Location: Willow Springs Walt James Stadium
Race Dates: October 1 & 2 2016
Eddie Mulder’s West Coast Dirt Track Series
The Willow Springs 3/8-mile cushion dirt track in Walt James Stadium at the Willow Springs International Raceway hosts by far the most exciting 3/8-mile dirt track racing in all of California. Eddie & Jodi Mulder, promoters of the West Coast Dirt Track Series, pull out all the stops during this two-day weekend event. Together with their main sponsors, Mark and Randy Zimmerman of Specialty Fabrications,Inc.and Terry and Nancy Otton of Ramspur Winery, the purse for this weekend was over $50,000.
Driving up the road to the track on Saturday morning the rigs, trucks, trailers and cars were in a long line ready to go racing. Track prep began the week before, the registration staff set up their booth, the tech station was set up, ready to start the bike inspections and the gates opened with a flood of people.
The usual rider’s meeting started off the day but this day was just a little different. A special moment of silence was held to honor the two young riders lost the weekend before, Charlotte Kainz and Kyle McGrane, followed by parade laps of riders led by the water trucks riding two reverse laps, one to honor each of them. Not long after that, practice began. The track was absolutely perfect, smooth and racy as a result of the many hours Gary Richie spent working the dirt.
Over 120 riders rode 19 heat races that included 24 AMA pro riders looking for a piece of the $50,000 purse. Special guests included Barry Weiss of Storage Wars, the Zimmerman’s, Digger Helm, Terry Otton, Rod Lake, Sammy Tanner, Chris Agajanian, Ron Wood, Preston Petty, Dennis Mahan and more. Also in the house was #38 Chuck Palmgren, the first rider to win an AMA GNC mile on a Yamaha 750. That history took place in 1972. The action on the track was fierce with Jeffrey Carver and Chad Cose turning the fastest heat race lap times. Pro heat race winners Carver, Cose, Brad Baker and Jimmy Wood then lined up for the dash for cash. Cose, aboard a Harley, turned heads taking a commanding lead and the win followed by Carver, Baker and Wood. At the trophy presentation, an emotional speech was given by Cose, who traveled for two and one half years with one of the riders lost the weekend before. “I know Kyle was with me and gave me the will to win today in his memory.”
Some fast youngsters included Kage Tadman, winning the 60 class in front of Jack Alexander, Travis Petton IV who made the podium in three classes, including winning the open amateur “B” main and James Ott, a double class winner in the Open Amateur “A” main and the 250 Open classes. Fontana Radiator’s “Fast”Jeff Johnson, aboard Mickey Alzola’s Triumph took the Modern 750 class home. He also won the 500 support class in front of Jack Jones and Jim Lundgren. In the Senior Vintage class Jim Ottele finished third behind Jeff Lesley and Kenny Thiebaud. Ottele came back to win the Senior Open class.
Sixteen pro riders lined up on the grid for the Digger Helm Open Pro main event presented by Specialty Fabrications, Inc. On the front row were, Carver, Baker, Cose, Wood, Briar Bauman and Nick Armstrong. At the green Jared Mees, on the new Indian Scout, tried to get by the pack on the inside but it was Chad Cose to the front for the hole shot. Carver was low in the inside but in the front by the end of lap one. During this 20 lap main event Baker and Halbert switched the second place four times and Carver held the lead all 20 laps. Behind them Henry Wiles was working his way through the pack to finish fourth behind Baker.
As always after the races, a heartfelt trophy presentation with the riders and their crews was held presenting the top riders with medals and cash to the pros for their efforts. Every pro rider in the main was paid a portion of the purse. And following the award ceremony the customary Mexican food dinner, where Eddie and Jodi treat their crew to a wonderful “family dinner”. In addition to a huge thank you to the WCDTS staff Eddie and Jodi are most appreciative to their series sponsors: Mark and Randy Zimmerman of Specialty Fabrications, Inc. Terry and Nancy Otton of Ramspur Winery, Digger Helm, Rod Lake, Motion Pro, Triumph of North America, Coventry Spares, British Customs, Barnett Clutches and Cables, JRC Engineering, Jeff Cole of C&J Racing Frames, Maxima Racing Oils, K&N Filters, Works Shocks, Todays Cycle Coverage, S&S Off Road magazine and Pro Plates.
Sunday morning the track opened to another crowd of competitors and fans – stay tuned for another story about that.
Saturday race results:
Ramspur Winery $5,000 D-4-C
Chad Cose; 2. Jeffrey Carver; 3. Brad Baker; 4. Jimmy Wood
Jeff Lessley; 2. Kenny Thiebaud; 3 Jim Ottele
VET “A” MAIN
1. Don Howard; 2. Jim Rosa; 3. Kevin Jordan; 4. Paul Ott; 5. Curtis Peebles Jr.; 6. David Bush; 7. John Lundgren; 8. Ryan Reed; 9. Robert Bush; 10. Scott Hanson
VET “B” MAIN
1. Matt Stoutenburg; 2. Bill Kolkman; 3. Andrew Myers; 4. Mark LaDue; 5. Mike Mosby;
SUPER SENIOR NOVICE
Robert Hansen; 2. Gary Ritchie; 3. Shane VanSickle; 4. Dan McDougall; 5. Fred Berger;
6. Herb Wolff
James Ott; 2. Grant Holmes; 3. Travis Petton IV; 4. Dallas Daniels; 5. Tyler Raggio; 6. Hunter Brooks; 7. Jaycee Jones; 8. Zack Earwood
Jeff Johnson; 2. Jack Jones; 3. Jim Lundgren; 4. Jeff Gonzales; 5. Robert Hansen; 6. Ken Shilling; 7. Larry Hanson
OPEN AMATEUR “A” MAIN
1. James Ott; 2. Hunter Brooks; 3.Julia Rankin; 4. Dallas Daniels; 5. Clayton Williams; 6. Paul Ott; 7.Grant Holmes; 8. Christian Payne; 9. Dominic Cameron; 10. Ryan Reed; 11. David Bush; 12. Michael Hill; 13. Rob Bush;
OPEN AMATEUR “B” MAIN
1. Travis Petton IV; 2. Bronson Pearce; 3. Noah Bush; 4. Stephen Sikorski; 5. Justin Hanson; K6. Kyle Raggio; 7. Matt Ott; 8. Josh Jackson; 9. LJ Gronek; 10. Andrew Myers; 11. Jaycee Jones
Kevin Jordan; 2. Jim Lundgren; 3. Jim Ottele; 4. Larry Earhart; 5. Jeff Lessley; 6. Bill Kolkman; 7. Greg Powell; 8. Bill Wright; 9. Barney Stern; 10. Jeff Spohr; 11. Dan Kane; 12. Dan Dowding
Hadley Melton; 2. Fred Berger
Chris Rudy; 2. Jim Ottele; 3. Rick Rockhold; 4. Julian Heppekausen; 5. James Kohls; 6. Joe Pape; 7. Flyn Stone; 8. Matt Campbell
Kage Tadman; 2. James “Jr.” Alexander; 3. Conner Hickerson; 4. Sierra Hickerson; 5. Isabellla Mitchell
Travis Petton IV; 2. Zaden Flores; 3. Tanner Richey; 4. Dominic DeMario; 5. Blake Ash; 6. Jack Earwood; 7. Eli Souza; 8. Conner Hickerson; 9. Franny Mincham; 10. Sierra Hickerson
Brian Filo; 2. Julian Heppekausen; 3. Jamin Mathis
1. Jeff Johnson; 2. Paul Herman; 3. Lloyd McGregor
DIGGER OPEN PRO by Specialty Fabrications, Inc.
Jeffrey Carver; 2. Sammy Halbert; 3. Brad Baker; 4. Henry Wiles; 5. Jarod Vanderkooi;6. Chad Cose; 7. Briar Bauman; 8. Jared Mees; 9. Davis Fisher; 10. Nick Armstrong; 11. Kayl Kolkman; 12. Jimmy Wood; 13. Dylan Morin; 14. Danny Eslick; 15. John Vanderlaan;
16. Bronson Bauman