Eddie and Jodi
Mulder and their crew hosted another weekend of competitive, exciting racing at
Willow Springs International Raceway. Friday night the pits were busy with
riders in anticipation of the weekend’s upcoming events. Dirt track racing on a
well groomed 3/8 mile flat track and a $57,000 purse in honor of #57 Digger
Helm. Digger was a huge supporter of the West Coast Dirt Track Series for
years, supporting both the Pro riders, and the up and coming youngsters as well
as the series itself. One of his favorite things to do was honor the 85cc
winning rider with a $100 bill at each event.
This weekend the major event supporters were Mark and Randy Zimmerman of Specialty Fabrications, Inc. and Rod Lake as well as Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorney’s, Motion Pro, Triumph, Barnett Clutches and Cables, Maxima Racing Oils, Rosa Plates & Graphics and so many more. The crew, Gary Ritchie the expert preparer of the track, Big Fred Allen the starter and his wife Penny, who helps Jodi with the administration and scoring, Kimmie Gould another administration and scoring assistant, the flagger’s, Richard Moser who was always on hand to tech the bikes, and all the others that have been with the West Coast Dirt Track Series for many years as well as the financial supporters and others behind the scenes have all made the series possible. Eddie and Jodi thank each and every one, as well as the riders, mechanics and families that became a part of the West Coast Dirt Track family.
the line to get into the pits was long when we showed up at 7 a.m. to begin the
adventures of the day. The gates opened for registration at 8 a.m. and the
excitement mounted. The pits were buzzing with conversations about who would
win and how fast everyone was while the riders and their crew were busy taping
frames and helmets to protect them from the flying decomposed granite on the
track. As always practice started, giving the riders a chance to check the
track and their bike set up followed by heat races and the main events. The
wind blew relentlessly cooling us from the warm sun and causing more track prep
Heat races led to the $5,000 dash for cash before the main events began. Lined up for the dash were Jared Mees, Jeffrey Carver, Mikey Rush and Sammy Halbert. Halbert and Mees went into turn one side by side. Coming out Halbert was in front. Behind him Carver and Mees battled for second and third. At the checkers it was Halbert, Carver, Mees and Rush. All of whom took a piece of the dash money. Going into the main events first on the track were the Sr. Vintage riders. A class of 7 riders including Don Galloway of Canada. Kenny Netto and Galloway were 1, 2 from start to finish, fellow Canuck, Mitch Rowland rounded out the podium. Next up was the Vet class with 15 riders on the grid. Donnie Howard was in front from the green flag to the finish. Jim Rosa got past Craig Peyron in the final lap to finish second. Peyron rounded out the podium. In the Super Sr. class Rod Lake and Rick Reed were evenly matched exchanging the lead in lap three and again when Lake, try as he might, let Rick get by him in the final lap for the win. Ron Lessley finished third. Tom Horton, Craig Peyron and Chris Rudy led the Classic 500 class to the checkers and Jim Ottele took the Dino class home aboard an Indian built by Bob.
recently passed, leaving a long legacy of history behind. In the Youth 60 class
Emmett Brown came from the fourth position in lap three to the front leading
Kensai Matsudaira and the rest of the field to the finish. Leading off the line
in the 80 class Kage Tadman rode in front through lap four. Behind him Alex
Martin was setting up to take the lead and the victory with Tadman second and
Travis Petton third. Netto was first to the checkers again in the modern 250
class followed by Marc Lyons and Cole Norman. Joe Kopp came out of the wood
work to ride the modern 750 class. He got the hole shot with Jeff Johnson not
far behind and finally Paul Herman following in third. They finished in that
order respectively. Kody Kopp,
taking after his father Joe, led the Open 250 Class after passing Blake Ash in
lap five. Ash held the second spot to the checkers followed by Zack Earwood.
Friends, Jack Jones, Jeff Gonzales and Jason Craven, lined up with six others
in the 500 support class. Jones got the holeshot and never looked back while
Gonzales and Jimmy Lundgren worked each other for the second spot. Lundgren
took the second spot from Gonzales who finished third and Craven finished in
the fourth spot. Grant Holmes was on fire this day showing folks the fastest
way around the track. Riding the Open Amateur class Holmes, Tarren Santero and
Kody Kopp rode 1, 2, 3 start to finish. Racing was tight with Holmes and
Santero riding wheel to wheel side by side through the turns. The only lady racing in this class, Julia
Heess finished fourth out of a field of twelve riders. Jacob Cascio took some
time off from the track after his good friend Zaden Florez passed away but he
came full circle today to take the Open Amateur B class to the checkers in
front of Robbie Crean and Nikolas Henry for the win. Earlier in the day during
the rider’s meeting, the crowd honored Zaden with a balloon release for his
birthday. Willow was his favorite track to ride. Donnie Howard was back for
another easy win in the Sr. Open “A” main. Jim Rosa followed him to
the finish and behind them Jim Ottele finished third. Don Galloway made his
trek from Canada worthwhile earning a first place in the Sr. Open “B”
main class followed by John Rudd and Travis Ward.
The final race of
the day was the Digger Helm Memorial Open Pro class. Fifteen of the days
fastest pro riders lined up on the grid in three rows of five. On the front row
were Carver on pole, Mees, Halbert, Rush, Dan Bromley, and Nick Armstrong based
on their heat race finishes. Into the first turn four wide were Carver, Mees,
Halbert and Armstrong. Carver and Mees were side by side with Rush close behind
out of the first turn. Carver was in front into turn three but coming out Mees
took the lead with Halbert in second. On the inside Halbert twisted the
throttle to get in front of Mees and Carver. Mees worked Halbert for the next
five laps and finally got under him when Halbert went a bit high coming out of
turn one in lap eight. Lap nine Carver left the race with a mechanical issue
giving the third spot up to Rush. Behind them Bromley and Armstrong were
battling for the fourth spot. At the finish it was Mees, Halbert, Rush, Bromley
As is the custom, at the end of the day’s racing the awards and cash were presented to the riders and the West Coast Dirt Track Series team went into town for their annual Mexican dinner. The pits
remained full with folks camping over night at the track to be ready for
another full day of racing on Sunday.
DIGGER HELM MEMORIAL RESULTS WILLOW SPRINGS MAY 4, 2019
$5,000 Specialty Fabrications/Rod Lake Racing
1. Sam Halbert; 2. Jeffrey Carver; 3. Jared Mees; 4.
SATURDAY WILLOW SENIOR VINTAGE
1. Ken Netto; 2.
D Dan Galloway; 3. Mitch Rowland; 4. Brian Cassara; 5. Mike Boal; 6. Jim Ottele
1. Don Howard; 2.
Jim Rosa; 3. Craig Peyron; 4. Paul Ott; 5. Rob Bush; 6. Bryan Berna; 7 John
Dupree; 8. John Lundgren; 9. James Davis; 10, Jack Roberts; 11. Robbie Crean;
12. Robin Nicolaides; 13. Mark LaDue; 14. Brian Harmon; 15. Bobby Frankenberson
SENIOR NOVICE/SUPER SENIOR
1. Rick Reed; 2.
Rod Lake; 3. Ron Lessley; 4. Brian Cassara; 5. Jay Gardner; 6. John Rudd 7.
Sten Kelley; 7. Maury Austin; 8. Dan Dowding; 9. Charlie Caspary; 10. Mike Boal
1. Jeremy Berger; 2. Thomas Asperger; 3. Fred Berger dnf
1. Tom Horton; 2. Craig Peyron; 3. Chris Rudy; 4. Ryan
Colvin; 5. Lenny Rodriguez; 6. Joe Pape;
7. Dwayne Looke
1. Jim Ottele; 2. Go Takanine; 3. Fred Berger; 4. Marcus
Harner; 5. Robert Koch
1. Emmett Brown;
2. Kensai Matsudaira; 3. Drake Conner; 4. Zane Davis; 5. Maeson Baker; 6.
1. Alex Martin;
2. Kage Tadman; 3. Travis Petton; 4. Colin Petton; 5. Sterling Martin; 6.
1. Ken Netto; 2. Marc Lyons; 3. Cole Norman; 4. Hadley
Melton; 5. Phil Anderson
1. David Brown; 2. Jimmy Lundgren; 3. Don Galloway
1. Joe Kopp; 2. Jeff Johnson; 3. Jeffrey Carver; 4. Paul
Herman; 5. Don Galloway; 6. Ross Stuckert;
7. Ken Thiebaud; 8. Charlie Caspary
1. Kody Kopp; 2.
Blake Ash; 3. Zack Earwood; 4. Jacob Cascio; 5. Jonathan Schaefer; 6. Brandon
Engerbretsen; 7. Cole Norman; 8. Conner Hickerson; 9. Bryson Berna
Jack Jones; 2.
Jimmy Lundgren; 3. Jeff Gonzales; 4. Jason Craven; 5. Danny Ritchie; 6. Jay
Gardner; 7. Brian Harmon; 8. Rick Reed; 9. Andrew Davis
AMATEUR “A” MAIN
1. Grant Holmes;
2. Tarren Santero, 3. Kody Kopp; 4. Julia Heess; 5. Matthrew Ott; 6. Blake Ash;
7. Dominic Diaz; 8. Robin Nicolaides; 9. Brandon Gross; 10. Conner Hickerson; 11. Austin
OPEN AMATEUR “B” MAIN
1. Jacob Cascio; 2. Robbie
Crean; 3. Nikolas Henry; 4. Cole Norman; 5. James Blumer; 6. Bill Wright; 7.
Chris Picirillo; 8. Mike Brooks; 9. Andrew Davis
SENIOR OPEN A
1. Don Howard; 2. Jim Rosa; 3.
Jim Ottele; 4. John Dupree; 5. Larry Ehrhart, 6. Ray Lopez; 7. James Davis; 8.
John Roberts; 9. David Ehrhart; 10. Robin Nicolaides
SENIOR OPEN B
1. Don Galloway; 2. John Rudd; 3. Travis Ward; 4. Greg Powell; 5. Mark
Norman; 6. Dan Dowding;
7. Chris Picirillo; 8. Matt Peternel
DIGGER HELM OPEN PRO
1. Jared Mees, 2. Sammy
Halbert; 3. Mikey Rush; 4. Dan Bromley; 5. Nick Armstrong; 6. Dalton Gauthier;
7. Oliver Brindley; 8. Kayl Kolkman; 9. Kaden Downing; 10. Max Whale; 11.
Clayton Williams 12. Tarren Santero; 13. Jay Maloney; 14. Hunter Brooks; 15. Jeffrey