Goshen News, Goshen, IN

July 28, 2013

ELKHART COUNTY FAIR: This queen just wants to race

Busy week for Sierra Walter wraps up with four-wheel racing

By GREG KEIM
THE GOSHEN NEWS

GOSHEN — By her own admission Sierra Walter is not your ordinary 4-H Fair Queen.

She demonstrated that fact by racing in the quads division of the motorcycle racing program Saturday afternoon at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair. She even wore her sash while racing.

“I’m not a girly girl. I’m not your typical queen,” she said. “I grew up on four wheelers and have raced here at the fair before.”

She also competed in the barrel racing at the rodeo on Friday night.

“It’s been a busy week,” she added. “Besides my queen duties I’ve shown beef, goats and horses. Racing is a good way to end the fair.”

Walter placed seventh in the quad race.

The racing program was shorter this year with only 13 races.

The event is put on by the Goshen Iron Horsemen.

“We had a total of 68 riders, which is about half of what we normally have,” Goshen Iron Horsemen treasurer Jeff Cole said. “A couple of things happened that we had no control over. District 14 scheduled a race in Michigan this weekend and there was a national event in Indianapolis in hopes of drawing a larger crowd due to the Brickyard (NASCAR race Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway).

“Most racers come here because they like the track. The track graded off really nice and we didn’t have too much rain overnight.”

There’s another reason why drivers come to race at the fair.

“From an amateur standpoint this is one of the biggest payouts in the country,” Cole said. “It’s a good payday for the drivers. The club puts 80 percent of what is paid in back into the payouts. There have been years where the total purse was $3,000. This year it was $2,000.”

The Iron Horsemen are contracted with the fair board for the last Saturday of the fair.

“We have a gentleman’s agreement with other clubs not to schedule anything to conflict with another club’s dates, but this year we had no control over that,” Cole said.

“The fair board has always been great to work with and we appreciate the cooperation and help they give us in putting on this event.”

According to the club’s records they have been holding the races at the fair since 1961.

Ron Williams of Elkhart has been a competitor at the races before and he found his way into the winner’s circle twice on Saturday.

He finished first in the Senior Age 50-and-over division and the Vintage-+Heavy class.

“I’ve been racing a little more this year,” he said. “Last week I won a race in Ohio in the national classic flat track series.

“In my three races today the starts were all good. It always helps to be out in front rather than have to try and catch up.”

The day was special for Williams as his wife and three children were in attendance.

“Since I grew up doing this it was special to have the kids here today,” he said. “This gives them a chance to experience the sport and to be a part of it. It also gives them a feel for what my childhood was like.”

There’s one more reason why he likes racing at the fair.

“It’s a 20-minute drive home,” Williams quipped. “I’ll be in the shower about 45 minutes after I leave here.”

Summary

50 Auto — 1, Peyton Good (Yamaha); 2, Tretan Bowman (Yamaha); 3, Alex Quick (Yamaha); 4, Haley Gangwer (Yamaha).

50 Shifter — 1, Alec Coleman (Yamaha); 2, Tristlyn Rolston (Honda); 3, Donovan Mast (Honda); 4, Lincoln Wogoman (Honda).

0-65 — 1, Dan Olson (KTM); 2, Broody Helms (KTM); 3, Ryan Bennett (Kawaski); 4, Alec Coleman (Kawaski).

0-85 Junior and Senior — 1, Koleman Gerencer (Kawaski); 2, Dillon Yoder (Yamaha); 3, John Wirs (Yamaha).

86-125 — 1, Matt Magee (Honda); 2, Koleman Gerencer (Honda); 3, Carter Self (Honda).

201-250 — 1, Stan Sellay (Honda); 2, Cameron Lana (Honda); 3, Langdon Athens (Honda); 4, Charlie Gerencer (Honda); 5, Bronson Gangwer (Yamaha).

251-450 — 1, Danny Koelsch (Honda); 2, Andy Morris (Yamaha); 3, Cody Phillips (Honda); 4, Ken Maynard (Honda).

Combination Class — 1, Daniel Weich (Jawa); 2, Danny Koelsch (Harley-Davidson); 3, Ken Maynard (Honda); 4, Andy Morris (Yamaha).

Senior Age 40-and-over — 1, Ken Maynard (Rotax); 2, Ron Williams (Rotax); 3, Cary Clare (Honda); 4, Ted Powell (Yamaha); 5, Larry Gilson (Honda); 6, Mark Powell (Honda).

Senior Age 50-and-over — 1, Ron Williams (Rotax); 2, Pat Towka (Honda); 3, Rich Long (Rotax); 4, Ross Robinson (BSA); 5, Simon Kelly (Honda); 6, Larry Lukes (Honda).

Vintage - Light — 1, Lou Gerencer (Bultaco); 2, Bronson Gangwer (Yamaha); 3, Tommy Snead (Yamaha).

Vintage - Heavy — 1, Ron Williams (Rotax); 2, Aaron Long (Rotax); 3, Norte Long (Rotax); 4, Tommy Snead (Rotax); 5, Ted Powell (Rotax).

Quads — 1, Jody Timmins (Yamaha); 2, Carl Port (Yamaha); 3, Lynn Ramer (Yamaha); 4, Dawson Emery (Honda); 5, Steve Vance (Yamaha); 6, Mitch Stidams (Yamaha); 7, Sierra Walter (Honda); 8, Anthony Blosser (Yamaha).