March 5, 1975
Vol. 3  Issue 8

Checkered Past Authentic Vintage Motocross Clothing

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Luke Messer

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CMC-MX at Irwindale Raceway

Luke Messer was showing just how fast he could ride a 400 Maico out at Irwindale as he copped the money in the 500 Pro class.  Photo by Buzz.
Luke Messer was showing just how fast he could ride a 400 Maico out at Irwindale as he copped the money in the 500 Pro class. Photo by Buzz.

CMC at Irwindale Raceway
Friday February 21, 1975
By: Buzz

I'm getting a little bit "cold shy" as opposed to being "gun shy". These last two Friday nights have really been knee-knockers of the first order. I don't know what the effective temperature was, but with the wind, the chill factor had to be down below freezing for the second week in a row. The foregoing paragraph doesn't have a damn thing to do with the racing, which was superb as usual, but a preparatory excuse in the event that my frozen fingers failed to record what my eyes were seeing. If it wasn't for the strobe light I don't believe I could have felt the Hasselblad go off.

The competition in all three of the Pro classes is never flat. It just so happens that on any given night, you can bet money, marbles, or chalk that the real hot dog racing will occur in the 125 class. This occurs for two very sound reasons: the number of entries and the evenly matched nature of the machines. There's only one way to build a 125 and that's get it as light as you can, and extract as much horsepower as current technology will allow, then put your best shot as a rider in the saddle, and naturally the smaller the rider the better. Tonight was absolutely no exception. Fifteen of the little buggers made it to the line tonight with a different rider in each moto putting on a phenomenal ride of such intensity to cause everyone to forget the cold. In moto one Gary Denton grabbed the lead and held it to the finish. It was Lawrence of Irwindale, YMBB Mark, that had the crowd and infield shaking their heads in wondrous disbelief at the fantastic charge put on by this YMBB who has been a Pro just three weeks. Mark came from a very poor start to pass, now get this, the likes of Ray Lopez, Tim Lunde, Don Bongiorno, and little David Taylor, and finished second to Denton. In the second moto, down the starting straight, Lawrence got pinched off by Denton, who was braking because of being pinched off by Tim lunde. Mark hit the rear end of Denton's machine, doing a gigantic endo. The end over end flip-flopping of the Honda pitched Mark to the ground. Lawrence hit the ground rolling, came up on his feet running, and he ran right by his flip-flopping Honda. Mark was un-injured, but his ride was through for the night, his Honda sustaining a broken frame. From then on, it was Ray Lopez, coming from a sixth or seventh spot, passing the rest of the field to finally nail Don Bongiorno on the last lap to nail down the second moto win, Bongiorno was second with Tim Lunde third and David Taylor fifth. So what you had going into the last moto was Ray Lopez with seven points, Don Bongiorno with seven points, Tim Lunde with seven points, and David Taylor with eight points.

Rex Staten was up to his old tricks again, as he went to Irwindale Friday night and took home all the cash in the 250 Pro race.  He swept all three motos. Photo by Buzz.
Rex Staten was up to his old tricks again, as he went to Irwindale Friday night and took home all the cash in the 250 Pro race. He swept all three motos. Photo by Buzz.

Coming off the starting gate first was David Taylor, closely pursued by Tim Lunde and Ray Lopez. Lopez immediately got by Lunde, setting his sights on Taylor, but David knew what he had to do, and did it. With a weight advantage that few can match, David would out accelerate Lopez exiting all the corners, holding first all the way to the flag. David ended up with nine points, and so did Lopez, but best finish last moto you know, so it was David first overall, Lopez second, and Lunde third. Jeff Vidic turned it on full bore in every moto, and obviously had the faster Maico, but at this stage of his riding creer, he just doesn't have the experience to handle Rex Staten. It was Rex for a sweep, dominating the 250 Pros with seeming ease. David Pessy returned to Irwindale tonight for the first time this year, riding a Montesa. It appears that David still has a bit of sorting out to do with both machine and man before he will be a threat to Staten or Vidic. He did, however, manage a third overall behind Staten and Vidic. Luke Messer, after his return last week, was out tonight with victory in his eye, although he had the CMC's twin points leaders to go against in the persons of Jeff Jennings and Bill Rubly, as well as Rex Staten. Luke took the lead in moto one when Bill Rubly lost a head gasket and took the win with Jennings getting second, while Rick Carrisosa, now carrying No.9E, finished third. After losing a chain in the first moto, Staten came back to win round two, while Messer took second, and a now repaired, Bill Rubly got third.

Luke didn't really have to win the third moto, but then he was just as much ego as any other rider, and there's just nothing like winning. So, with the charging Rex Staten trying to get by him all the way, Luke Messer held him off right down to the finish line, where Staten, in a maniacal charge for the finish line, centerpunched Big Luke, and his Maico. This action promptly vaulted Sataten over the front end of his Maico in a big flip, ending up on his back looking into the calm countenance of a disdainful Messer. Overall, it was Messer, Staten, and Jennings, Rubly losing third place by one point. Dave Gray, on the only Maico in the field, swept the 500 Junior field. How bad did he sweep it you might ask. Well obviously if Dave swept it, he only had three points, and second overall went to David Thorgmorton with eight points with a pair of seconds and a fourth. Third went to Mike Miles with ten points. At any rate, it didn't look as if anyone was about to take the win away from Dave tonight Such was not the case for Byron Hendricks. He ended up winning the first two motos and notching first overall for the 500 Intermediates but it wasn't easy. Byron and his Maico were under constant pressure from Mike Flanagan and his Yamaha. The wins that Hendricks got were both gained with Flanagan threatening to take the lead right at the flag. In the last moto Hendricks contented himself to running second to Flanagan, while John Carmona exemplified consistency with three fourth place finishes for third overall.

Floyd Haas, on one of two Maicos in the field, swept to three straight wins for first overall. Meanwhile Steve Brady on the other Maico ran two seconds and a third for second overall, making it a 1-2 finish for the Maicos entered. Third went to Yamaha mounted Charles Ginter to wrap up the night for the 250 Juniors. A big field of Mini Experts, including Bill Fancher, Lance Moorewood, Bobby Jones, Ricky Simmons, and a steadily improving Joe Tucci, surprised hell out of me tonight. In the past, Moorewood's Yamaha has demonstrated a considerable horsepower advantage over the four-stroke Hondas. So, I really wasn't prepared for what happened, particularly in light of what and where it happened. Moorewood gassed it off the starting gate, taking the lead on lap one of the first moto, pulling away from Bobby Jones, who was hotly pursued by Bill Fancher. As they completed the first lap, getting into the starting area right hand sweeper, Francher's MSC prepared Honda blew the number plates off Bobby Jones' Honda, and then gobbled up Moorewood and the Yamaha as they headed for the back chute jump, and that was no fluke.

Dave Pessy had a new bike for Irwindale Friday night, it was a 250 Montesa. We hear it is Jeff Vidic's old bike.  Here, Mike Stearns from Lucky Yamaha tries to get under Dave. Photo by Buzz.
Dave Pessy had a new bike for Irwindale Friday night, it was a 250 Montesa. We hear it is Jeff Vidic's old bike. Here, Mike Stearns from Lucky Yamaha tries to get under Dave. Photo by Buzz.

Billy held it all the way to the finish line, did it again in the second moto, and once more in the third. But, then in the third, it was case of passing Moorewood to gain second place, while Bobby Jones went on for the win. Besting Moorewood in the final moto prevented Lance from getting second overall. When Billy took second place, that allowed Jones to take second overall for the night, dropping Moorewood to third overall. It was an excellent demonstration that if the Hondas are put together right, they can take the measure of the two-stroke Yamahas. This was Jeff Dye's first ride as a Mini Expert, and he acquitted himself admirably, coming up with sixth overall. Dean Hoag and Shon Andersen carved up Mini Junior division two for themselves tonight. Dean won the first two with Shon taking second in each. Then, in the final moto, they reversed themselves with Shon first and Dean second. So, it was Dean in for the win, with Shon second, third going to Mike Palumbo. Willie Zamora picked up first overall in division one with a first moto win, and finishes of third and second respectively in the other two motos. Geoff Brooks won the final moto, but had finished third and fourth in the first two. This was good for second bahind Willie with third going to Johnny Duenas.

Terry Clanton just has to be ready, points wise, to be bumped out of the 100 Juniors. It seems to me he has won almost every 100 Junior moto since Irwindale got started Janurary 10th. That's probably not true, but I know he has swept the last six including tonight Suzuki mounted, Jeff Maas got second, David Meloy got third.

Ricky Simmons sits down off the jump while Bill Fancher does it standing up. Bill won.  Photo by Buzz.
Ricky Simmons sits down off the jump while Bill Fancher does it standing up. Bill won. Photo by Buzz.

As always the honor of being the most prolific of the competitors belong to the 125 Junior class, running in three divisions, fifty-six strong, and nobody even came close to a sweep. That is, if you believe that close only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades. Bill McFarland won moto one of division one, but then finished second twice behind Greg Rodriquez and although they ended up tied on points, you know what happened. Greg ended up winning. Dan Hendricks won the first round for division two, but broke in the process, while Kelly Carlisle, who had finished second, came on to win round two. Kelly dropped to third in the final moto behing Scott Tipton, and Tom Earle. The overall victory went to Kelly Carlisle, second to Scott Tipton and third to Tom Earle. Division three was almost a replay of division one, just switch the third place finishes of the winner in division on the last moto for the overall winner of division three, and you've got Jim Lowe. Jim won the first two motos over Ed Buffington then dropped to third in the final moto behind Ed Buffington. Lowe took the overall victory ahead of Buffington with third going to Jim Harris.

Twenty five 125 Intermediates had to split up into two divisions. Steve Cross didn't have a victory all night, but when first moto winner Ross Thompson and second moto winner, Lance Bryson along with Steve Cross, and John Caper all crashed in one pile on the first lap for division one, it was Steve Cross who got up from that pile to finish fifth. This fifth place finish with his third and second in the first two rounds gave Steve the victory. Second went to Ross Thompson who got up to finish seventh. Third overall went to Mark Sparks. Mark won the last moto when he avoided the pile-up of riders in the first lap crash. Vince Van Hook won the first moto for division two. Steve Glatts won the third moto, and in between Eugene Gayo won the second moto. But Vince backed up his first moto win with second and third in the final two motos, to notch the overall victory. Doug Anderson with steady riding gained second overall ahead of Eugene Gayo.