Autograph party lets young racing fans see their heroes and bikes

No horse was chomping at the bit while waiting at the gate or betting money on the line in this “trifecta”.

Only smiles, good wishes – and a ready supply of Sharpies.

When Welland County Speedway took a break from motorcycle racing on the weekend, fans had the chance to walk the dirt race track and see their favorite riders without helmets.

The second autograph night in Welland track history was a hit, especially for young two-wheel racing fans.

“I love seeing it. I think for the young fans it’s a trifecta,” Welland Motorcycle Club president Sean Gillespie said. “They can go to the track, they can see these bikes and they can see their heroes without helmets.”

Many cyclists, including Kaiden Evans and Taia Little, both of Welland, brought photos that they autographed, using the seats of their racing bikes as writing surfaces.

Evans, a 5th grade student at Ross Public School, spent the morning practicing writing his signature.

“It’s something new for me,” said Evans, who competes in the 65cc class of speedway and finished second to Ace Simiana in the featured race that night.

It was Simiana’s seventh win in as many starts this season, and he is yet to beat in the 50cc air-cooled class. On Saturday, Simiana led Tye Marceau and Hunter Weasner across the finish line for her fourth straight.

Liam Caskie remained undefeated in the Youth, 85-250cc, with five wins in as many races. Luke Beattie and Jameson Andrews finished 2-3 respectively in the feature.

Caskie has seven wins so far this season in the 450 Novice. Seth Little and Beattie rounded out the top three in his last victory.

Caskie, Little and Beattie were the top three in the Open Novice, a division also dominated by Caskie with a 7-0 start to the season.

Here are the top three of the other racing classes on the schedule last weekend:

450 Intermediate: Adrian St. Amand, Roderick Scott, Jeff Orosz.

Open Intermediate: Jeff Orosz, Roderick Scott, Jessie Isherwood.

Expert 450: Doug Beattie, Taia Little, Doug Lawrence.

Open expert: Doug Beattie, Doug Lawrence, Taia Little.

Veteran over 40 years: Brent Thompson, Rick Gunby, Kim Orosz.

Ancient lights: Dave Barwell, Tim Hall, Bob Howard.

Open vintage: Justin Crumb, Rick Gunby, Chris Murray.

Trolleys: Sid Scott, Brian Kadwell, Andy Van Dyk.

Racing returns on Saturday, July 30, with youth series starting at 6 p.m. and qualifying in the other divisions an hour later.

Welland County Speedway is located on Netherby Road in Welland, east of Highway 140.

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