EIGHT DIFFERENT DIVISIONS TO HIGHLIGHT SPEEDWAY WILLOW SPRINGS ACTION THIS SATURDAY
BY DAVE GRAYSON
It’s going to be Saturday night lights and the roar of engines from eight different racing classes when Speedway Willow Springs drops the green flag on round 3 of their 2016 season. Providing the on track action will be the speedway’s Elite, Hobby Stock, Mini Stock, Street Stock, Skid Plate and So Cal Enduro divisions. Plus, there will be a special guest appearance from the Mini Dwarfs and Motorized Bikes.
The quarter mile asphalt oval is located within the massive Willow Springs International Raceway complex in Rosamond. With improvements in the community’s over night weather forecasts, the speedway will launch their night time race schedule beginning this Saturday night. Green flag time will be 6pm.
The Hooper’s Rear End Service Elite Division is a unique concept created by the speedway management that allows super late models, late models, modifieds and trucks to race together under the auspices of a single rule book. David Brandon, the winner of last month’s main event, is currently on top of the championship points standings and has a 14 point advantage over Rosamond’s Alex Anderson, who won the division’s season opener back in March.
Brandon’s points lead is primarily based on his excellent job of collecting bonus points. Speedway Willow Springs employs the use of a unique points system that awards a bonus in the areas of qualifying, heat race finishes and passing points. That’s how there’s a 14 points gap between two drivers who are main event winners.
Driver Johnny Troesch has been the hot shoe in the Wayne & Dave’s Automotive Hobby Stock division and leads the championship points based on two, consecutive, main event wins. However, Brandon Fisk is only four points out of first and will be looking for his first feature win Saturday night and take over the top spot in the standings. Also of interest here is a close battle for third in the standings where drivers Michael Williams and Corey Carter are separated by a single point.
The Platinum Loan and Jewelry Street Stock’s current championship profile is a case of a young, but experienced, driver versus a true veteran who is young at heart. Tony Forfa IV, the winner of the division’s round two main event in April, goes into Saturday night with a four point advantage over 71 year old Bruce Secord who won the season opener following a very exciting final lap battle with Forfa. Secord has proven that age in nothing more than a number to be listed on an official document and has become very popular with the Speedway Willow Springs fans. Expect to see more excitement this Saturday night when these two drivers line up for their main event.
The Lucas Oil Mini Stocks has raised the question who can beat the #68 Ford? In the round one season opener, team owner John Dunlap made easy work of winning the main event. When it was time to run last month’s round two, Dunlap put speedway veteran Bobby Dezarov behind the wheel who parked the car in victory lane for the second race in a row. Going into this Saturday night, Dezarov leads the division’s points standings with a four point advantage over Greg Didoha.
Also on the Speedway Willow Springs racing agenda will be the very popular The Tire Store Skid Plate cars. With their rear tires replaced with flat metal plates welded to the wheel hubs, this division creates a very unique and fun form of racing. With the speedway switching to their night time format this Saturday night, those metal plates are going to create a shower of multi colored sparks. Brady Mertz and Daniel Chadwick have been the big main event winners so far. Mertz leads the current points standings with a five point advantage over Jon Carter.
Without question, the So Cal Enduro Racers has emerged as one of the most popular racing divisions at the speedway and that is based on the high quality of their shows which are often 50 lap features and, in the case of their April event, sometimes 100 laps. Making their feature races even more interesting are the presence of two large tractor tires that placed just outside of the speedway’s two straightaways. When the field comes off of turns four or two, they crank their steering wheels to the left and drive around the large tires. That makes the racing line entering turns one and three most interesting. Another aspect to this racing division is the relatively low cost of building and maintaining these enduro cars. The division is largely comprised of sport compact vehicles which can be constructed for around $1,000.
The competition in this series can get quite fierce. Going into Saturday night’s race, Nate Van Deventer leads the points standings. However, that lead is only a single point over Jake Basham. Driver’s Pete Chilbes, Randy Hannah and Michael Walters are lined up third through fifth in the standings. The points separation between the top five drivers is a mere seven points.
Danny Quinn, the creator and promoter of this series, has done an excellent job of putting this program together, including securing sponsorships. The So Cal Enduro Racers’ race this Saturday night will be sponsored by Swift NAPA Auto Parts and their four locations in Ridgecrest, Mojave, Tehachapi and Lake Isabella along with DRC Pump Systems.
By the way, Quinn placed a very interesting post on the series’ Facebook page, back on April 27th, that read as follows: “rumor has it that La Policia, Willow’s most famous mini van, will be running the next enduro on May 14th. You won’t want to miss that.”
Making a special guest appearance at Speedway Willow Springs will be the Mini Dwarfs. These tiny race cars are popular at race track all over the country and are driven by youngsters often referred to by promoters as the future stars of tomorrow. The racing is usually ran in two classes: drivers 5 to 8 years old and age group 9 to 13. When these youngsters climb out of these tiny cars for a victory lane interview it turns into a major ooh and ahh moments from the fans.
The body width of these cars are 42 inches with an open wheel base of 57.5 inches. The weight of the cars are 300 and 325 pounds for the two respective classes. The Honda GX 200 or the Honda GX 160 are the engines of choice for the series.
Also making a special guest appearance will be So Cal Motor Bicycle Racing. This highly unique form of racing features standard bikes, from small BMX to larger, standard size, equipped with small gas tanks and engines that range from 50cc to 160cc engines. They are the only racing group of its kind in the entire southwest. They frequently visit the Willow Springs International Raceway to race on the facility’s kart track and have graciously agreed to present an exhibition race on the quarter mile oval Saturday night. By the way, fans can visit the speedway’s website, www.thespeedwayatwillowsprings.com, and see a selection of videos to get an idea of how exciting this form of racing is.
For the nominal fee of $10, fans will receive a wrist band at the front gate that will allows them to take in all of this short track racing action. Children 8 years old and under are admitted. But, wait, there’s more. Those wrist bands will allow the fans to visit the other tracks within the complex, on both Saturday and Sunday, to watch the racing there. In the case of this weekend, you can take in some sports car action, provided by the Porsche Owner’s Club, at Big Willow, the massive 2.5 mile, 9 turn, road course. There’s even more weekend action to see at the Streets of Willow Springs, a 1.6 mile road course, where the sports cars from the famed Speed Ventures Auto Track Day will be racing. That’s two days of racing for the price of a $10 wrist band. It’s also one of the many why Willow Springs International Raceway is regarded as being one of the most fan friendly racing complexes in the country.
Racing at the Speedway Willow Springs is powered by a highly potent, and much appreciated, group of sponsors that includes: A To Z Signs, Abadak, Adams Metalizing & Grinding, Angel’s Touch Towing, Benz Sanitation, Deist Safety, Dezarov’s Mobile Auto Service, Dominguez Mexican Restaurant, 51 Fifty Energy Drink, Frank’s Radios, High Desert Cellars, Hooper’s Rear End Service, KGG Electric, K&N Performance Filters, Linny White’s Race Shop, Lucas Oil Products INC, Misfit Motorsports, Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse-San Dimas & Colton, Platinum Loan & Jewelry-Lancaster, Scramblez, Street Customs, Studio Equipment Rentals, 10,000 RPM, The Tire Store and Wayne & Dave’s Automotive.