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Dec 16, 2001

Chuck Graves Wins WSMC Championship

Copyright 2001, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>Graves Yamaha's Chuck Graves was the star of the show at the final round of the 2001 WSMC (Willow Springs Motorcycle Club) Series Sunday, winning all five sprint races he entered on his Dunlop-equipped Yamahas and taking the WSMC overall Championship for 2001.<BR><BR>Graves rode to wins in 600cc Superstock, 650cc Superbike, Formula Two Grand Prix, Open Superbike and the premier Toyota Cup Unlimited Formula One Grand Prix events.<BR><BR>Graves nearly lost Sunday's Formula One race due to his lack of a pit board. Graves passed quick-starter Jeremy Toye in the second corner of the race and extended his lead to six seconds by lap three of 12 with mid-1:22 lap times. Graves said afterwards that he looked back, saw that he had a large lead and put it on cruise control. What Graves didn't see was that Toye and Jason Curtis, having a spirited battle over second place, were pushing each other into the 1:22s while Graves cruised in the 1:23s. Curtis began to tire in the latter stages of the race as Toye continued to push forward. <BR><BR>With two laps remaining, Graves led Toye by two seconds and the gap was steadily disappearing without Graves' knowledge. Toye snuck up on Graves and passed the former Formula USA Champion in the final corner on the last lap, and Graves repassed and beat Toye to the line by a wheel. After the race, Graves said, "I need to think about getting a pit board."<BR><BR>Other winners on the day included: Chris Peris in Roadracing World 125cc Grand Prix; Daniel Dietrich in 750cc Superstock; Chris Ulrich in Open Superstock; Jacob West in 600cc Modified Production; Jeremy Toye in 750cc Superbike and 750cc Modified Production; Kenny Kopecky in Formula 40 Lightweight; Ed Sorbo in 500cc Superstock and 500cc Modified Production; and Stephen Hewitt in Open Modified Production and Formula 40 Heavyweight.<BR><BR>The 2002 WSMC racing season starts January 19-20 at Willow Springs International Raceway in Rosamond, California.<BR>