Sat. Aug 24th, 2019

Donholt takes NYS Championship

4 min read

East Coast Speedway Series
Champion Speedway
Donholt takes NYS Championship
June 29, Owgo, NY
Story by Jason Bonsignore
Photo by Ronald Evans

The New York State Championship at Champion Speedway on June 29th looked to be in doubt as it rained all day on Friday and for most of the morning on the day of the event but the speedway Gods must have been looking out as the skies cleared in the afternoon and the races were on with a great turnout of riders!

Casey Donholt opened up with a win in round one, heat one, with Mikey Buman, fresh back from a brief retirement, taking a solid second place and Andy Crawford and Ron Walker finishing third and fourth. Reigning East Coast Champion, Adam Mittl, handily won the second heat with Jesse Diem taking two points in second place, Jerry Harman one for third and Dave Oakden was fourth. Gene Bonsignore led wire to wire for victory in the third event while Alex Heath threw a big block job on Tuff McBride for several laps until McBride worked his way through for second. Heath would stay in third with Zach Peters in fourth. Former East Coast Champ, Jeremy Parsons, closed out the first heat set with a strong ride over Dave Clark with Russ Cornell scoring one point and Corey Brookes just behind him.

Donholt would again score a win at the start of the second heat round but the story of that event was Cornell and Diem battling it out for second as they went shoulder to shoulder for four laps with Cornell just inching it out! Bonsignore was comfortably leading the next one for more than half the race but a crash by Andy Crawford brought out a red flag. Bonsignore was credited the win with Brookes second and Oakden third accordingly. Parsons then collected another three point haul over Buman, Harman and Peters in that order. Mittl and McBride then had a good tussle with Mittl jumping out front but choosing to ride the outside for the duration which allowed McBride up the inside at the end and McBride got across the line first on his Scott’s Headers backed Jawa. Clark took third and Walker fourth.

Just prior to Intermission, Donholt, McBride, Mittl and Harman all tallied wins while second places were registered by Clark, Diem, Buman and Bonsignore in that order.

The final heats began with Donholt staying unbeaten as he stayed ahead of McBride. Harman was third over Brookes. Mittl then got back into the win column over Cornell and Peters while Crawford was out with bike issues. The second to last heat saw Buman get his first checkered flag with Clark just behind him and Diem getting third just ahead of Bonsignore. Parsons stayed strong at the conclusion with one last win. Oakden rode a smooth race for runner up spot and Walker was third ahead of Heath.

The last chance got off to an exciting start as 65 year old Bonsignore outgated the field of younger riders from the outside but lost some momentum through the turns and got stuck wide down the back straight and Buman powered up the inside along with Clark. They would stay that way while Diem and Bonsignore had a good ride for third with Diem overtaking eventually. Buman would take the last transfer to the Main.

The Main Event seemed set to be a great race but it appeared there was some miscommunication between the starter and ref and the tapes were let go prematurely while three of the contestants were not ready and the racing got spread out. Donholt, who came from the gate one position, concluded an undefeated night on his Cobra’s Garage Mahal Jawa however, to take home the NYS Title, while Buman, who made a nice gate from the outside, tucked in for second. Mittl was third, McBride fourth and Parsons fifth.

The Division Two Main Event was won by Heath, who had filled in in division one throughout the night for a scratched rider. He came from the forty yard line and got through the pack!

The Division Three Main Event was won by Mike Clark who came from the twenty yard line for victory! Former TV Star, Steve Luxton, who was COBRA on the hit show American Gladiators, realized a lifelong dream of racing a speedway bike, and was third!

Dan Hawk took home the title convincingly in the ATV Pro class! The next event at Champion Speedway is the US National Championship Qualifier on July 20! For the first time ever, the top two finishers will gain an automatic berth in the Monster Energy US National Championship in Costa Mesa, CA in October!

NYS Championship
1. Casey Donholt
2. Mikey Buman
3. Adam Mittl
4. Tuff McBride
5. Jeremy Parsons

Last Chance
1. Mikey Buman
2. Dave Clark
3. Jesse Diem
4. Gene Bonsignore

Division Two
1. Alex Heath 40
2. Don Wheeland 10
3. Brian Bailey 10
4. Spencer Portararo 0
5. Dan Oakden 20
6. Brandon Sturzenegger 10

Division Three
1. Mike Clark 20
2. Roger Roberts 10
3. COBRA 0
4. Andrew Clark 20
5. Pat Farrell DNS

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