Pirate Speedway Winter Series
Round 3: Pirate Speedway at the National Orange Show Fairgrounds
Story by Scott “The Torch” Read
Photos by Jim Thorn/BackItInPhotos.com
SAN BERNARDINO, CA, MAR. 2, 2013
The young guns came out in force with cannons fully loaded, blasting their way to impressive victories at Pirate Speedway’s Winter Series’ third round. Throughout the day, the domination of rising stars Max Ruml and Russell Greene became more and more apparent – although that domination was periodically interrupted by the brilliance of some of the sport’s other top young stars, as well as that of some wily seasoned veterans.
The Scratch main-event final kept everyone on the edges of their seats, as Max Ruml gated and led from the start. Jockeying for the second and third position were Aaron Fox and Russell Green. Moving up to second on lap two was Fox; dropping to third was Green. Having been running in fourth up to this point was Rocco Scopellite, and he now took some action, moving up to third on lap three.
The final lap saw Ruml, who had led all laps, take the win, while Scopellite moved up and took second, Green dropped to third, and Fox slowed due to a mechanical problem, finishing fourth. Having made the move up to the big 500cc bikes recently, Max Ruml has definitely made an impression on the Division One class.
The Handicap main event had an electrifying finish at the checkered flag. The Handicap lineup saw Green and Ruml starting from the 50-yard line, Scopellite from the 40, and Troy McConnell from the 20. (Aaron Fox and Jason Ramirez were nonstarters.)
Green and Ruml battled back and forth, vying for the top position, while McConnell and Scopellite waged a close battle over third and fourth, in one of the closest races staged on this day. The end came too soon for the fans, but not soon enough for the winner! This great racing concluded with nothing less than a photo finish. After some tense moments, the speakers rang-out: “Green wins! Green wins!”
The final order was Russell Green with the win, Max Ruml in second, Troy McConnell in third, and Rocco Scopellite gamely finishing fourth. With a last-lap surge at the end, Green had prevented Ruml from doubling up on wins this evening.
The program started off with the Division One Handicap format. In the first heat race, Russell Green came out of the gates with a bang and rode away from the rest of the field, taking the victory over Aaron Fox, Troy McConnell, Paul Sanborn, Steve “Rattlesnake” Bowen, and Chris Jones.
On the other side of the bracket, also in Division One Handicap format, the second heat had Max Ruml leading four out of five laps en route to taking the win. Rocco Scopellite finished second, Joey Donaldson brought it home in third, “Rippin’ Rudy” Laurer was fourth, Joey St. Louis was in the fifth spot, and Davey Shaw finished sixth.
The Torch’s “Headache Award” of the race goes to Davey Shaw, who slid out on lap two of Event 16, a Scratch heat, leaving no place for Laurer to go. Shaw and Laurer were running second and third at the time. The ensuing crash caused referee Tom Fox to call for a complete restart. Shaw walked off under his own power, but at the Med Center, Shaw was told he had three broken ribs and severe bruising. Best wishes for a quick recovery to Davey Shaw.
The Powder Puff class had three entrants: Shonny McConnell, Stacey Smegal and Courtney Crone. In their first heat, Event 19, Shonny McConnell was comfortably leading midrace when her rear tire locked up in turn one, causing a slide-out. Crone and Smegal, who were following closely, finished the race in first and second, respectively. McConnell ended up third.
In the Powder Puff main event, the finishing order was Shonny McConnell in first, followed by Crone in second and Smegal in third.
The Support classes competed in six races, including the main event. The heat-race winners were Dillon Osbourne and Johnny Jade. The Support semifinal winners were “Rowdy Ronnie” Davis and Mike Salyer. The Support consolation winner was Jade.
In the Support main event, Steve “Beach Ball” Brown led two laps but then surrendered the lead to Osbourne for the final three laps. Osbourne took the win, and Brown took second. Davis was third, Dave Troutt took fourth, Wade Whitcomb took fifth, and Mike Salyer took home sixth.
The Junior 150cc heat-race winners were Sebastian “Big Daddy” Palmese and Michael Wells. Following his Winter Series round-one victory, Wells took the victory in the 150cc main event again here at round three. Courtney Crone took second, Gino Scopellite took third, and Tristan Britt took fourth.
Broc Nicol won all three Junior 250cc heats. “Haulin’ Hayley” Perrault took two second-place finishes, and Braydan Galvin also scored a second-place heat-race finish.
The starting lineup for the Junior 250cc main event was Perrault, the 2011 SRA 250cc Champion; Nicol, the U.S. number-one AMA Champion and 2013 250cc Gumball Rally Champion; Galvin, the 2012 200cc California State Champion; and Dryden Gayle, who just started riding this past August.
After a great gate, Galvin lead all four laps over the rest of the field. Nicol, in second, was unable to gain on the great start by Galvin. Gayle gamely wrestled the track in third for all four laps. That’s how they finished, with Perrault in fourth.
In the Pee Wee class, Amber LeGrant, a new rider, had mechanical problems in the first heat and was unable to return for the rest of the day. In the main event, Nick Dunn, the Stock main-event winner at the 2013 Gumball Rally, faced off against Luke Whitcomb, the 2013 SRA U.S. Pee Wee Champion, and Jake Troutt, the first-place winner at Industry this past season. “Lightnin’ Luke” high-revved his way to the win, followed by Troutt in second place. With a consistent run, the “Iron Man Award” winner for the Winter Series was Nick Dunn, who placed third.
Pirate Speedway extends a thank-you to referee Tom Fox, starter John Pavia, official scorers Jessi DuBois and Susie Foley, pit stewards Gary, Sandy, and K.C. Hicks, and the track crews consisting of the Benny Mears gang. Their hard work keeps the show moving accurately and smoothly and with traction!
Pirate Speedway at the National Orange Show Fairgrounds
San Bernardino, California
Results: March 02, 2013 (Round 3)
PEE WEE MAIN: 1. Luke Whitcomb; 2. Jake Troutt; 3. Nick Dunn.
POWDER PUFF MAIN: 1. Shonny McConnell; 2. Courtney Crone; 3. Stacey Smegal.
JR 150/200 MIN: 1. Michael Wells; 2. Courtney Crone; 3. Gino Scopellite.
JR 250 MAIN: 1. Braydan Galvin; 2. Broc Nicol; 3. Dryden Gayle.
SUPPORT MAIN: 1. Dillon Osbourne; 2. Steve Brown; 3. Ron Davis.
SCRATCH CONSOLATION: 1. Troy McConnell; 2. Joey Donaldson; 3. Joey St. Louis.
SCRATCH MAIN: 1. Max Ruml; 2. Rocco Scopellite; 3. Russell Green.
HANDICAP CONSOLATION: 1. Rudy Laurer; 2. Joey St. Louis; 3. Joey Donaldson.
HANDICAP MAIN: 1. Russell Green; 2. Max Ruml; 3. Troy McConnell.