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Sep 25, 2013

Benny Solis, Jr. Wins Seven CVMA Races At Chuckwalla Valley Raceway

CVMA: Benny Solis Jr. (35) on his 2013 Honda CBR600RR ahead of Chris Peris (21), Brian Short (12), Stuart Smith (45) and Ted Rich (261).

This past weekend, September 21-22, kicked off the first round of the 2013-2014 CVMA (Chuckwalla Valley Motorcycle Association) Winter Series with a respectable line up of 174 entered riders. The sun provided Chuckwalla Valley Raceway with beautiful temperatures in the 90’s on Saturday and 80’s on Sunday for an action packed weekend of racing.

Fresh off of his 4th place AMA Daytona Sportbike finish in New Jersey, Benny Solis Jr. dominated with 7 race victories over the course of the weekend in the middleweight classes aboard his Dunlop shod Honda CBR600RR. Solis scored wins both days in Formula Middleweight, Middleweight Supersport, Open Supersport, and Sunday’s Middleweight Shootout.

“It’s valuable track time for me,” explained Solis. “I got the best DSB finish of my career and I want to keep that going, especially heading into the final round at Laguna."

Solis plans on finishing the entire CVMA series in attempt to grab as many class championships as possible.

Suzuki Motor of America’s PR Coordinator Frankie Garcia showed up to Round 1 on a serious note aboard his AP MotoArts built Suzuki SV650. On Saturday Garcia ran the Formula Twins race not only winning the race but besting the previous class track record by almost two seconds with a 1.51.9 lap time. On Sunday, Garcia set out for another class track record but this time in the Formula 2 race aboard the same machine and Pirelli tires he used on Saturday. The 22 year old didn’t disappoint as he secured the top spot and set the mark lower in the class with a 1.52.9 lap time.

Another notable racer from the weekend is In House Suspension-backed rider Brian Short. Short did all he could to keep Solis in his sights during the weekend aboard his Pirelli Shod R6. Short would never get the advantage on Solis but would end his weekend on a solid note after claiming victory in Sunday’s Open Shootout, CVMA’s premier class.

“I got off to a good start this season,” said Short. “I had some really good finishes all weekend but most importantly got the points lead in Open Shootout in an effort to grab the CVMA #1 plate at the end of the season.”

Round 2 of the 2013-2014 CVMA winter series will take place October 26-27. For more information about Chuckwalla Valley Motorcycle Association visit www.cvmaracing.com. 250 Supersport Saturday: 1. Andrew Chika (Kaw 250R) 2. Jonathan Hong (Kaw 250R) 3. John Hamilton (Kaw 250R) 4. Bryan Hagenauer (Kaw 250R) 5. Matt Cavarlez (Kaw 250R) 6. Mike Root (Kaw 250R) Sunday: 1. Andrew Chika (Kaw 250R) 2. Jonathan Hong (Kaw 250R) 3. Bryan Hagenauer (Kaw 250R) 4. John Hamilton (Kaw 250R) 5. Darren Simms (Kaw 250R) 6. Matt Cavarlez (Kaw 250R) Amateur Formula Middleweight Saturday: 1. Noam Ben-Hamou (Yam YZF-R6) 2. Corey Vlastuin (Yam YZF-R6) 3. Aaron Shmuckler (Kaw ZX-6R) 4. Thomas Boge (Yam YZF-R6) 5. John Semroska (Yam YZF-R6) 6. Rich Hua (Kaw ZX-6R) Sunday: 1. John Semroska (Yam YZF-R6) 2. Aaron Shmuckler (Kaw ZX-6R) 3. Corey Vlastuin (Yam YZF-R6) 4. Noam Ben-Hamou (Yam YZF-R6) 5. Rich Hua (Kaw ZX-6R) 6. Simon Barrett (Tri 675) Amateur Formula Open Saturday: 1. John Menzie (BMW S1000RR) 2. Martin Guzman (Kaw ZX-10R) 3. Michael Asimakis (Yam YZF-R1) 4. Timothy Lucas (Hon CBR1000RR) Sunday: 1. John Menzie (BMW S1000RR) Amateur Formula Twins: Saturday: 1. Henry Yip (Suz SV650) Sunday: 1. Henry Yip (Suz SV650) Amateur Middleweight Supersport Saturday: 1. Noam Ben-Hamou (Yam YZF-R6) 2. Kaichi Sato (Yam YZF-R6) 3. Corey Vlastuin (Yam YZF-R6) 4. Aaron Shmuckler (Kaw ZX-6R) 5. Anthony Harness (Hon CBR600RR) 6. Thomas Boge (Yam YZF-R6) Sunday: 1. Corey Vlastuin (Yam YZF-R6) 2. Aaron Shmuckler (Kaw ZX-6R) 3. Kaichi Sato (Yam YZF-R6) 4. Noam Ben-Hamou (Yam YZF-R6) 5. Rich Hua (Kaw ZX-6R) 6. Phillip Blake (Suz GSX-R600) Amateur Open Supersport Saturday: 1. Martin Guzman (Kaw ZX-10R) 2. John Menzie (BMW S1000RR) 3. Tyler Shelton (Suz GSX-R1000) 4. Roger Forker (Yam YZF-R1) 5. Timothy Lucas (Hon CBR1000RR) 6. Christopher Nunez (Suz GSX-R1000) Sunday: 1. Martin Guzman (Kaw ZX-10R) 2. Tyler Shelton (Suz GSX-R1000) 3. John Menzie (BMW S1000RR) Femmewalla Saturday: 1. Dani Taylor (BMW S1000RR) 2. Joanna Bitter (Yam YZF-R6) 3. Lea Cutshall (Yam YZF-R6) 4. Christin Voros (Hon CBR600RR) 5. Kate Heffernan (Yam YZF-R6) 6. Sheri Fox (Tri 675) Sunday: 1. Dani Taylor (BMW S1000RR) 2. Joanna Bitter (Yam YZF-R6) 3. Lea Cutshall (Yam YZF-R6) 4. Kate Heffernan (Yam YZF-R6) 5. Christin Voros (Hon CBR600RR) Formula 2 Saturday: 1. Vincent Rolleri (Yam TZ250) 2. Ralph Starapoli (Hon RS250) 3. Andrew Zabzdyr (Suz SV650) 4. Stephen Ludwig (Suz SV650) 5. Kalvin Kwong (Suz SV650) 6. Kevin Winter (Yam TZ250) Sunday: 1. Frankie Garcia (Suz SV650) 2. Ralph Starapoli (Hon RS250) 3. Andrew Zabzdyr (Suz SV650) 4. Adam Waheed (Suz SV650) 5. Stephen Ludwig (Suz SV650) 6. Kalvin Kwong (Suz SV650) Formula 40 Saturday: 1. Bill McCoy (BMW S1000RR) 2. Stuart Smith (Yam YZF-R1) 3. Lenny Beckman (BMW S1000RR) 4. Jay Millhiser (KTM RC8) 5. Jeff Gilbert (Hon CBR1000RR) 6. James Romero III (BMW S1000RR) Sunday: 1. Stuart Smith (Yam YZF-R1) 2. James Romero III (BMW S1000RR) 3. Bill McCoy (BMW S1000RR) Formula 40 Lightweight Saturday: 1. Ryan Gagliano (Duc 650) 2. Stephen Ludwig (Suz SV650) 3. Kevin Winter (Yam TZ250) 4. John Reynolds (Suz SV650) 5. Walter Nitto Sr (Suz SV650) 6. Brian Lensch (Suz SV650) Sunday: 1. Stephen Ludwig (Suz SV650) 2. John Reynolds (Suz SV650) 3. Walter Nitto Sr (Suz SV650) 4. Pittman Wallace (Suz SV650) 5. Brian Lensch (Suz SV650) Formula 40 Middleweight Saturday: 1. Jim King (Yam YZF-R6) 2. Dan Sharp (Hon CBR600RR) 3. Lea Cutshall (Yam YZF-R6) 4. Sheri Fox (Tri 675) Sunday: 1. Jim King (Yam YZF-R6) 2. Lea Cutshall (Yam YZF-R6) Formula Middleweight Saturday: 1. Benny Solis Jr (Hon CBR600RR) 2. Brian Short (Yam YZF-R6) 3. Bradley Adams (Kaw ZX6R) 4. Dustin Coyner (Yam YZF-R6) 5. Jorge Castro (Yam YZF-R6) 6. Randall Workman (Yam YZF-R6) Sunday: 1. Benny Solis Jr (Hon CBR600RR) 2. Austin Harness (Hon CBR600RR) 3. Walter Nitto Jr (Tri 675) 4. Randal Workman (Yam YZF-R6) 5. Ryan Whitman (Yam YZF-R6) 6. Dustin Coyner (Yam YZF-R6) Formula Open Saturday: 1. Ted Rich (Kaw ZX-10R) 2. Bill McCoy (BMW S1000RR) 3. Lenny Beckman (BMW S1000RR) 4. Anton Sohn (Hon CBR1000RR) 5. Lyle G Brown (Suz GSX-R1000) 6. Dan McCormack (Apr RSV4) Sunday: 1. Bill McCoy (BMW S1000RR) 2. James Romero III (BMW S1000RR) 3. Dani Taylor (BMW S1000RR) 4. Anton Sohn (Hon CBR1000RR) 5. Dan McCormack (Apr RSV4) 6. Duncan Mardling (Suz GSX-R1000) Formula Twins Saturday: 1. Frankie Garcia (Suz SV650) 2. Andrew Zabzdyr (Suz SV650) 3. Adam Waheed (Suz SV650) 4. Ryan Gagliano (Duc 650) 5. Christian Readyhoff (Suz SV650) 6. Kalvin Kwong (Suz SV650) Sunday: 1. Frankie Garcia (Suz SV650) 2. Adam Waheed (Suz SV650) 3. Christian Readyhoff (Suz SV650) 4. Ryan Gagliano (Duc 650) 5. Stephen Ludwig (Suz SV650) 6. Kalvin Kwong (Suz SV650) Modern Vintage Lightweight Saturday: 1. Christian Readyhoff (Suz SV650) 2. Ramin Ershadi (Hon CBR600RR) 3. Chaz Abbott (Suz SV650) 4. Richard Stampp (Suz SV650) 5. Tommy Woodbury (Suz SV650) Sunday: 1. Christian Readyhoff (Suz SV650) 2. Ramin Ershadi (Hon CBR600RR) 3. Chaz Abbott (Suz SV650) 4. Tommy Woodbury (Suz SV650) Lightweight Shootout: 1. Ralph Starapoli (Hon RS250) 2. Adam Waheed (Suz SV650) 3. Andrew Zabzdyr (Suz SV650) 4. Kevin Winter (Yam TZ250) 5. Kalvin Kwong (Suz SV650) 6. Brian Lensch (Suz SV650) TrackDaz Middleweight Shootout 1. Benny Solis Jr. (Hon CBR600RR) 2. Brian Short (Yam YZF-R6) 3. Dustin Coyner (Yam YZF-R6) 4. Randall Workman (Yam YZF-R6) 5. Ryan Harper (Hon CBR600RR) 6. Vincent Rolleri (Yam TZ250) Socal Trackdays Open Shootout 1. Brian Short (Yam YZF-R6) 2. Chris Peris (Suz GSXR1000) 3. Stu Smith (Yam YZF-R1) 4. Bill McCoy (BMW S1000RR) SRA Sidecars Saturday: 1. John-Thomas Wood 2. Chris Wood 3. Donn Sayre 4. Phil Wood 5. Scotty Lane 6. Steve Stull Sunday: 1. John-Thomas Wood 2. Donn Sayre 3.Chris Wood 4. Phil Wood 5. Scotty Lane 6. Steve Stull Middleweight Supersport Saturday: 1. Benny Solis Jr. (Hon CBR600RR) 2. Bradley Adams (Kaw ZX-6R) 3. Brian Short (Yam YZF-R6) 4. Dustin Coyner (Yam YZF-R6) 5. Austin Harness (Hon CBR600) 6. Walter Nitto Jr. (Tri 675) Sunday: 1. Benny Solis Jr. (Hon CBR600RR) 2. Brian Short (Yam YZF-R6) 3. Dustin Coyner (Yam YZF-R6) 4. Austin Harness (Hon CBR600) 5. Randall Workman (Yam YZF-R6) 6. Jorge Castro (Yam YZF-R6) Open Supersport Saturday: 1. Benny Solis Jr. (Hon CBR600RR) 2. Stu Smith (Yam YZF-R1) 3. Dani Taylor (BMW S1000RR) 4. Jay Millhiser (KTM RC8) 5. Anton Sohn (Hon CBR1000RR) 6. Duncan Mardling (Suz GSXR1000 Sunday: 1. Benny Solis Jr. (Hon CBR600RR) 2. James Romero III (BMW S1000RR) 3. Stu Smith (Yam YZF-R1) 4. Dani Taylor (BMW S1000RR) 5. Anton Sohn (Hon CBR1000RR) 6. Dan McCormack (Apr RSV4) Open Twins Grand Prix Saturday: 1. Jay Millhiser (KTM RC8) 2. Dan McCormack (Duc 1199) 3. Ben Hurtado (Hon RC51) Sunday: 1. Dan McCormack (Duc 1199) Ultra Lightweight Shootout Saturday: 1. Andew Chika (Kaw 250R) 2. Darren Simms (Kaw 250R) 3. Jonathan Hong (Kaw 250R) 4. Bryan Hagenauer (Kaw 250R) 5. Elaine Carpenter (Kaw 300R) 6. Matt Cavarlez (Kaw 250R) Sunday: 1. Andew Chika (Kaw 250R) 2. Jonathan Hong (Kaw 250R) 3. John Hamilton (Kaw 250R) 4. Bryan Hagenauer (Kaw 250R) 5. Matt Cavarlez (Kaw 250R) 6. Mike Root (Kaw 250R)

More, from a press release issued by SRA-West:

Team Johnny Killmore Takes Sidecar Double Win At Chuckwalla Valley Raceway

Desert Center, California: The penultimate round of the SRA-West Formula Sidecar Series brought some close racing action at the front of the field. The double-header weekend brought excitement from the outset in Saturday’s Race 1. By simply adding two laps to make for an eight-lap sprint, the dynamic changed greatly.

In the beginning things seemed business-as-usual with Team Johnny Killmore's John Wood/ Giorgina Gottlieb taking the lead from the front row and slowly pulling away. A battle began for second place between Wood Brothers Racing (Chris Wood/Aaron McEwen) and Team 321 of driver Donn Sayre and stand-in passenger Kevin Kautsky (usually passenger for Team Big Dog Garage, who were not in attendance).

By lap three Wood Brothers had broken away and were actually gaining on the leaders. Although they appeared to have slowed in order to conserve energy or tires, Team Johnny Killmore did not pick the pace back up as Wood Brothers continued to close the gap ever so slightly. By lap six they were starting to change their line in an obvious attempt to find a way around. A huge slide exiting the Turn 1-2 complex showed that Wood/Gottlieb were struggling. It must have been like blood to a shark for Wood/McEwen, who got a stellar drive and went to the inside for Turn 4.

As Wood/Gottlieb turned into the left-hand bend they elevated onto two-wheels. Already hard on the brakes, Wood Brothers was forced to choose between turning into the corner or scrubbing off enough speed to avoid contact. Choosing the latter, they were unable to complete the turn and went dirt-surfing through the Sonoran Desert. Amazingly they avoided any real damage, even after re-entering the course over one of the curbs. This is truly a testament to a well-built race track, as Wood/McEwen’s ART chassis is made of sheet-aluminum; this style of machine is well known for folding/creasing when subjected to curb strikes or moments airborne.

Not only did Wood Brother's manage to get back to the racing surface unscathed, but they only lost a few seconds, crossing the stripe about 3.5 seconds adrift of the leaders, with driver Chris Wood later saying of the incident, “we left the track in third [gear] and came back on in third.” Team 321 (Donn Sayre/ Kevin Kautsky) finished third, with Wood Brothers 2 (Phil Wood/Gary McEwen) close behind.

After the race driver John Wood explained his on-track troubles thusly: "We made a front geometry change before the race and it was in the wrong direction. The [expletive] bars were wobbling on the warm up lap! The thing rode like a pig and my arms were numb by the third lap. The motor went dead on the last lap and I looked at the [instrument] cluster for a check engine light until I realized my hand was just too weak to open the [expletive] throttle!" Of his close second place finish, driver Chris Wood said, "I could see [John Wood] slowing but I thought he was just managing the gap, but we started catching him. I showed him the nose but there just wasn't room. We both went wide but I couldn't keep it on track. Aaron [McEwen] did a great job helping us steer back on track because I couldn't really turn with the handlebars. If we had nine or ten laps I think we really could have done something."

Sunday was a return to the 6-lap sprint format and also cooler temperatures. Again Team Johnny Killmore pulled away from the front row and began to build a gap. Driver John Wood later mentioned the team had made another geometry change for this race which helped front end feel. Although their fastest lap was about one full second slower than Saturday, they managed to build up a more than 10 second lead while a battle for second emerged.

In the first lap Wood Brothers Racing went wide in Turn 7, allowing Team 321 through to second spot. A large gap formed rather quickly.Team 321's driver, Donn Sayre, had obviously become more cohesive with passenger Kevin Kautsky, who normally passengers for another team. Sayre was also driving a 2002 Becker Formula 1 chassis for only the second time, having moved up from an older Baker machine. Finding stride, Sayre/ Kautsky were gone and away until the third lap. However, with tires warmed up and in the rhythm, Wood Brothers closed the gap in dramatic fashion, yet struggled to find a way past. It finally ended as a drag race to the line for second, with Team 321 finishing safely ahead.

The SRA-West now moves to its Las Vegas season finale November 2-3 with host club WERA. Team Johnny Killmore leads in driver and passenger points by 22 points but any problems in the next two races could certainly cost them the title. The Las Vegas track also does not suit Team Johnny Killmore, who struggle greatly in tight, slow-speed corners.

The SRA-West thanks the Chuckwalla Valley Motorcycle Association (CVMA) for hosting an excellent event once again. To find out more about racing with CVMA, visit www.cvmaracing.com. For more information on the sport of Formula Sidecar racing, visit www.sra-west.us.