Dominating performances and daring last-lap passes were the order of the day when round two Gene Romero’s e-moola.com West Coast Flat Track Series visited King’s Speedway in Hanford, California, on May 20.
After coming out of what he called “semi-retirement,” Lonnie Pauley rode his Turbo Blue Racing/Bullet Enterprises Wood-Rotax to a convincing win in the Open Class main event. The former series champion made a pass on leader Don Howard at the entrance to turn three on the opening lap, and then turned up the wick to run away and take the win by several lengths. Oregon rider Beau Brown, probably one of the hottest stories in dirt track racing right now, overcame a bad start to finish second in the feature, thus scoring his second podium in as many rounds and taking over the series points lead. Howard was equally impressive, running third on Husaberg 600 that was set up for Super Motard/Super TT racing. Even Howard’s tires were unchanged from those used for the hybrid pavement/dirt events.
The empire struck back in the Open Vintage Class, as two-time and defending series champion Jeff Johnson grabbed the holeshot on his Harold Hanvey-tuned Progressive Suspension/K&N Triumph and led every lap of the feature. It was no walk, however, as Johnson had to fend off the advances of current series points leader Robert Cunnington, whose runner-up finish aboard the potent Knight Racing Honda CB450 proved that his win at the series opener in Mohave, Arizona, was no fluke. Former AMA Grand National short track and TT great Rick Hocking finished third, riding a Bultaco two-stroke single against the thundering twins of Johnson and Cunnington. About two bike lengths separated each man at the finish.
The racing was even closer in the 250cc Novice Modified Production class, as A&A Racing’s Jimmy Abrams dogged series points leader Scott Rousseau for seven laps before pulling off a clean outside maneuver on the narrow groove in turn four to steal the win at the wire. Both riders were Yamaha YZ250-mounted. Honda CR250-mounted Scott Wadkins was third. Still in its infancy, the class for MX and off-road production-based machines drew eight entries, more than double that of the Mohave round. The total number of entries at Hanford was just short of 90 riders.