Willow Springs
Round 7
October 23rd, 2011

Sunday Sportsman Results and Photos

Photos bt VFT

Pro Dash 4 Cash

Pro Dash 4 Cash
1.    12    Brad Baker
2.    9    Jared Mees
3.    42e    Kayl Kolkman
4.    26    Johnny Lewis
5.    54    Mike Rush
6.    30    Bronson Bauman

Digger Open Pro

Digger Open Pro
1.    12 Brad Baker
2.    7 Sammy Halbert
3.    10 Briar Bauman
4.    42e Kayl Kolkman
5.    54 Mikey Rush
6.    62 Luke Gough
7.    26 Johnny Lewis
8.    16 Jimmy Wood
9.    30 Bronson Bauman
10.    33e Mikey Avila
11.    91 Michael Martin
12.    18d Dennis Trentman
13.    9 Jared Mees dnf
14.    15 Garrett Stout dnf



The young Mister Briar Bauman on the last corner of the final lap at Digger Pro
 main did an amazing save captured by Jimmy Wray and vft.

Jimmy Wray's photos of Willow

October 23rd, 2011 Eddie Mulder's
W.C.D.T.S. Round #7
Willow Springs- Rosmond, Ca.
Article by Jamey Blunt

Another eighty eight degree day was on tap for round seven, the final round of the 2011 season of Eddie Mulder's W.C.D.T. series. As has become tradition, the final two rounds are held the week after the last Grand National race of the season affording the opportunity for many of the top Pros in dirt track racing to stay in California to earn some extra money before their winter break. What with the regular seventeen sponsors of the series (Digger Helm, Rod Lake Racing, Motion Pro, K&N Filters, Barnett Clutches & Cables, JRC Engineering, Penton Racing Products, Megacycle Cams, Brown's Cycles, Maxima Racing Oils, Coventry Spares, A&A Racing, Tuffplates, Todays Cycle Coverage, S&S Off Road Magazine, Works Performance Shocks, and GT Graphics) and the six (Mark and Randy Zimmerman-Specialty Fabrications Inc., Greenlawn Mortuary, Coors Light, Cycle Works-Don Galloway, Zanotti Racing, and Dodge Brothers Racing) sponsors added just for the Willow Springs races there was a $14,000 purse at stake in the Digger Helm Pro main and over $4,000 up for grabs in the Dash-4-Cash. One hundred forty seven entries filled nineteen heat races, seventeen main events and two dash-4-cash races to fill out the day's program. Three water trucks were on hand to keep moisture in the racing surface, a blade and drag were also used in track prep and truckloads of D G were brought in just for this event.

The Pro Dash-4-Cash pitted the two fastest riders from each of the pro heat races in another four lap shootout with $4,000 at stake. Those top six were Brad Baker, Kayl Kolkman, Jared Mees, Mikey Rush, Johnny Lewis, and Bronson Bauman. Mees had the quickest reaction time off the line with Lewis right behind and Baker just a few feet in back of him. As they headed down the back straight Baker shot up under Lewis going into turn three while Lewis almost parked it in the hay bales up high. As the top three drove out of turn four it was Baker who hooked up best and secured the lead by the entrance to turn one. Halfway into lap two Rush and Kolkman got into the mix with Rush up to third briefly. A lap later as Kolkman, Lewis, and Rush fought over third Baker and Mees were gone. With a lap remaining Baker had a two second gap at the front and Kolkman had settled the fight over third and was closing in on Mees in second. At the checkered flag the order was Baker, Mees holding off Kolkman, Lewis with Rush glued to his backside and Bauman.

Eighteen Pros were on hand and had to be sorted through three heat races and a semi to narrow the field down to fourteen riders' stages three rows deep for the twenty lap Digger Helm open pro final. The fastest lap ever turned during a race on the 3/8 mile oval was put in by Sammy Halbert back in 2009 at 20.22 seconds aboard his H.D.XR-750. This made Halbert the track record holder to this point, more on this later. The top two finishers from each heat race made up the six on the front row, who were Brad Baker, (with the fastest hear race time by almost over four seconds) Kayl Kolkman, Jared Mees, Mikey Rush, Johnny Lewis, and Bronson Bauman. Thunder roared and dirt flew as starter Fred Allen turned them lose with a wave from his green flag and fresh tires searched for traction clawing at the ground. From pole position Baker launched straight and true into turn one with the lead staying to the inside with Jared Mees a close second. Sammy Halbert who started on the second row opted for the high outside line through turns one and two and would make up ground from his eleventh place starting position. Johnny Lewis ran in third until the second trip through turn one where he went up against the hay bales allowing Rush through to third but did manage to make the save and drop back in at fourth. Also on lap two Garrett Stout would retire from the race and a lap later Halbert in one clean sweep would go from fifth to third past Lewis and Rush. On lap three Baker also posted his fastest lap of the race with a freshly groomed and clear track at 20.28 seconds. Also on the move was Kolkman who got buried on the start but was now in fifth by lap four which is when gremlins struck Mees as his XR-750 began to sputter and loose power. Exiting turn two running along the back straight Mees would take the runoff exit road and retire from competition for the day. At this point the 2010 AMA Horizon award winner Briar Bauman made his presence known as he was up to fifth from his eighth place start. Exiting turn four on lap five Briar Bauman got a drive and drove past Kolkman for fourth, also at this point in the race Baker had a four second lead over Halbert. On lap seven Baker was into lappers and his first victim was Dennis Trentman while Rush in third had been caught by Briar Bauman, Lewis was back to sixth at this point with Bronson Bauman at seventh and Jimmy Wood riding injured and in pain in the ninth position. At the half way point the order was Baker (a full straight away ahead) Halbert alone in second, Rush in third holding Briar Bauman in check for fourth, Kolkman in fifth, Lewis sixth, Bronson Bauman seventh, and Luke Gough finding his pace moving through the field from an eleventh place spot through turn one now up to eighth. Briar Bauman seems to get stronger as the race goes on, and on lap twelve he made his move on Rush to take over at third. On lap fourteen Baker being very consistent turned a 20.37 second lap time and had a six second gap back to Halbert in second. By lap fifteen Kolkman had caught Rush and was waging war for the fourth place position and Gough had caught and passed Lewis for sixth, dropping Lewis to seventh. With two laps remaining Wood was pressuring Bronson Bauman for eighth and would secure the position leaving Bronson to finish in ninth. Exiting turn four to the white flag Briar Bauman almost threw it all away, it was a close call but his talent and quick reflexes saved his butt and his third place podium position, Baker went on for the victory with an eight second cushion over Halbert, Kolkman had a drag race out of turn four with Rush for fourth place, which Kolkman and his H.D. won by a couple of feet making Rush fifth. Gough came home a hard fought sixth with Lewis seventh, Wood eighth, Bronson Bauman ninth and Mikey Avila needing a stronger horse rounding out the top ten. Just after the podium ceremonies Baker had these comments, "The track was excellent, I had a lot of fun, I got the hole shot and never looked back just kept my head down. I just tried to run consistent and as smooth as I could and it all paid off. The competition didn't have anything for me, ya know I wanted to step it up in front of Eddie since he was a former national #12 so I just pushed hard to make him proud." Sammy Halbert had this to say, "We messed up in the heat race and didn't have our typical set up on the bike, I thought I could just run whatever and do well here but since I messed up and started on the second row I could only charge up to second and that's all I could do. I could see Brad up front and he was gone but ya know I kind of slacked off after Pomona and didn't really have anything for him today but we'll come back to Willow and bring my A game." Third place Briar Bauman stated this about his save in turn four," Turn four definitely got the best of me today I came off and got a little throttle happy and went western but fortunately was able to save it and get third. It scared me, I wasn't ready for that one I was just trying to get up to Sammy and all of a sudden I was going the other way, and I'll always remember that one." Tracking down Jimmy Wood to find out how his left hand is recovering from surgery gave this insight," Seriously it's gonna need a month or more to heal. I need to get it checked out again but they said that once I'm done they'll immobilize it for a month and allow it to heal. Then we'll see," thus closed the 2011 season, Baker left the final round with two victories and the second fastest lap ever turned at Willow, while Halbert vows to return better prepared, but still the track record holder by a very narrow margin.

Sunday Sportsman Results and Photos