SPEEDWAY SPRINTS + SO CAL OVAL KARTS @ GRAND ARENA

SPEEDWAY SPRINTS + SO CAL OVAL KARTS @ GRAND ARENA
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The annual triple-threat racing program at the Industry Hills Expo Center Grand Arena indoor eighth-mile dirt track took place Saturday from 3:00 to 7:55 pm. About 120 persons were in the grandstand and even more competitors watched from the pits.

Wheel2Wheel Racing Speedway Sprints and Dirt Karts were joined by So Cal Oval Karters and the Norco Mower Racers on converted lawn mowers. The three-pronged racing program had various classes within each group. The competitive racing program ran 42 races. A combined drivers meeting took place in the pits at 2:15 pm as planned.

Organization leaders Mike Nigh (So Cal Karters) and John Aden (W2W) spoke as they did last year at this combined event. Both groups are in mid-season of 12-14 race schedules. W2W Raceway in Victorville is the home track and W2W also races in Perris.

Nigh and Aden agreed that their only race of the year at the Grand Arena is eagerly anticipated by competitors. They praised the modern premises with a racing surface second to none. They called the Grand Arena race their Daytona 500 and said it attracts their largest field of the year.

Practice, scheduled to start at 2:30, was delayed about an hour for track preparation by the IHEC tractor on a hot, 90-degree afternoon. The first heat race, scheduled for 3:00, was delayed to 3:55 after officials allowed all 15 classes of racing vehicles to take two rounds of hot laps to make the track surface race-worthy.

Prior to the first race races and main events for all 15 classes there was a moment of silence. Two speedway sprint drivers—Sean (No. 2) and Stevie (No. 3) Rogers—took several side-by-side slow memorial laps in memory of Shay Rogers.

Two rounds of eight laps heat races for the 15 classes within the three organizations were the first 30 races. Events 31-42 were 15-lap main events for all classes within the three organizations. Speedway sprints had intermediate and sprint Pro 500 competitors. So Cal Oval Karters had Junior, SR 4-cylinder, KT 100, F200 and Open classes. The mower group had two groups.

Re-grading and watering several times during the afternoon gave drivers a new, racy surface. The final preparation and soaking was completed at 6:00 and allowed to soak into the dirt. All 12 main events (events 31-42) were run from 6:23 to 7:53 pm with dusk and then Grand Arena overhead lighting illuminating racing.

SPEEDWAY SPRINTS: (powered by motorcycle engines)

Intermediate Class—Point leader Stevie Rogers, 13, from Apple Valley, started second in a ten-car field and led all 15-laps in her No. 3. Ricky Simpson, a 9-year old rookie from Apple Valley, finished second in the No. 29 car owned by his dad Mike Simpson, who drove his No. 911 USAC Midget at Irwindale Speedway until his son was born. Trent Johnson finished third. Charlee Sabers and Sky Farrell placed fourth and fifth. Lauren Brown, 2016 speedway bike 50cc pee-wee rider Cash Culp, 8, from Romoland, Jacob Brown, Brayden Miller-Bushey, and Sean Rogers followed.

Speedway Pro 500cc Class – W2W leader/PAS Senior Sprint builder/driver John Aden, 44, led all 15 laps in his class. Runner-up John Alonso and Bobby Taylor followed. Veteran AMA 500cc D-1 speedway bike racer Buck Blair placed fourth. He had just taken second on the final lap when the former P. 2 car hit the tail of Blair's No. 39 and spun both cars. P 5-9 were: Brian Streuter, Austin Brundage, 14, Jon Wilborn, Seth Bowman and David Bennett. On the opening lap the black/green No. 766 rode over a wheel in turn four traffic and flipped once to the crash-wall near the starters' platform. No injuries resulted.

W2W KARTS:

Junior class- Six starters raced. Junior High student Will Browne, of Glendora, celebrated his 14th birthday by starting fourth and leading all 15-laps. The point leader also won both on his heat races in dominating style aboard his white/red numeral No. 84 kart. Maxwell Tippets, Coy Cameron, 16, Cash Culp, Katie Cameron, 13, and Savannah Eversole followed. Browne, a rookie, won the last main event on July 15 in Victorville. He plans to race a compact car in the next Irwindale Speedway enduro race onSeptember 2.

W2W Senior Karts—A nine-kart field had a three kart breakaway with lapping. Point leader Bill Martin led every lap. Todd Browne, a Jet Blue Airline A320 pilot from Glendora and father of the Junior kart winner, closed rapidly at the end. He started fifth and was third until the final lap when he shot inside P. 2 and took runner-up honors at the checkered flag. He drove his white/black No. 58 kart for only the second time. Ryan Bond, Dacey Blalock, Heidi Jo Erickson, Bob and Tim Lucero and Jeffry Black followed with eight of nine starters racing at the finish.

NORCO MOWERS:

No riders names were listed. The “race for fun” riders had two main events with four in event 32 and five in event 33. The pink No. 53 led all 15 laps and won event 32 with two mowers sidelined in the infield. A no number mower led four other drivers across the finish line in event 33.

SO CAL OVAL KARTERS:

Juniors – Brandon Head, 13, from Yucaipa, dominated and won in a three kart field. He lapped second place in a 12-lap race. He said he is eyeing the PAS Young Gun 360 cu. in. sprint car series when he turns 14, the minimum age for drivers.

SR 4-Cycle – Six karts started. Anthony Silva (No. 28) won with five of six karts racing after 15 laps.

KT 100 – Eleven fast karts started and nine finished, with seven karts on the lead lap. Tomas Southern (No. 02) started second and led all 15 circuits. Brian Drollinger (No. 48) was second.

F200 – Dad Scott Gaynor (No. 3) won the 15-lap race (event 39) and his age 20+ daughter Desiree Gaynor (No. 89), from Banning, finished third. Runner-up in the three-kart race was Norm Reynolds in (No. 4q).

Open Class – The final main event (event 42) had five fast karts and was 15-laps. Joe Gibb, 20, led laps 5-15 and won a hotly-contested race. The Lakewood resident also races a No. 83 truck in off-road races. Lap 1-4 leader Scott Bohr (No. 2) was second after being nudged from the lead in turn three. Nick Argo (No. 71x) was close when the final checkered flag flew at dusk under the arena' overhead lights.

Trophies were distributed in the pits by each organization separately. It was still 75 degrees when racing concluded.

 

W2W POINT STANDINGS (as of August 7, 2017).

500cc Pro Class:          Restrictor Class:               Intermediate Class:

1 – Daniel Bennett  74  1 – Daniel Smissen 66   1 – Stevie Rogers   68

2 - John Aden         58  2 – Austin Brundage 61 2 – Ricky Simpson 62

3 – Buck Blair         53  3 – Justin Taylor      54  3 – Trent Johnson  53

4 – Austin Brundage 52- 4 - Bryan Folland    44  4 - Charlee Sabers 46

5 – Bobby Taylor      46  5 – Kevin Oshins     32  5 – Sean Rogers   45

 

Dirt Karts Juniors:                   Dirt Karts Seniors:

1 – Will Browne (R)      66       1 – Bill Martin 84

2 – Savannah Eversole 47       2 – Tim Lucero 40

3 – Cash Culp             46       3 – Ryan Bond 34

4 – Chris Gregory, Jr.   44       4 – Bob Lucero 32

5 – Thomas Dyer        39        5 – Heidi Jo Erickson 28