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Champion Speedway
East River Drive
Owego, New York

Larry McBride Memorial Race
By: Kelvin Herrala
Photos by Sheera Myers
June 9, 2012

Wow, is all I can say. If you live within a 1,000 miles of the track and missed this race, shame on you. It was hot and heavy right from the first tapes up. If you watched the Danish round of the Speedway Grand Prix earlier in the day then you know what I am talking about. Speedway rider David Meldrum made an East Coast appearance as well as Mike Buman back from a European racing trip this spring.

First round of heats. heat one could have been the main event with Tuff McBride, Casey Donholt, Mike Buman and Jesse Diem. The battle that followed was ferocious with McBride's shoulder popping out of joint going into turn four on the third lap. Donholt won the heat over the much anticipated return of Buman with J. Diem still in the mix.

Heat two had the return of east coast legend Warren Diem (father of Jesse Diem) back on a speedway bike after who knows how many years matched up against Dave Clark who has many main event wins, Keith Hawkins who won the B main in blistering form last time out and Josh Carr who is always smooth. Diem was using the outside to pass Clark when Clark's rear wheel made contact with Diem's front tire collecting Diem,Clark and Hawkins in a big pile. The ref did an all four back and on the second attempt Clark took the win with Hawkins second,Diem third and Carr fourth.

Heat three saw the return of Adam Mittl with many main event wins and track championship to his credit facing the ever tough Jeremy Parsons. If you have never seen Parsons gate it is a treat because he comes off the line hard. Parsons took the three points for the win but Mittl in true fashion was trying the outside and the inside to get past but Parsons could sense his every move and was having nothing to do with it.

Heat four David Meldrum made a statement by winning handily over Jerry Harmon, Gene Bonsignore and Andy Crawford. After four rounds of racing it was Donholt and Parsons at the top on 11 points going directly to the final. Mitt le,Clark and Buman were level on 10 points apiece. Meldrum sat alone on 9 points followed by Harmon with 7 and Warren Diem with 6 points.

Semi final one saw Diem, Buman, Hawkins and Clark pitted against each other with the winner going directly to the final. Clark showed everyone that he can ride a speedway bike with a brilliant win coming from gate four.

Semi two had the two heavies Mittl and Meldrum with Harmon and Carr thrown in to keep them honest. Mittl took the lead and Meldrum ended dropping his bike trying to get around Mittl Another very entertaining race.

Last chance race Buman, W. Diem, Carr and Harmon all wanting to make the final but only the winner moving on. Buman won putting him in the main with Donholt, Parsons, Mittl and Clark.

The action that followed was nothing short of spectacular with Casey Donholt winning his second consecutive main event of the season. To keep up with tradition there needs to be a handicap champion for the Larry McBride as time was running late the handicap main was made up of the scratch main plus Harmon and Meldrum Handicap starting order was Harmon and Meldrum on the 40, Clark, Parsons and Mittl on the 50 with Donholt and Buman coming from the 60 yard line. The first attempt saw a horrific crash in turn one with Parsons machine end for end cart wheeling through the air and riders up against the crash wall. Parsons ended up the worst of it not being able to take part in the restart. When it was all said and done Casey Donholt did the double winning both main events over a very competitive field of riders.

David Oakden, a former D1 rider decided to hop on a bike again but the D1 side of the program was full so he rode in the support class taking the win showing he still has it.

Casey Donholt was a triple crown winner having won the final on opening night and doubling up at the Larry McBride memorial race.

A.) Main
1.) Casey Donholt
2.) Mike Buman
3.) Adam Mittl
4.) Dave Clark
5.) Jeremy Parsons

Handicap Main
1.) Casey Donholt
2.) David Meldrum
3.) Dave Clark
4.) Adam Mittl
5.) Mike Buman
6.) Jerry Harmon
7.) Jeremy Parsons (retired)

Support Main
1.) David Oakden

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