San Jose Pro Indoor Short Track 2017
Santa Clara County Fairgrounds
Story and Photos by Karen Gould/Checkered Flag Photography
SAN JOSE, APR. 8, 2017
The 11th annual San Jose Pro Indoor Short Track event took place Saturday night, April 8, at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds. This yearly event began in 2006 as the San Jose Legends Indoor Short Track; back then, it was two-day event, with a practice on Friday, followed by a catered dinner and a tribute to the local legends.
Rod Lake, being the generous man that he is, and a tremendous supporter of at least a hundred different riders and an equal number of racing events over the years, was the birth father of the San Jose Indoor. P&D Promotions’ Pete and Diane Francini joined forces with Rod Lake to bring some of the most exciting indoor short-track racing back to the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds in the same fashion as it was done in the 1960s.
The event has now evolved into what it is today, and most of the original P&D San Jose Indoor team comes back each year to help put this awesome event together. Running like a well-tuned clock, Bob Hill; Karen Spencer; “Shrek” (a.k.a. Scott Zimmerman); the scoring team – Carol Swanson, Angie Schone, and Kimmie Gould; track workers and flag men, as well as those behind the scenes, such as “Roondog” (a.k.a. Mike Rooney) the announcer, along with Jimmy Odom, Gene Worth, and many more, work endless hours to bring the best of the best in racing to the stands filled with fans – fans who come back each year, along with new fans, to see their favorite riders battling wheel to wheel, bumping and sliding around the polished-concrete indoor short track all the way to the checkers.
For five of the event’s 11 years, including this year, the Pro Premier champion has been American Flat Track Pro rider number two, Jared Mees, who is sponsored by Craig Rogers and SDI Insulation Racing. Mees has joined the list of other champions, including the late Jethro Halbert (who won twice), Mike Rush, Jake Johnson and Jimmy Woods.
Sharing the Pro Premier podium on this night were Kayl Kolkman and James Monaco, who finished after Mees, in that order.
On this evening, Mees also took the Dash For Cash win, after competing with Kayl Kolkman, Ryan Foster and James Monaco. He took home more than $1,700 in cash raised by the fans in the stands for this four-lap shoot-out!
In the 250cc Pro/ Invitational class, GPS Racing’s Hunter Brooks schooled the other riders, easily taking the win in front of John Self and Tyler Raggio. Brooks, one of the 250cc Under 16 invitational riders, is a fast and calculating upcoming racer not yet old enough to compete with the fastest AMA riders but talented enough to compete side by side with them.
Raggio is another fast and calculating youngster who is smooth on the track – like his father, Sean Raggio. These kids are the future of AMA Pro racing.
In the 230cc Non-Pro class, Michael Mannion was the man to beat.
“I am finally comfortable on the bike,” Mannion said of his Lazer-framed 250cc Honda.
Brent Tiernan rode the race from flag to flag in the second position, followed by Anthony La Rocca, who rounded out the podium.
Mannion is fierce competitor at other local venues as well, winning championships with Big Time Speedway, Lakeport Speedway and more.
It was Kyle Raggio who led the eight-rider field to the checkers in the Run What Ya Brung class. Raggio has stepped up his game, beating some of the more seasoned and older riders on the track. John Self took the second spot, followed by Anthony Torres.
Robert McDonnell led the Legends class off the line for the first two laps but then unfortunately slid to the concrete and out of the competition. Another winner with several San Jose Indoor victories under his belt, Robert Silva, took the lead from McDonnell and took the race to the win. Behind him, Roy Taboada rode hard in his attempt to overtake Silva after taking the second spot from John Larson on the eighth lap. Taboada finished second, and Larson rounded out the podium.
Silva topped the 250cc Vintage class as well, in front of Chris Rudy and Anthony Mitchell.
The only female rider in this competition, Renee Henault, may have been the happiest second-place finisher of the night. Bobby Caldeira took the 150cc Air-Cooled class home, with Henault following him across the line. Finishing in the third position was Bill Hermat.
Pete and Diane Francini orchestrated another spectacular event with their P&D Promotions team. Many thanks to the many supporters who sponsored races: Moore and Sons, Engines Only, Racer 45, Faultline Powersports, Rod Lake.
Everyone now looks forward to another successful event in 2018. Watch for the 2018 date on the San Jose Legends Indoor Facebook page and the San Jose Indoor website.
Santa Clara County Fairgrounds
San Jose, California
Results: April 8, 2017
PRO PREMIER: 1. Jared Mees; 2. Kayl Kolkman; 3. James Monaco; 4. Mike Rush; 5. Ryan Foster; 6. Erik Rickman; 7. Dave Sanchez; 8. Curtis Peebles.
LEGENDS: 1. Robert Silva; 2. Toy Taboada; 3. John Larson; 4. Greg Ferguson; 5. Rick Shafer; 6. Tim Rott; 7. Robert McDonnell.
150 AIR-COOLED: 1. Bobby Caldeira; 2. Renee Henault; 3. Bill Hermat; 4. Ken Coleman; 5. Mark Hunter; 6. Robert Bacosa Jr.
230 NON-PRO: 1. Michael Mannion; 2. Brent Tiernan; 3. Anthony La Rocca; 4. Renee Henault; 5. Scott Alves; 6. Ron Tarabetz; 7. John La Rocca; 8. Steve Chevelle.
250 PRO: 1. Hunter Brooks; 2. John Self; 3. Tyler Raggio; 4. Tony Alves; 5. Dante D. Ambrusos; 6. Justin Anselmi; 7. Evan Anders.
KNOBBY: 1. Ryan Chamberlain; 2. Pete Hunter; 3. Gordon Rudy; 4. Chris Rudy.
BRAKELESS: 1. Cary Buck; 2. Dan Phillips; 3. Maury Austin; 4. John Figas; 5. Scott Luhdorff.
VINTAGE 250: 1. Robert Silva; 2. Chris Rudy; 3. Anthony Mitchell; 4. Ted Jaime.
VINTAGE OPEN: 1. Robert McDonnell; 2. Paul Herman; 3. James Monaco; 4. Roy Taboada; 5. Greg Ferguson; 6. J.P. Rankin; 7. Rick Shafer.
RUN WHAT YA BRUNG: 1. Kyle Raggio; 2. John Self; 3. Anthony Torres; 4. Bobby Caldeira; 5. Robert Bush; 6. Brandon Tinoco; 7. John Larson; 8. Mike Pitchner.