Saddlemen

Jones & Summers Win the Matherson Cup at CMS!

| 1 November 2017 12:29 pm

The John Matherson Cup
Costa Mesa Speedway at the Orange County Fairgrounds

Story by Elaine Jones
Photos by Sean Lewis Photography
COSTA MESA, CA, SEPT. 23, 2017

The John Matherson Cup is always a very special night at Costa Mesa Speedway. It’s a night to pay tribute to a man who was taken from us much too soon. John and his family are Mission Motorsports. Even though he’s no longer with us, his legacy lives on through his wife, Robin, and the support she continues to give to John’s passion, sidecars.

On this night, the who’s-who of Sidecar racers gathered to honor his memory and to thank Robin. Each team, pilot and swinger, present this lovely lady with a long–stemmed rose, and she always takes a few laps around the track on the back of a sidecar. This year, it was on the back of Joe Jones’ rig.

Johnny Glover presents Robin Matherson with a rose.

Johnny Glover presents Robin Matherson with a rose.

In addition to the sidecars, there was a full program of “skinny bikes,” including the Juniors. This would be three rounds of heads-up Scratch racing, with the top four in points after the heat races going directly to the main event and the next four in line going to the consolation race. This would be the final warm-up for the U.S. National Speedway Championship slated for September 30 and for the Sidecar National on October 7.

Let the games begin!

Dillon Osborne & Ashley Gibbons (64) lead Jeff Rowe & Josh Bennett (center) and Robert Curry & Johnny Glover (left) in Sidecar action.

Dillon Osborne & Ashley Gibbons (64) lead Jeff Rowe & Josh Bennett (center) and Robert Curry & Johnny Glover (left) in Sidecar action.

Round One
The first heat of the night started out with three of the four riders doing a soil check as they hit the first turn. The only one to make it through was Gage Geist. They lined up again, and again it was Geist reading the gate the best, and he would take it to the checkered flag. “Mad Max” Ruml was running second and had Tyson Talkington on his tail, while Austin Novratil was knocking on Talkington’s door. The pass came on the second lap, when Novratil got by and set his sights on Ruml. However, there was not enough time, and he would have to settle for third.

The second heat was all Aaron Fox’s: gate, lead, win. Shawn “Mad Dog” McConnell was second, with Bobby “Boogaloo” Schwartz third. Gino Manzares, who recovered nicely after going down, did manage to catch up to the field, but he ran out of time to get any points.

The third heat started with a red flag when Dillon Ruml went down. They lined up again, and Tyson Burmeister made his presence felt, as he went wire to wire to garner those precious points. Broc Nicol, who’s been knocking them dead as the season runs down, was a close second. Ruml and Sammy Ramirez rounded out the field.

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Round Two
Manzares redeemed himself at the start of the second round, as he opened up with an outstanding ride in the first heat, holding off a very hard-charging Max Ruml and Nicol. It was a dogfight, but when the dust settled, it was Manzares, Max Ruml and Nicol. Ramirez had fourth.

Austin Novratil led from start to finish in the second heat of round two, adding some much-needed points in his column. Fox was out second, with Talkington third. Burmeister ran into trouble on the first lap and was unable to finish. Burmeister and Manzares would have to scramble with just one more round to go.

The final heat of this round saw Dillon Ruml outgating the rest of the field. Geist got out second, but McConnell got down on the pole, where he does his best work, and he was running second when they came around on the second lap. Geist returned the favor on the white-flag lap and brought it home. McConnell would have to settle for third. Schwartz finished fourth.

With two rounds in the books, no one was perfect on the night. Fox and Geist each had a first and a second, with the Ruml brothers one point behind. The third round was going to be a barn-burner!

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Round Three
In round three, Max Ruml opened things up in the first heat and showed Geist he was going to take it to anyone who was going to try to hang with him. Geist gave it his best shot and held off Fox for the second spot. Schwartz’s night was over.

Manzares had to have a win to move up the ladder, and he was facing a tough field to do it against. The gate was all important in the second heat. Manzares read it perfectly and got out on top and never looked back. Dillon Ruml and Nicol battled back and forth for the second spot. Dillon led the first lap, Nicol led the second lap, and then the point position went back to Dillon. Then came the final lap, and here came Nicol, and he won the drag race to the checkers. Great racing! Ramirez rounded out the field, and unfortunately his night was over.

The final heat of the night was all Burmeister’s. He knew he had to make up ground, and he needed to prove he could move up the program. He left the battle for points behind him as he got out on top and never looked back. Novratil was out second, but he zigged when he should have zagged, causing the red flag to come out. They lined up again, and again Burmeister got the jump on the rest of the field. Talkington was running second, but on the white-flag lap, McConnell put the move on Talkington to take over the second spot when it counted – when the checkered flag came out. Novratil was also able to get by for third. The night was over for Talkington.

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Main Events
After the dust had settled and the points had been tabulated, it was Nicol, Manzares, McConnell and Geist who would make up the grid for the consi. The pole went to Geist, with Manzares in lane two. McConnell loaded into three, with Nicol in four. They loaded in, and the tapes went up!

Manzares read the gate to perfection and was out on top and going away! Nicol gave chase but just couldn’t run him down, and he would have to settle for second. McConnell was good for third, and Geist was fourth. There is a whole crop of young lions coming into their own, and this race could easily have been a main event on any Saturday night.

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The riders in the richest race of the night, the Scratch main, rolled to the line for choice of starting positions. Fox chose the pole. Max Ruml opted for two. Burmeister loaded into three, leaving Dillon Ruml the four slot. They loaded in, they got on the pipe, the light went green and the tapes came up!

It was Max out on top, with Fox in second and Dillon in third. As the saying goes, you can’t put 10 pounds into a five-pound bag, and it was “Bowling for Dollars” as the brothers Ruml got up close and personal on the second lap, taking Fox with them.

After insurance info was exchanged and body inventories had been taken, the race was restarted, with the exclusion of Dillon Ruml. They lined up again, and this time it was Max Ruml out on top, with Fox and Burmeister running two and three. They would finish in that order.

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The Sidecar consi had Robert Curry & Johnny Glover on the pole, Smylie Kinne & David Bernardo in two, and Kevin Holman & Blake Kronkite in three. The team of Jeff Medberry & Niki Davis were unable to make the call.

Curry & Glover rode out of lane two on top, with Holman & Kronkite running second. That changed on the second lap, when Kinne & Bernardo got the drive out of turn four to take over second. They switched again on the white-flag lap, and it was Holman & Kronkite running second when the checkered flag came out.

The Sidecar main had Joe Jones & Tom Summers on the pole, with Dillon Osborne & Ashley Gibbons in two; on the outside, it was Bryan Motis & Johnny Bach in three and Jeff Rowe & Josh Bennett in four.

Jones & Summers got out on top, and they are hard to catch when they get the start. Rowe & Bennett were running second, with Osborne & Gibbons in third.

Joe Jones & Tom Summers (1) lead Dillon Osborne & Ashley Gibbons (64).

Joe Jones & Tom Summers (1) lead Dillon Osborne & Ashley Gibbons (64).

With one lap in the books, Osborne & Bennett had taken over second, and Motis & Bach were out. They would finish in that order, with Jones & Summers putting another win in the books. They are the reigning National Champions, and it’s looking good for them as their National draws close…

Joe Jones & Tom Summers (1) take the checkers out for an airing after winning the John Matherson Cup.

Joe Jones & Tom Summers (1) take the checkers out for an airing after winning the John Matherson Cup.

The Support win went to the very popular Mike Bloom. New big-bike rider Michael Wells was second. On back, it was Chet Kohler, Rudy Laurer and Rohn Zellner.

Costa Mesa Speedway at the Orange County Fairgrounds
Costa Mesa, California
Results: September 23, 2017

SCRATCH MAIN: 1. Max Ruml (Jaw); 2. Aaron Fox (Jaw); 3. Tyson Burmeister (Jaw); 4. Dillon Ruml (Jaw).

SCRATCH CONSI: 1. Gino Manzares (Jaw); 2. Broc Nicol (Jaw); 3. Shawn McConnell (GM); 4. Gage Geist (Jaw).

SIDECAR MAIN: 1. Joe Jones/ Tom Summers (Suz); 2. Dillon Osborne/ Ashley Gibbons (Suz); 3. Jeff Rowe/ Josh Bennett (Suz); 4. Bryan Motis/ Johnny Bach (Suz).

SIDECAR CONSI: 1. Robert Curry/ Johnny Glover (Suz); 2. Kevin Holman/ Blake Kronkite (Suz); 3. Smylie Kinne/ David Bernardo (Suz); 4. Jeff Medberry/ Niki Davis (Suz).

SUPPORT MAIN: 1. Mike Bloom (Yaw); 2. Michael Wells (Jaw); 3. Chet Kohler (Jaw); 4. Rudy Laurer (Jaw); 5. Rohn Zellner (Jaw).

SUPPORT CONSI: 1. Lawrence McNutt (Jaw); 2. Ron Davis (Jaw); 3. Bruce Marteney (Jaw); 4. Harold Hartke (Jaw); 5. David Lynch (Jaw).

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