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Nov 3, 2010

Howard Edges Dominguez For CMRA #1 Plate At Texas World Speedway

Ty Howard (35). Photo by Barry Nichols/Foto 41, courtesy of CMRA,
The Central Motorcycle Roadracing Association (CMRA) returned to Texas World Speedway in College Station, Texas, this past weekend for the 2010 season finale. The event drew an impressive 621 entries spread over 23 Big Bike and Mini sprint classes, a 5-hour Big Bike endurance race and a 2-hour Mini Bike endurance race. Several overall and class championships were still up for grabs when the weekend started on Saturday morning, but by the time the sun set on the track on Sunday evening, all championships had been decided, including the biggest one of them all the CMRA's overall Number 1 sprint championship. Much of the year the weather has been a factor at CMRA events, but seasonably mild temperatures and sunny skies greeted racers this weekend, which let the action on the track settle any scores left to settle instead of having weather play a factor.

Saturday's racing started off with Mini sprints followed by a 2-hour mini endurance race which saw Liberty, Missouri's, Howlie Boyz (Dean Thimjon, Jason Swan, Kurt Stock, John Orchard) pilot their Kawasaki Ninja 250 to a first place finish, taking not only the race win, but also the Overall Mini endurance championship. Rheen Racing Too (Aaron Gore, Jeff Hughes, Dustin Dominguez, Clayton Schutz, Michael Schutz) finished second in the race on another Kawasaki Ninja 250, besting the Honda RS85 of Team Gleam (Marcus Beedle, Conner Blevins, Bryan West, Ryan Andrews), who finished in third place in the race, but on the same lap as Rheen Racing Too. While Howlie Boyz were celebrating the Overall Mini endurance championship, Redline Roadracing (Austin Gore, Joey Howells, Brandon Altmeyer, Ryan Max Johnson) found themselves in second place in the championship chase on another Kawasaki Ninja 250, just a handful of points in front of eurtoast! (Zeb Harris, James Erwin, Alan Phillips, Tim Barnes), who claimed third place overall on yet another Kawasaki Ninja 250.

The 5-hour Big Bike endurance race saw Dicki McFarland's Moto Ace team (Derek Wagnon, Joe Prussiano, Jeremy Kidd, Dustin Dominguez, Dustin Meador) assert themselves at the front of the field, taking not only the race win, but also laying claim to the Overall Big Bike endurance championship on their Suzuki GSX-R1000. Team owner Dicki McFarland summed it up succinctly after the race, saying "It doesn't get any better than this! No problems [in the race], a win and the championship, too!" CS Carey Racing (Chris Carey, Greg Anderson, Matt Hall, Brent Wood, Gabe McClendon) finished the race in second spot on their Yamaha YZF-R1, one lap down to the winners, but two laps up on the third place Suzuki GSX-R1000 of Mini Haters (William Shupak, Marv Esterly, Jack Vigneau, Pete Martins, Dewayne Davis). The Yamaha YZF-R6 of Village Idiots (John Orchard, Chris Headley, Chad Tieszen, Brandon Cleland) suffered a crash late in the race that dropped the team to 27th overall and 7th in the Superbike C class, but their effort was still enough to secure second place overall in the Big Bike endurance series over Mini Haters, who ended up claiming the third spot overall in the series.

The Sunday race schedule boasted 19 Big Bike sprint races that ultimately decided several championships, but all eyes seemed to be on the CMRA's Overall Number 1 sprint plate championship, which would either go to Newalla, Oklahoma's Dustin Dominguez, or Argyle, Texas' Ty Howard. Coming into the weekend, both racers were tied on points, with Dominguez gaining his points by racing multiple Lightweight and Middleweight classes at each event over the course of the season on his Suzuki SV650 and Kawasaki ZX-6R, and Howard getting his points behind the controls of his KTM RC8 in the Heavyweight classes, and racking up a perfect season coming into the Texas World Speedway season finale. According to the CMRA rulebook, a rider's three best races on a race weekend count towards the Overall Number 1 plate, so both riders would have to let it all hang out to capture a win in no less than three of their races to have a shot at the top spot.

When the day was done, both Dominguez and Howard had indeed claimed three victories apiece, with Dominguez scoring wins in the South Central Race Center Superstock C, Island Racing Services Superbike C and Rheen Racing Lightweight Twins Expert classes, and Howard dusting the competition in the RaceworX Superstock A, AVTEQ Superbike A and HighPerformanceCrew.com / HPC Decals Formula 1 Expert classes. This left the two racers tied on points again, so the rulebook was called upon and tie-breaking measures examined. It was finally determined that Howard, by virtue of his perfect season (30 races, 30 wins, 0 second place finishes) would be awarded the CMRA's Overall Number 1 plate over Dominguez, who, while having more wins on the season than Howard did, was only perfect in one class over the course of the season relative to Howard's three perfect classes.

Howard said at the end of the day, "I expected to have to ride a little harder, to get a little more pressure, but it [pressure] never really came, so I just put it in cruise mode around the track."

Still, Howard's "cruise mode" was good for a quickest lap time of 1:41.797 in the AVTEQ Superbike A Expert race, which is only a few hundredths of a second off Howard's own lap record at Texas World Speedway, which stands at a 1:41.415.

With racers already looking forward to the 2011 CMRA season, there is still one event left on the 2010 CMRA calendar, albeit not a racing event. The 2010 CMRA Awards Banquet will be held on Saturday, November 13, 2010 at Edom City Limits in Edom, Texas. A CMRA Board of Directors Meeting, Open Membership Meeting, and Awards Party featuring Awards, Food, Friends, Music and a Raffle, are scheduled, so don't miss it!

For more information about the CMRA or detailed race results, visit www.cmraracing.com.