Saddlemen

Jones & Summers Defend at Costa Mesa Sidecar National

| 3 November 2017 6:11 pm

Sidecar National
Costa Mesa Speedway at the Orange County Fairgrounds

Story by Elaine Jones
Photos by Sean Lewis Photography
COSTA MESA, CA, OCT. 7, 2017

It was the Sidecar National and “Rad Brad” Oxley and crew made sure that the track was in tip-top shape for what would turn out to be an epic battle for the number-one plate.

The Harley guys were also in the house.

The Harley guys were also in the house.

Joe Jones, who has been the winningest sidecar pilot in recent years, has racked up quite a record, starting back in 2004 with swinger Brandi McElroy. That partnership lasted three years and garnered three titles. Jimmy Olsen took over as swinger in 2007 and they garnered five championships in a row. Next up with the swinger duties was Johnny Glover, and two more championships were in the books. Ten years is quite a record.

The streak was broken in 2014 by Bryan Motis & Josh Bennett, but Jones came right back to win the title in 2015, with Tom Summers as the swinger, and again in 2016 with Dave German.

This year, Summers is back. Would they be able to keep the streak alive against 11 teams that all want to take them down, including Joe’s own brothers, Dan and Chris?

This would be five rounds of Scratch racing, with the top three in points transferring directly to the main event. The winners of the B main would be the final team in the main.

Harley antics to please the crowd.

Harley antics to please the crowd.

Round One
The first heat race of the night saw Jeff Rowe & Josh Barnett take the lead from the pole, and they never looked back. The fickle finger of Fate stepped in on the rest of the field, which caused the red flag to come out, and this literally turned into a match race for second and third when the team of Smylie Kinne & David Bernardo were unable to make the call. Stuart Glass & Jack Straw went head to head with Kevin Holman & Blake Kronkite. The nod went to Holman & Kronkite.

The second heat saw Joe Jones Racing throw in some extra cash for the teams. It was Bryan Motis & Johnny Bach who got the call and broke on top. The Jones boys, Dan and Chris, were running second, but they didn’t count on Jeremy Galein & Eric Hernandez getting a drive out of turn four on the white-flag lap and snatching the second spot out of their hands.

The third heat was sponsored by So Cal Fencing Solutions. Let the Joe Jones & Tom Summers Show begin! They came to race, and they held nothing back, going wire to wire. Dillon Osborne & Ashley Gibbons got by Robert Curry & Johnny Glover on the second lap, but they could go no further. They finished in that order. Dan Rapoport & Jacob Serrano rounded out the field.

The first round was in the books; hopefully everyone would calm down in round two.

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Round Two
The opening heat of round two was sponsored by Inland Inspired Pool & Spa. It was exciting, to say the least. The Jones boys cut the best gate, with Curry & Glover in second and Rowe & Bennett in third. On the second lap, it was still the Jones boys in first, but Rowe & Bennett were on the move and had taken over second, and they had their sights set on first. The white flag came out with the Jones boys still in front. It came down to the drag race out of turn four to the finish line, and it was a photo finish, with Rowe & Bennett collecting the marbles. Rapoport & Serrano were fourth.

The second heat of the second round had DH Pool & Spa putting up the extra cash. The first try at a go saw the red flag come out when Jones & Summers got up close and personal with Holman & Kronkite in turn three. They exchanged insurance companies and lined up again. This time everyone played nice, and it was Motis & Bach who got out on top. They led it for two laps before Jones & Summers made their move, and when they came around on the white-flag lap, they were in the lead, and they brought it home. Motis & Bach were second, with Holman & Kronkite third.

Clutch & Coffee sweetened the pot in the final heat of this round, and it was all Osborne & Gibbons: gate, lead and win. Following them home were Kinne & Bernardo, Glass & Straw and Galein & Hernandez.

With two rounds in the books, only one team was still perfect, and that was – surprise, surprise! – Jones & Summers. On back, it was Motis & Bach and Osborne & Gibbons.

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Round Three
The first heat of the third round was sponsored by RLR Electric. Rowe & Bennett took over the first spot after one lap when they got by Curry & Glover. After that, it was all over, and all anyone could do was follow them home. Holman & Kronkite finished in the show spot.

Team Swolen put up the cash for the second heat of round three. This one was all Jones & Summers. Motis & Bach were second, and Kinne & Bernardo were third. Unfortunately, the night was over for the Jones boys, as their rig went south.

The final heat of this round was sponsored by the Osbornes, and they kept the money in the family, as Osborne & Gibbons went wire to wire, topping Glass & Straw, Galein & Hernandez, and Rapoport & Serrano.

Things were tightening up, with Jones & Summers still perfect on the night and Osborne & Gibbons one back. There were two more rounds to go.

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Round Four
Motis & Bach opened things up in the first heat of round four, sponsored by Teresa & Craig Real Estate. They took dead aim from the four slot and had a mistake-free ride for the win. Glass & Straw got by Curry & Glover on the first lap and came away with second. Kinne & Bernardo were fourth.

The second heat of the fourth round started out with a red flag. They lined up again, all looking for the bonus put up by CalBath, and it was Osborne & Gibbons who got the gate they were looking for, launching their rig into the lead. Right out with them went Rowe & Bennett. Surprise, surprise – Jones & Summers were running third. No one made a mistake and no one made a hole, and the perfect score on the night had just been taken away from Jones & Summers, who wound up with third.

Deanna Holman sponsored the final heat of this round, and it was Holmes & Kronkite who got the best start – but it was short-lived, as Galein & Hernandez took it away on the first lap and brought it on home. The third spot went to Rapoport & Serrano.

Things had tightened up a bit; who would get the direct transfer to the main? There were three spots up for grabs and three teams looking pretty solid: Jones & Summers, Motis & Bach and Osborne & Gibbons. The spoiler could be Rowe & Bennett. There was one round to go.

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Round Five
Cal Bath put up the dough for the first heat of the final round, and Motis & Bach got the job done, as they ensured themselves a spot in the main. The grid for the consi was still up in the air, so Kinne & Bernardo would have to wait to see how the next two heats would go. Unfortunately, the night was over for Rapoport & Serrano.

Honest-1 Auto Care sponsored the second heat of round five, and it was Jones & Summers all the way. They, too, would be headed to the main with a direct transfer. Second place went to Osborne & Gibbons, and they would also have enough to move directly to the main. Glass & Straw were headed to the consi.

The final heat of the night, sponsored by Sac Cycles, saw the team of Rowe & Bennett pull a rabbit out of a hat, as they took the win away from Curry & Glover, who’d led for three laps but just couldn’t hold them off. Holman & Kronkite and Galein & Hernandez rounded out the field.

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Main Events
The winner of the B main would have the final spot in the championship final. SoCal Fencing Solutions put in the bonus bucks.

The pole went to Rowe & Bennett, with Glass & Straw in two. On out, it was Curry & Glover and Holman & Kronkite. The loaded in.

Rowe & Bennett got the start and it was game, set and match. They would be the final team in the main.

The riders rolled to the line for the richest race of the night. It would all be decided in four quick laps. Would it be a three-peat for Joe Jones? Nor Cal Chuck was the sponsor that fattened the pot for this one.

Jones & Summers chose the pole, with Motis & Bach in two. Osborne & Gibbons loaded into three, and Rowe & Bennett were in four. Nothing sounds better than 1000cc machines coming to life, with seven guys and one lady about to do battle.

The tapes came up, and it was Jones & Summers who jumped out into the lead! Rowe & Bennett were second, with Motis & Bach third. As they came around on lap two, Motis & Bach had taken over the second spot, and Osborn & Gibbons had moved into third. With two laps to go, nothing would change, and it was a three-peat for Joe Jones and a first for swinger Tom Summers. Motis & Bach were second, Osborne & Gibbons were third, and Rowe & Bennett were fourth.

On the podium, it was (from left to right) runners-up Bryan Motis (kneeling) & Johnny Bach, winners Joe Jones (holding his son and future racer) & Tom Summers, and third-place finishers Dillon Osborne & Ashley Gibbons.

On the podium, it was (from left to right) runners-up Bryan Motis (kneeling) & Johnny Bach, winners Joe Jones (holding his son and future racer) & Tom Summers, and third-place finishers Dillon Osborne & Ashley Gibbons.

Joe Jones & Tom Summers – the 2017 Sidecar National Champions.

Joe Jones & Tom Summers – the 2017 Sidecar National Champions.

It’s been a great season at Costa Mesa! Get ready for next season, as it will be here before you know it. See you at the races!

Costa Mesa Speedway at the Orange County Fairgrounds
Costa Mesa, California
Results: October 7, 2017

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

SIDECAR B MAIN: 1. Jeff Rowe/ Josh Bennett (Suz); 2 Stuart Glass/ Jack Straw (Duc); 3. Robert Curry/ Johnny Glover (Suz); 4. Kevin Holman/ Blake Kronkite (Suz).

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