Round 4 - June 23rd, 2007

Ventura Fairgrounds Seaside Park

Ventura , California

Article  by Jamey Blunt

After an absence of two years from motorcycle racing at the Ventura county fairgrounds two hundred forty three of the faithful made the pilgrimage to the famed banked oval that’s seen wheels turning for some thirty years, for Eddie Mulder's round #4. With a paid attendance of over five thousand, programs were completely sold out prior to intermission, ah memories of years gone by. It took twenty six heat races and a semi to sort the field into their main events, and just after 7:30 p.m. the first final rolled to the starting line.


Twenty four riders went at it for a spot in the Barnett/ARD Ignitions Senior main with a field of only the twelve best. Tom Horton read starter Fred Allen like a book and lead into turn one followed by Rod Lake, Ventura's own Keith Speir, and Joe Brown. On the exit of turn two for the second time Jeff Lessley made an inside pass on Brown for fourth, with Steve Craft making the same move but on the outside, thus dropping Brown to sixth. Craft running a low line made the pass on Lessley in turn three for fourth and had his sights set on Speir. Horton at the front kept a three bike length gap over Lake who he couldn't shake, with Speir ten lengths back in third. Behind Speir things were bunching up with Craft, Jeff Lessley, Brown, Ron Lessley, Ron Alexander and Tony Herrera. With two laps remaining Horton and Lake were in another time zone, while Speir had six riders wanting his third position. Jeff Lessley switched to the outside line and found a way around craft for fourth, and Ron Lessley fought his way past Brown to sixth. This made the finishing order Horton, Lake, Speir, Jeff Lessley, Craft, Ron Lessley, Brown, Alexander, and Herrera.


The top twelve from a field of thirty two staged for the A&A Racing/Motion Pro Vet "A" main where Mike Vital and Mike O'Neil hit turn one side by side. O'Neil took point down the back shoot with Vital, Joe Steffen, Kevin Bricker, Craig Johnson, and Jason Craven in hot pursuit. On lap three Vital made an outside pass on O'Neil for the lead and Steffen was closing as well. Craven was also on the move and was up to fifth, with Lloyd McGregor finding his rhythm from a ninth place start now up in seventh. Upon the exit of turn four on lap five Steffen got the drive and shot past O'Neil for third, with Craven past Bricker for fourth as well. At the front Vital turned a 16.20/100 second lap to Steffen's 16.34/100 and O'Neil's 16.35/100 as he inched away. On the final lap Craven slipped past O'Neil for third and McGregor's march stopped at sixth. This had the final tally Vital, Steffen, Craven, O'Neil, Bricker, and McGregor.


Fifteen riders over the age of sixty girded for the Browns Cycles/Tuffplates Super Sr/Sr Novice main event. From the first wave of the green flag former national number 11 Jim McMurren shot to the front followed by Ed Steffen, Steve Baker, Steve Lacey, and Mickey Alzola. McMurren and Steffen chose the lowest line possible, while Baker, Lacey, and Alzola were using a high line attempting to take advantage of the high banking. On the third trip through turn one Lacey dove under Baker to take the third place position away, Alzola saw the move and was at Baker's back door knocking. By the half way point McMurren was into lappers and couldn't turn his 17.24/100 second lap times any longer. On the entrance to turn three on lap five Lacey went around the outside of Steffen for the second spot, while Dave Cheney had worked his way forward to sixth. Baker also went wide on this lap leaving the barn door open for Alzola to advance. Next for Alzola was Steffen, who he out horse powered down the back straight for the third place rung on the ladder. Steffen would come back at Alzola but the finishing order had been set at McMurren, Lacey, Alzola, Steffen, Baker, and Cheney, with the oldest participant eighty three year old Bob Harris finishing in twelfth.


Triumph's, BSA's, Norton's, and H-D's made up the AGV Helmets/Maxxis Tires Modern 750 class. What a sight to behold and feel as the ground shook from the acceleration of the field off the starting line. A.J. Herrera on a mission launched to the front with his Super "H" cape flying in the wind ahead of Tom Horton, Ron Alexander, Keith Speir, Joe Suebert, and Paul Herman from the back row. On the entrance to turn one for the second time Herman and Speir came together with Herman going down easy and sliding up to the hay bales unhurt. Moving through the field from a poor start was Jim Ottele with John Lundgren attached to his rear wheel. By lap three things had settled down and the order was Herrera, Horton, Ottele, Suebert, Alexander, Lundgren, and Speir. Herrera's fastest lap came on lap four at 16.77/100 seconds as he held Horton at bay as the two of them left the field behind. This lap also had Lundgren get past Alexander for fifth. A lap later Speir recovering from his run in with Herman regrouped and fought past Alexander to take sixth away. Herrera at the front was having a blast enjoying a high line sending dirt flying from his back wheel in sideways heaven, and brought it home for the victory. Horton was a close second, with Ottele third, Suebert fourth, Lundgren fifth, and Speir sixth.


Mikey Avila and Briar Bauman usually go head to head in the Berkeley Honda, Yamaha/K&N Filters 250 Open class. On this night it was Briar Bauman who led off the starting line with Avila hot on his rear tire. Bronson Bauman ran third, Danny Perez was fourth, P.J. Osmer was sixth with Jack Phinn seventh. Entering turn one for the third time Avila ran it up the inside of Briar Bauman and got position to take the lead away on the trip down the back straight. By lap four Osmer and Phinn were fighting over fifth, and traded the position several times. But this was a battle that ultimately Osmer would win. By the fifth lap Avila was in traffic and couldn't match his fastest lap time of 16.83/100 seconds. But he handled the lappers flawlessly to come home for the victory. Briar Bowman was second, with Bronson Bauman third, Perez fourth, Osmer fifth, and Phinn sixth.


Mike Gonzales and Joe Steffen had almost matching lap times of 16.72/100 seconds in the Works Performance/Megacycle Cams 500 Support class. This is basically the Yamaha TT-500cc four stroke single cylinder class. Given their lap times the start could be the deciding factor in this main event. Mike Gonzales nailed the start to lead with Mike O'Neil second, Steffen third, Jeff Gonzales fourth, and Jim Ottele fifth. On lap two Steffen set up O'Neil for the pass which he made on the front straight from his strong drive out of turn four. By lap three Fred Bennett had joined the fight and was on a march forward getting past Ottele for fifth, Doug Cohon ran seventh and Gary Ritchie eighth. On lap five Bennett displaced Jeff Gonzales for fourth on the exit from turn two, while Steffen changed his line trying to make up the gap to Mike Gonzales at the front. As lap six unfolded back markers came into play as they came between O'Neil and Bennett, with Bennett getting the best of it and taking the third place position from O'Neil. They also allowed Steffen to close up to Mike Gonzales back wheel with one lap remaining. But Mike Gonzales would prevail, with Steffen second, Bennett third, O'Neil fourth, Jeff Gonzales fifth, Ottele sixth, and Cohon seventh.    


A large field of thirty six was narrowed down to twelve for the C&J Racing Frames/Vizzo Racing Open Amateur "A" main event. Jesse Sleeper nailed the start to lead with Garrett Stout in second with Briar Bowman, Lloyd McGregor, Kayl Kolkman and Jason Craven giving chase. Road Racing Legend Jason Pridmore making his dirt track debut at Ventura (having already won the Vet "B" main) was away in eighth. Lap after lap Stout was in a position to pounce, should a mistake come from Sleeper. But Sleeper was perfect at the front and even though Stout had the fastest lap of the race at 16.52/100 seconds he couldn't find a way past Sleeper who went wire to wire for the victory. Stout was second with Bauman stylish in third and Kolkman getting past McGregor for fourth.


The Digger Helm Pro 600 twenty lap final put the pro's through three heat races and a semi to make a field of fourteen. With the fastest heat race time Clawson Motorsport's Brandan Bergen sat on pole. The crowd stood as the pack roared into turn one with Bergen at the front, Don Howard dropped in at second, with Kris Bunch third and Kayl Kolkman fourth. Kenny Malaguarnero was away in fifth with Garrett Stout right behind. On the exit of turn two for the second time Bunch wasted little time and went past Howard for second, not wanting Bergen to get away at the front. By the fourth lap Ian Foulds who left the start line in eleventh found his rhythm and started a forward march. Back at the front Bergen on his Zanotti Racing Honda posted a 15.89/100 second lap time, and was the only rider all night to break under the 16 second mark. Howard kept working the highest line possible attempting to close in on Bunch while A&A's Tony Davila riding one of the best and smartest races of his young career was coming through the pack with style. At the crossed flags (half way) the running order was Bergen (in a different time zone) Bunch, Howard, Malaguarnero, Stout, Davila, Kolkman, Foulds, Jesse Sleeper, and Kevin Bricker. Lap fourteen saw Davila put a move on Stout and take fifth position away, and Aaron Kennedy move up into the top ten as he knocked Bricker down a notch. With a lap remaining Sleeper was up to sixth and Foulds also put Kolkman down a spot to ninth. As the checkered flag came out Bergen had a full straight away lead over Bunch, with Howard third, Malaguarnero fourth, Davila a well deserved fifth, Sleeper sixth, Stout seventh, Foulds eighth, Kolkman back to ninth, and Kennedy tenth. After his victory Bergen had this to say, "I knew I was riding good all day, I felt really comfortable the main thing was I wanted to just put in twenty good solid laps and not make any mistakes. I grabbed the hole shot, put in twenty good laps and it went pretty good I think. I want to thank everyone, all my sponsors, I had an awesome motorcycle and everything just went perfect for me. I'm glad I came out and Monday I go back to Michigan to stay with Jared Mees."


At the awards ceremony Vizzo Racing stepped up to the plate with special trophies and awards to all classes. Which made this was the biggest and richest dirt track race on the west coast in recent memory. Riders and spectators alike were already asking about next year's event, and couldn't show enough gratitude to Eddie Mulder and Jim Naylor for making this year's race take place.

Jimmy Ray also shot many photos at Ventura and has them for sale at Photos by Jim

Senior “A” Main

Senior “A” Main
1. 55 Tom Horton
2. 98 Rod Lake
3. 57 Keith Speir
4. 12e Jeff Lessley
5. 25d Steve Craft
6. 28d Ron Lessley
7. 19z Joe Brown
8. 27 Ron Alexander
9. 43y Tony Herrera

Senior “B” Main

Senior “B” Main
1. 8 Dave Alexander
2. 49x Mickey Alzola
3. 45c Mark Stuckert
4. 17q Herb Wolff
5. 96a Jack Alexander
6. 66f Frank Scileppi
7. 209 Cliff Nagatani
8. 22 Hugh Blacka

Vet “A” Main

Vet “A” Main
1. 48y Mike Vital
2. 21 Joe Steffen
3. 77 Jason Craven
4. 571 Mike O’Neil
5. 1B Kevin Bricker
6. 68 Lloyd McGregor
7. 42 Bill Kolkman
8. 96L Mike Besemer
9. 33 Danny Perez
10. 42 Craig Johnson
11. 45e John Lundgren
12. 58y Jim Ottele

Vet “B” Main

Vet “B” Main
1. 43 Jason Pridmore
2. 12 David Ehrhart
3. 16e Larry Earhart
4. 11 Jon Ortner
5. 77 Joe Suebert
6. 1w Clay Chambers
7. 58 Robert Bacosa
8. 86 Steven Sandman
9. 40 Eric Fleming
10. 56v Nick Fereria

Vet “C” Main

Vet “C” Main
1. 15 Jack Phinn
2. 28b Gary Ritchie
3. 110 Daniel Kane
4. 77 Kyle Lessley
5. 247 Pat Smith
6. 290m Rick Harrington
7. 211L Jim Luevanos
8. 40 Rob Weisberg

Sr Novice/Super Sr

Sr Novice/Super Sr
1. 11 Jim McMurren
2. 27t Steve Lacey
3. 49x Mickey Alzola
4. 16 Ed Steffen
5. 3 Steve Baker
6. 52c Dave Cheney
7. 19x Guy Duckett
8. 96 Merritt Moore
9. 22 Hugh Blacka
10. 71L Bill Flett
11. 14t Ted Hubbard
12. 80x Bob Harris
13. 35e Chuck Walton

Classic 250

Classic 250
1. 11 Jim McMurren

Classic 500

Classic 500
1. 87y Chris Rudy
2. 51z David Brown
3. 75z Joe Pape
4. 4r Lenny Rodriguez
5. 17q Herb Wolff
6. 14 Jim Kohls
7. 97w Alan Shaw
8. 62e Matt Campbell
9. 86d Ross Stuckert
10. 96v David Ginter


1. 14 Eddie Castro
2. 48y Mike Vital
3. 42 Bill Kolkman
4. 58y Jim Ottele
5. 37 Mike O’Neil
6. 1k Tom Hensley
7. 53 Brent Johnson
8. 75z Joe Pape

Youth 50
1. 169 Kole Hansen
2. 9 Scott Barron
3. 13 Layne Bell
4. 22 Nico Teixeira
5. 99 Victoria Neumann
6. 45 Tyler Kolkman
7. 41 Kaid Himle
8. 11 Zane Frisk
9. 7 Riley Frisk

Youth 60
1. 1 Cody Pelle
2. 88t Tyler Shelter
3. 28 Nate DeLaBarra
4. 27 Parker Earhart
5. 211 Cody Gordon

Youth 80

Youth 80
1. 700 Evan Stafford
2. 309w Bronson Bauman
3. 4r Andre Ochs
4. 33g Geoffery Shelter
5. 24 Anthony Dodge

Modern 250

Modern 250
1. 32y Mike Gonzales
2. 12e Jeff Lessley
3. 80g John Grant
4. 28s Steve Ferguson
5. 18 Justin Young
6. 112 David Ehrhart
7. 12 Paul Ott
8. 222 Margo King

Modern 500

Modern 500
1. 98 Rod Lake
2. 28d Ron Lessley
3. 45e Jim Lundgren
4. 209 Cliff Nagatani
5. 13p Allan Malm
6. 44 Gary Swan

Modern 750

Modern 750
1. 42e AJ Herrera
2. 55 Tom Horton
3. 58y Jim Ottele
4. 77 Joe Suebert
5. 45e John Lundgren
6. 57 Keith Speir
7. 27 Ron Alexander
8. 33e Marvin Moore
9. 45c Mark Stuckert
10. 52c Dave Cheney
11. 66f Frank Scileppi
12. 556 Steve Mihovil

250 Open
1. 33e Mikey Avila
2. 310w Briar Bauman
3. 309w Bronson Bauman
4. 33 Danny Perez
5. 55 PJ Osmer
6. 15 Jack Phinn
7. 39 Drake Rainier
8. 87 Lindsey King
9. 4r Andre Ochs
10. 58 Brandon Bates
11. 100 Life Kelley
12. 40 Rob Weisberg

500 Support

500 Support
1. 32y Mike Gonzales
2. 6 Joe Steffen
3. 1 Fred Bennett
4. 571 Mike O’Neil
5. 84j Jeff Gonzales
6. 58y Jim Ottele
7. 41 Doug Cohon
8. 68e Pauly Herman
9. 28b Gary Ritchie
10. 8 Dustin Allen
11. 3m Robert Koch
12. 290m Rick Harrington

Open Amateur “A” Main

Open Amateur “A” Main
1. 342w Jesse Sleeper
2. 15 Garrett Stout
3. 310w Briar Bauman
4. 45 Kayl Kolkman
5. 68 Lloyd McGregor
6. 77 Jason Craven
7. 55 PJ Osmer
8. 43 Jason Pridmore
9. 88 Dillon Allen
10. 204 Vince Rhodes

Open Amateur “B” Main

Open Amateur “B” Main
1. 58 Brandon Bates
2. 12 David Ehrhart
3. 42 Craig Johnson
4. 11 John Ortner
5. 9 Lindsey King
6. 15 Jack Phinn
7. 45f Tom Sahli
8. 86d Ross Stuckert
9. 40 Eric Fleming
10. 5 Jeremy Serpa

Open Amateur ”C” Main
1. 39 Drake Rainier
2. 20z Ray Hensley
3. 40 Josh Travis
4. 5c Rodney Davidson
5. 43g Robert Bacosa

Digger Pro 600



Digger Pro 600
1. 17y Brandan Bergen
2. 65y Kris Bunch
3. 9 Don Howard
4. 65e Kenny Malaguarnero
5. 18h Tony Davila
6. 342w Jesse Sleeper
7. 15 Garrett Stout
8. 45e Ian Foulds
9. 45 Kayl Kolkman
10. 40 Aaron Kennedy
11. 1B Kevin Bricker
12. 93 Jamie Aguilara
13. 42e AJ Herrera
14. 14 Joe Winston

What fun!!! The epitome of West Coast racing was had Saturday night under the palm trees, next to the beach at the fabulous Ventura Raceway. The track was a perfect mix of DG and clay and the racing showed it! A lot of new faces and old faces that returned specifically to ride here at this banked 1/4 mile track in front of hundreds of spectators. It was a superb event. Thanks to Jim Naylor and his staff for the track prep and security. Big thanks to our staff for bearing with us as we dealt with new rules and differences in running the program according to the raceway promoter. I think they were happy with our professionalism. Even through the scoring difficulties!
Thanks to Steve and Cindy Vizzo for putting up money to pay all the Youth class participants and top five in the A mains. There were a lot of happy people at the trophy presentation. We had legends with household names in racing in the crowd and on the track. The Dinosaur class was packed and was quite a show. Almost every class was full with us even running "C" mains! What a night! Thanks to everyone! Jodi and Eddie