San Bernardino County Fairgrounds
2010 Victorville Track Championship
July 31, 2010 - Victorville
By: Ryan Evans
“Fast” Eddie Castro scored a brilliant 15 point maximum in front of packed crowd to capture his second Victorville Track Championship at Wheel2Wheel Raceway.
Castro won all five of his races to clinch the title. 15 year old Austin Novratil scored 13 points to claim second overall. 2009 Victorville Track Champion Jimmy “Little Animal” Fishback won a runoff to garner third overall.
The event kicked off with Dale Facchini seemingly on his way to victory, but Philip Harmatiuk charged from behind in the final corner to steal the win at the finish line. Former National Champion “Flyin” Mike Faria defeated Michael Hull in the second heat. 2007 Victorville Track Champion “Battling” Buck Blair was victorious over Michael Raines in the next heat. Castro ended round one by defeating Novratil.
Round two began with Blair beating Faria for his second straight win. Fishback used the outside to go around Novratil in the first corner and held him off for his first win. Castro made it two for two by defeating Michael Hull in the next heat. Raines and Neil Facchini entered turn one together but Robbie Sauer went around them both for the lead before Raines took the lead back on the second lap and took the win to end the second round.
Fishback started the third round by defeating the Facchini Brothers for his second straight win. Following a three-wide battle with Raines and Faria, Castro took the lead and was awarded his third consecutive win when Raines fell and brought out the red flag. Novratil used the outside to take the lead and went on to his first victory ahead of Blair. Aaron Fox held off Michael Hull to score an impressive victory to end round three.
Novratil began round four by beating Hull. Tyson Talkington beat Aaron Fox in the next heat. Faria beat Neil Facchini for his second win.
The final race of the fourth round would have major title ramifications. Castro entered the race with a perfect score, Blair was just one point back, and Fishback was two points behind. Castro left all the drama at the tapes as he raced away with his fourth win.
The final round opened with Castro coming to the tapes needing only a second place finish to clinch the title. He missed the start, however, and was mired in third on the back straight. He went to the outside in turn three and nearly went down. The diminutive rider recovered but was still third before charging around Joey Holt for second. He was determined to be perfect and didn’t settle for second. Castro went after leader Dale Facchini and caught him on the final lap and passed him for the win and to seal his second Track Championship.
Blair defeated Hull in the next heat to guarantee at least a runoff for a podium position. Fishback won the penultimate heat to match Blair’s 12 point haul and put himself in line for the podium.
Faria and Novratil met in the final heat with the winner getting second overall and the second-place finisher dropping into a runoff for third overall. Faria got the better start but the teenager was stalked him for a lap before taking the lead entering turn three the second time. Novratil went on to victory and second overall while Faria was to be in a three-rider runoff for third overall. However, he was unable to compete due to fatigue.
Blair used the low line to take the lead in the runoff, but Fishback stuck to the outside and gained ground on the Colorado native on the second lap. Fishback found enough traction on the high banking in turn four to propel himself past Blair and he dropped in front of him as they entered turn one. He led the rest of the way to take the victory and third overall.
Jim Robinson made the best start in the Second Division Track Championship Final but Brandon Leedy went past him at the end of the first lap. Leedy handed the lead back, though, when he fell in turn three. Robinson accepted the gift and went on to victory.
Jake Myers led all four laps en route to victory in the Third Division Track Championship Final. Tony DeAlmeida finished second, Paul Thornton was third, and Rick Howard finished fourth.
Max Ruml beat Gabe Price to win the Youth First Division Track Championship Final.
The Youth Second Division Track Championship Final began with a great three-rider battle in turn one and as they went down the back straight they were joined by a cat that made its way on to the track! The cat raced alongside the riders before veering toward the turn-three exit. It cut into the path of Major Davis who tried his best to avoid the fast feline. The cat nudged Davis’s bike but hardly broke stride as he ran off into the darkness. Meanwhile, Nick Varner put together a great race and was first to the checkered flag.
Brandon Rhea won both his heats and was dominant in the Pee Wee/Powderpuff Track Championship Final. Cassi Novratil was second overall but won the Powderpuff Class, Pedro Concepcion was third, Kat Hann finished fourth, and Dakota Shockley was fifth.
Bryan Motis and Brandi McElroy led the Sidecar Track Championship Final for nearly two laps before Dylan Beard and Edwin Soto went by for the lead. They never looked back from there and led all the way to the checkered flag. Motis and McElroy held on for second, Kevin Brown and Jimmy Olsen were third, and Scott Driggers and Casey Driggers finished fourth.
The Track Championship was also a celebration of the 25th anniversary of speedway racing at the facility. Speedway events were held on the original track from 1985 to 1996. Former speedway racer John Aden built a new high-banked track for car racing and speedway bikes eventually made its return in 2002.
Speedway racing was held intermittently for three seasons, including an AMA National Championship Series round and two Under 21 National Championships, before Steve Evans took the reins in 2005. The partnership of he and Aden have made Wheel2Wheel Raceway a viable venue for speedway racing at present and into the future.
Sidecar Track Championship Final
5150 - Dylan Beard/uEdwin_Soto
2 - Bryan Motis/Brandi McElroy
16 - Kevin Brown/Jimmy Olsen
13 - Scott Driggers/Casey Driggers
Pee Wee/Powderpuff Track Championship Final (restarted)
9 - Brandon Rhea
288 - Cassi Novratil
0 - Pedro Concepcion (penalty line)
356 - Kat Hann
34 - Dakota Shockley
Youth Second Division Track Championship Final
333 - Nick Varner
999 - Major Davis
111 - Dillon Ruml (fell)
Youth First Division Track Championship Final
308 - Max Ruml
13 - Gabe Price (tape penalty)
Third Division Track Championship Final
175 - Jake Myers
157 - Tony DeAlmeida
124 - Paul Thornton
188 - Rick Howard
Second Division Track Championship Final
152 - Jim Robinson
151 - Brandon Leedy (fell)
298 - Bander Alexander (non starter)
Victorville Track Championship 1 2 3 4 5 T
9 – Mike Faria 3 2 2 3 2 12
14 – Eddie Castro 3 3 3 3 3 15
17 – Robbie Sauer F 2 0 F N 2
19 – Dale Facchini 2 0 1 1 2 6
25 – Jimmy Fishback 1 3 3 2 3 12
39 – Buck Blair 3 3 2 1 3 12
48 – Tyson Talkington 0 0 0 3 1 4
63 – Michael Raines 2 3 F N N 5
86 – Neil Facchini 1 1 2 2 F 6
146 – Aaron Fox 0 1 3 2 F 6
149 – Philip Harmatiuk 3 1 1 0 2 7
181 – Austin Novratil 2 2 3 3 3 13
244 – Joey Holt 1 1 1 1 1 5
293 – Rick Valdez 1 0 1 1 1 4
320 – Michael Hull 2 2 2 2 2 10
6: Harmatiuk, D.Facchini, Valdez
7: Faria, Hull, Fishback, Sauer (fell)
8: Blair, Raines, Holt, Talkington
9: Castro, Novratil, N.Facchini, Fox
15: Blair, Faria, Fox, D.Facchini
16: Fishback, Novratil, Holt, Valdez
17: Castro, Hull, Harmatiuk, Talkington
18: Raines, Sauer, N.Facchini
25: Fishback, N.Facchini, D.Facchini, Talkington
26: (awarded) Castro, Faria, Valdez, Raines (fell)
27: Novratil, Blair, Harmatiuk, Sauer
28: Fox, Hull, Holt
34: Novratil, Hull, D.Facchini, Raines (non starter)
35: Talkington, Fox, Valdez, Sauer (fell)
36: Faria, N.Facchini, Holt, Harmatiuk
37: Castro, Fishback, Blair
47: Castro, D.Facchini, Holt, Sauer (non starter)
48: Blair, Hull, Valdez, N.Facchini (fell)
49: Fishback, Harmatiuk, Fox (fell), Raines (non starter)
50: Novratil, Faria, Talkington
Runoff for 3rd Overall
25 - Jimmy Fishback
39 - Buck Blair
9 - Mike Faria (non starter)