||Last Updated: Jul 26th, 2015 - 17:07:13
Aaron Fox continued his recent run of dominance in Southern California with another unbeaten evening and claimed the prestigious 43rd Orange County Fair Derby Championship at the world famous Costa Mesa Speedway.
Fox had first choice of starting position and chose gate one. Former Junior National Champion Broc Nicol picked gate two with the second choice. Eight-time Fair Derby Champion “Flyin” Mike Faria, seeking his first title in 10 years, picked gate three. 2010 Fair Derby Champion “Battling” Buck Blair was left with gate four.
Faria touched the tapes the first time the field staged and was sent to the penalty line. The second time they lined up it was Fox who jumped in front with Nicol in tow. Fox held the inside while Nicol was trying to make the outside work. Nicol found too much traction exiting turn four, lifted, and ended up bouncing off the front straight wall and going down. He was sent to the penalty line for the restart which left just Fox and Blair at the tapes.
Fox beat Blair to turn one but the Colorado native went after the leader on the back straight. Fox was calm under the pressure and held back every challenge that Blair could must for four laps and was first to the checkered flag. Blair settled for second, Nicol finished third, and Faria was fourth.
Rain in Southern California the day prior to the event and throughout the day of the event threatened the staging of one of America’s most anticipated speedway events. Mother Nature began to cooperate a couple hours prior to the scheduled start and the racers were excited to get on the track. International Speedway promoter Brad Oxley and his staff did an outstanding job of preparing an excellent race track.
Blair kicked off the evening by defeating Nicol. Fox beat Shawn “Mad Dog” McConnell in the second heat. “Mad” Max Ruml defeated his brother, Dillon in event three. Faria held off former Junior National Champion Jason Ramirez to end round one with a win.
Nicol started round two with a win over Tyson Talkington. Blair beat Ramirez for his second straight win. Fox won his second consecutive race over Russell Green after Max Ruml went over backward while running second. Dillon Ruml completed the second round with a win but Rocco Scopellite hit the back straight wall after lifting in the same spot in turn two that Max Ruml did in the previous race. He was taken to the hospital with a back injury that will keep him from racing for an indefinite amount of time.
Nicol began the third round by beating Dillon Ruml for his second consecutive win. Faria collected his second win after beating McConnell. Max Ruml defeated Talkington for his second win. Fox closed out the heat races by beating Ramirez to remain perfect.
Max Ruml was penalized for touching the tapes in the first semi and it proved costly as Nicol won with Faria getting second to join him in the main. McConnell touched the tapes in the second semi and was banished to the penalty line. Fox won the second semi for his fourth straight win and Blair transferred as well after finishing second.
John Wilder led all four laps en route to victory in the Support Main Event. Mike Dalbey finished second, Eloy Medellin was third, and Rudy Laurer finished fourth.
The Sidecar Main Event featured multiple passes with all the participants holding the lead at some point during the race. Gerard Jackson and Dave German made a last-turn pass of Joe Jones and Tom Summers and took a narrow victory. Bryan Motis and Josh Bennett finished third.
The annual Fair Derby coincided with the 125th Orange County Fair which is held at the fairgrounds on which Costa Mesa Speedway sits. The prestigious Bronze Hat trophy is given to the winner of the event each year. The OC Fair runs through August 16 thus the next event at Costa Mesa Speedway will be Harley Night on Saturday, August 22.
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