Saddlemen

Mad Max Wins Spring Classic/ Jack Mile Cup at Costa Mesa!

| 20 May 2015 12:39 pm

Spring Classic/Jack Milne Cup
Costa Mesa Speedway at the Orange County Fairgrounds

Story by Elaine Jones
Photos by Dorcey Wingo
COSTA MESA, CA, MAY 16, 2015

It was opening night of the 37th year of Speedway racing at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa, California. The Spring Classic is special enough, but to combine it with the Jack Milne Cup knocked it out of the park! Jack Milne, representing the USA, was the 1937 World Champion. It was Jack and Harry Oxley who put speedway on the map when they came together and created Costa Mesa Speedway on a tight, small track that would become known as the “Bullring.”

The top four riders of the night line up for the evening’s main event at the Spring Classic/ Jack Milne Cup at Costa Mesa Speedway.

The top four riders of the night line up for the evening’s main event at the Spring Classic/ Jack Milne Cup at Costa Mesa Speedway.

Everyone wanted to stand on top of the podium on this night. The pits were full of old faces as well as some new ones, but this night would come down to the young vs. the veterans, and it would shake out in three rounds of heads-up Scratch racing.

Despite a downpour prior to race night, the track looked amazing, thanks to the heroic efforts of promoter “Rad Brad” Oxley and his crew, who didn’t have much time to save the track after the rain.

The track’s new referee this season is none other than Steve Lucero, a former National Champion who is well aware of anything a rider can throw at him in terms of tricks. He runs a tight ship and pulls no punches.

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Round 1
The first round of Scratch racing pretty much determined how the night was going to go. Tyson Talkington started things off with a wire-to-wire ride. He was followed home by Bobby “Boogaloo” Schwartz, “Flyin’ Mike” Faria and Braydan Galvin. This is Galvin’s first year in Division One, and he gave a good accounting of himself.

The second heat saw Broc Nicol show everyone that he is going to be a force to be reckoned with, as he, too, put in a wire-to-wire ride, topping Gage Geist, Russell Green and “Battlin’ Buck” Blair.

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The third heat was all “Mad Max” Ruml’s. He got the gate and never looked back. He is all business this season, but he will have a great adversary in second-place finisher Aaron Fox, who proved himself last season and is looking very strong. Rocco Scopellite was also riding very solid on his way to third, and following him home was second-season Division One rider Dalton Leedy. These are the young riders who are showing a whole lot of maturity very early on, and they can only get better as the season progresses.

The final heat of the first round was all Shawn “Mad Dog” McConnell’s. He got the gate and his low line, which he loves, and that was all she wrote. Jason Ramirez did push him, but he had to settle for second. We have a new Ruml: Max’s little brother Dillon is on the scene, fresh from the Junior Division, and now there are two Rumls to deal with – and both are very, very good. In his first ride at Costa Mesa with the big boys, he came away with third. Joe Donaldson was fourth.

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Round 2
Ramirez got a great ride to open up the first heat of the second round, going wire to wire and topping Faria, Scopellite and Geist.

In the next heat, Nicol added another first-place finish to his résumé and was looking very good for a spot in the main event. Dillon Ruml got by Schwartz on the white-flag lap for second place. Leedy rounded out the field with fourth.

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Big brother Max Ruml was again taking control in the next outing with another solid ride and coming away with another win. On back, it was Blair, Talkington and Donaldson.

The final heat of round two was all Fox’s. He is solid and rides mistake-free. McConnell tried to find a chink in the leader’s armor but had to settle for second in the quick four-lapper. Green and Galvin were third and fourth, respectively.

Two riders still had a perfect score: Nicol and Max Ruml. One point back were McConnell, Fox and Ramirez.

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Round 3
Round three was do-or-die time: The riders had to make things happen in this round, as there would be no semifinal this evening. Four riders would be going to the main and four to the consi.

Fox had come to win, and he opened up the final round with a wire-to-wire ride, keeping Faria, Talkington and Leedy at bay. Fox had just secured his spot in the main. Who would be joining him?

The answer to that came very quickly, as Ramirez was on a mission, and that mission was to secure a spot in the main. He got it with a great ride, raining on Nicol’s chances at a perfect score. Nicol just couldn’t get around Ramirez, but it was all good, as both were headed to the main. That left one more spot to be filled.

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That spot was filled in the next heat, in which Max Ruml took one more step on his way to what he hoped would be a perfect night. It was gate, set and match, as he left the scrambling to those behind him. Galvin was running second but zigged when he should have zagged and dropped to the back of the pack. Kudos to him, as he came fighting back and got by Scopellite for the third spot, behind Schwartz.

The final heat of the night was all Blair’s. McConnell dropped into the second slot, with Dillon Ruml in third and Geist in fourth. Everyone seemed content with the order, and that’s the way they finished.

The grid for the main was set, the math was done, and the consi would consist of McConnell, Blair, Talkington and Schwartz.

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Consolation Race
The consi had McConnell on the pole, with Talkington in two. On the outside, it was Schwartz and Blair.

(From left to right) Buck Blair, Bobby Schwartz, Tyson Talkington and Shawn McConnell launch off the line in Scratch consolation race.

(From left to right) Buck Blair, Bobby Schwartz, Tyson Talkington and Shawn McConnell launch off the line in Scratch consolation race.

The gate went to Blair, with McConnell off second. This was a battle between two very smart riders. McConnell is very dangerous on that low line, but it was Blair’s night to shine, and he got the ride he’d been looking for all night and the consi was his. McConnell settled for second, with Talkington and Schwartz third and fourth, respectively.

Buck Blair (39) and Shawn McConnell (right) finished first and second, respectively, in the Scratch consi.

Buck Blair (39) and Shawn McConnell (right) finished first and second, respectively, in the Scratch consi.

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Main Event
They rolled to the line for the most prestigious race of the night. It would be Ruml on the pole, with Ramirez in two; Fox loaded into three, with Nicol in four. The new generation of Speedway was ready to go! They loaded in, got on the gas, the light went green and the tapes came up!

“Mad Max” Ruml (left) leads Aaron Fox (right) to the checkered flag in the Scratch main.

“Mad Max” Ruml (left) leads Aaron Fox (right) to the checkered flag in the Scratch main.

It was Max Ruml out on top, with Fox close behind. This was not the first time these two have done battle, and it won’t be the last. They battled all the way to the checkered flag, but it was Mad Max from start to finish. Fox was second. Nicol joined them on the podium with his third-place finish. Ramirez got fourth.

Max Ruml celebrates his win with a wheelie down the back straight.

Max Ruml celebrates his win with a wheelie down the back straight.

Max Ruml (center) poses with pit man Claudio Marquez (left) and the Trophy Lady.

Max Ruml (center) poses with pit man Claudio Marquez (left) and the Trophy Lady.

Support Classes
The always exciting Sidecars were in the house, and boy, do they know how to put on a show! No one seemed to have a problem turning right. In fact, they did it so good that some of them had a whole lot of trouble staying out of the infield!

The Sidecar jockeys get ready to rumble!

The Sidecar jockeys get ready to rumble!

When everything was sorted out from their heat races, the top teams rolled to the line for the main event. The reigning champions, Bryan Motis & Josh Bennett, were on the pole. In two, it was Stuart Glass & Jack Straw. Dual Anderson & Vinny Madagan occupied three, and Joe Jones & Tom Summers were in four.

Motis & Bennett got the gate and the line, and they kept it low so no one could get under them and take the lead out of turn four. They all battled hard in both corners, but the winners on this night would be Motis & Bennett. Anderson & Madagan were second, with Jones & Summers finishing third. Glass & Straw rounded out the field.

Bryan Motis & Josh Bennett won the Sidecar main.

Bryan Motis & Josh Bennett won the Sidecar main.

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The Division Two riders qualified for their main, and when the dust settled, the riders who’d made it were David Lynch, Michael Dalbey, Rohn Zellner, River McDougall and Ricky Richards.

Dalbey, a new face to Costa Mesa, got the jump on the rest of the field, with McDougall in second. It looked like it would finish in that order, but the fickle finger of fate stepped in and McDougall went down on the last lap, and that left the door open for Richards, another new face, to step into the second spot. Lynch was third, Zellner was fourth and McDougall was fifth.

Mike Dalbey (155) won the Division Two main event.

Mike Dalbey (155) won the Division Two main event.

Division Three honors went to “The Sarge,” Robert Fiesler, and he was never seriously challenged. Second went to Wade Whitcomb. On back, it was Chris Wolfs and Pam Bennett. The crowd was definitely with Pam, and it could happen next time, as she’s a good rider – and, to top it off, a grandmother.

Rob Fiesler (106) leads the pack in Third Division action.

Rob Fiesler (106) leads the pack in Third Division action.

Luke Whitcomb won both of the 150cc Junior heats, over Slater Lightcap.

Sebastian Palmese did the same thing in the 250cc Junior contest, topping Samuel Ramirez, Jake Isaac and Michael Wells.

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On Memorial Day Weekend, Costa Mesa will be dark. Have a safe and sane holiday and we’ll see you on June 13 for Harley Night, Speedway and Sidecars!

Costa Mesa Speedway at the Orange County Fairgrounds
Costa Mesa, California
Results: May 16, 2015

JACK MILNE CUP MAIN: 1. Max Ruml (Jaw); 2. Aaron Fox (Jaw); 3. Broc Nicol (Jaw); 4. Jason Ramirez (Jaw).

SCRATCH CONSOLATION: 1. Buck Blair (Jaw); 2. Shawn McConnell (GM); 3. Tyson Talkington (Jaw); 4. Bobby Schwartz (Jaw).

SIDECAR MAIN: 1. Bryan Motis/ Josh Bennett (Yam); 2. Dual Anderson/ Vinny Madagan (Kaw); 3. Joe Jones/ Tom Summers (Suz); 4. Stuart Glass/ Jack Straw (Duc).

DIVISION 2 MAIN: 1. Michael Dalbey (Jaw); 2. Ricky Richards (Jaw); 3. David Lynch (Jaw); 4. Rohn Zellner (Jaw); 5. River McDougall.

DIVISION 3 MAIN: 1. Robert Fiesler (Jaw) 2. Wade Whitcomb (Jaw); 3. Chris Wolfs (Jaw); 4. Pam Bennett (Jaw).

JR 150: 1. Luke Whitcomb (Hgn); 2. Slater Lightcap (Hgn).

JR 250: 1. Sebastian Palmese (Jaw); 2. Samuel Ramirez (Jaw); 3. Jake Isaac (Jaw); 4. Michael Wells (Jaw).

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