Impact Canopy

Hamill Wins Matherson Cup at Costa Mesa Speedway!

| 28 August 2013 12:45 pm

The Matherson Cup at Costa Mesa Speedway
Orange County Fairgrounds

Story by Elaine Jones
Photos by Jim Thorn/BackItInPhotos.com
COSTA MESA, CA, AUG. 24, 2013

This night of the year at Costa Mesa Speedway is set aside to honor a man who was taken from the speedway family way too soon. John Matherson, owner of Mission Motorsports, avid and innovative sidecar racer, and husband and father, died five years ago in a tragic accident on Ortega Highway while on his way to work aboard – what else? – his motorcycle. Since then, the Matherson Cup has become one of the special events of the season, and the sidecar racers were on hand to honor this man who was such a force in their event and to pay tribute to his wife, family and grandkids.

Billy Hamill (left) leads Tyson Burmeister (26, on the outside) and Aaron Fox (right) in the Scratch main at the Matherson Cup event at Costa Mesa Speedway.

Billy Hamill (left) leads Tyson Burmeister (26, on the outside) and Aaron Fox (right) in the Scratch main at the Matherson Cup event at Costa Mesa Speedway.

It was an all-Scratch program, with three rounds of heads-up racing. The top 10 in points would advance directly to the two semifinals. The top two in each semi go directly to the main, with the third- and fourth-place riders getting one more shot in the last-chance qualifier. The winner of the LCQ would become the final rider in the main.

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Round One
Billy “The Bullet” Hamill opened up with a textbook ride in the first heat of the night. He cut a beautiful gate and never looked back. Tyson Burmeister looked very solid as he came away with second. Russell Green, aboard a borrowed bike, was third.

Aaron Fox has really come into his own this season, and he handily won the second heat, going wire to wire. Shawn “Mad Dog” McConnell was second. Justin Boyle, making one of his rare appearances, came away with third.

“Flyin’ Mike” Faria, flush from his win the previous week, continued his winning ways with a great opening ride. Max Ruml, the Junior rider who has moved up to First Division this season, gave it his all, but he wasn’t able to get by the veteran. Tyson Talkington was third.

Rounding out the first round was Gino Manzares, another rider who has made the transition from the Junior program to First Division. Every year he is becoming a more solid and exciting rider to watch. “Battlin’ Buck” Blair lived up to his nickname but was unable to find the chink in Manzares’ armor and had to settle for second. Brad “Whiskey” Saurer was third.

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Round Two
Hamill opened up the second round as he did the first: with a wire-to-wire romp. Talkington and Blair were second and third, respectively.

Burmeister got the gate he’d wanted in the first round, and this time it was game, set and match, as he held off Manzares and Green for the win.

Faria was on track with Hamill, as he continued his winning ways. McConnell was second. Saurer got by Archie Perez in the drag race to the finish line to get those precious third-place points.

Ruml got to show his stuff in the final heat of the round, as he held Fox at bay for the win. Joe Donaldson was able to hold off Andy Crawford for third.

Two riders were perfect on the night: Hamill and Faria were ensured a place in the semis. The final round of heats would determine who would be joining them.

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Round Three
Hamill again got the Speedway 101 ride, as he cut a beautiful gate and never looked back. By this point of the night, the track was developing a blue groove, and this is where it’s critical to stay on that groove – and that also leads to some very technical riding by those who are good enough to know how to move a rider off that groove. Ruml was second, and he would have enough points to move on. Green, who was third, would have to see how the other heats broke down.

Fox put in a ride that would move him to the semis, but it wasn’t easy. Fox got the gate, but on the second lap Blair got by him to take the front spot. Fox came right back and returned the favor on the white-flag lap when Blair slipped off the groove, allowing not only Fox to get by but also Sauer. Blair hung on for third, and he would have to see if that would be enough to move on.

Burmeister not only got the win in his final heat ride, but he rained on Faria’s parade and ended his hopes of a perfect score. Talkington also got a piece of the pie, as he took second, dropping Faria to third. However, all three riders would have enough to move to the semis.

The final heat race of the night saw McConnell get the ride he’d been looking for all night. He rides the low line of the track, which is perfect when you have a blue groove. Manzares was knocking on his door the whole way, but he would have to settle for second. Both would have enough to move on. Boyle, who came away with third, and was on the bubble.

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Semifinals
The first semi had Fox on the pole, with Burmeister in two and Manzares in three. On the outside were Ruml and Blair. This would be good enough for a main event anywhere, anytime. The gate would be critical. You could tell that Hamill has worked with Fox, as he read the gate to perfection and was gone! Burmeister was out second, and Blair, working the outside, was third. That outside line would be Blair’s undoing, as Ruml was able to get by on the inside. They finished in that order. Fox and Burmeister were headed to the main, and Ruml and Blair were in the pits getting ready for the LCQ. The night was over for Manzares.

The second semi had Hamill on the pole, with Faria in two, McConnell in three, and Talkington and Saurer in four and five. This was another talent-packed semi. Hamill set the bar with a beautiful gate and pretty much said to the rest of the field, “Catch me if you can.” McConnell tried but would have to settle for second, which was just fine, as they would both be in the main. Saurer and Faria were now focused on the last-chance.

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Last-Chance Qualifier
The LCQ was where experience came into play. The veteran, Faria, kept his cool and his head and nailed the start and never looked back. He would be the final rider in the main.

Mike Faria (left) leads Max Ruml (right) in the last-chance qualifier.

Mike Faria (left) leads Max Ruml (right) in the last-chance qualifier.

Main Events
They rolled to the line for choice of gate for the main event. Hamill chose the pole. Fox was in two and Burmeister in three. McConnell and Faria were in four and five, respectively. They loaded in, the light went green and the tapes came up.

As he had all night, Hamill absolutely nailed the start. It’s just fun to watch him on the line; it would be good if a whole lot of riders took the time to study him. He was gone, with his protégé Fox chasing him.

The blue groove was pretty good-sized by this point, but you still can’t slip off. McConnell was working the pole, and he had a solid lock on second. Faria and Burmeister were fourth and fifth, respectively. It was like a freight train, and all were content to run in that order, and they finished as they had started. Hamill had his perfect night.

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The Sidecars always put on a show, and this night, especially, would be no different. It would also be a night when the ability to finish would come into play.

The first try at a go saw Dual Anderson & Ethan Smith on the pole, with Joe Jones & Johnny Glover in two. Casey & Riley Driggers loaded into three, and Chris Jones & Zolti Csanyl were in four. They got two laps in the books before the red flag came out, as there were sidecars scattered everywhere. Because it was a championship race, they needed to run all four laps, so they loaded in again.

This time it was Jones & Glover getting out on top, with Anderson & Smith in second and the Driggers in third. Two laps in, mayhem broke out. Anderson & Smith and the Driggers were in the infield, and Jones & Glover were left to finish the remaining lap, as they were the only ones to get the white flag. When all was said and done, it was Jones & Glover, Anderson & Smith, The Driggers, and Jones & Csanyl. Jones & Glover left the track under their own steam, while the rest were carried off – which was not an easy task.

Joe Jones & Johnny Glover (1) topped the Sidecar main event.

Joe Jones & Johnny Glover (1) topped the Sidecar main event.

The Support main-event victory went to Randy Skinner. He comes to Costa Mesa maybe once or twice a year, but he always makes it count. Following him home were Kyle Hicks, Kayle LeoGrande, Bruce Marteney and Eloy Medellin.

Randy Skinner (383) showed up and took the Support main-event victory. Kyle Hicks (103, middle) was runner-up, Kayle LeoGrande (rear) ended up third, and Eloy Medellin (outside) was fifth.

Randy Skinner (383) showed up and took the Support main-event victory. Kyle Hicks (103, middle) was runner-up, Kayle LeoGrande (rear) ended up third, and Eloy Medellin (outside) was fifth.

Support B honors went to Dave Troutt. Wade Whitcomb was second, with Dan Wensloff and Robert Fiesler third and fourth, respectively. This had to be a heart breaker for Fiesler, as he had just taken the lead on the white-flag lap but then went high in turn two, and it was all over.

The Support B win went to Dave Troutt (foreground). Wade Whitcomb (rear) moved up to take second. Robert Fiesler (106, outside) ended up fourth.

The Support B win went to Dave Troutt (foreground). Wade Whitcomb (rear) moved up to take second. Robert Fiesler (106, outside) ended up fourth.

All kinds of Juniors were on hand, and Hamill continues to give these kids a place to learn. He’s turning out some wonderful riders, and they will make their marks when they get to go play with the big kids.

The Division One 150cc contest saw Courtney Crone, the resident young lady, cut the best gate and get out on top. She’s dangerous when she’s running in front. Sebastian Palmese wasn’t intimidated, though, and he went after her and claimed the lead on the second lap and then held her off to the checkered flag. Maverick Molloy and Gino Scopellite were third and fourth, respectively.

Courtney Crone (4), Sebastian Palmese (18) and Maverick Malloy (right) battle in the Division One 150cc main event.

Courtney Crone (4), Sebastian Palmese (18) and Maverick Molloy (right) battle in the Division One 150cc main event.

The Division Two 150cc contest was all Mike Salyer’s, as he went wire to wire. Tristan Britt and Jake Isaac followed him home.

After scoring the victory in the Division Two 150cc main, Kurtis Hamill took the checkers out for a little spin.

After scoring the victory in the Division Two 150cc main, Kurtis Hamill took the checkers out for a little spin.

Like father, like son: It was all Kurtis Hamill in the Junior 250cc main. Hayley Perrault gave a good accounting of herself, as she held on to second after Broc Nicol slipped off the groove, but she couldn’t quite bring it home when Dillon Ruml put the pressure on and got by her for second. Perrault finished third, and Nicol was fourth.

Costa Mesa Speedway will be dark next week, so mark your calendars for the Motorcycle Demo Derby, along with Speedway and Sidecars, on September 7!

Costa Mesa Speedway
at the Orange County Fairgrounds
Costa Mesa, California
Results: August 24, 2013

SCRATCH MAIN: 1. Billy Hamill (Jaw); 2. Aaron Fox (Jaw); 3. Shawn McConnell (GM); 4. Mike Faria (Jaw); 5. Tyson Burmeister (Jaw).

SIDECAR MAIN: 1. Joe Jones/ Johnny Glover (Yam); 2. Dual Anderson/ Ethan Smith (Yam); 3. Casey Driggers/ Riley Driggers (Suz); 4. Chris Jones/ Zolti Csanyl (Yam).

SUPPORT MAIN: 1. Randy Skinner (Jaw); 2. Kyle Hicks (Jaw); 3. Kayle LeoGrande (Jaw); 4. Bruce Marteney (Jaw); 5. Eloy Medellin (Jaw).

SUPPORT B MAIN: 1. Dave Troutt (Jaw); 2. Wade Whitcomb (Jaw); 3. Dan Wensloff (Jaw); 4. Robert Fiesler (Jaw).

JR DIVISION 1 150: 1. Sebastian Palmese (Hgn); 2. Courtney Crone (Hgn); 3. Maverick Molloy (Hgn); 4. Gino Scopellite (Hgn).

JR DIVISION 2 150: 1. Mike Salyer (Hgn); 2. Tristan Britt (Hgn); 3. Jake Isaac (Hgn).

JR250 MAIN: 1. Kurtis Hamill (Jaw); 2. Dillon Ruml (Jaw); 3. Haley Perrault (Jaw); 4. Broc Nicol (Jaw).

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