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2009 Victorville Speedway
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Victorville Speedway
Wheel2Wheel Raceway
San Bernardino County Fairgrounds
Victorville, California

Pit Stop Challenge
May 2, 2009 - Victorville
By: Ryan Evans

“Battling” Buck Blair went through the program unbeaten and won the First Division Main Event for the second consecutive time on Pit Stop Challenge Night at Wheel2Wheel Raceway in Victorville.

Blair, who started in gate four, used the banking in the first corner to get to the front and lead down the back straight. Shawn “Mad Dog” McConnell was second, but Jason Ramirez went around the U.S. Open Champion to take over second. Ramirez set his sights on Blair, but was unable to make up any ground on the Colorado native who cruised to the victory. Ramirez inexplicably shut off coming out of the final corner and allowed McConnell to steal second at the finish line. Austin Novratil finished fourth.

The heats began with Blair holding off Ramirez for his first win. In the next heat Neil Facchini saw his early lead taken away by McConnell who earned his first win.

Round two started with Ramirez using the cushion to go around McConnell for the lead and his first win. Blair made it two in a row with an easy win over Facchini.

Ramirez started the third round with a victory over John Marquez. Blair made the best start in the next heat only to have McConnell use the outside to take the lead. Not to be outdone, Blair paid back McConnell by going to the outside in the final corner and mustering enough traction to beat him to the checkered flag.

The final round opened with Blair winning his fourth consecutive trip and earning a direct transfer to the main. McConnell won the final heat to take the other direct transfer to the main.

Ramirez used the outside to take the lead and ran away with the win in the Last Chance while Novratil passed Facchini on the outside to follow the former Youth National Champion into the main.

The annual Pit Stop Challenge has become a very popular event for riders, mechanics, and fans. The race was contested by four riders who raced one lap before pulling into the infield for a pit stop. During the pit stop, the mechanic must remove the rear wheel, switch the rear disc and sprocket, remount the back wheel, and then the rider jumps on and the bike is started. The first rider to complete the second lap is the victor, but the mechanic is awarded with the trophy, a three-foot wrench crafted by Fred Facchini of Schlaman’s Services.

Blair’s mechanic, Steve Golden, proved to be the quickest in the pits as he got Blair down and away before all the competitors to claim the coveted trophy.

Josh Abbott started 30 yards back but ambushed the field in the first corner to take the lead. Abbott was never threatened and he pulled away for the win. Tony DeAlmeida finished second, Rick Huspek was third, and Gene Stone finished fourth.

Abbott lived up to the challenge of being promoted into Second Division by taking the lead at the start. Abbott was comfortably in front after two laps when the red flag came out after Joey Holt had to lay his bike down for the fallen Rick Fehrman. Abbott was awarded the victory, Holt was given second, Steve Bowen was credited with third, and Fehrman was fourth.

Abbott led the Support Handicap Main Event, but fell in turn four, which gave the lead to Fehrman. Fehrman’s lead lasted two laps before he fell and handed the lead to Bowen. Bowen remained upright the final lap to take the win. Holt was second, Abbott finished third, DeAlmeida was fourth, Fehrman finished fifth, and Huspek was sixth.

Samuel Ramirez was leading the Youth Main Event when he experienced an engine failure which handed the victory to Maxwell Ruml.

Summer Fehrman won both her heats and earned the victory in the Pee Wee Main Event. Dakota Shockley was second, Jayden Fields finished third, and Sahara McGuire was fourth.

The next speedway event at Wheel2Wheel Raceway will be the Valley-Hi Eliminapolis 500 presented by Ministry Clothing on Saturday, May 23. The event has become a traditional Memorial Day Weekend event at the Victorville venue.


Pee Wee Main Event
  8 – Summer Fehrman
 34 – Dakota Shockley
689 – Jayden Fields
  6 – Sahara McGuire

Youth Main Event
356 – Maxwell Ruml
 22 – Samuel Ramirez		(engine failure)

Support Handicap Main Event
177 – Steve Bowen		40
244 – Joey Holt			40
141 – Josh Abbott		20	(fell, remounted)
157 – Tony DeAlmeida		10
240n – Rick Fehrman		30	(fell, remounted)
226 – Rick Huspek		10

Third Division Main Event
141 – Josh Abbott		30
157 – Tony DeAlmeida		20
226 – Rick Huspek		10
231 – Gene Stone		10

Second Division Main Event (awarded)
141 – Josh Abbott
244 – Joey Holt
177 – Steve Bowen
240n – Rick Fehrman		(fell)

Pit Stop Challenge
 39 – Buck Blair & Steve Golden
 86 – Neil Facchini & Matt Davis
 66 – Jason Ramirez & Ray Schmitt
 8j – Austin Novratil & Mike Novratil

First Division Scoring		1	2	3	4	T
  6 – Shawn McConnell		3	2	2	3	10
 8j – Austin Novratil		1	1	1	2	5
 39 – Buck Blair		3	3	3	3	12
 41 – John Marquez		1	1	2	1	5
 66 – Jason Ramirez		2	3	3	0	8
 86 – Neil Facchini		2	2	1	2	7
110 – Jon Stasiefski		0	0	0	1	1
177 – Steve Bowen		0	0	N	0	0

Race Results
 5: Blair, Ramirez, Novratil, Bowen
 6: McConnell, Facchini, Marquez, Stasiefski (tape penalty)
13: Ramirez, McConnell, Novratil, Stasiefski
14: Blair, Facchini, Marquez, Bowen
19: Ramirez, Marquez, Facchini, Stasiefski
20: Blair, McConnell, Novratil, Bowen (non starter)
26: Blair, Facchini, Stasiefski, Bowen
27: McConnell, Novratil, Marquez, Ramirez

First Division Last Chance
 66 – Jason Ramirez
 8j – Austin Novratil
 86 – Neil Facchini
 41 – John Marquez 		(two-minute exclusion)

First Division Main Event
 39 – Buck Blair
  6 – Shawn McConnell
 66 – Jason Ramirez
 8j – Austin Novratil
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