Chasteen Tops Oakland Class “C” Meet

Makes Amazing Speed with Indian Sport Scout to Win from a Fast Field

By W.C. Meyer, Photography by Unknown

The Eskimos in the stands gaze somewhat disgustedly at the double-crossing sunlight. They buy an occasional hot dog or two. Even the dogs tasted weary and chilled. Starter George Harais once more went through his routine as the second fifteen-miler rolled to the line. The words never change… “Come down together, men, and let’s try and get away in the first lap.” Kretz, Lauer, Jamison, Gatto, Marzotto and Al Owen start in this race. Interest revived in the stands. The pack made the starting lap off the corner. The cautioning hand of the starter demanded a better line-up. Throttles backed off. No start! Once again the milling group went into the lower turn. Helmeted head turned to helmeted head as bitter words were passed. Racing men are always ready to debate a false start. Once again they came into the back stretch and once again into the turn. This time the motors catch. They seem to catch with that even bellow that rises slowly to a screech and indicated to the race-wise who shivered with us in the stands that it was a start. Down drove the wolf-pack and down whipped the flag. Kretz threw his Sport Scout into the lead and the chase was on. Behind him plugged stocky Gatto, his Harley-Davidson running easily, smoothly. Back in the vanguard hung Jamison, Lauer and Al Owen. Interest centered in the first two however. It was in the thirteenth that Gatto made his bid. It was a good bid. It came from a waving hand of the stocky San Josean, in the pit, ordering him to go. And go, Gatto did. He was even with Kretz in the lower turn. He held him steady down the back stretch and rode him down in the corner coming up for the White flag. Gatto was fast and he rode hard. Second is a qualifying place and Kretz looked rearward. There was no threat from the group in the back and he quickly conserved his motor. Another turn and the checkered flag dropped for Gatto and then for Kretz. Jamison and Lauer saw it for third and fourth.

The rival camps checked hastily and found that the match stood at a bye. It was first and third for Indian in the first heat, second and fourth for their rivals. First and third for Harley-Davidson and second and fourth for the Wigwam in the second.

Up above, in the high places of the chilly grandstand, Timer Joe Petrali clucked a tongue over the readings of the watches. Chasteen’s average in the first one was a new record for the distance. Gatto’s average in the second was nothing sultry.

Ray Eddy (Harley-Davidson) stolid winner of the Targo at Ascot; Eddy who rides in an unemotional fashion was in the third preliminary. Bucking him was the Northland ace, Sam Arena; the Southern star, Bo Lisman, and then Mr. X. Mr. X was Dick Ince and his chrome tanked Isle of Man model road racing J.A.P.

Speculation was rife on Ince. To the Western mind a bit of scorn falls upon the single cylinder. A heritage of strockers and mighty eightys has induced a superiority complex that is difficult to overcome. However in those morning trials Ince had really gone to town. The J.A.P. clicked smoothly; it accelerated like lightning from 75 miles an hour. It might be good. The hard-bitten ones in the stands reserved judgment however. Don Rodman completed the picture and the six were ready to pour, and pour they did.

By W.C. Meyer
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