DU QUOIN, Ill., Jan. 1, 2011 -- JD Beach dominated the first day of the Ethan Gillim Memorial inside the Southern Illinois Center at the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds. Beach, a 19-year-old Washington State native now living in Philpot, Kentucky., won five of the six pro races his entered on his Red Bull-backed Honda CR450F. Only a victory by Attica, New York's James Rispoli, in the Open Pro/Am TT final kept Beach from earning a complete sweep of Saturday's pro races.

With the Southern Illinois Center hosting a Short Track National in April, several AMA Grand National regulars, including seven-time AMA Grand National Champion Chris Carr, who is opening his final season of racing.

Beach won fairly convincingly in all five of his victories, three short tracks and two TT races.

"I have a million laps around this place," Beach said of the Southern Illinois Center. "It feels good to win though with all the talent here tonight. It definitely will give me a lot of confidence when we have the national here."

Beach was a bit ticked off, but tried to play it off on not winning every race. He was battling for the lead in the Open Pro/Am TT when he and Hayden Gillim were forced off the track when Sammy Halbert over-jumped the TT jump pushing Beach and Gillim off the track.

"That thing was turning into a bang-fest so I just decided to lay back and watch everyone else bounce off each other," Beach said of the lone race he didn't win.

James Rispoli took advantage of the chaos and darted to the front.

"I saw [Sammy] Halbert go way too far on the jump and knock those guys off line and I just dove low and made it through," Rispoli said. "I just put my head down, clicked off some decent laps and got to the flag first. I was pretty fortunate I think considering JD has this place wired."

Racing continues Sunday.

Results of Ethan Gillim Memorial (Saturday, Jan. 1, 2011)

Short Track
Open Pro/Am
1. JD Beach, Honda.
2. Rob Pearson, Yamaha.
3. Mikey Martin, Honda.
4. Sammy Halbert, Yamaha.
5. Chris Carr, Honda.

450 Pro
1. JD Beach, Honda.
2. James Rispoli, Suzuki.
3. Chris Carr, Honda.
4. Rob Pearson, Yamaha.
5. Sammy Halbert, Yamaha.

Open Pro/Am
1. JD Beach, Honda.
2. Sammy Halbert, Yamaha.
3. Chris Carr, Honda.
4. James Rispoli, Suzuki.
5. Chase Hundley, Yamaha.

TT
Open Pro/Am
1. James Rispoli, Suzuki.
2. Hayden Gillim, Honda.
3. JD Beach, Honda.
4. Jeffrey Carver, Jr., Yamaha.
5. Chris Carr, Honda.

450 Pro
1. JD Beach, Honda.
2. Hayden Gillim, Honda.
3. James Rispoli, Suzuki.
4. Chris Carr, Honda.
5. Jonathan Heiden, Honda.

Open Pro/Am
1. JD Beach, Honda.
2. Hayden Gillim, Honda.
3. James Rispoli, Suzuki.
4. Chris Carr, Honda.
5. Jonathan Heiden, Honda.

 

Larry Lawrence

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