Saddlemen

Halbert, Baker Top Day Two at Willow Springs

| 21 October 2016 2:29 pm

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

Story and Photos by Karen Gould/Checkered Flag Photography
ROSAMOND, CA, OCT. 2, 2016

After awesome racing on Saturday and a great meal on Saturday night, the crew was ready to hit the track again early Sunday morning for Day Two of the West Coast Dirt Track Series Willow Springs event. Running like clockwork, the gates opened at 8 a.m. and practice started at 10:30. Gary Ritchie was there early, getting the track ready for the day’s racing, and another long line of racers waited patiently at the gate to get in. The weather was a little cooler, with a nice breeze – perfect!

Thanks to Gary Ritchie, track prep is constant at Willow Springs.

Thanks to Gary Ritchie, track prep is constant at Willow Springs.

In attendance were some well-known guests, beginning with Chuck Palmgren, Digger Helm and Ron Wood. Rod Lake also made an appearance. Chris Agajanian’s Ascot trailer was there, and the best catering truck in all of California was serving the tastiest breakfast burritos ever!

What a trio: “D-Dan McDougal” (left), Digger Helm (center) and Mickey Alzola (right).

What a trio: “D-Dan McDougal” (left), Digger Helm (center) and Mickey Alzola (right).

The goal on Sunday was to get things moving so that people could get on the road for home after a full day of racing. Promoter Eddie Mulder wastes no time getting through the riders’ meeting and getting practice under way.

A full stable of racers rode some 27 heat races, two semifinals and 24 main events. As always, the main events begin with the semis and the Ramspur Winery Dash For Cash.

In the Dash, Brad Baker got the holeshot and didn’t look back, leading it for all six laps to the finish. Behind him were Sammy Halbert and Jared Mees, but it took no time at all for Chad Cose to get in front of Sammy, and then he tried to catch Mees. Cose was on a tear all weekend! The race finished with Baker in front, followed by Mees, Cose and Halbert.

Brad Baker (6) on his way to the win in the Dash For Cash.

Brad Baker (6) on his way to the win in the Dash For Cash.

The winner of the first semi was Dalton Gauthier. Jarod Vanderkooi was second, and both earned their way to the main event.

In semi number two, Jimmy Wood and Nick Armstrong went one and two, also making it into the 16-rider main-event finale.

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Next up was the Senior Vintage class. One fast series-regular Vintage racer, Tom Horton, was missing this weekend, which disappointed some of his fellow competitors; one of them mentioned that he built his bike just to compete with Tom this year. The West Coast Dirt Track Series Willow Springs events are like a family affair: When someone doesn’t make it, someone always notices. The Senior Vintage race finished with Kenny Thiebaud in front of Jeff Lessley and Jim Ottele.

Kenny Thiebaud (63) was victorious in the Senior Vintage class.

Kenny Thiebaud (63) was victorious in the Senior Vintage class.

Another very familiar face in California flat track, Donnie Howard, was in attendance and racing in the Vet class, in which he took the victory. Jim Rosa and Paul Ott shared the podium with Howard, finishing in that order.

Ryan Reed led the Vet B class to victory.

Donnie Howard (4) at speed in Walt James Stadium.

Donnie Howard (4) at speed in Walt James Stadium.

Donnie Howard (4) leading the Vet A Open field to the checkers.

Donnie Howard (4) leading the Vet A Open field to the checkers.

Gary Ritchie not only wins the “best track prep” award, he also won the Super Senior/ Senior Novice contest after taking the lead from Robert Hansen on the last lap. Hansen followed Ritchie across the line, and “D-Dan” McDougal finished third. McDougal rides an Eddie Mulder-built Triumph and comes to Willow each year all the way from Canada.

Gary Ritchie (28B) is an awesome track-prep guy and a great rider!

Gary Ritchie (28B) is an awesome track-prep guy and a great rider!

Chris Rudy, a regular West Coast Dirt Track Series competitor won the Classic 500cc Brakeless class, in front of Julian Heppekausen and Flynn Stone. They each held their positions from start to finish.

The Classic 250cc Brakeless class and the Dinosaur class (for 1951-and-earlier cycles) were run together. Dinosaur rider Jim Ottele took the win on the hand-shift 1937 Indian sponsored by Bob Nichols. Classic 250cc riders Austin Williams and Fred Berger followed him to the checkers.

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Sierra Hickerson and Jasper Heathfield finished first and second, respectively, in the Youth 50cc class.

Kage Tadman and James “JR” Alexander did likewise in the Youth 60cc class.

Travis Petton IV topped the Youth 80cc podium, with Dominic DeMario and Zaden Florez taking the second and third spots, respectively.

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The Modern 250cc and 500cc classes were combined. Tim Skov topped the 250s and Brian Filo took the 500cc win.

Lloyd McGregor, who came in from Colorado to race at Willow, won the Modern 750cc class aboard a borrowed Eddie Mulder Replica C&J-framed Triumph owned by Herb Wolff. Kenny Thiebaud finished a very respectable second and Robert Hansen rounded out the podium.

Lloyd McGregor (49X), Robert Hansen (24) and Paul Herman (behind both) skirmish in the Modern 750cc class.

Lloyd McGregor (49X), Robert Hansen (24) and Paul Herman (behind both) skirmish in the Modern 750cc class.

“Jumpin’ Jack” Jones flashed to the 500cc Support-class win after leading from flag to flag with his buddy Jeff Gonzales close behind.

Jack Jones (11J), Jeff Gonzales (84) and Jim Lundgren (70L) lead the 500cc Support class.

Jack Jones (11J), Jeff Gonzales (84) and Jim Lundgren (70L) lead the 500cc Support class.

Some of the fastest youngsters in California were on hand, competing on Willow’s big, banked, three-eighths-mile track. The 250cc Open class included 10 young riders. Making a name for himself with his finesse, Grant Holmes led Hunter Brooks and James Ott to the checkers.

Brooks and Ott were back on the track for Open Amateur A main, finishing one and two. Clayton Williams finished in third. These are the youngsters who are bound to be seen in the future riding the National Pro circuit.

The victory in the Open Amateur B main was taken by Dominic Cameron, followed by Christian Payne and Rob Bush. Payne and Bush switched places on the fourth lap when Payne took over the second spot.

Kevin Jordan, Jim Ottele and Jim Lundgren finished first, second and third, respectively, in the Senior Open class, the last race before the 20-lap Digger Helm Open Pro main event, sponsored by Specialty Fabrications Inc.

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The track was well prepped for the Open Pro main, as it always is at Willow Springs. Included on the grid were 16 Pro riders, all card-holding members of AMA GNC Pro Racing. This would be a fast and competitive race for a nice chunk of purse money.

Tanner Richey (13) didn’t finish the main event, but he was on the move!

Tanner Richey (13) didn’t finish the main event, but he was on the move!

At the green flag, Jared Mees jumped to the front, with Brad Baker and Sammy Halbert close behind. Then Halbert moved out front, and he never looked back!

Sammy Halbert (69) at speed.

Sammy Halbert (69) at speed.

Behind the three front-runners, Jeffrey Carver was working his way around Ryan Wells, winner of the 2016 AMA GNC 2 Championship. Carver accomplished that feat on lap three and then held on to the fourth spot all the way to the finish. The race order at the finish was Halbert, Baker, Mees and Carver.

Ryan Wells (23) and Jeffrey Carver (94B/1X) rocket out of turn one.

Ryan Wells (23) and Jeffrey Carver (94B/1X) rocket out of turn one.

Racing was completed slightly after 5 p.m. and was followed by the customary awards ceremony, awarding the riders with event plaques and the Pros with the money they’d earned.

Eddie Mulder (center) and Randy Zimmerman’s son David (right) congratulate Sammy Halbert on the main-event victory.

Eddie Mulder (center) and Randy Zimmerman’s son David (right) congratulate Sammy Halbert on the main-event victory.

The crew immediately went to work cleaning up and putting away the equipment. Eddie and Jodi Mulder graciously thanked each and every person who supports the West Coast Dirt Track Series, Willow Springs and Lake Cachuma events. The staff of both events are what makes them so fun and successful. And the sponsors – Specialty Fabrications Inc., Terry and Nancy Otton of Ramspur Winery, Digger Helm, Rod Lake Racing, Coventry Spares, British Customs, Jeff Cole, Motion Pro, JRC Engineering, Works Shocks, Barnett Clutches and Cables, Maxima Racing Oils, K&N Filters, Triumph North America, Brown’s Cycles, Today’s Cycle Coverage, S&S Offroad Magazine and Pro Plates – help to make it all possible with their generosity and support.

The next West Coast Dirt Track Series event on the 2017 calendar so far is the Lake Cachuma Vintage British Bike Rally, which is slated to take place the first weekend of June, just north of Santa Barbara, California. It will be a wonderful weekend of celebration where friends and families gather, camping out at the 40-acre Live Oak Camp, enjoying the finest classic vintage British motorcycles, field events for young and old, fun rides, great food and camaraderie during the weekend of June 2-4. More info will be posted at www.EddieMuldersWCVDTS.com.

Willow Springs International Raceway’s Walt James Stadium
Rosamond, California
Results: October 2, 2016 (Day 2)

YOUTH 50: 1. Sierra Hickerson; 2. Jasper Heathfield; 3. Isabella Mitchell.

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

YOUTH 80: 1. Travis Petton IV; 2. Dominic DeMario; 3. Zaden Florez; 4. Blake Ash; 5. Zack Earwood; 6. Conner Hickerson; 7. Eli Souza; 8. Bryson Berna; 9. Franny Minchau.

MODERN 250: 1. Tim Skov.

MODERN 500: 1. Brian Filo; 2. Julian Heppekausen.

MODERN 750: 1. Lloyd McGregor; 2. Kenny Thiebaud; 3. Robert Hansen; 4. Dan McDougall; 5. Charles Caspary; 6. Jamin Mathis; 7. Nate Hudson.

250 OPEN: 1. Grant Holmes; 2. Hunter Brooks; 3. James Ott; 4. Dallas Daniels; 5. Tyler Raggio; 6. Travis Petton IV; 7. Jacob Cascio; 8. Jaycee Jones; 9. Zack Earwood; 10. Conner Hickerson.

500 SUPPORT: 1. Jack Jones; 2. Jeff Gonzales 3. Jim Lundgren; 4. Ryan Gifford; 5. Ken Shilling; 6. Larry Hanson; 7. Adam Turner; 8. Jamin Mathis.

OPEN AM A MAIN: 1. Hunter Brooks; 2. James Ott; 3. Clayton Williams; 4. Dallas Daniels; 5. Julia Rankin; 6. Paul Ott; 7. Grant Holmes; 8. Matthew Zacher; 9. Michael Hill; 10. Noah Bush; 11. Travis Petton IV; 12. Stephen Sikorski; 13. Ryan Reed; 14. Justin Hanson; 15. Bryan Berna; 16. Rob Bush.

OPEN AM B MAIN: 1. Dominic Cameron; 2. Christian Payne; 3. Rob Bush; 4. Bronson Pearce; 5. Jacob Cascio; 6. Matt Ott; 7. Kyle Raggio; 8. L.J. Gronek; 9. Rich Hanson; 10. James Holley; 11. Hayden Earwood; 12. Jaycee Jones; 13. Bill Wright; 14. Andrew Myers.

VET A MAIN: 1. Don Howard; 2. Jim Rosa; 3. Paul Ott; 4. Curtis Peebles Jr.; 5. Danny Ritchie; 6. David Bush; 7. Kevin Jordan; 8. Rob Bush; 9. David Ehrhart; 10. Andrew Myers.

VET B MAIN: 1. Ryan Reed; 2. Bryan Berna; 3. Rich Hanson; 4. Mark LaDue; 5. Josh Jackson.

SUPER SR/SR NOV: 1. Gary Ritchie; 2. Robert Hansen; 3. Dan McDougall; 4. Shane Van Sickle; 5. Sten Kelley.

SR OPEN: 1. Kevin Jordan; 2. Jim Ottele; 3. Jim Lundgren; 4. Larry Earhart; 5. Greg Powell; 6. Barney Stern; 7. Ryan Gifford; 8. Jeff Spohr; 9. Dan Dowding.

SR VINTAGE: 1. Kenny Thiebaud; 2. Jeff Lessley; 3. Jim Ottele; 4. Steve Ferguson.

DINO: 1. Jim Ottele.

CLASSIC 250: 1. Austin Williams; 2. Fred Berger.

CLASSIC 500: 1. Chris Rudy; 2. Julian Heppekausen; 3. Flynn Stone; 4. Steve Ferguson; 5. James Kohls; 6. Joe Pape; 7. Viet Nguyen.

RAMSPUR WINDERY $10,000 DASH FOR CASH: 1. Brad Baker; 2. Jared Mees; 3. Chad Cose; 4. Sammy Halbert.

DIGGER HELM OPEN PRO BY SPECIALTY FABRICATIONS INC.: 1. Sammy Halbert; 2. Brad Baker; 3. Jared Mees; 4. Jeffrey Carver; 5. Ryan Wells; 6. Briar Bauman; 7. Henry Wiles; 8. Mikey Rush; 9. John Vanderlaan; 10. Dalton Gauthier; 11. Jarod Vanderkooi; 12. Davis Fisher; 13. Bronson Bauman; 14. Nick Armstrong.

[For more from Day One of this event, please see “Carver and Halbert Spring to the Top at Willow Springs!” by Karen Gould… Editor]

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

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