All-Star Georgia Half Mile
Oglethorpe Speedway Park
Story by Dan Jacobson Sr.
Photos by Mark Dhaemers/ Oglethorpe Speedway Park and Dan Jacobson Sr.
POOLER, GA, MAR. 10, 2017
Each March, race teams come rolling into the Oglethorpe Speedway Park to challenge the off-season success ratio.
The All-Star Series brings the right level of classes vs. fan attention to southern Georgia. Clicking off a rapid-pace program with just enough time for Race Dogs and bathroom breaks, this event entertained the crowd right up to the end. The Half Mile was as smooth and wide as ever, making for three-wide, multiple-line racing.
Super Singles, a class for the licensed Pros, was all about 2016 AMA Pro Singles champ Ryan Wells. Cory “C-Tex” Texter made his mark every time he was on the track at OSP, outrunning his little sister Shayna Texter to the finish. The lead three had a breakaway from Jacob Shoemaker, Jamison Minor, Dalton Gauthier, Kolby Carlile, Jordan Harris, Michael Inderbitzen, Jake Constantine, Chase Sconyers and Davis Fisher. Many of these Pros will show up in the Pro Singles and Expert Pro Twins contests, racing multiple classes to get in maximum training.
The 250cc Amateur class dazzled the crowd with another tight race. Dallas Daniels edged out Jared Lowe, both on green Kawasakis, followed by Clarke Morian V on a KTM. Showing up for Honda were Jackson Lindberg and Parker Robinson. Here’s an interesting fact: The 11 starters came from 10 different states.
The Over 40 class – a.k.a. Fast Old Guys on Flat Trackers – amazed the fans with talent, determination and speed. All evening, Doug O’Boyle from Midland, Michigan, set the pace on his Honda. O’Boyle won the heat race and the main with a comfort zone. Bryan Villella and Eric O’Boyle made the podium a Michigan Honda sweep. Just missing the box was local Savannah resident Leland Prewitt, who ran his Honda to second in his heat race.
The 450cc Amateur class is the final step before entering the big leagues (i.e., Pros). Chase Sconyers from Metter, Georgia, led the Honda red run to the box. Up-and-comer Jeremiah Duffy, 15 years old, edged out his hometown buddy Trent Lowe; they both hail from Guilford, Indiana. This group put on a great race, battling for inches every lap. We will hear a lot more from these young men in the years to come.
Light the rocket and roll out the Pro Singles! Never looking back, Shayna Texter blitzed the field on the tacky groove. All smiles, Shayna is the first woman AMA Pro Singles Half Mile winner ever. Dalton Gauthier worked the new Estenson Racing Yamaha 450, doing his best to stay with Shayna. Filling out the all-Pennsylvania top three was Jamison Minor. The event stretched the limits of bravery and skills for a closely matched field of Pros. On the short end of the main were Parker Norris, Justin Jones and Ben Lowe, who had finished third, first and second, respectively, in the heats.
“Open Vintage” means run whatever old bike you have, single or twin. Sorting the large class down to the fastest 12 racers takes four heats, from each of which two riders move to the main, two semifinals or last-chance qualifiers, with the first two from each making up the 12-rider main.
Triumph rider Rob McLendon of Pensacola, Florida, was clearly the class of the field. He left the racing to second on back as he rolled to victories in the heat and main. Battles broke out pack-wide, as riders from the North, the South and Canada settled the race. Coming through the semifinal and therefore starting the main on the back row, Darryl Jakubowski of Hanover, Pennsylvania, edged out his fellow Honda rider Randy Thistle from Bemidji, Minnesota.
The Open Singles Amateur class (which is mostly the same as the 450cc Amateur class) becomes a payback for any unsolved issues (i.e., a second chance). The two boys from Guilford, Indiana, shuffled the running order. Fast 15-year-old Jeremiah Duffy, who plans to turn Pro as soon as he’s 16 this summer, crossed the checkers first. Trent Lowe was second. Dallas Daniels, the winner of the 450cc Amateur contest, placed third. Watching these guys race, it’s easy to see the talent and skills they own and that all have a future racing in the Pros.
The Expert Pro Twins contest is always worth the wait; that is why it’s last. The must-stop curfew time was 30 minutes away – a lifetime when you click off laps in the low 30 seconds. The three rows of riders line up from the qualifying – three heats and one semi – making 12 starters. Engines rev, there’s the flash of the green light, and a dozen Experts launch into turn one three deep and gaining speed, hitting the race gear, aiming for a line into turn three!
Taking the lead with a hungry pack in tow was Cory Texter, leading lap one. Coming from the semi and the back row of the main was Ryan Wells, along with Bronson Bauman, Chad Cose and Davis Fisher. Talk about putting on a show!
Out front, Cory Texter was focused on turning in error-free laps on the Kawasaki, inching away from the pack of 11 behind him. Davis Fisher wasted no time busting through and soon he had inserted himself into second, looking to track down Cory, who now had a quarter-straightaway lead at the halfway flags.
Meanwhile, the rest of the field were bumping and banging at 100 mph, including Bronson Bauman and Chad Cose, both from California, along with 2016 Pro Singles Champion Ryan Wells, moving forward on the only Harley-Davidson in the race.
As the checkers were getting ready to wave, Davis Fisher was closing on Cory Texter, and Ryan Wells was inching into third, ahead of Bauman and Cose. Jacob Shoemaker and Ben Lowe were just outside of the top five.
On the podium, it was Cory Texter, Davis Fisher and Ryan Wells.
To recap the event, the All-Star Series’ Steve Nace and crew have earned the respect and trust of the racers and fans to consistently put on great race programs at every venue throughout the season, year after year. Look for these events on the trail to the American Flat Track Pro series events across the country.
Next up is the season opener at the Daytona International Speedway with the American Flat Track TT on March 16. New to the Pro series is the Twins- and Singles-only classes. This means the 750cc twins will be flying around the TT like back in the earlier days of Expert AMA Pro Racing. Back in a big way is the Indian FTR-750 Scout brand, battling the new Harley-Davidson XG-750; these American icons have wrestled for top honors since they were invented, and we see the rivalry coming out again in 2017. Singles are the starter class for the up-and-coming Pros, evenly matched and very competitive.
Oglethorpe Speedway Park
Results: March 10, 2017
SUPER SINGLES: 1. Ryan Wells (Hon); 2. Cory Texter (Hon); 3. Shayna Texter (Hon); 4. Jacob Shoemaker (Kaw); 5. Jamison Minor (Hon); 6. Dalton Gauthier (Yam); 7. Kolby Carlile (Hon); 8. Jordan Harris (Hon); 9. Michael Inderbitzen (Hon); 10. Jake Constantine (Hon); 11. Chase Sconyers (Hon); 12. Davis Fisher (Hon).
250 AM: 1. Dallas Daniels (Kaw); 2. Jared Lowe (Kaw); 3. Clarke Morian V (KTM); 4. Jackson Lindberg (Hon); 5. Parker Robinson (Hon).
SR 40+: 1. Doug O’Boyle (Hon); 2. Bryan Villella (Hon); 3. Eric O’Boyle (Hon); 4. Leland Prewitt (Hon); 5. Brad Haas (Rtx).
450 AM: 1. Chase Sconyers (Hon); 2. Jeremiah Duffy (Hon); 3. Trent Lowe (Hon); 4. Matthew Guenther (Yam); 5. Trevor Brunner (Kaw).
PRO SINGLES: 1. Shayna Texter (Hon); 2. Dalton Gauthier (Yam); 3. Jamison Minor (Hon); 4. Kolby Carlile (Hon); 5. Brandon Price (Kaw); 6. Michael Inderbitzen (Hon); 7. Beau Thompson (Hon); 8. Jordan Harris (Hon); 9. Wyatt Anderson (KTM); 10. Parker Norris (Hon); 11. Justin Jones (Kaw); 12. Ben Lowe (Hon).
OPEN VINTAGE: 1. Rob McLendon (Tri); 2. Darryl Jakubowski (Hon); 3. Randy Thistle (Hon); 4. Duane Stanick (Yam); 5. Michael O’Niel (Yam).
OPEN SINGLES AM: 1. Jeremiah Duffy (Hon); 2. Trent Lowe (Hon); 3. Dallas Daniels (Kaw); 4. Matthew Guenther (Yam); 5. Trevor Brunner (Kaw).
EX PRO TWINS: 1. Cory Texter (Kaw); 2. Davis Fisher (Kaw); 3. Ryan Wells (H-D); 4. Bronson Bauman (Kaw); 5. Chad Cose (Kaw); 6. Jacob Shoemaker (Kaw); 7. Ben Lowe (Kaw); 8. Dalton Winkler (Kaw); 9. Jake Constantine (Kaw); 10. Parker Norris (Kaw); 11. Jay Maloney (Hon); 12. Lowell M. Carson (Yam).