Saddlemen

The Showdown at Sundown’s Tie-Breaking Rematch!

| 4 August 2017 5:14 pm

11th Annual Wauseon National
Speedway Long Track National Championship
Fulton County Fairgrounds

Story and Photos by Kurt Bauer/Dirtbauer.com
WAUSEON, OH, JULY 21, 2017

The Board Track main event gets under way at the 11th annual Wauseon National.

The Board Track main event gets under way at the 11th annual Wauseon National.

The third Friday in July is race day at the Wauseon National. During the Showdown at Sundown, Jay Springsteen would go against George Roeder in a handlebar-to-handlebar, tie-breaking rematch. Jay “The Springer” Springsteen would be aboard his Bartels’ XR750, going up against George “Geo” Roeder, aboard a Harley-Davidson XR750 prepared by Bernie Breece of Ben Breece Harley-Davidson. Springer, the three-time Grand National Champion, has taken the first round, with Roeder claiming victory at round two. This year’s Showdown at Sundown would be the grand-finale Springer vs Roeder match race. Everyone can cheer for a winner at the Fulton County Fairgrounds.

Jay “The Springer” Springsteen (9) puts in a hot practice lap in the early afternoon.

Jay “The Springer” Springsteen (9) puts in a hot practice lap in the early afternoon.

Monroeville, Ohio’s Roeder came out on top in 2016, aboard a Kelley George-prepared Indian Chief, during the Showdown at Sundown’s second round. Geo has won more than 50 professional races in his career on a XR750 Harley-Davidson.

In the Showdown, Jay Springsteen (9) takes the early lead ahead of his rival Geo Roeder (66).

In the Showdown, Jay Springsteen (9) takes the early lead ahead of his rival Geo Roeder (66).

As the sun began to go down, it was still smoking hot when Roeder and Springer lined up for the shootout. Roeder took the holeshot, but Springer regained the lead on the first lap. Roeder then got back by Springsteen and held on for the win on his XR-750.

Geo Roeder (66) takes the lead and holds on for the win, over Jay Springsteen (9), in the Showdown at Sundown at the Fulton County Fairgrounds.

Geo Roeder (66) takes the lead and holds on for the win, over Jay Springsteen (9), in the Showdown at Sundown at the Fulton County Fairgrounds.

Springer suggested that if they do it again next year, it should be on 125s! And maybe in weather that is not so hot.

Geo Roeder (right) and Jay Springsteen (left) took the podium as the sun set.

Geo Roeder (right) and Jay Springsteen (left) took the podium as the sun set.

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The Wauseon National Meet is hosted by the Lake Erie Chapter, Maumee Valley Chapter, Ohio Valley Chapter, River Valley Chapter and the Wolverine Chapter.

More than 500 dealers vend parts and motorcycles that are more than 35 years old. There are field games on Saturday morning, a Saturday night barbecue banquet, and a judged antique-bike show on Sunday morning.

Thomas Englehart (53F) placed first in the ’80s Singles and fourth in the ’70s Singles.

Thomas Englehart (53F) placed first in the ’80s Singles and fourth in the ’70s Singles.

The grand marshal for the event was Ronnie Rall of Sandusky, Ohio. Rall started racing at the age of 17, entering scrambles events on a stripped-down street bike. At 19, he was racing flat track, and he won his first National in 1963. In 1969, he saw his biggest paycheck racing at the Astro Dome on a Bultaco: He won the event and took home $2,750, plus $500 from Bultaco, and he was taken out to dinner by Bultaco’s CEO, Bulto Francisco. The Bultaco factory went on to name their flat-track model the iconic Bultaco Astro.

Ronnie went on to win a total of five Nationals. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001. It was only fitting that Ronnie Rall’s son Chad would be entered in multiple events in Wauseon, including the Long Track Speedway Championship, as a former champion himself.

Riders collected money for the Veterans prior to The Max Leathers – Milwaukee Tool Dash.

Riders collected money for the Veterans prior to The Max Leathers – Milwaukee Tool Dash.

The Max Leathers – Milwaukee Tool Dash kicked off the Showdown at Sundown. The riders went all-out in a four-lap dash, with their corresponding race fans cheering them on, in hopes of winning a Milwaukee tool set. Both the rider and their lucky race fan receive a Milwaukee tool set while on a mission to support our Vets through the organization Veterans Matter.

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In the Speedway Long Track National Championship, racers were registered from Indiana, Michigan and Ohio, all in pursuit of the number-one plate representing the National Championship.

The motorcycles used for speedway are not remotely like any machine you will ever see on the roads. They have acceleration equal to that of a Formula One racing car, but rather surprisingly have no brakes, rear suspension or gears. For the technically minded, the engines are 500cc, single-cylinder, four-valve four-strokes with air cooling. Methanol is used instead of gasoline to enable them to run at very high compression ratios.

Jeff Orosz showed up from Canada with some impressive credentials: AMA/ USA Speedway Long Track National Champion 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010; Canadian National Speedway Champion 1997 and 2009; and Canadian Speedway Long Track Champion 1996. However, he would be challenged by former champions Chad Rall and Dan Weicht. Even Alan Rush was looking fast in practice as they took to the half mile with some impressive speeds.

Chad Rall scored two heat-race wins, followed closely by Orosz and Weicht; but in the main, after a long, hot day, they lined up six-wide for the green-light start.

Chad Rall (52) came in second in the Speedway main after winning two heat races.

Chad Rall (52) came in second in the Speedway main after winning two heat races.

Orosz came off the line first and was followed closely by Weicht as they entered turn one. Rall had a bad start, but it didn’t take long before he got around Weicht on the high side as they ripped out of turn two and set sail for a four-lap main event.

Launching off the line at the start of the Speedway Long Track National Championship main event are (from left to right) Chad Rall (52), Jeff Orosz (31), Dan Weicht (30), Michael Callen (33E), Chris Hathaway (82), John Busler (6) and Michael De Champlain (63).

Launching off the line at the start of the Speedway Long Track National Championship main event are (from left to right) Chad Rall (52), Jeff Orosz (31), Dan Weicht (30), Michael Callen (33E), Chris Hathaway (82), John Busler (6) and Michael De Champlain (63).

Orosz was on the gas and keeping a good lead on Rall, who’d had Orosz covered in the first two heats but in the main found himself chasing the leader. Rall got closer on the last lap, but he couldn’t make the pass. Orosz took the checkered flag, Rall was runner-up, and veteran speedway rider Weicht rounded out the podium.

The 2017 Speedway Long Track Champion main-event winner, Jeff Orosz (31).

The 2017 Speedway Long Track Champion main-event winner, Jeff Orosz (31).

Former Long Track National Champion Dan Weicht (30) finished out the podium in third.

Former Long Track National Champion Dan Weicht (30) finished out the podium in third.

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The oldest bikes entered to race were the board-trackers, and there were plenty there to race, with 15 riders ready to compete in the main event – mainly Harley-Davidsons and a few Excelsiors. These bikes have to make a running start, and it took at least a few laps to get them somewhat lined up for the flying green flag. What a treat it was to see these almost-100-year-old bikes on the half mile!

Jim “Jimi” Cahlik, riding the B52 rocket, had been fast all night, and he continued to be fast in the main, taking the victory ahead of North Carolina’s Matt Walksler and Bob Timmons. All of them were riding Harley-Davidsons.

Board Track racer Jimi Cahlik (B52) in action.

Board Track racer Jimi Cahlik (B52) in action.

Board Track racer Matt Walksler (22) ran to runner-up.

Board Track racer Matt Walksler (22) ran to runner-up.

Third-place finisher Bob Timmons (25).

Third-place finisher Bob Timmons (25).

Board Track winner Jimi Cahlik proudly hefts the checkered flag.

Board Track winner Jimi Cahlik proudly hefts the checkered flag.

Chad Rall made his dad proud by winning three of the four events he entered. He had to go right into the Vintage Twins main after the Speedway main, and he took the win on his Triumph.

Chad Rall (53H) won the Hand-Shift class.

Chad Rall (53H) won the Hand-Shift class.

The rain held off until late into the night, after the races. The next morning’s swap meet and Vintage Show had some off-and-on showers.

Fulton County Fairgrounds
Wauseon, Ohio
Results: July 21, 2017

BOARD TRACK: 1. Jim Cahlik (H-D); 2. Matt Walksler (H-D); 3. Bob Timmons (H-D); 4. Wayne Albertson (Exc); 5. Michael Lange (H-D); 6. Kenneth Curtis (H-D); 7. Justin Walls (H-D); 8. John Rhodes (Exc); 9. Kris Thompson (H-D); 10. David Thompson (H-D); 11. Kory Postotnik (H-D); 12. Bill Rodencal (H-D); 13. Kurt Mertens (H-D); 14. Carl Estes (H-D); 15. Chad Luckenbach (H-D).

HAND-SHIFT: 1. Chad Rall (H-D); 2. Clayton Murin (H-D); 3. Danny Vrana (H-D); 4. George Wills (H-D); 5. Brandon Snider (H-D); 6. William Applegate (H-D); 7. Craig Breckon (H-D); 8. Gerald Chism (H-D); 9. Tim Riordan (Ind); 10. Matt Weaver (Ind).

LIGHTWEIGHT 165: 1. Jim Quinlan (H-D); 2. Wayne Albertson (H-D); 3. Charles Southgate (H-D); 4. Larry Gillespie (H-D); 5. Alan Lyons (H-D).

250 BRAKELESS: 1. Jay Travis (H-D); 2. John R. Bova (Bul); 3. Barry Baker (Bul); 4. Tony Moore (BSA); 5. William Dickert; 6. Randy Hassler (BSA); 7. Brian Dickinson (BSA); 8. Peter Wajda (BSA); 9. William Ferguson (H-D); 10. Dennis Goyer (Tri).

BRAKELESS 500 FOOT-SHIFT: 1 Chad Rall (H-D); 2. Darryl Jakubowski (Tri); 3. Danny Vrana (H-D); 4. Zach Zender (Tri); 5. Skip Wertz (Tri); 6. Gene Atherton (Tri); 7. Chris Clark (H-D); 8. Gerald Chism (H-D); 9. Eugene Quiram (Tri); 10. Brittney Olsen (H-D).

SPANISH ERA: 1. Dave Woods (Bul); 2. Dan Schmitt (Bul); 3. Tom Hicks (Bul); 4. Tyler Hicks (Bul).

VINTAGE 250/360: 1. Dan McRoberts (C-A); 2. Johnny Bova (Kaw); 3. Andy McRoberts (C-A); 4. James Kerestes (Bul); 5. Lonnie Vanderpool (Yam); 6. Gregory Boyd (Hon); 7. Zachery Kerestes (Yam); 8. Neil Perry; 9. Richard Bender (Hon); 10. Randy Hassler (Yam).

1970s BRAKELESS: 1. Joe Barnes (Bul); 2. Ronnie Rall (Bul); 3. Kevin Eblin (Suz).

1970s SINGLES: 1. Dan McRoberts (Hon); 2. Nick Evans (Hon); 3. Darryl Jakubowski (Hon); 4. Thomas Englehart (Hon); 5. Kyle Long (Yam); 6. Bryon Lond (Yam); 7. Tony Moore (Yam); 8. Rick Reed (Yam); 9. Duane Worden (Hon); 10. Colton Soles (Hon).

1980s SINGLES: 1. Thomas Englehart (Hon); 2. Danny Murre (Rtx); 3. Danny Vrana (Rtx); 4. Clint Erickson (Rtx); 5. Scot Stodart (Rtx); 6. David Tyo (Rtx); 7. Judson Linder (Rtx); 8. Dave Woods (Rtx); 9. Brad Haas (Rtx); 10. Joseph Maher (Rtx).

VINTAGE TWINS: 1. Chad Rall (Tri); 2. Steven Glasgow (H-D); 3. Dan McRoberts (Nor); 4. Skip Wertz (Tri); 5. Joe Baker (Yam); 6. Kevin Lambert (Yam); 7. Chris Patterson (Yam); 8. Clayton Murin (H-D); 9. Rick Reed (Tri); 10. Eugene Quiram (Yam).

SHOWDOWN AT SUNDOWN: 1. Geo Roeder (H-D); 2. Jay Springsteen (H-D).

SPEEDWAY NATIONAL LONG TRACK CHAMPIONSHIP: 1. Jeff Orosz (Jaw); 2. Chad Rall (Jaw); 3. Daniel Weicht (Jaw); 4. Chris Hathaway (Jaw); 5. Michael Callen (Jaw); 6. John Busler (Jaw); 7. Michael De Champlain (Jaw); 8. Alan Rush (Jaw).

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Category: Flat Track, National, Regional, Vintage, Vintage Flat Track

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