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.
Saturday morning 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 than usual.
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.
Nichols, who 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 and Armstrong.
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 Dash-4-Cash
1. Sam Halbert; 2. Jeffrey Carver; 3. Jared Mees; 4. Mikey Rush
SATURDAY WILLOW SENIOR VINTAGE
1. Ken Netto; 2. D Dan Galloway; 3. Mitch Rowland; 4. Brian Cassara; 5. Mike Boal; 6. Jim Ottele VET
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. Jackson Brown
1. Alex Martin; 2. Kage Tadman; 3. Travis Petton; 4. Colin Petton; 5. Sterling Martin; 6. Jasper Heathfield
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
OPEN 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 Williams
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 Carver (DNF)