Perris Season Opener
January 8, 2011
The 2011 American speedway season kicked off with America's best rider, Greg Hancock, winning the main event to complete his perfect day at Perris Raceway.
Hancock and Tyson Burmeister both entered the main event unbeaten which meant a draw would determine who had first choice of starting position. Burmeister won the draw and selected gate one while Hancock chose gate four. Former Youth National Champion Jason Ramirez picked gate two which left Gino Manzares with gate three.
Burmeister left the starting line with a slight lead but Hancock was alongside him as they entered turn one. Burmeister clung to the inside line but Hancock found sufficient traction on the cushion to propel himself to a small advantage over Burmeister on the back straight. The former World Champion stayed wide and he surged ahead on the front straight just enough to drop down in front of Burmeister as they entered turn one to secure the lead. Hancock increased his advantage to a comfortable margin and his lead was never threatened. The eight-time National Champion crossed the finish line first, Burmeister settled for second, Ramirez finished third, and Manzares was fourth.
The heats kicked off with "Battling" Buck Blair leading before Russell Green went underneath for the lead and the win. Burmeister blazed to victory over "Cowboy" Bobby Krips in the second heat. Hancock ended the first round with a resounding win over Steve Russell.
Burmeister began the second round by beating Blair for his second straight win. Hancock made it two wins in a row by defeating Manzares. Ramirez made a great start from gate four and roared to victory over Dale Facchini for a victory to complete round two.
Ramirez started the final round of heats with a win over Russell. Burmeister beat Green in the penultimate heat to remain unbeaten. Hancock matched Burmeister's perfect score by defeating Blair in the final heat.
Manzares scored an impressive victory over Blair, Green, and Russell in the Last Chance to book the final spot in the main event.
Rudy Laurer made the best start in the Second Division Main Event and led down the back straight with Ryan Bast and Rocco Scopellite in pursuit. Scopellite charged into the lead as they exited turn four and left Laurer and Bast, the son of legendary eight-time National Champion, Mike Bast, to fight over second. Scopellite led the rest of the way for his second straight victory, Laurer held on to second, Bast finished third in his first competitive speedway event in a decade, and Dylan Black was fourth.
The best race of the day featured Tony DeAlmeida and Gene Stone in an excellent side-by-side battle in the Third Division Main Event. DeAlmeida hugged the inside while Stone was working the outside. Their battle hadn't been settled when they took the white flag and neither was about to give an inch on the final lap. They stuck to their respective battle plans on the final lap with Stone finding just enough traction exiting the final corner to win the drag race to the finish line by inches. A very gracious DeAlmeida settled for second, Chris Casey was third, and John Williams was credited with fourth.
Samuel Ramirez was the only 250cc Youth competitor so he lined up with the Youth 200cc First Division racers in their main event, but was scored separately. Ramirez easily distanced himself from the other competitors to cross the finish line first. Broc Nicol won both heats and continued that pattern with a win in the Youth 200cc First Division Main Event as well. Kurtis Hamill was second and Hayley Perrault was third.
Michael Wells made the best start in the Youth 200cc Second Division Main Event. Gino Scopellite wasted little time challenging the leader and went by him entering turn three. Scopellite, not to be outdone by his older brother's main event victory, didn't look back after that and took home a trophy of his own. Wells finished second and Dalton Leedy was credited with third.
Sebastian Palmese negotiated the traffic in front of him to overcome a large handicap and win the Pee Wee Main Event. Tristan Britt finished second, Toby D'Avignon was third, Courtney D'Avignon finished fourth, Luke Whitcomb was fifth, Aiden Walters finished sixth, and Ethan Walters was seventh.
The Carrie Hancock Speedway Promotions event was the first speedway event of what is expected to be a very busy 2011 Southern California season and was also the first domestic appearance by Greg Hancock since March. The next competitive speedway racing event at Perris Raceway is scheduled for Saturday afternoon, February 19.
Pee Wee Main Event
795 - Sebastian Palmese
11 - Tristan Britt
84 - Toby D'Avignon
14 - Courtney D'Avignon
27 - Luke Whitcomb
17 - Aiden Walters
1 - Ethan Walters
Youth 200cc Second Division Main Event
7 - Gino Scopellite
214 - Michael Wells
222 - Dalton Leedy
Youth 200cc First Division Main Event
146 - Broc Nicol
104 - Kurtis Hamill
0 - Hayley Perrault
Youth 250cc Main Event
22 - Samuel Ramirez
Third Division Last Chance
390n – John Williams
392n – Chanse Vaccaro
227 – Wade Whitcomb
124 – Paul Thornton
Third Division Main Event (restarted)
231 - Gene Stone
157 - Tony DeAlmeida
391 - Chris Casey
390 - John Williams (non starter – restart)
Second Division Last Chance
201 – Dylan Black
163 – Rohn Zellner
125 – Johnny Lupo
389 – Ryan Tovatt (fell)
Second Division Main Event
9j - Rocco Scopellite
182 - Rudy Laurer
111 - Ryan Bast
201 - Dylan Black (retired)
First Division Scoring 1 2 3 T
19 – Dale Facchini 1 2 1 4
23 – Steve Russell 2 1 2 5
24 – Gino Manzares 2 2 1 5
24b – Bobby Krips 2 1 0 3
26 – Tyson Burmeister 3 3 3 9
39 – Buck Blair 1 2 2 5
45 – Greg Hancock 3 3 3 9
46 – Aaron Fox M 0 1 1
52 – Marvin Sonnier 0 0 0 0
66 – Jason Ramirez N 3 3 6
321 – Russell Green 3 1 2 6
389 – Ryan Tovatt 1 - - 1
1: Green, Manzares, Blair, Fox (two-minute exclusion)
2: Burmeister, Krips, Tovatt
3: Hancock, Russell, Facchini, Sonnier
14: Burmeister, Blair, Russell
15: Hancock, Manzares, Krips, Fox
16: Ramirez, Facchini, Green, Sonnier
27: Ramirez, Russell, Manzares, Sonnier
28: Burmeister, Green, Facchini, Krips
29: Hancock, Blair, Fox (fell)
First Division Last Chance
24 – Gino Manzares
39 – Buck Blair
321 – Russell Green
23 – Steve Russell
First Division Main Event
45 - Greg Hancock
26 - Tyson Burmeister
66 - Jason Ramirez
24 - Gino Manzares
Photos: DORCEY WINGO
|| World Champ Greg Hancock (center) signs a set of speedway bike covers for some lucky rider, while nephew Brad Pappalardo (left) and sister Carrie Hancock assist.
||In Event 3 Greg Hancock's first start from the wall is on the money as #19 Dale Facchini, #23 Steve Russell and #52 Marvin Sonnier burn rubber for turn one.
||Greg shows everyone how it is done in Turn Two.
||Lining up in the pit area, Pee Wee riders (far left) #14 Courtney D'Avignon, #84 Toby D'Avignon, #17 Alden Walters, and #1 Ethan Walters (right) anxiously await their turn.
||Helping to bolster the First Division purse, the 50-50 girls make a $5.00 sale in the pits.
||#22 Samuel Ramirez leads #146 Broc Nicol ,#104 Kurtis Hamill and #0 Hayley Perrault in Junior Event 11.
||#231 Gene Stone waves the Third Division victory flag.
||First Division rider #19 Dale Facchini hauls butt in pursuit of a certain Premier League rider.
||First Division speedster #66 Jason Ramirez (left) launches in Event 27 against #23 Steve Russell, # 24 Gino Manzares and #52 Marvin Sonnier, who is on the wall. [There was a restart for a malfunctioning gate.]
||Although challenged by a game Tyson Burmeister in the First Division Main Event, nobody could outrace the Premier League Speedway Rider and former World Champion on January the 8th. [Where was Billy J?]