Saddlemen

Carver and Halbert Spring to the Top at Willow Springs!

| 18 October 2016 12:02 pm

Eddie Mulder’s West Coast Dirt Track Series
Day One: Willow Springs International Raceway’s Walt James Stadium

Story and Photos by Karen Gould/Checkered Flag Photography
ROSAMOND, CA, OCT. 1, 2016

The Willow Springs three-eighths-mile cushion dirt track in Walt James Stadium at the Willow Springs International Raceway hosts by far the most exciting three-eighths-mile dirt-track racing in all of California. Eddie and Jodi Mulder, promoters of the West Coast Dirt Track Series, pull out all the stops during this two-day weekend event. Together with their main sponsors – Mark and Randy Zimmerman of Specialty Fabrications Inc., and Terry and Nancy Otton of Ramspur Winery – the purse for this weekend was over $50,000.

Dan McDougall (8) from Canada dices with Fred Berger (97, behind McDougall) in Super Senior heat-race action at Willow Springs.

Dan McDougall (8) from Canada dices with Fred Berger (97, behind McDougall) in Super Senior heat-race action at Willow Springs.

Driving up the road to the track on Saturday morning, the rigs, trucks, trailers and cars were in a long line, their occupants ready to go racing!

Track prep had begun the week before. The registration staff set up their booth. The tech station had been set up, ready to start the bike inspections. When the gates opened, there was a flood of people!

Jimmy Wood (37, shown here with Jared Mees) came out of the dust to ride Willow.

Jimmy Wood (37, shown here with Jared Mees) came out of the dust to ride Willow.

The usual riders’ meeting started off the day, but this day was just a little different. A special moment of silence was held to honor the two young riders who lost the weekend before, Charlotte Kainz and Kyle McGrane. That was followed by parade laps of riders, led by the water trucks, riding two reverse laps, one to honor each of them. [To learn how to help assist the families of those two riders, please see “Memorial Funds Set Up for Kyle McGrane and Charlotte Kainz”…. Editor]

Honoring fallen riders Charlotte Kainz and Kyle McGrane with two reverse laps.

Honoring fallen riders Charlotte Kainz and Kyle McGrane with two reverse laps.

Not long after that, practice began. The track was absolutely perfect – smooth and “racey” – as a result of the many hours that Gary Richie spent working the dirt.

More than 120 riders rode in 19 heat races, and that included 24 AMA Pro riders looking for a piece of the $50,000 purse. Special guests included Barry Weiss of TV’s “Storage Wars,” the Zimmermans, Digger Helm, Terry Otton, Rod Lake, Sammy Tanner, Chris Agajanian, Ron Wood, Preston Petty, Dennis Mahan and more. Also in the house was number 38, Chuck Palmgren, the first rider to win an AMA GNC Mile on a Yamaha 750; that bit of history took place in 1972.

Grant Holmes (7X) at speed in Walt James Stadium.

Grant Holmes (7X) at speed in Walt James Stadium.

The action on the track was fierce, with Jeffrey Carver and Chad Cose turning the fastest heat-race lap times. Pro heat-race winners Carver, Cose, Brad Baker and Jimmy Wood then lined up for the Dash For Cash. Cose, aboard a Harley, turned heads by taking a commanding lead and, eventually, the win, followed by Carver, Baker and Wood.

Chad Cose (49) leads Jeffrey Carver (23) and Brad Baker (6) in the Dash For Cash.

Chad Cose (49) leads Jeffrey Carver (23) and Brad Baker (6) in the Dash For Cash.

Chad Cose (49) topped the Dash For Cash.

Chad Cose (49) topped the Dash For Cash.

At the trophy presentation, an emotional speech was given by Cose, who’d traveled for 2 ½ years with one of the riders lost the weekend before.

“I know Kyle was with me and gave me the will to win today, in his memory,” Cose said.

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Among the fast youngsters in attendance on the day was Kage Tadman, who won the Youth 60cc class, in front of Jack “Junior” Alexander.

Kage Tadman (28) at speed. This is one talented youngster!

Kage Tadman (28) at speed. This is one talented youngster!

Another was Travis Petton IV, who made the podium in three classes, including winning the Open Amateur B main.

Travis Petton IV (82) won the Open B Amateur main event.

Travis Petton IV (82) won the Open B Amateur main event.

James Ott was a double-class winner, in the Open Amateur A main and the 250cc Open class.

James Ott (12) led the 250cc Open class home.

James Ott (12) led the 250cc Open class home.

Fontana Radiator’s “Fast Jeff” Johnson, aboard Mickey Alzola’s Triumph, took the Modern 750cc victory. He also won the 500cc Support class, in front of Jack Jones and Jim Lundgren.

In the Senior Vintage class, Jim Ottele finished third, behind Jeff Lessley and Kenny Thiebaud. Ottele also placed third in the Senior Open class, and came back to win the Dinosaur class.

James Ottele (58Y) aboard a vintage Indian.

James Ottele (58Y) aboard a vintage Indian.

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Sixteen Pro riders lined up on the grid for the Digger Helm Open Pro main event, presented by Specialty Fabrications Inc. On the front row were Carver, Baker, Cose, Wood, Briar Bauman and Nick Armstrong.

At the green, Jared Mees, on the new Indian Scout, tried to get by the pack on the inside, but it was Chad Cose who moved to the front for the holeshot. Carver was low on the inside, but he was in the front by the end of lap one.

Jared Mees (1) in his first competition on the new Indian Scout.

Jared Mees (1) in his first competition on the new Indian Scout.

During this 20-lap main event, Baker and Halbert swapped second place four times, while Carver held the lead for all 20 laps. Behind them, Henry Wiles was working his way through the pack, eventually finishing fourth, behind Baker.

Jeffrey Carver (23) on his way to winning the Digger Helm Open Pro main.

Jeffrey Carver (23) on his way to winning the Digger Helm Open Pro main.

Jeffrey Carver (23) is congratulated by Randy Zimmerman (left) and Ron Wood (right).

Jeffrey Carver (23) is congratulated by Randy Zimmerman (left) and Ron Wood (right).

Jeffery Carver takes Terry Otton out for a jaunt with the checkers.

Jeffery Carver takes Terry Otton out for a jaunt with the checkers.

As always after the races, a heartfelt trophy presentation with the riders and their crews was held, presenting the top riders with medals and cash to the Pros for their efforts. Every Pro rider in the main was paid a portion of the purse.

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Following the awards ceremony was the customary Mexican food feast, at which Eddie and Jodi treat their crew to a wonderful “family dinner.” In addition to a huge “thank you” to the WCDTS staff, Eddie and Jodi are most appreciative to their series sponsors: Mark and Randy Zimmerman of Specialty Fabrications Inc., Terry and Nancy Otton of Ramspur Winery, Digger Helm, Rod Lake, Motion Pro, Triumph of North America, Coventry Spares, British Customs, Barnett Clutches and Cables, JRC Engineering, Jeff Cole of C&J Racing Frames, Maxima Racing Oils, K&N Filters, Works Shocks, Today’s Cycle Coverage, S&S Offroad Magazine and Pro Plates.

On Sunday morning, the track opened to another crowd of competitors and fans. Stay tuned for another story about that to be posted soon…

Willow Springs International Raceway’s Walt James Stadium
Rosamond, California
Results: October 1, 2016

YOUTH 60: 1. Kage Tadman; 2. James Alexander; 3. Conner Hickerson; 4. Sierra Hickerson; 5. Isabella Mitchell.

YOUTH 80: 1. Travis Petton IV; 2. Zaden Florez; 3. Tanner Richey; 4. Dominic DeMario; 5. Blake Ash; 6. Jack Earwood; 7. Eli Souza; 8. Conner Hickerson; 9. Franny Mincham; 10. Sierra Hickerson.

250 OPEN: 1. James Ott; 2. Grant Holmes; 3. Travis Petton IV; 4. Dallas Daniels; 5. Tyler Raggio; 6. Hunter Brooks; 7. Jaycee Jones; 8. Zack Earwood.

500 SUPPORT: 1. Jeff Johnson; 2. Jack Jones; 3. Jim Lundgren; 4. Jeff Gonzales; 5. Robert Hansen; 6. Ken Shilling; 7. Larry Hanson.

MODERN 250: 1. David Ehrhart.

MODERN 500: 1. Brian Filo; 2. Julian Heppekausen; 3. Jamin Mathis.

MODERN 750: 1. Jeff Johnson; 2. Paul Herman; 3. Lloyd McGregor.

OPEN AM A MAIN: 1. James Ott; 2. Hunter Brooks; 3. Julia Rankin; 4. Dallas Daniels; 5. Clayton Williams; 6. Paul Ott; 7. Grant Holmes; 8. Christian Payne; 9. Dominic Cameron; 10. Ryan Reed; 11. David Bush; 12. Michael Hill; 13. Rob Bush.

OPEN AM B MAIN: 1. Travis Petton IV; 2. Bronson Pearce; 3. Noah Bush; 4. Stephen Sikorski; 5. Justin Hanson; 6. Kyle Raggio; 7. Matt Ott; 8. Josh Jackson; 9. L.J. Gronek; 10. Andrew Myers; 11. Jaycee Jones.

VET A MAIN: 1. Don Howard; 2. Jim Rosa; 3. Kevin Jordan; 4. Paul Ott; 5. Curtis Peebles Jr.; 6. David Bush; 7. John Lundgren; 8. Ryan Reed; 9. Robert Bush; 10. Scott Hanson.

VET B MAIN: 1. Matt Stoutenburg; 2. Bill Kolkman; 3. Andrew Myers; 4. Mark LaDue; 5. Mike Mosby.

SR OPEN: 1. Kevin Jordan; 2. Jim Lundgren; 3. Jim Ottele; 4. Larry Earhart; 5. Jeff Lessley; 6. Bill Kolkman; 7. Greg Powell; 8. Bill Wright; 9. Barney Stern; 10. Jeff Spohr; 11. Dan Kane; 12. Dan Dowding.

SR VINTAGE: 1. Jeff Lessley; 2. Kenny Thiebaud; 3. Jim Ottele.

SUPER SR NOV: 1. Robert Hansen; 2. Gary Ritchie; 3. Shane Van Sickle; 4. Dan McDougall; 5. Fred Berger; 6. Herb Wolff.

DINO: 1. Jim Ottele.

CLASSIC 250: 1. Hadley Melton; 2. Fred Berger.

CLASSIC 500: 1. Chris Rudy; 2. Jim Ottele; 3. Rick Rockhold; 4. Julian Heppekausen; 5. James Kohls; 6. Joe Pape; 7. Flynn Stone; 8. Matt Campbell.

RAMSPUR WINERY $5,000 DASH FOR CASH: 1. Chad Cose; 2. Jeffrey Carver; 3. Brad Baker; 4. Jimmy Wood.

DIGGER OPEN PRO BY SPECIALTY FABRICATIONS INC.: 1. Jeffrey Carver; 2. Sammy Halbert; 3. Brad Baker; 4. Henry Wiles; 5. Jarod Vanderkooi; 6. Chad Cose; 7. Briar Bauman; 8. Jared Mees; 9. Davis Fisher; 10. Nick Armstrong; 11. Kayl Kolkman; 12. Jimmy Wood; 13. Dylan Morin; 14. Danny Eslick; 15. John Vanderlaan; 16. Bronson Bauman.

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Category: Dirt Track, Regional, Vintage, Vintage Dirt Track

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