Owego, New York
Owego, New York, USA
June 11, 2005
By Jason Bonsignore
Harley Night/Champion Speedway
After surprisingly being defeated three times at opening night, 4-time East Coast Speedway Champion, Tommy "Gator" Sephton, quickly returned to his winning ways for Harley Night at Champion Speedway in Owego, NY.
The program was an all-scratch format with each rider racing 4 heat rounds. The top two points scorers went directly to the final while the next 8 battled in two semifinals. Aside from the normal excitement of any Speedway event, it was Harley Night and anyone who rode in on a Harley or streetbike only had to pay 5 bucks!
The biggest news of the night was the return to action of former East Coast Great, Tuff McBride. McBride was only supposed to be doing match races on the evening while saving his comeback for the following race but decided to compete when a rider scratched prior to the races. McBride had not ridden in 11 years but showed no signs of rust as he won his first heat and proceeded to score several second places before taking his place in the semifinals where he finished fourth thus ending his evening. Had it not been for severe armpump it seemed likely he would have been in the last chance. Regardless it was a successful comeback.
Other first round winners consisted of Jeremy "Darkhorse" Parsons, Sephton and Jesse "Jet" Diem who had an impressive debut in Division One.
Round Two saw "Mean Gene" Bonsignore defeat Tuff McBride while Adam Mittl, Parsons and Sephton also collected wins.
Round Three began with Jerry "Beuford" Harman scoring a good victory over Mittl, who has been the surprise of the year thus far. Sephton, Parsons and Bonsignore all took checkers again.
The final round of heats were quite similar with Harman, Sephton, Parsons and Mittl all taking first places.
Before the heats were tallied up it was obvious that Sephton and Parsons would transfer directly to the final while Bonsignore, Lenny and Tuff McBride, Brian Hollenbeck, Keith Hawkins, Mikey Buman, Mittl and Harman would all be semifinalists.
Semi number one could have been a tough one but 4-time Track Champion, Lenny "Mad-Dog" McBride, made it look easy with an excellent burst from gate three to lead wire to wire from Hollenbeck, Mittl and Harman in that order.
Semi number two looked to be the battle of the experienced veterans with Bonsignore and the elder McBride involved. Bonsignore made a nice start and rode the inside well. Tuff McBride tried hard on the oustside until his arms gave way which dropped him from second to fourth. The young Buman who continues to show promise slid to second with Keith Hawkins third.
Adam Mittl rode a lightning fast last chance to qualify for his second Scratch Main. Hollenbeck was second, Hawkins third and Buman fourth.
The lineup for the big final had Sephton in Gate One, Parsons in Two, Bonsignore in three, McBride in four and Mittl in five. Off the start Sephton had the jump, Parsons wheelied into Bonsignore who then had to shut off and cut back. While Parsons and Bonsignore slowed, McBride went around them while Mittl used the outside down the back straight to shoot into second. McBride held third safely while The Metro Racing sponsored Sephton rode away with the Scratch Main and Mittl kept up the pace for a solid second. Parsons was fourth with Bonsignore rounding out the finale.
In Support A, the females continued to impress with Katalin Davis taking home the win over Andy "Moto Boy" Crawford and Nate "The Great" Holden.
Travis Bishop was the Quad feature Winner.
1. Tom Sephton
2. Adam Mittl
4. Jeremy Parsons
5. Gene Bonsignore
1. Katalin Davis
2. Andy Crawford
3. Nate Holden
4. Ryan Kaza
5. Corey Brookes
1. Travis Bishop
2. Steve Faber
3. Jeff Cornell
4. David Rice
5. Anthony Terenzi
Sephton was first into the corner from gate one, Parsons squeezed Bonsignore out who had to cut back, Mittl made a great move down the back straight to jump into second, McBride rode very well late in the night.
Tuff McBride made his comeback last night, a week earlier than expected when Tom Burge and Casey Donholt no-showed. Tuff rode very well, scoring 4 second places in his heats and going to the semis. In his semi he was in third for three laps and would have been in the last chance but his arms gave out on the last lap. Very respectable though for 11 years off.
Katalin Davis rode very well to win Support A.