Willow Springs – Sunday Update
Race Dates: October 1 & 2 2016
Eddie Mulder’s West Coast Dirt Track Series
After awesome racing and a great meal Saturday night, the crew was ready to hit the track again early Sunday morning for day two of the West Coast Dirt Track Series Willow Springs event. Running like clockwork, we got to the track about 7:15am, gates opened at 8 and practice started at 10:30. Gary Ritchie was there early, getting the track ready for the day’s racing and another long line of racers waited patiently at the gate to get in. The weather was a little cooler with a nice breeze, perfect!
In attendance were some well-known guests beginning with Chuck Palmgren, Digger Helm and Ron Wood. Rod Lake made an appearance, Chris Agajanian’s Ascot trailer was there and the best catering truck in all of CA was serving the tastiest breakfast burritos ever. The goal on Sunday is to get things moving so people can get on the road for home after a full day of racing. Eddie wastes no time getting through the riders meeting and practice under way.
A full stable of racers rode some 27 heat races, two Semis and 24 main events. As always, the main events begin with the Semis and the Ramspur Winery Dash for Cash. Brad Baker got the hole shot and didn’t look back leading it all 6 laps to the finish. Behind him were Sammy Halbert and Jared Mees but it took no time at all for Chad Cose to get in front of Sammy and try to catch Jared. He was on a tear all weekend! The race finished Baker, Mees, Cose and Halbert. Semi #1 winner was Dalton Gauthier. Jarod Vanderkoi was second, both earning their way to the main. In Semi #2 Jimmy Wood and Nick Armstrong were 1, 2, also making it to the 16 rider main event finale.
The Senior Vintage class was next up. A fast series regular vintage racer, Tom Horton, was missing this weekend. Disappointing some of his fellow competitors, one of whom told me he built his bike just to compete with Tom this year. The West Coast Dirt Track Series Willow Springs events are like a family affair. When someone doesn’t make it, someone always notices. The Senior Vintage race finished with Kenny Thiebaud in front of Jeff Lessley and Jim Ottele. Another very familiar face in California flat track, Donnie Howard was in attendance and racing in the Vet class taking a victory with Jim Rosa and Paul Ott sharing the podium with Howard in that order. Ryan Reed led the Vet B class to victory and Gary Ritchie not only wins the best track prep award but he also won the Super Senior/Senior novice class taking the lead from Robert Hansen in the last lap. Hansen followed Ritchie and D-Dan McDougal finished third. McDougal rides an Eddie Mulder built Triumph and comes to Willow each year all the way from Canada.
Chris Rudy, a West Coast Dirt Track Series regular competitor won the Classic 500 brakeless class in front of Julian Heppekausen and Flyn Stone. They each held their positions from start to finish. The Classic 250 brakeless and 1951 and earlier Dinosaur class ran together. Dinosaur rider Jim Ottele took the win on the hand shift ’37 Indian, sponsored by Bob Nichols. Classic 250 riders Austin Williams and Fred Berger followed to the checkers.
Sierra Hickerson and Jasper Heathfield took 1,2 in the Youth 50cc class. Kage Tadman and JR Alexander took 1,2 in the Youth 65 class. Travis Petton IV topped the Youth 80 class podium with Dominic DeMario and Zaden Flores taking the second and third spots respectively. The Modern 250/500 class was combined. Tim Skov topped the 250’s and Brian Filo took the 500 win. Lloyd McGregor, in from Colorado to race at Willow, won the Modern 750 class aboard a borrowed Eddie Mulder Replica C&J framed Triumph owned by Herb Wolff. Kenny Thiebaud finished a very respectable second and Robert Hansen rounded out the podium. Jumpin Jack Jones lead the 500 Support class flag to flag with his buddy, Jeff Gonzales close behind.
Some of the fastest youngsters in California were there competing on Willow’s big, banked, 3/8ths Mile track. The 250 open class included 10 young riders. Making a name for himself with his finesse, Grant Holmes led Hunter Brooks and James Ott to the checkers. Brooks and Ott were back on the track for Open Amateur A Main, finishing 1, 2. Clayton Williams finished in third These are the youngsters that are bound to be seen in the future riding the national pro circuit. The Open Amateur B Main was taken by Dominic Cameron followed by Christain Payne and Rob Bush. Payne and Bush switched places in the fourth lap when Payne took over the 2nd spot. Kevin Jordan, Jim Ottele and Jim Lundgren finished first, second and third in the Senior Open class, the last one before the Digger Open Pro 20 lap main event sponsored by Specialty Fabrications, Inc.
The track was well prepped for the Digger/Spec Fab Open Pro main as it always is at Willow Springs. Included on the grid were 16 pro riders, all card holding members of AMA GNC Pro racing. This was to be a fast and competitive race for a nice chunk of purse money. At the green flag, Jared Mees jumped to the front with Brad Baker and Jared Sammy close behind. Jared was then first out of the first turn but it didn’t take Sammy long to get to the front, overtaking Jared, and he never looked back. Behind the three of them Jeffrey Carver was working his way around Ryan Wells, winner of the 2016 AMA GNC 2 championship. Carver accomplished that feat in lap three and held on to the fourth spot to the finish. The race finished Halbert, Baker, Mees and Carver.
Racing was complete slightly after 5 p.m. and was followed by the customary awards ceremony awarding the riders with event plaques and the pros with the money they earned.
The crew immediately went to work cleaning up and putting away the equipment of the day. Eddie and Jodi graciously thanked each and every person that support the West Coast Dirt Track Series Willow Springs and Lake Cachuma events. The staff of both events are what makes them so fun and successful. And the sponsors, Specialty Fabrications, Terry and Nancy Otton of Ramspur Winery, Digger Helm, Rod Lake Racing, Coventry Spares, British Customs, Jeff Cole, Motion Pro, JRC Engineering, Works Shocks, Barnett Clutches and Cables, Maxima Racing Oils, K&N Filters, Triumph North America, Brown’s Cycles, Todays Cycle Coverage.com, S&S Off Road Magazine and Pro Plates help to make it all possible with their generosity and support.
The next West Coast Dirt Track Series event on the 2017 calendar so far, is the Lake Cachuma Vintage British Bike Rally taking place the first weekend of June just north of Santa Barbara, Ca. A wonderful weekend of celebration where friends and families gather, camping out at the 40 acre Live Oak Camp, enjoying the finest classic vintage British motorcycles, field events for young and old, fun rides, great food and commaraderie during the weekend of June 2-4th. More info to follow at www.EddieMuldersWCVDTS.com
Ramspur Winery $10,000 D-4-C : 1. Brad Baker; 2. Jared Mees; 3. Chad Cose; 4. Sammy Halbert
SENIOR VINTAGE: 1. Kenny Thiebaud; 2. Jeff Lessley; 3. Jim Ottele: 4. Steve Ferguson
VET “A” MAIN : 1. Don Howard; 2. Jim Rosa; 3. Paul Ott; 4. Curtis Peebles Jr; 5. Danny Ritchie; 6. David Bush; 7. Kevin Jordan; 8. Rob Bush; 9. David Ehrhart; 10. Andrew Myers
VET “B” MAIN : 1. Ryan Reed; 2. Bryan Berna; 3. Rich Hanson; 4. Mark LaDue; 5. Josh Jackson
SUPER SR/SR NOVICE : 1. Gary Ritchie; 2. Robert Hansen; 3. D-Dan McDougall; 4. Shane VanSickle; 5. Sten Kelley
CLASSIC 250: 1. Austin Williams; 2. Fred Berger
CLASSIC 500 : 1. Chris Rudy; 2. Julian Heppekausen; 3. Flyn Stone; 4. Steve Ferguson; 5. James Kohls; 6. Joe Pape; 7. Viet Nguyen
DINO : 1. Jim Ottele
YOUTH 50 : 1. Sierra Hickerson; 2. Jasper Heathfield; 3. Isabella Mitchell
YOUTH 60: 1. Kage Tadman; 2. James “Jr.” Alexander; 3. Sierra Hickerson; 4. Isabella Mitchell
YOUTH 80 : 1. Travis Petton IV; 2. Dominic DeMario; 3. Zaden Flores; 4. Blake Ash; 5. Zack Earwood; 6. Conner Hickerson; 7. Eli Souza; 8. Bryson Berna; 9. Franny Minchau
MODERN 250 : 1. Tim Skov
MODERN 500 : 1. Brian Filo; 2. Julian Heppekausen
MODERN 750: 1. Lloyd McGregor; 2. Kenny Thiebaud; 3. Robert Hansen; 4. D-Dan McDougall; 5. Charles Caspary; 6. Jamin Mathis; 7. Nate Hudson
250 OPEN : 1. Grant Holmes; 2. Hunter Brooks; 3. James Ott; 4. Dallas Daniels; 5. Tyler Raggio; 6. Travis Petton IV; 7. Jacob Cascio; 8. Jaycee Jones; 9. Zack Earwood; 10. Conner Hickerson
500 SUPPORT : 1. Jack Jones; 2. Jeff Gonzales 3. Jim Lundgren; 4. Ryan Gifford; 5. Ken Shilling; 6. Larry Hanson; 7. Adam Turner; 8. Jamin Mathis
OPEN AMATEUR “A” MAIN : 1. Hunter Brooks; 2. James Ott; 3. Clayton Williams; 4. Dallas Daniels; 5. Julia Rankin; 6. Paul Ott 7. Grant Holmes; 8. Matthew Zacher; 9. Michael Hill; 10. Noah Bush; 11. Travis Petton IV; 12 Stephen Sikorski; 13. Ryan Reed; 14. Justin Hanson; 15. Bryan Berna; 16, Rob Bush
OPEN AMATEUR “B” MAIN : 1. Dominic Cameron; 2. Christian Payne; 3. Rob Bush; 4. Bronson Pearce; 5. Jacob Cascio; 6. Matt Ott; 7. Kyle Raggio; 8. LJ Gronek; 9. Rich Hanson; 10. James Holley; 11. Hayden Earwood; 12. Jaycee Jones; 13. Bill Wright; 14. Andrew Myers
SENIOR OPEN : 1. Kevin Jordan; 2. Jim Ottele; 3. Jim Lundgren; 4. Larry Earhart; 5. Greg Powell; 6. Barney Stern; 7. Ryan Gifford; 8. Jeff Spohr; 9. Dan Dowding
DIGGER OPEN PRO by Specialty Fabrications, Inc. : 1. Sammy Halbert; 2. Brad Baker; 3. Jared Mees; 4. Jeffrey Carver; 5. Ryan Wells; 6. Briar Bauman; 7. Henry Wiles; 8. Mikey Rush; 9. John Vanderlaan; 10. Dalton Gauthier; 11. Jarod VanDerkooi; 12. Davis Fisher; 13. Bronson Bauman; 14. Nick Armstrong