Saddlemen

Mullen Masters Reading Short Track

| 19 August 2015 2:57 pm

Pennsylvania Short Track
Reading Fairgrounds Speedway

Story and Photos by Len Breech and Ben Breech
LEESPORT, PA, AUG. 8, 2015

Since he has held a Pro license longer than most of the riders he races against, Donnie Mullen could be called the “Ol’ Professor” when it comes to races held on small short tracks. And the permanent, paper-clip-shaped track at the new Reading Fairgrounds track is right in his wheelhouse. Mullen put his Wallace Trucking/ Blackman’s Cycle/ AMS-sponsored Honda in front of the Open A and 450cc Sportsman A finals and pulled away.

Donnie Mullen (71) was the winner of the 450cc Sportsman A and Open A classes at the short-track event at the Reading Fairgrounds Speedway.

Donnie Mullen (71) was the winner of the 450cc Sportsman A and Open A classes at the short-track event at the Reading Fairgrounds Speedway.

In the Open A contest, Mullen took the lead ahead of Cameron Smith, Sam Wiggins, Tyler Phillips and Evan Baer. After a few laps, a red flag came out for downed riders in turn four.

Mullen restarted with his margin, while Phillips took third at the flash of the green. Wiggins retook third off turn four on the fifth lap.

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The featured race at all Baer Racing Products events is the 450cc Sportsman A final. As this event is part of the Reading Fair, a fireworks display requires the races to be held up for it, if it runs late. On this night, there was plenty of time to run extra laps, so this final was 15 laps instead of the eight or 10 that the other finals ran. That didn’t matter: It only let Mullen stretch his margin to half a lap by the end.

Mullen jumped out in front of a pair of next-year Pros, Cameron Smith and Brandon Price, with Derek Hersh, Jeremy Higgins and Sam Wiggins following behind. The final went nonstop, with the only change being Hersh’s low-side, but he pulled off the track before the red flag came out. Price stayed close, but on a track that is this tight, passing is difficult.

The top three in the 450cc Sportsman A class were winner Donnie Mullen (71, right), runner-up Cameron Smith (15) and third-place finisher Brandon Price (92).

The top three in the 450cc Sportsman A class were winner Donnie Mullen (71, right), runner-up Cameron Smith (15) and third-place finisher Brandon Price (92).

Jeremy Orr slipped into first off turn two at the start of the Open B final, with Kris Weiss, Tyler Mullen, Devon Gerhart and Ronnie Mercer behind. Gerhart fell in turn four and was hit by Mercer, bringing out the red.

Off the restart, Justin Haag shot into fourth. On the sixth lap, Mullen moved into second. The finishing order was Orr, Tyler Mullen and Weiss.

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Most of those riders returned for the 450cc Sportsman B contest, with the addition of Ben Ludlow. Off the start, Ludlow led Orr, Weiss, Brett Johnson and Tyler Mullen. Orr took the lead off turn two on about the sixth lap, but a red flag came out before everyone completed that lap. This put Ludlow back in front for the restart.

On the restart, Orr did a hard charge into first, forcing the others out, but Tyler Mullen saw an opening and shot low and into lead. Orr stayed close until the final lap, when he tried too hard and slid out in turn three.

Mike McKee (99) battles Rich Mellinger (86) in Over 30 action.

Mike McKee (99) battles Rich Mellinger (86) in Over 30 action.

After winning the night before at Timonium, Mike McKee tried to repeat his Over 30 class win on this night. He took the lead, ahead of Jason Cunningham, Rich Mellinger and Tom McGrane. Mellinger took second going into turn one on the second lap. McKee survived two red flags and restarts to claim the win.

On the official Over 40 start, Mellinger led Kevin Varnes and Lowell Wherley and then held off Varnes’ repeated attempts to take the lead.

Rich Mellinger (86) and Kevin Varnes (68A) finished first and second, respectively, in the Over 40 final.

Rich Mellinger (86) and Kevin Varnes (68A) finished first and second, respectively, in the Over 40 final.

Wherley led Darren Phillips, Jim Chapman, Scott Slade and Steve Stauffer off turn two in the Over 50 final. This time, Phillips managed to stay away from the third-turn monster and he finished second, while Slade worked his way past Chapman for third off turn four on the seventh lap.

The top-four Over 50 finishing order was Lowell Wherley (28), Darren Phillips (4), Scott Slade (9X) and Jim Chapman (72).

The top-four Over 50 finishing order was Lowell Wherley (28), Darren Phillips (4), Scott Slade (9X) and Jim Chapman (72).

Wherley’s son Austin scored the 250cc Sportsman win, helped by Mellinger’s bogging off the line and entering turn one in last place. Damon Ream, Zack Mullen and Chris Johnson followed the leader. Mullen had taken second by the end of the opening lap. Once he got under way, Mellinger had taken third by the third lap and then displaced Mullen for second by the fifth lap, but he couldn’t catch Wherley.

Austin Wherley (11A) was the 250cc Sportsman winner, followed by runner-up Rich Mellinger (86).

Austin Wherley (11A) was the 250cc Sportsman winner, followed by runner-up Rich Mellinger (86).

Tyler Rylee was the leader of the 250cc B final, followed by Damon Ream, Zack Mullen and Robert Wheatley. Ream slipped under Rylee for the lead off turn four on the third lap.

Damon Ream (17) was the 250cc B winner.

Damon Ream (17) was the 250cc B winner.

After easily winning the Four-Wheel Sportsman heat race, Brandon Shearer appeared to have an easy main-event win in the bag – that is, until he bogged or botched the start and exited turn two in third, several bikelengths behind Kory Becker and Cody Moyer. After trying for several laps, Shearer got under Moyer going into turn one on the sixth lap. On the ninth lap, he slipped under Becker, who was riding Shearer’s back-up machine, off turn four.

Brandon Shearer (267, white quad) scored a close victory over Kory Becker (267X, blue quad) in the Four-Wheel Sportsman final.

Brandon Shearer (267, white quad) scored a close victory over Kory Becker (267X, blue quad) in the Four-Wheel Sportsman final.

Reading Fairgrounds Speedway
Leesport, Pennsylvania
Results: August 8, 2015

50 CHAIN DRIVE: 1. Brandon Pfanders (KTM); 2. Dylan Dancy (KTM); 3. Aiden Hawthorne (Lem); 4. Jack Rutledge (Hon); 5. Noah Diem (Hon); 6. Legend Erisman (KTM); 7. Aaden Johnson (KTM); 8. Jayden Mogel (Cob); 9. Hayden Klinefelter (Hon).

50 SHAFT DRIVE: 1. Dylan Dancy (Yam); 2. Brandon Pfanders (Yam); 3. Mike Headman Jr. (Yam); 4. Noah Diem (Yam); 5. Jayden Mogel (Yam); 6. Gabriel Mazza (Yam); 7. Legend Erisman (Yam); 8. Adam Costan (Yam); 9. Kayden Rylee (Yam); 10. Aiden Hawthorne (Yam); 11. Mike McKee Jr. (Yam); 12. Kayla Sample (Hon); 13. Gabrielle Pfanders (Yam).

65 (7-11): 1. Dylan Cunningham (Kaw); 2. Tyler Cunningham (Kaw); 3. Dominick Cooper (KTM); 4. Logan Eisenhard (Cob); 5. Jack Rutledge (Suz); 6. Brayden Uselton (Kaw); 7. Colton Murphy (Kaw).

85 (7-11): 1. Logan McGrane (Kaw); 2. Dominick Cooper (Yam); 3. Logan Eisenhard (Suz).

85 (12-15): 1. Jared Florian (Suz).

125 2-STROKE/150 4-STROKE: 1. Justin Haag (Hon); 2. Damon Ream (Hon); 3. Bronson Jackson (Suz); 4. Gary Bobb (Hon); 5. Elizabeth Fitch (Suz).

250 B: 1. Damon Ream (Hon); 2. Tyler Rylee (Suz); 3. Zach Mullen (Hon); 4. Robert Wheatley (Kaw); 5. Robert Ream (Hon); 6. Elizabeth Fitch (Hon).

250 SPORTSMAN A/B: 1. Austin Wherley (Kaw); 2. Rich Mellinger (Suz); 3. Zach Mullen (Hon); 4. Damon Ream (Hon); 5. Chris Johnson (Kaw); 6. Tate Adamson (Kaw); 7. Robert Wheatley (Kaw).

450 SPORTSMAN B: 1. Tyler Mullen (Hon); 2. Devon Gerhart (Hon); 3. Ben Ludlow (Hon); 4. Kris Weiss (Hon); 5. Ronnie Mercer (Hon); 6. John Diem (Yam); 7. Brian Nuse (Hon); 8. Georgie Price V (Hon); 9. Brandon Shearer (Hon); 10. Jeff Slade (Kaw); 11. Jeremy Orr (Hon); 12. Brett Johnson (Suz).

450 SPORTSMAN A/PRO: 1. Donnie Mullen (Hon); 2. Cameron Smith (Hon); 3. Brandon Price (Kaw); 4. Jeremy Higgins (Yam); 5. Sam Wiggins (Hon); 6. Evan Baer (Kaw); 7. Tyler Phillips (Kaw); 8. Kevin Bills (Suz); 9. John Long (Yam); 10. Anthony Crabbe (Suz); 11. Chris Thomas (Hon); 12. Derek Hersh (Hon).

500 2-VALVE: 1. Chris Abb (Yam); 2. Bryon Dailey (Yam).

OPEN A: 1. Donnie Mullen II (Hon); 2. Cameron Smith (Hon); 3. Sam Wiggins (Hon); 4. Evan Baer (Kaw); 5. Derek Hersh (KTM); 6. Tyler Phillips (Kaw); 7. Brandon Price (Kaw); 8. Jeremy Higgins (Yam); 9. Anthony Crabbe (Suz); 10. Austin Wherley (Kaw); 11. Dalton Gauthier (Yam); 12. Roy Miller (Suz).

OPEN B: 1. Jeremy Orr (Hon); 2. Tyler Mullen (Hon); 3. Kris Weiss (Hon); 4. Justin Haag (KTM); 5. Brian Nuse (Hon); 6. Brett Johnson (Suz); 7. Georgie Price V (Hon); 8. Nate Reichert (Kaw); 9. Devon Gerhart (Hon); 10. Ronnie Mercer (Hon); 11. Tate Adamson (Kaw); 12. John Diem (Yam).

YOUTH 150: 1. Logan McGrane (Kaw).

30+: 1. Mike McKee (Kaw); 2. Rich Mellinger (Rtx); 3. Ben Ludlow (Hon); 4. Tom McGrane (Hon); 5. Chris Johnson (Kaw); 6. Jason Cunningham (Hon); 7. Darren Phillips Sr. (Kaw).

40+: 1. Rich Mellinger (Rtx); 2. Kevin Varnes (Yam); 3. Lowell Wherley (Kaw); 4. Darren Phillips Sr. (Kaw); 5. Josee Stedding (Suz); 6. Jack Stedding (Hon).

50+: 1. Lowell Wherley (Kaw): 2. Darren Phillips (Kaw); 3. Scott Slade (Yam); 4. Jim Chapman (Hon); 5. Steve Stauffer (Yam); 6. Mike Slade (Kaw); 7. Bryon Dailey (Yam); 8. Michael Lawless (Kaw); 9. Cliff Diem (Hod).

VINTAGE: 1. Chris Abb (Yam); 2. Justin Johnson (Yam); 3. Steve Stauffer (Yam); 4. Bryon Dailey (Yam); 5. Cliff Diem (Hod); 6. Ray Stillwell (BSA).

4-WHEEL SPORTSMAN: 1. Brandon Shearer (Yam); 2. Kory Becker (Yam); 3. Cody Moyer (Hon); 4. Dylan Gibson (Hon).

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Category: ATV, Flat Track, Regional, Short Track, Vintage, Vintage Flat Track

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