Donholt Dominates Champion Speedway Opener
By Jason Bonsignore
Photo of Casey Donholt getting the winner’s trophy from the Promoter by Kelly Klees
May 13, 2023
Champion Speedway opened it’s 49th season with the Patrick Ahlund Spring Classic under beautiful skies May 13th!
There was a great turnout of Speedway, Trike and ATV racers along with one of the better spectator crowds in the last two seasons!
Some excellent racing took place with a great mix of veterans, rookies and young Junior riders making for an awesome show!
Former track Champions, Casey Donholt and Len McBride, along with current Champion, Spencer Portararo, all were early heat winners and looked strong. Keith Hawkins, a crowd-pleasing rider from Nichols who had not raced in two years, made a comeback and did well, adding good flavor to the D-1 mix. Jonny Oakden returned from racing in CA most of last season also and it was nice to see McBride back in form, returning from an injury where he missed the last few shows at the end of last summer. Brian Hollenbeck, the top Owego rider, was on the program too and had only raced once in 2022.
At the conclusion of the heats the top 4 in points were Donholt, who suffered his only heat loss to Portararo, then Portararo, followed by McBride and Hollenbeck. They would all gain an automatic berth in the Scratch Main while the 5th competitor would come from the last chance. The LCQ was made up of Levi Harris, Dave Oakden, Hawkins and Caleb Stewart. Harris would take the win and the final main event slot.
Donholt used his sharp gating skills to nail the holeshot in the final, and while Portararo pushed hard for four laps, he was able to keep his JBR/Justice Bros/TANKS AUTO SALES/Joe V’s/Scott’s headers JAWA in the lead for the win! Portararo was second, Hollenbeck third, McBride fourth and Harris fifth.
It was a successful opener and there was a lot of excitement and seems to be a renewed interest!
Everyone is eagerly awaiting the next event, which will be Sunday, May 28th at Champion Speedway…the Meggan Hobart Memorial Spring Championship at 6pm. The live band BREWHAHA will be paying right after the races. It is part of a two day event with round one being Saturday at Action Park East in Greene. More information can be found at