Eddie Mulder's West Coast Vintage Dirt Track Series
#5 Paso Robles,
Article & Photos by Jamey Blunt
Every year over Labor Day the Paso Robles fairgrounds hosts the Mid State Rally. Entertainment ran the gamut, from Reba McIntyre to Eddie Mulder hosting the short track races for the rally goers on Sunday evening. One hundred seventy seven racers would make up the nights program of twenty four heat races. As the front straight bleachers filled to capacity the night's program began at
the age of 35 on any year or size machine of
their choosing make up the "Works Performance"/"
The "K&N Filters"/"ARD Ignitions" Super Senior main was once again the Mickey Alzola show. Triumph mounted Dave Cheney got the initial jump off the line but on the first trip down the back straight Alzola took over at the front. Roy Burris whose mount was emitting smoke on the starting line ran third, with former Cycle World editor Allan Girdler in fourth on a classic Harley 250cc machine. This running order would hold all the way to the checkered with Alzola putting in his fastest lap of 11:87/100 seconds on the third lap.
One of the best races of the evening period was the "Berkeley Honda, Yamaha"/ "Maxima Oils" Classic 500 main. Heat race winner Chris Rudy sat on pole with his 1957 H-D 750sv, but it was David Brown aboard his 1962 B.S.A. Gold Star who nailed the start to lead the pack. Rudy was away in second with Jeff and Ron Lessley both Bultaco mounted in hot pursuit. Brown was flawless as he dropped to an inside line on the pole. If anyone was going to attempt a pass for the lead it would have to be around the outside. Rudy in second however was occupied with the Lessleys as they applied pressure from both the inside and the outside. How could Rudy make a run at Brown while trying to hold off the Bultaco's of Jeff and Ron? This is not to say Brown didn't have any pressure, he did, all four were within less then a bike length of each other and any mistake from anyone would see an order change. At the finish the crowd was standing, as Brown took the victory over Rudy, Jeff Lessley and Ron Lessley.
Avila has pretty much ruled the
"Saddlemen"/"Shoei Helmets" Youth 85cc class, and when he
won his heat race it was no big surprise. But there's a new kid in town
form of Cody Silva. Silva hailing from
Cycles"/"Maxxis Tires" 250
Open class was made up of seventeen riders fighting for one of eight
the "A" main. From the moment she entered the track, 14 year old
Lauren Wallace was the crowd favorite. Launching from the pole position
didn't disappoint as she shot to the front. Michael Avila was away in
with Garrett Stout third and Joe Meyer fourth. Two laps in and Meyer
displaced Stout for third, while Wallace was getting away at the front.
third lap would see Andy Wood soil test between turns one and two. Try
Twenty five riders made up the "Kawasaki of Simi Valley"/"Johnson Cams" 500 Support class. With the entire field mounted on Yamaha 500's except for the lone Triumph of Keith Speir. Local boy Paul Herman leapt to the front from a third off of pole starting position, followed by Jeff Gonzales and Mr. Ed's Joe Steffen. Two laps in the books had Steffen move into second, while mid pack starters Brad Spencer and Jay Gosvenor were moving forward. Exiting turn three on the final lap Gosvenor made a run on Gonzales to take the third and final podium spot away. Herman would hold off Steffen's advances to win, Spencer's run to the front would stop at fifth and Michael Crump who ran as high as third would fade to sixth.
The next time Wallace entered the track the crowd went wild. This, the "A&A Racing"/"Motion Pro" Open Amateur "A" main would have her pitted against stiffer competition. Twenty four riders fought through three heat races for a chance in the "A" main, the question was could Wallace come through on her smaller 250 machine? Wallace didn't think she was at any disadvantage though as she nailed the start to lead the field. Mark Biscardi ran second with Marshall Lapp third. Starting the second lap Joe Meyer went down in turn two which left the front three unchallenged to the finish. Lap four would see Wallace turn her fastest lap of the night at /100 seconds. This the second fastest lap turned all evening.
We would see Wallace again in the Digger Helm Pro 600 Main. But this time she had to come through a semi, and was starting from the third row. At the start of this twenty lap feature Tommy Carriger nailed the start from the outside of the front row to lead, but less than a lap in Rodney Spencer Jr. took it away. Alex Wood on the Ron Wood Yamaha ran third with Jeremy Chisum fourth. Exiting turn two on lap two Mike Rush made the move up to fourth, the same spot one lap later Paul Herman would crash out. Five laps in saw Rush push past Wood for third, while back in the field Rodney Spencer Sr. and Don Howard were on the move to the front. At the half way point Spencer Jr. lead with Rush second and Spencer Sr. third. Where was Wallace you ask? She was away in tenth, and was consistently making her way forward and would finish sixth. With five laps remaining Rush made a mistake exiting turn four and Spencer Sr. got by. Dad would try to catch his son, but to no avail as Jr. learned his lessons well. Rush looking impressive held third with Wood fourth and Howard fifth. But it was Wallace who still received the biggest cheers and had a line after the races in the pits for autographs.