Tommy Hayden has SuperBike Weekend wins in the last two years at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington. / Jason J. Molyet/News Journal
LEXINGTON — With the AMA Pro Road Racing Series in town this week for the Buckeye SuperBike Weekend at Mid-Ohio, riders will be in the community at special events.
McCune Cycle World at 327 Ashland Rd. in Mansfield has a big event planned for Thursday night.
Team Jordan Suzuki riders Ben Bostrom and Roger Hayden will sign autographs and take pictures Thursday from 7 to 8 p.m. Expected to join them will be Cleveland Browns defensive end Marcus Bernard and possibly more Browns players.
The highlight of the event will be the 179th Airlift Wing of the Ohio Air National Guard bringing out an Orange County Chopper bike as well as Jordan’s team showing off one of its National Guard-sponsored race bikes.
It is the first time McCune has welcomed a racing team to its dealership. Call 419-524-2222 for more information on the event.
Earlier in the evening there will be another meet-and-greet opportunity for SuperBike fans in the area.
Geico Suzuki’s Martin Cardenas, M4 Broaster Chicken Suzuki’s Chris Ulrich and Dane Westby and Suzuki SportBike TrackGear.com’s Elana Myers will be at the new convenience store Chugz on south Diamond Street in downtown Mansfield. They’ll sign autographs from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday.
Fans can win race tickets, gas cards and chicken dinners during the session.
» FAN EVENTS AT MID-OHIO: Fans can take a lap around the track as part of the 22nd annual Dealer Ride this weekend at Mid-Ohio. Go to MidOhio.com to find the list of participating dealerships coming from a five-state region.
At noon Saturday and 11:30 a.m. Sunday, fans with paddock passes can walk the pit lane when all the bikes are displayed. Riders will be available for autographs at this time.
» FINALLY A FINAL: After 20 years of drag racing, Mansfield’s Dennis Hall finally made a final round of sportsman racing at Summit Motorsports Park. On June 30, he was runner-up in the Mallory Super Pro class which is a part of the Mr. Gasket $50,000 Super Series.
He drove his 1978 Chevy Malibu to the finals, but red-lighted and tore up the rear end in the race. Still, he moved up 21 spots in the points standings, according to his friend Rob Richter. David Davis of Toledo won it in a 1993 dragster, going 145.42 mph in 7.964 seconds.
» HALL OF FAME: “Mr. Mow It All” Bruce Kaufman, the charismatic president of the U.S. Lawn Mower Racing Association, will be inducted into the USLMRA National Lawn Mower Racing Hall of Fame and Museum of America.
Joining him will be Gold Eagle Co., the makers of STA-BIL fuel stabilizer, the sponsors of lawn mower racing in this country since its inception in 1992.
Kaufman founded the organization on April Fool’s Day, 1992.
The induction ceremonies will be Sept. 2 in Delaware during the 20th anniversary of the STA-BIL Keeps Gas Fresh Finals and the U.S. Open Labor Day Weekend Lawn Mower Racing Championships. Founded in 2009, the hall is located at Miller Lawn and Power, 1299 Harding Highway East, on Ohio 309 in Marion.
The Finals and U.S. Open were formerly held at the Richland County Fairgrounds.
» INDYCAR CHANGES: The Izod IndyCar Series is bringing back the push-to-pass button for drivers to use during races. It was originally not a part of the new turbo engine package introduced this season.
It will be similar to the prior version added in 2009, but particulars as to how much and how often will be hashed out. The button will be used during the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio in August.
Indycar also allowed Lotus to make changes to its engine to make it more competitive with the Honda and Chevrolet power plants. Simona de Silvestro reportedly tested some of the new components at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course last week.
» DOUBLE WINNER: Mansfield’s Jeremy Dickerson won for the fourth time this season at Hilltop Speedway in street stocks on Saturday. He also won the won the class the night before at Napa Auto Parts Wayne County Speedway to pick up the special $100 Wayne-Hill bonus.
Rob McCurdy covers motor sports for the News Journal and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-521-7241. On Twitter follow him @McMotorsport.