AME MX at Indian Dunes
Sunday November 10, 1974
By: John Grout
It would be difficult indeed, if not impossible, to see better motocross racing than that which was held during todays' AME sanctioned program on the Shadow Glen track at Indian Dunes Park.With a sizzling turnout of more than 300 riders, plus an excellent spectator participation, it required a 14-division show, running for almost 8 hours, to get the entire donnybrook into the record book. And even at that, it necessitated a cutback to two instead fo three motos for each of the classes.
While going for shares in a guaranteed $500 cash purse, the Professional divisions resembled "who's who" booking. The final victories for the three displacement classes went to Ray Lopez, Bill Payne and Dave Ha ugh, who was somewhat of a dark horse against the Open classification.
Lopez, a national motocross champion who was astride a buzzing Honda for C.H. Industries, let it be known that he is far from being ready to renounce his title in warfare for the 125cc machinery. He swept to two straight wins in a 25-man field of out-and-out throttle wrenchers. And I mean guys who can just completely dislodge their slides right through the tops of their carburetors. Guys who are aware of only two situations during the heat of combat; full bore and extra full bore.
Among those facing Lopez behind the starting gate in both heats were Jeff Black (Hon), Danny "Haystack" Whitlock (Hon), Mike McAtee (Hon), Glenn Ewing (Hon), Rob Rollins (Bui), Mike Pillar (Hon), Jeff Wright (Puch), Ron Haase (Hon), Tony De La Torre (Puch) and the list went on and on and on. Wow! Just for openers.
Though forced to come from behind in both events for the class, Lopez was steadily drawing out in each instance at the checkered. Whitlock got the jump on the champ in the first moto, while Jeff Black held an early advantage during the contesting of the second round.
Those closest to Lopez in his overall victory were Black and Ewing, a 5-3 tally that consistency is the name of the game. He should develop into a top-ranked prospect in the very near future.
Billy Payne, the "Sepulveda Sacker" who was sliding a big Maico for Mike's Racing Center of Northridge, again advanced his stock for being considered one of the nation's finest bound and bounce racers. While going to the post twice against an oustanding field of 24 riders, Payne, though bugged by Bultaco rider Russ McAfee in the first round and defeated -right at the wire-in the second heat by Will Harper on the Revell-tuned CZ, made it quite clear that he was in complete control of the entire rhubarb that involved those campaigning the 250cc machinery. He, obviously, did not give away a darn crumb that would have placed his overall triumph in any sort of jeopardy.
After (racking down a high-flying Tobi Taki (Mon) in the first moto for the class, Payne repulsed the bids of McAfee, who was mounted on a fast one from Kelsey Alloys, Tony Rogers (Mai), Mike Sixberry (Bui) and Tom Morris (Pen), among others. During the second round it was, more or less, a two-man duel between Bill and Will...Harper, that is. But it was Payne who had the points (1-2) for the biggest share of the cash payoff.
Following a handy win in the first moto for Open Experts, Jeff Blix, who was astride a rapid Bultaco from the Bay Area works, ran into problems during the second heat and had to settle for first-runner-up spot behind fellow Bultaco racer Dave Haugh, giving the latter the overall victory for the big-bore division.
The final event for the grouping was to be a race that was conducted in semi-darkness, being as they were slated into the program as race No. 13 in both rounds, and quite a few riders, notable among which was big Don Hicks, were forced to withdraw from the contest. He suffers from impaired vision at night, and though he recorded an excellent third place finish in the initial moto run in broad daylight, he wisely did not return to the starting line for the last fling at the purse money. A rough way in which to lose a victory, but a damn smart move, I'm sure.
Picking up the runner-up slot behind Haugli and Blix was Penton rider Tim Davidson. He did a big job all of the long day for Horizons Unlimited.
In racing for the 125 Novices-events where the competition is always redhot at Thunder Mountain Reservation-George Viens, who had already scored overall victories in six successive meetings ( a new record for the division), dropped a close decision to Willy Simons (Hon).
Young Viens, who rides a quicksilver-like Honda for Revell Two Stroke, Ltd. of Sun Valley, unloaded in both of his motos and was lucky to finish as high as he did-though it's difficult to hold real talent down. Runner-up to the front-running two was Craig "Ace" Cole (Hon), a brother of top Pro racer Eddie Cole.
Overall victory at 125 Intermediate went to Neil MacDonnell (Hon), in a narrow win against Steve Paulos (Hon) and Willy Amaradio (Hon). And the Hondas continue to score well in lightweight competition.
Mike Jenkinsen (Hus) sustained an all-out drive to collect a triumph at the 250 Intermediate level, defeating, among others, 'Dunes regular Manny Angulo (CZ) and Larry Bird, who was mounted aboard a Kawasaki.
The largest trophy for a big field of Open Intermediates went to Joe Suebert (CZ), taking the measure of Don Cheney (Mai) and Darrell Cussins (Yam) among others. All first and second place finishers in the divisions for sportsmen received gift certificates from West Cycle in Newhall. Thank you, gentlemen. It was enough to make a good day even better.
The CRC-NRA will be conducting motocross racing two days next week: Friday at 8 p.m. on the International course and Sunday at 9:30 a.m Club membership is not required. Experts will M be running for a 100 payback, while the Novices will be going for some beautiful trophies. Don't miss the action.