him work for the victory.

87 Jeff "The Jester" Johnson       89 Danny "I Bowl Overhand" Perkins

Jeff "The Jester" Johnson is always having fun and likes to slide. After all isn't that why everyone starts riding motorcycles in the first place? This season Johnson plans to campaign the Bomber class aboard a new Yamaha TT-500 mount. At the first flash of green Johnson shot from pole into the lead with Jimmy Lundgren in second. On the exit from turn two Danny "I Bowl Overhand" Perkins shot past Lundgren into second knowing he couldn't give Johnson a gap or he'd be gone. Joe Steffen (great to have him back) ran in fourth with Travis Petton the 2nd fifth and Jeff Gonzales (on a new framed pristine 500) in sixth. On the second exit from turn two Petton ran up under Steffen to take fourth position away. Three laps complete had Johnson and Perkins at the front disappearing as Lundgren was now under attack from Petton. Johnson's fastest lap was a 15.00 flat to Perkins 15.20 time. By the end of four laps Petton had found a way around Lundgren for third but this was where he'd stay as Johnson and Perkins were over a half a straightaway ahead. At the checkered flag it was Johnson, Perkins, Petton, Lundgren, Steffen, and Gonzales. However most important was how close Perkins kept Johnson and how far forward Petton had to come to get third. This class will produce some wars throughout the season.

74 Scooter Vernon

The Open Unclassified was a big field, so much so that "A" and "B" main events had to be run. Brandon Watters sat on pole for the "A" main but couldn't keep Scooter Vernon from nailing the start to lead through turn one and two. By the end of the first lap Vernon had a six bike length gap over Watters in second. With two laps complete Austin Helmholz had worked his way into third while Vernon at the front put in a 15.16 second lap time. Within another lap Colt Foster and Andy DiBrivo had also joined the fight over third place. On the next go round Watters had the fastest lap of the race at 15.12 seconds but Vernon was gone, and the fighting over third saw Foster drop Helmholz a spot as DiBrivo was getting his second wind. This battle would go down to the last corner on the last lap where DiBrivo got a run out of turn four and shot through into third at the checkered flag. This made the final tally Vernon, Watters, DiBrivo, Foster, Helmholz and Joe Roberts.

98 Bill Kolkman

Jeff Johnson and Bill Kolkman hit turn one side by side in the Senior Vet +50 expert final. Johnson took over the lead by virtue of holding the inside position. Then on the first run down the back straight Johnson's hand shot skyward indicating something was wrong and he was out of the race. Kolkman found himself up front and turned a 15.57 second lap that Jim Ottele, Dan Kane or Jim Steet just couldn't match as they watched Kolkman take the victory.

71 Jon Nunes

Ten riders were in the Vet +35 main event with Jim Rosa sitting on pole. Kevin (no last name given) got the initial jump off the line with Rosa slotting in at second and Jon Nunes third. Then through turn four Rosa went wide and left the door open and Nunes went past, but the front three were still grouped together as they went down the back straight with Rosa shutting off last on the entrance to turn three thus giving Rosa the lead. But once again Rosa went wide and as the crossed the start finish stripe Rosa and Nunes were side by side. Then three and a half laps in Nunes took over at the front with Rosa second and Kevin third. Now with a clear track Nunes turned a 15.58 second lap time but the fastest lap of the race went to Rosa at 15.45 seconds as he attempted to close in on Nunes. Behind the front three Will Ott, Helder Alvernaz and Brad Rudy were in their own war. With one lap to go Nunes held a three bike length gap over Rosa which he would maintain to the end giving Nunes the victory over Rosa, Kevin, Ott, Alvernaz, Rudy and Robert Stettler.

Fifteen entries made up the Open Novice class, which would also require an "A" & "B" main event. In the "A" main Scott Hanson led the field through turns one and two with Brian Harmon giving close chase in second and Henry Canon (making his first appearance on a big bike) dropping in behind Hanson and Harmon in third. Justin Hanson in fourth got squeezed against the wall coming up the front straight but thankfully didn't go down. On the next run through turn four Canon was showing Harmon a wheel and took him wide to take the second place position away as they completed lap two. Up front Scott Hanson had opened up a twelve bike length gap and turned a 15.92 second lap time. The next major incident was Harmon going down between turns one and two advancing everyone one position. This put some fire into Justin Hanson as he turned the fastest lap of the race at 15.75 seconds. At the white flag (one lap remaining) Canon had stepped it up and was showing Scott Hanson a wheel and Justin Hanson had cut the leaders gap in half. As they came to the checkered flag Scott Hanson prevailed over Canon and Justin Hanson with fourth going to L J Gronek and fifth to Joseph Hierro well behind the leaders.

Twenty four pro riders filled four heat races and two semis's to narrow the field to twelve. Stevie Bonsey (national #80) had the quickest reaction time and was first away off the starting line only to have Mikey Rush (national #54) shoot past him in turns one and two with Sammy Halbert (national #7) follow suit around the outside. Add the Grand National Champion Brad Baker in the mix and from the start you have a great race up front. At the end of the first lap Rush led with Halbert second, Baker third, and Bonsey fourth. Just after the completion of lap two going into turn one Baker went past Halbert into second as Kayl Kolkman (national #98), who was running in fifth got past Bonsey for fourth.  Local rider Dylan Morin was in sixth and closed in on Bonsey on the next lap and even tagged his rear wheel. At the front Rush was starting to pull a gap as Baker and Halbert went at it, putting on a show, Halbert appearing to have more fight in him and determination than Baker. Rush meanwhile the smoothest on the racetrack also had the overall fastest lap time at 14.42 seconds to Halbert's 14.74 and Baker's 14.82. At six complete laps Rush held a 1.2 second gap over Baker who now had Halbert close the gap to him and restart the war over second. Further back Morin was still in sixth with Nick Armstrong now up to seventh and Scooter Vernon, David Bush and Ian Foulds fighting over eighth. At the half way point Rush looked the smoothest and a strong candidate for a third Daytona short track victory in March. Also at this point Baker and Halbert were putting orange and blue paint on each others machines as Kolkman and Bonsey just sat back and watched and waited. Three laps later Halbert pulled alongside Baker on the exit from turn two as they headed down the back straight. At this point Rush was into lappers and Halbert appeared a couple ticks faster than Baker but couldn't find a way past. Remember Baker isn't new to the game and knows how to go fast and protect his line at the same time; Halbert was going to have to work hard for this one if he wanted to take second from Baker. By this point Rush held a three second lead and had left the building!

On the next lap Halbert ran it in hard under Baker between turns three and four and took over in the second place position. Baker didn't like the move Halbert put on him but could he regroup and challenge for second as the white flag came out, time was short and Baker was three bike lengths behind Halbert and lappers were in front of them. Rush took the well deserved victory over a full straightaway ahead as everyone watched Halbert and Baker to see what would transpire. Then on the exit from turn four to the checkered flag Baker squared it up for a last run at Halbert and dove to the inside where he caught a rut and went down hard, very hard. Halbert was never touched and went on to finish second and with Baker out moving everyone forward one position putting 98 Kolkman (the Ryan Dungey of flat track) third, Bonsey fourth, Morin fifth, Armstrong sixth, Vernon seventh and David Bush eighth with one of the best rides of his life. It's great to see the Grand National riders come to Perris as it allows the local pros the opportunity to gauge themselves and pick up some pointers. It's also a great accomplishment for the local riders to even make it into the main event, as this means they sent a lot of other pros packing for the night by just making the program.

 The next Saturday night race will be on March 15th don't miss the action from minis to pros, Perris has a full schedule.  



For extra credit, can you name whose bike seat?

Coco Puff the pit dog!

Round 1 - February 15th, 2014 Results

Youth 250 Open
1.    Clayton Williams
2.    Allison Stacey
3.    Dominic Careron
4.    Justin Hanson
5.    Tanner Dean
6.    Travis Petton iv
7.    Alex Crosby
8.    Jaycee Jones
9.    Kyle Raggio
10.    Monica Gil

85 cc Open
1.    Travis Petton iv
2.    James Ott
3.    Tanner Dean
4.    Frank Flores
5.    Tyler Raggio
6.    Alyssa Flores
7.    Grant Holmes
8.    Evan Harich

50cc 2 Stk Novice
1.    Kave Johnson
2.    Ashton Carlson
3.    Anthony Salaberrios
4.    Colin Petton

50cc 2 Stk Beg.
1.    Lilyanna Carlson

50cc 4 Stk Beg
1.    Travis Horn
2.    Cody Morin

85cc 2 stk Novice
1.    Travis Petton
2.    James Ott
3.    Alyssa Flores
4.    Tanner Dean
5.    Grant Holmes
6.    Zaden Flores
7.    Tyler Raggio
8.    Evan Harich
9.    Frank Flores
10.    Jacob Cascio

65cc 2 Stk Novice
1.    Zaden Flores
2.    Jacob Cascio

85cc 2 Stk Beginner
1.    Dustin Shumate
2.    Sara Cords

85cc 4 Stk Beginner
1.    Reece Watowa
2.    Davbid Seminario
85cc 4 Stk Novice
1.    Matt Ott

65cc 2 Stk Beginner
1.    Ava Bush

65cc 4 Stk Beginner
1.    Page Britt

Super Senior +60
1.    Vince Graves
2.    David Molitor
3.    DeWayne Jones
4.    Paul Claybaugh

Classic Vintage 500-750cc
1.    Tom Ferguson
2.    Lenny Rodriquez
3.    James Kohls
4.    Robert Bush
5.    Joe Pape

Premier Senior +70
1.    Preston Petty
2.    Mike Brooks
3.    Alan Girdler

1.    Jeff Johnson
2.    Danny Perkins
3.    Travis Petton
4.    Jim Lundgren
5.    Joe Steffen
6.    Jeff Gonzales

Vintage 360cc + 250cc 2 Stk Air Cooled
250cc  Novice
1.    Dave Maestrejvdn
250cc  Amateur
1.    Carl Whitt
360cc Novice
1.    Matthew Ott

Vintage 750
1.    Tim Watters
2.    Jim Ottele
3.    Travis Petton

Senior +50 Novice
1.    Greg Powell
2.    Fred Berger
3.    Barney Stern
4.    Mike Pitschner
5.    Rick Stephens
6.    Paul Claybaugh
7.    Danny Mathis

Open Unclassified
A Main
1.    Scooter Vernon
2.    Brandon Watters
3.    Andy DiBrivo
4.    Colt Foster
5.    Austin Helmholz
6.    Joe Roberts
7.    Casey Cahoon
8.    Kevin Keeran
Open UnClassified
B Main points
1.    Chris Foster
2.    Allison Stacey
3.    Dominic Cameron
4.    LJ Gronek

Men’s 4 Stroke
1.    Jake Rankin
2.    Billy Katkov
3.    Dee Kilroy

Senior Vets + 50 Amateur
1.    Tim Watters
2.    Robertr Stettler
3.    Steel Friedrich
4.    Larkin Wight

Senior Vets + 50 Expert
1.    Bill Kolkman
2.    Jim Ottele
3.    Dan Kane
4.    Jim Steet

Vets + 35years Old
1.    Jon Nunes
2.    Jim Rosa
3.    Kevin
4.    Will Ott
5.    Helder Alvernaz
6.    Brad Rudy
7.    Robert Stettler
8.    Josh Welch
9.    Jim Bandelin
10.    Eric Cleveland

Open Novice
A Main
1.    Scott Hanson
2.    Henry Canon
3.    Justin Hanson
4.    LJ Gronek
5.    Joseph Hierro
6.    Jaycee Jones
7.    Josh Welch
8.    Brian Harmon
 B Main Points
1.    Aaron Guildalan
2.    Gabe Alvarez
3.    Noah Bush
4.    Robert Shumate
5.    Eric Cleveland

Open Amateur
1.    Rich Hanson
2.    Allison Stacey
3.    Brandon Watters
4.    Joe Roberts
5.    Bill Britt
6.    Clayton Williams
7.    Jess Flores
8.    Alex Crosby
9.    Dominic Cameron
10.    Shawn Bigham

A Main
1.    Mike Rush
2.    Sammy Halbert
3.    Kayl Kolkman
4.    Stevie Bonsey
5.    Dylan Morin
6.    Nick Armstrong
7.    Scotter Vernon
8.    David Bush
9.    Ian Foulds
10.    Robert Bush
11.    Austin Helmbolz
12.    Brad Baker

B Main
1.    Chris McDougal
2.    Andy Di Brino
3.    Ryan Foster
4.    Colt Foster
5.    John Vanderlaan
6.    Shawn Raggio
7.    Casey Cahoon
8.    Chris Foster
9.    Hilder Alvernaz
10.    Robert Bush