Blackhawk Farms – WERA – May 1989

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By Larry Lawrence
S. Beloit, IL. May 7

Andy Schmidt of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin rode his Freber’s Jewelry/Beaver Sport Haus backed FZR 600 to three wins in Yamaha contingency action at Blackhawk Farms Raceway. Schmidt, a 22 year old land surveyor, surprised everyone with his outstanding performance. The first year expert took home $1500 for his victories in B & C Superbike and the Formula USA event.

On Saturday, racers had to endure record cold and snow for the second time this year, in the WERA North Central region. The weather turned significantly better for Sundays finals, with mostly sunny skies and 50 degree temperatures.

Schmidt got started on the right foot, by winning the very first race of the day, B Superbike. Bob Sandy took the lead early on his Kawasaki ZX-7 with Schmidt following closely in second. Locals Schmidt and Dick Koehler, both on FZR 600’s were giving Sandy all he could handle. The track surface was cool and slick, and the big ZX was a handful under those conditions. The lighter, better handling, FZR 600’s on the hand could be thrown in to the turns with more confidence, giving the rider of the smaller machine a big advantage in traffic. Third place Koehler was starting to gain on the lead duo, but got a bit too confident. Coming out of the tight right hand turn six, Koehler got on the gas heavy. His rear tire didn’t hold, and the FZR swung around and nearly pitched him off. “That was a real heart-stopper. A few guys that were behind me when that happened said that my rear wheel came up two feet off the ground. I feel real lucky that I came out of that one.” said Koehler. He re-entered the race and finished fifth.

Back up front, Schmidt made his move around Sandy in the high speed carousel with only two laps left. “He (Sandy) was on and off the gas through there. I had been watching him for a couple of laps and decide early that I would set him up for a pass there.” said Schmidt. His strategy worked perfectly. Sandy made a valiant effort to outbrake Schmidt going in to turn one, but Schmidt held .his ground and won by a bike length at the flag.

Eighteen year-old, Steve Patterson was eager to take home some first place money of his own in the C Superbike race. Patterson took control early, but rival Sam Wardrip was right there in Patterson’s draft, as was Koehler and Schmidt. Wardrip was the first to make his move around Patterson. After tries on the previous two turns, Wardrip finally made the pass exiting turn one on the third lap. Patterson was solid through the turns, but his Yamaha just didn’t have the power out of the turns that the others did. Wardrip knew Koehler and Schmidt were close, and he hoped he could get away while the two were behind Patterson.

It didn’t take long for the two Wisconsiner’s to get by Patterson. It was at the carousel again where both Koeler and Schmidt were on rails. Wardrip was fast but seemed uneasy, and somewhat out of control at this track. The one turn that Wardrip was having trouble with was the final turn coming out on to the straightaway. Earlier Wardrip was forced off there after attempting to pass a slower rider on the outside. He never really looked comfortable there after that incident. Koehler and Schmidt took advantage of Wardrip’s defensive approach at that turn and reeled him in then drafted by on the straight. From that point on it was a two bike race. Schmidt took over the lead on the next lap and gradually stretched out his lead, winning by three seconds at the flag.

Schmidt made it three for three by winning the Formula USA race. Schmidt had no problems in that event, beating Shawn Nicoloff by five seconds after turning a weekend best 1:15.9 on the fourth lap of that race.

Ron Widman had a good time showing the youngsters the way around the track in the A Superbike and Superstock races. The 44 year old St.Louis motorcycle dealership owner, made it look easy riding his GSXR 750 to convincing wins in each race. “I don’t feel 44, I think racing with these 20 year olds keeps me young.” Widman started roadracing in 1963.

The C Superstock/Production race was a wild affair that saw three different leaders and a surprise come from behind winner. Illinois rider Tony LaGrene got a good start and led the first lap. Sam Wardrip was right there in second, and was a few seconds ahead of a tight three way battle for third that involved Kevin Lenzmeier, Steve Patterson and first novice, Jeff Plummer. Wardrip got around LaGrene on the second lap as the two pulled further away from that third place fight. Wardrip seemed to have the race well in hand as he began to put some breathing room between himself and LaGrene. Patterson emerged from that third place fray and was in hot pursuit of LaGrene but appeared to be to far back to challenge. As Wardrip approached a lapped rider on the last turn he tried an outside pass. It didn’t work. The lapped rider faded to the outside of the track as he came to the turn giving Wardrip no where to go but off into the weeds.

Now LaGrene was in the lead again but Patterson was closing in fast. When LaGrene crossed the line getting the white flag, he still had a second and a half lead. Patterson pulled out all the stops and somehow managed to catch and draft Lagrene to win the race by a half bike length. Wardrip re-entered the race in dead last and worked his way up to 11th place at the finish.

In the final Yamaha contingency race of the day, it was Al Bertagnoli riding a Rich Doan tuned FZR 400, holding off Nicoloff and Jim Still in a close one. Bertagnoli credited his Michelin Hi-Sport radials as one of the main reasons for his win. “These tires gave me the confidence I’ve been needing. This is the first money race I’ve won this year and now I feel good about my chances for the rest of the season. I really didn’t feel comfortable until this weekend.” said a happy Bertagnoli.

A Superbike Expert
1.Ron Widman (SUZ); 2.Gary Lenzmeier (YAM);

A Superbike Novice
1.George Tapscott (YAM); 2.David Voelzke (SUZ); 3.Steve Scheibe (SUZ)

B Superbike Expert
1.Andy Schmidt (YAM); 2.Bob Sandy (KAW); 3.Keven Lenzmeier (YAM)

B Superbike Novice
1.Robert Horn (SUZ); 2.David Voelzke (SUZ); 3.George Tapscott (YAM)

C Superbike Expert
1.Andy Schmidt (YAM); 2.Dick Koehler (YAM); 3. Steve Patterson (YAM)

C Superbike Novice
1.David Voelzke (YAM); 2. Robert Coddens (HON); 3.David Deronne (YAM)

D Superbike Expert
1.Alan Bertagnoli (YAM); 2.Shawn Nicoloff (YAM); 3. Jim Still (YAM)

D Superbike Novice
1.Greg Hutcheson (YAM); 2.Kirk Reuille (YAM); 3.Jordan Brown (YAM)

A Superstock
1.Ron Widman (SUZ); 2.John Madry (YAM) 3.Tim Lampe (SUZ)

B Superstock
1.Shawn Nicoloff (SUZ) 2.Ron Widman (SUZ); 3.Scott Rughle (YAM)

C Superstock
1.Tony Lagrene (YAM); 2.Kevin Lenzmeier (YAM) 3.Scott Ruehle (YAM)

A Production Expert
1.Vince Bauer (SUZ)

A Production Novice
1.Wendall Sutcliffe (SUZ); 2.Steve Scheibe (SUZ)

B Produciton Expert
1.Vince Bauer (SUZ);

B Production Novice
1.Jeff Plummer (YAM); 2.Wendall Sutcliffe (SUZ); 3.Robert Coddens (HON)

C Production Expert
1.Steve Patterson (YAM); 2.Brain Lantz (HON); 3.Bob Newby (HON)

C Production Novice
1.Jeff Plummer (YAM); 2.Robert Coddens (HON); 3.Dave Deronne (YAM)

D Production Novice
1.Jordan Brown (YAM); 2.David Mark (YAM); 3.Randy Weaver (YAM)

Formula USA
1.Andy Schmidt (YAM) 2.Shawn Nicoloff (SUZ); 3.Dick Koehler (YAM)

Formula Two Expert
1.Shawn Nicoloff (YAM); 2.Scott Blow (YAM); 3.Alan Bertagnoli (YAM)

Formula Two Novice
1.Kirk Reuille (YAM); 2.Greg Hutcheson (YAM); 3.Jordan Brown (YAM)

Formula Three Expert
1.Ralph Farmer (HON)

Clubman Expert
1.Paul Morris (HON)

Clubman Novice
1.Edward Delfosse (SUZ); 2.Carl Morris (HON); 3.Jeff Bandstra (HON)

Vintage Two
1.R.Roiniotis (DUC); 2.Scott Rothermel (DUC) 3.Mike Comfort (BSA)

Vintage Five
1.Kevin Fardoux (KAW); 2.Bob Newby (YAM); 3.Dan Voight (HON)


Photos are in order of the bike number.

To order photos: Click on Paypal tab for quantity of photos. When paying list photo number(s) you are ordering. If you have any question or would like a quote on volume pricing (more than five photos) please contact me at or call (317) 852-2896.
Thanks much,
Larry Lawrence –

1 photo $5.00 USD2 photos $10.00 USD3 photos $15.00 USD4 photos $20.00 USD5 photos $25.00 USD

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