Speedway Racer Remembrance Night - San Bernardino, CA, USA - May 3
The lineup for the Scratch Main Event had "Battling" Buck Blair starting in gate one, former World Finalist Josh Larsen in gate two, previous week's main event winner Aaron Fox in gate three, sixteen year old Ruml in gate four, and Burmeister starting next to the wall in gate five.
Burmeister launched into the lead from the start and headed the field into turn one. He used the ample outside dirt to increase his lead on the back straight. He maintained a wide line through turns three and four and Larsen used the inside to gain ground on him. Burmeister was went wide again through turns one and two the second time and Larsen found more grip on the inside and threatened the leader on the back straight. Burmeister was able to pull down in front of Larsen as they entered turn three. He wisely remained on the inside line and was able to keep Larsen at bay to the finish. Fox was third, Ruml finished fourth, and Blair was fifth.
"Rattlesnake" Steve Bowen started at the front of the eight-rider Handicap Main Event and led for a lap before Ruml, who had started on the 30 yard line, went around the outside. A melee entering turn three the second time left Larsen spun around backward and Neil Facchini clipping him as he was trying to lay the bike down. Several other riders took evasive action to avoid a catastrophe. Facchini was down for several minutes before walking off the track nursing a sore left shoulder and collarbone. Larsen was penalized for the restart and Bowen would be at the front of the field because he was the leader at the completion of the previous lap. Ruml restarted just 10 yards behind Bowen and predictably made short work of him and went around him in turn three. From there it was a mere formality as Ruml ran away with his second Handicap Main Event victory in as many tries this season. Fellow teenager and former Under 21 National Champion Austin Novratil was second, Russell Green finished third, Larsen was fourth, "Fast" Eddie Castro finished fifth, and Burmeister was sixth.
The best race of the evening was the Last Chance Race. Facchini led before Castro passed him on the outside as they took the white flag. Castro clamped to the inside on the back straight to protect his lead from Facchini. Ruml, running third, went deep into turn three and swept around both Castro and Facchini and nabbed the win by inches at the finish in spectacular style.
Tom Summers led the Support Main for three laps but was put under pressure by Rudy Laurer as they entered turn one the fourth time. Summers went wide as they exited turn two and Laurer charged up the inside to take the lead. Laurer led the final lap and a half to collect his first main event victory of the season. Dillon Osborne was second, Summers finished third, Ron Davis was fourth, Kevin Fife finished fifth, and Chris Jones was sixth.
Dryden LeoGrande led the 150 Mini Main Event before falling in turn three. Courtney Crone was the benefactor and took over the lead. Once the young lady was in front none of the boys were able to catch her. Both Pee Wee divisions took the track together but were scored separately within their particular divisions. Charlie Larsen defeated Luke Whitcomb to win the Pee Wee First Division Main Event and Jake Troutt beat Jonas LeoGrande to take the victory in the Pee Wee Second Division Main Event.
National Champions Joe Jones and Johnny Glover led from start to finish and won the Sidecar Main Event in convincing fashion. Bryan Motis and Josh Bennett finished second, Dual Anderson and Ethan Smith were third, and Gerard Jackson and Dave German finished fourth.
Speedway Racer Remembrance Night honors the speedway racers who lost their lives during competitive motorcycle events. The plaques handed out to the victors had Denny Pyeatt, Randy Evans, and Nick Varner on them and Varner's mother, Alicia Barkman presented them to the winners.
The next event at Pirate Speedway is the Ken Maely Cup. The evening honors the legendary man who not only made the metal skidshoes worn by hundreds of speedway and flat track racers, but also provided a practice track and was dedicated to the sport of speedway. Many American superstars honed their skills on the track at Maely's Ranch in Corona, California. The Motorcycle Hall of Fame member passed away in 2003.
Handicap Main Event (restarted)
Pirate Speedway Results 5/3/13: Zamboni Driver Speaks Out
Tyson Burmeister powers his way to the Scratch Main Event Win!
Rider Remembrance Night, Pirate Speedway, National Orange Show Fairgrounds, San Bernardino, California
"A Night of Remembrance" was the theme at Pirate Speedway Friday night. Many riders and fans saluted those in the speedway community that had their lives cut too short, while endeavoring to pursue the sport many say they loved the most. Among some of the guests was Nick Varner's mother (Nick lost his life in an on track motorsport accident) who presented trophies at the night's end, to the podium finishers.
Scratch racing action got underway at Pirate, with a deep cushion of dirt waiting to be showered into the stands and cups of drinks of speedway fans lining the wall. Tyson Burmeister, the former European competitor, now back stateside took the Scratch Main Event Win. Burmeister became the third different rider to win in the first three weeks of this 2013 season. Rounding out the field was Josh Larsen who is now three for three since his return from injury. Riding in his second consecutive Main at Pirate, and his third Main in seven days, including Costa Mesa last Saturday night. Third place finisher Aaron Fox, last week's Scratch Main Winner, also took part in the Pirate Speedway pre-race show. Fox was busy keeping fourth place runner Max Ruml at bay. Ruml who has definitely gotten the attention of the speedway veterans with his quick ascension to the win column in recent weeks. Buck Blair continued to struggle finishing fifth, on the heels of being excluded for a tape infraction last week. The popular #39 Blair can never be ruled out of race contention, as he still ranks among some of the riders with the most wins ever at IMS/Pirate Speedway.
Handicap Racing saw the eight-man, eight-lap race of endurance and attrition go to Max Ruml. Ruml took the lead starting from the 30 yard-line, and never looked back, Austin Novratil took second, also from the 30. Russell Green, another young-gun started from the 20, and finished third. So the top three future super-stars, outlasting the wily veterans including Josh Larsen, fourth, Fast Eddie Castro, fifth, and Tyson Burmeister, Sixth, (all coming off the 40). Rattlesnake Steve Bowen from the 10, seventh. And Neil Facchini from the 30, crashed and did not restart. Facchini very sore, mainly in the shoulder/collarbone area, did not think he had broken anything, though. So all the best to another hard charger, who can give anyone his money's worth on a given night!
Support Class Star Rudy "Rip'n" Laurer got everything going his way tonight, and scored the Main Event win! A popular winter series rider at IMS/Pirate speedway through the years came from the 30 yard line and had being waiting for this win. Dillon Osborne from the 20 finished second, Tom Summers from the 0 finished third. Rowdy Ronnie Davis, the multi-purpose rider and figure-8 driver on the roundy-round circuit, started from the 30, and took home fourth place. Rounding out the field, Kevin "RIP" Fife, gated from the 10, finished fifth. Chris Jones started from the 20, and did not finish. Jones, the hard charging rider from the side car troop, has been giving the 2-wheeled version of speedway a try for a while now, has been disclaiming the report of running nitrous!
Sidecar Main Event! Clang-Clang-Clang! In this corner we have the undisputed Champion! And in this corner, the challengers! Joe Jones and Johnny Glover took the field and the Win over Bryan Motis and Josh Bennett who finished second. Dual Anderson and Ethan Smith were the third place finishers. Gerard Jackson and Dave German finished fourth. This close contingent of speedway riders are more like family then competitors! Check-out all the Sidecar racers next trip to the track. And, ask about how nitrous is used, and get that all important autograph!
Pee Wee Second Division Main saw Jake Troutt take the Win over Jonas Leo Grande.
Mini 150 action saw Courtney Crone put another trophy on her mantle. She has been on fire since winning the Monster Invitational back in December! Michael Wells, Sebastian Big Daddy Palmese, Dryden LeoGrande, and Sara Cords followed in that order.
[Editors Note: The following information is a personal statement from Scott. Since he posted this on the Yahoo group site as part of the results article I felt that it could be included here also.]
The Zamboni driver speaks out! What the heck happened?
While most of the racers were celebrating their wins, and signing autographs for fans in the pits, some were wondering what the heck happened during one of the track prep segments in turn one. What appeared to be a very heated verbal exchange, was...just that. So I caught up with Scott Read, Zamboni driver, and asked "What the heck happened?" Read said, "Well, let me preface the situation. I rode IMS the first night it ever opened in 1975. I rode for 13 consecutive weeks to help it get started. More recently, I have been at IMS/Pirate every race since its resurrection in 2009, with the exception of a hand full of times. I have roots here!
"Prepping the track is actually a very comprehensive job, with many facets to consider. Benny Mears does a great job during the week, and has the toughest, of all jobs. So, major props to you, my friend. Yet when race night comes, anything that goes wrong with the track is the fault of the Zamboni and its driver. Many people do more than chime in with their opinions as to how to approach certain track conditions. We (IMS/Pirate) have had on-again, off-again problems with oversight decisions such as who is in charge of track prep decisions, starting a year and a half ago. As I understood, the matter was settled back then that Referee Steve Lucero would be the one to make such calls.
This past Friday night, Track Steward Gary Hicks Sr. came onto the track in front of the riders and fans, and ordered me to get off the track, saying that I was taking too long. Be that as it may, it should be noted that the track this past Friday night had a ton of dirt, and took extra time to drag down. The track drag can only go so fast, otherwise it will chatter, bouncing along and failing to accomplish its work. Photos by Howie Zechner show that a tall dirt whoop-de-do was still in the middle of the track, and this is because I had not completed my job. He then repeated what he had said before and pointed me off the track. I couldn't believe my ears! I told Gary "Are you kidding me? I thought this issue was settled! Are we going there again?" The following race night, problems had reached a peak for me, and I wasn't going to let this situation go any further. I got out of the Zamboni, and animatedly showed him my concern for leaving a jump in the track. Hicks' old worn-out cliché of "They all have to ride the same track", "Four lap drags", and "Prep the track as fast as you can" have no place with me; not where rider safety is concerned! I immediately went to Shawn and Robynn McConnell, and explained that given the continued level of disrespect toward me, while I won't leave you without a prep truck tonight, I will not continue in this capacity. While I respect that – as Zamboni driver – I am not in a position to give calls on track conditions, given my experience with such and history as a rider, it stands against my better judgment to continue given my strong concern over the need for more careful management in this regard.
In any case, I sincerely apologize to all deserving parties, especially my friend Steve Lucero, who withstood my harsh rebuke toward the situation with cool reservation, despite the fact that my admonition was certainly not intended for him. With this story, I am rescinding all my volunteer duties at IMS/Pirate Speedway, and mean to offer an explanation for the events of this past weekend, and emphasize that I hold no animosity toward anyone! I simply must follow my best judgment. .To all my speedway friends, it was a good run -- best of wishes to you all!"
I bid you adieu, Scott Read. firstname.lastname@example.org
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