Eddie Mulder’s West Coast Dirt Track Series
Willow Springs – Walt James Stadium
Rosamond, CA | Saturday, September 30
For over 20 years Eddie and Jodi Mulder have put their hearts and souls into bringing spectacular racing to venues throughout California. This year all of their attention was focused on the Cachuma Lake Vintage Motorcycle Rally in the spring and the Willow Springs weekend in the fall. Willow Springs is a favorite event for riders who come from all over the United States and Canada to ride it. A well groomed, 3/8 mile decomposed granite, banked smooth track. Big, fast, fun and lot of money up for grabs in the pro class!
Saturday morning the crew wound their way through the long line of motor homes, vans, trucks and cars to get through the gate and set up for what was to be another exciting and fun filled weekend of racing. Racer and blade operator Gary Ritchie and Eddie began preparing the track and grounds early in the week, cleaning up the pits, pulling weeds and putting things in good order. Jodi starts the registration process a month before the race. Saturday morning registration at the track opens at 8:00 a.m. sharp, the pits come alive, folks meet and greet each other, many whom have not seen one another since the Willow weekend of 2016, and the feeling and passion of racing comes alive.
Practice gets under way, riders and mechanics make adjustments to their tire pressure, suspension, motors and carburetors in the hope of being a winner on the track. This weekend, like many others, riders show up from other area and arenas of motorcycle racing. Registered to race was the MotoAmerica champion Tony Elias, who made his debut on the dirt at Willow Springs riding both Saturday and Sunday and finishing respectably in everything he contested. From his first lap on the dirt Saturday to his last on Sunday, he progressed like he’d been riding dirt all his life.
Some of California’s fastest kids were also in attendance. Both Travis Petton IV and Grant Holmes earned victories at the 2017 AMA Amateur Nationals. In the 250 Open class they were competing with each other and put on a show that included competition with Tucker Mount. Holmes got the hole shot with Petton close enough to keep him honest. They finished Holmes, Petton and Mount. Dominic De Mario led the 80 class to and easy victory with Travis Petton’s younger brother, Colin Petton and Blake Ash following to the checkers. Kage Tadman, on a 65cc was a favorite in this race showing the fans his exceptional talent and skill. Jeff Lessley gave Tom Horton a run for his money leading the the Sr. Vintage through the 4th lap. Horton took the win followed by James Otelle and Jay Gardner. Lessley left the race with a mechanical issue. However, Lessley won the Vet A event followed by Jeff Johnson who took the second spot from Jim Rosa in lap 4. Rosa finished 3rd. Johnson took the 500 Support class home.
Racing progressed through the day like clockwork. The fastest rider on the track was AFT Pro rider #23 “The Wizard” Jeffrey Carver riding the Ron Wood prepared Rotax. Carver won his heat race earning a place in the Terry Otton and Rod Lake Racing dash for cash. When the green flag flew in the dash Carver took a commanding lead. After getting by Mees in the first lap. He easily won followed by Sammy Halbert, Mees and Bronson Bauman. The Willow Springs Dash for Cash is always extremely competitive with a big money purse thanks to Rod Lake and Terry Otton who this year, put their funds together to create a $10K dash for cash purse each day.
Favored to win the Digger Pro main event, sponsored by Specialty Fabrications, Inc., Carver again took the lead. The race was his to win, fastest on the track, smooth and calculating in his skill. About half way through the race……. Carver’s bike failed due to a clip in the carburetor coming loose. Carver’s misfortune gave Mees the opportunity to win the main followed by Sammy Halbert and roadracer JD Beach. Mees took Eddie’s son, Rick, for a victory lap.
The award ceremony follows each day’s racing. Product giveaways from Motion Pro and Triumph of North America were distributed to those lucky persons in attendance. The top riders received medals for their finishes while all the pro class finishers receive their coveted envelopes of cash! As always, the Eddie Mulder Family dinner that includes all the track personnel and other special guests took place in town at a local Mexican restaurant. Lively conversations and swapping of the day’s events made for a personal and memorable dining experience. Everyone left happy, full and looking forward to Sunday’s racing.
Those camping at the track fired up their bar b Q’s for dinner, relishing in the great atmosphere of the da, mingling around and discussing how their races went and what they would do different on Sunday. The track crew cleaned up and put things in order for another day of racing on Sunday, The Joey Brown Memorial.
- Tom Horton; 2. Jim Ottele; 3. Jay Gardner; 4. Darren Pritchett; 5. Jeff Lessley; 6. Ken Netto
Vet A Main
- Paul Ott; 2. Jeff Johnson; 3. Jim Rosa; 4. Matt Stoutenburg; 5. LJ Gronek; 6. John Lundgren; 7. Jack Roberts; 8.Curtis Peebles
Vet B Main
- Shawn Chamlee; 2. Mark LaDue; 3. Steve Powers; 4. Ronnie Brown
Super Sr. “A” Main
- Rick Reed; 2. Ron Lessley; 3. Steve Craft; 4. Gary Ritchie; 5. Jay Gardner; 6. Mike Boal; 7. D-Dan McDougall; 8. Dave Keil; 9. Fred Berger
Sr. Novice “B” Main
- Mark Stuckert; 2. Shane Van Sickle; 3. Maury Austin; 4. Charlie Caspary; 5. Herb Wolff; 6. Margo King; 7. Sten Kelley; 8. Ted Hubbard
- Gage Morast
- Sierra Hickerson
- Dominic DeMario; 2. Colin Petton; 3. Blake Ash; 4. Kage Tadman; 5. Sierra Hickerson
- Mark La Due; 2. Jim Ottelle
- Fred Berger
- Tom Horton; 2. Chris Rudy; 3. Kenny Thiebaud; 4. Jim Ottele; 5. Lenny Rodriguez; 6. Mark La Due; 7. James Kohls; 8. Maury Austin; 9. Joe Pape; 10. Flyn Stone
- David Brow; 2. Jimmy Ludgren; 3. Jeff Lessley; 4. Ron Lessley
- D-Dan Mc Dougall; 2. Tom Horton
250 Open class
- Grant Holmes; 2. Travis Petton IV; 3. Tucker Mount; 4. Zack Earwood; 5. Jacob Cascio
1. Jeff Johnson; 2. Jim Lundgren; 3. Jack Jones; 4. Jeff Gonzales; 5. Danny Ritchie; 6. Jason Craven; 7. Rick Reed; 8. Ken Shilling; 9. Jeff Spohr; 10. Erik Bland; 11. Shawn Chamlee
Open Amateur “A”
- Maikel Diikstra; 2. Grant Holmes; 3. Travis Petton IV; 4. Julia Hess; 5. Matthew Zacher; 6. Christian Payne; 7. Bronson Pearce ; 8. Daniel Brown; 9. Noah bush; 10 Chris McDougal; 11. Matt Stoutenburg
Open “B” Main
- Michael Inderbitzin; 2. Tucker Mount; 3. Matthew Ott; 4. Nick Garcia; 5. Jaycee Jones; 6. Bobby Frankenberger; 7. Stev Poweros; 8. Jojo Lindner
- Craig Scroggins; 2. Larry Earhart; 3. Jim Ottele; 4. Erik Bland; 5. Jack Roberts; 6. Joe Danze; 7. Danny Stepens; 8. Barney Stern;9. Dave Keil
Digger Helm Open Pro
- Jared Mees; 2. Sammy Halbert; 3. JD Beach; 4. Chad Cose; 5. Briar Bauman; 6. Davis Fisher; 7. Bronson Bauman; 8. Mike Rush; 9. Ryan Wells; 10. Henry Wiles; 11. Nick Armstrong; 12. Kayl Kolkman; 13. Oliver Brindley; 14. Clayton Williams