Walt James Stadium, Willow Springs Intl Raceway, Rosamond, CA
The regular West Coast Dirt Track riders know what to expect when they roll up to ride the Willow Springs track. A smooth, cushioned racing surface watered throughout the day, fast banked turns, and a lot of fun. Gary Ritchie works his magic with the blade before, after and between racing his motorcycle, preparing the track surface. Still grading in his riding gear when the riders arrive and leave. The not so welcome surprise this weekend was some really strong wind and a serious chill on Saturday. Sunday the wind calmed down just before racing started, the sun warmed the air. Spectators and riders alike enjoyed a day of fast, competitive racing.
Walking the pits at Willow is a visual extravaganza. Vintage motorcycles over 50 years old pitted side by side with new modern ones and big fast ones! Past champions, Hollywood stuntmen, racers and lifelong dirt track fans mingle amongst the younger generations, all sharing their passion for racing. It’s quite a family atmosphere! Willow Springs employs absolutely the best catering “roach coach”. From the breakfast burritos to their veggie burgers their food is hard to beat. Also in the pits this day were two lovely ladies from Herb-X, Katryn and Margaret, offering 2 minute massages using X-Jow Pain Gel to anyone that asked. At the end of the day a raffle awarded free gifts, a 20 minute massage and tube of the X-Jow pain gel, they had donated. The U.S made X-Jow Chinese herbal pain gel really does work to relieve pain!
A whole bunch of youngsters showed up to make a class of 8 on the grid for the Coventry Spares 60/80 cc combined competition. Young Zaden Florez is so small at the young age of seven that he falls over with his 85cc bike on the start line without help to hold his bike up. The youngster to beat today was Grant Holmes who got off the line in front in the heat race and just kept going easily, leading the pack to the finish. Once again Holmes got the hole shot in the main but Jacob Cascio wasted no time overtaking him in the second lap for the win. His first win in this class. Florez had a rough start off the line but rounded out the podium finishing third.
Kenny Thiebaud, a long time West Coast Dirt Track Series rider aboard a beautiful 1970 Triumph 750 took the Penton Race Products Senior Vintage class pole to pole. The youngest bikes in this class were built in 1974, a Bultaco ridden by Tim Skov and a Honda XL ridden by Ron Lessley. Jim Ottele finished second on a 1971 Shell Yamaha and David Krohn piloted his 1970 Triumph 750 into the third position at the finish.
Seven riders took their places at the start of the Motion Pro Vet A main. Donnie Howard got the hole shot and maintained his lead to the finish. Behind him Jack Jones and John Lundgren diced side by side competing for the second spot. Jones completed the pass under Lundgren in the fourth lap to finish second. Rob Bush and Jim Rosa followed Jones finishing third and fourth respectively. Jones returned track side and rode the 500 support class in front from start to finish.
Tom Horton proudly displays his stable of iron horses, always looking pristine at the start of race day. Horton took the Barnett Clutches and Cables Classic 500/750 class home aboard his 1967 Triumph 500 in front of Steve Craft mounted on his 1957 Harley KR 750. Cary Tanner earned the third place medal riding a Haney T 100 Triumph 500. Later in the day Horton suffered a hard, high side crash. At last report Tom was asking about his bike and on the road to recovery. Will Ott took the checkers in front in the modern 250, Jim Lundgren won the modern 500 while Donnie Howard earned the top award in the modern 750 class aboard Cary Tanner’s bike. Tanner also scored his first series win, taking the Coventry Spares Sr Novice/Super Sr main followed by Tim Watters second and 2013 class Champion Herb Wolff third.
Jim Ottele was back on the track and won the Rod Lake Racing Sr. Open Main. Bill Kolkman and Larry Earhart battled through all six laps turn after turn for the second spot. Earhart held Kolkman off until the final lap when Kolkman found the opening he needed to make the pass for a second place finish. Earhart finished third.
Young Clay Williams was hot on the gas this day, winning both the 250 Open main and the Open Amateur main. Williams was also a force to be contended with at the 2013 Willow Springs finals. Brandon Green from Edmonds, Wa. was turning heads in the 250 Open, out riding Jace Callison to finish second. Callison completed the race earning a third place finish. Callison returned to ride the Open Amateur Main and finished it in second In front of Brandon Watters.
Six riders lined up for the Specialty Fabrications Inc., dash for cash. With a $7500 purse at stake, tensions were high. Long time starter for the West Coast Dirt Track Series, Fred Allen, had his work cut out for him as crashes brought out the red flag twice for full restarts. At the final start five riders remained. Sammy Halbert is all about winning and this day he led the pack to the bank. Passing the hat during the rider’s meeting and a generous donation from Jerry Kennedy of Kennedy Trucking increased the Dash for Cash purse by an additional $1500!
The $10,000 Digger Helm Open Pro main brings out some of the nation’s top Grand National and pro riders. Additional cash bonuses for the rider in front at the half way point and one for the winner were also provided by Ramspur Winery’s Terry Otton and Mark Zimmerman, adding a little more sweetness to the ride. The thirteen riders of the final race of the day were ready on the line. “Big Fred” threw the flag and Jared Mees got the hole shot. Sammy Halbert was on the throttle, hot on Mees’ back wheel. Out of turn two Halbert gained ground, passing Mees on the back straight to lead the pack. Halbert put a couple of bike lengths between himself and Mees. Mees closed the gap and Halbert re opened it several more times through lap eight. Two laps to the bonus, Mees closed the gap and got under Halbert for the lead and the Rampspur Winery $1000 bonus. Mees pulled away and Halbert, unable to catch him, finished second. Briar Bauman rode all 20 laps in the third spot in front of Kayl Kolkman.
The riders and The West Coast Dirt Track Series team are grateful, proud and honored to accept the generous donations of the many supporters that donate their gifts, time and money to the series. With their donations the series is able to continue supporting riders in their quest for victory as they travel the nation to compete and those who come out for fun. Please support our race sponsors that have graciously sponsored our races and supported us. (Rampsur Winery, Motion Pro, Specialty Fabrications, Barnett Clutches, JRC Engineering, Penton Racing Products, C&J Racing Frames, Brown’s Cycles, Maxima Racing Oils K&N Filters,Todays Cycle Coverage.com, S&S Off Road Magazine, TuffPlates and Works Performance).
The West Coast Dirt Track Series will orchestrate the final two races of the 2014 series October 4th and 5th at the Willow Springs Raceway. With increased prize monies it will surely be the race weekend of the year! Saturdays Specialty Fabrications, Inc. Dash-4-Cash will be $10,000 and for Sundays Championship, $15,000! The largest dash offered to date. Sunday’s Championship, October 5th, the Digger pro purse will be increased by $5,000 thanks to Terry Otton. Plus, it is a double points paying race. This could be the determining race for the winner of the Rampspur Winery $7500 Pro Point Fund. Don’t miss it!
- Ken Thiebaud; 2. Jim Ottele; 3. David Krohn; 4. Ron Lessley; 5. Steve Craft; 6. Rick Villanueva; 7. Daryl Hambleton; 8. Tim Skov; 9. Jeff Lessley DNF
Vet A Main
- Donnie Howard; 2. Jack Jones; 3. Rob Bush; 4. Jim Rosa; 5. John Lundgren; 6. David Bush; 7. Will Ott; 8. Tom Horton
Vet B Main
- Bill Kolkman; 2. James Davis; 3. Curtis Pimental; 4. Brian Harmon; 5. Gary Ritchie; 6. Ron Duarte; 7. Mark La Due; 8. Josh Welch
Senior Novice/Super Senior
- Cary Tanner; 2. Tim Watters; 3. Herb Wolff; 4. D-Dan McDougall; 5. Rick Villanueva; 6. Alan Hayden;7. Charlie Caspary; 8. Guy Duckett; 9. Ted Hubbard; 10. Dary Hambleton DNS
- Jacob Cascio; 2. Grant Homes; 3. Zaden Florez; 4. Tyler Raggio; 5. James Ott; 6. Matthew OTT; 7. Nathan Agrifoglio DNS
- Tom Horton; 2. Steve Craft; 3. Cary Tanner; 4. Lenny Rodriguez; 5. Joe Pape; 6. James Kohls; 7. Matt Campbell.
- Will Ott; 2. Tom Horton DNS
- Jim Lundgren; 2. Ron Lessley; 3. Jeff Lessley DNS
- Donnie Howard; 2. Rob Bush; 3. Tom Horton; 4. Mark LaDue; 5. D-Dan McDougall
- Clayton Williams; 2. Brandon Green; 3. Jace Callison; 4. Allison Stacey; 5. James Ott; 6. Nolan Reitz; 7. Grant Holmes; 8. Jacee Jones; 9. John Gronek; 10. Tom Horton
- Jim Ottele; 2. Bill Kolkman; 3. Larry Earhart; 4. Jim Medlin; 5. Curtis Pimentel; 6. Greg Powell; 7. Tim Skov; 8. Don Bjornsrud; 9. Kelly Surplice; 10. John Lundgren DNF; 11. Barney Stern DNS
- Jack Jones; 2. Jim Lundgen; 3. Rick Reed; 4. Jeff Gonzales; 5. Mark LaDue; 6. Gary Ritchie
- Clayton Williams; 2. Jace Callison; 3. Bradon Watters; 4. John Tinsley; 5. Allison Stacey; 6. Jim Medlin; 7. Parket Earhart; 8. David Lucas; 9. Beau Thompson; 10. Josh Welch; 11. Brandon Green
Digger Open Pro
- Jared Mees; 2. Sammy Halbert; 3. Briar Bauman; 4. Kayl Kolkman; 5. Jethro Halbert; 6. Mike Rush; 7. Nick Armstrong; 8. Shayna Texter; 9. Bronson Bauman; 10. Dominic Colindres; 11. Brandan Bergen; 12. Ajay Hateley; 13. Colt Foster; 14. Dylan Morin DNS
Specialty Fabrications Dash-4-Cash
- Sammy Halbert; 2. Jared Mees; 3. Briar Bauman; 4. Jethro Halbert; 5. Kayl Kolkman; 6. Dylan Morin DNS