Week #6

Rain Rain go away, that was the battle cry this week as it just seemed to rain nearly every day. At least for the weekend we would get a break but oh my goodness, it sure did some erosive damage to the track. As the sun came up on Sunday it was all hands on deck with rakes and brooms. By the time riders started arriving, there was hardly a trace of damage as the volunteer crew really answered the call. For that we are most grateful.

This was a special race for us as it was the Daniel J. Plaskett memorial race. Dan was the son of Roger & Donna Plaskett who, less than three years ago, lost his 8 yr battle with a devastating illness. Dan could be seen on most Sundays here in his wheel chair or electric scooter. He loved BMX and was instrumental in helping clear the land when we first built the track. Each year we present the “Daniel J. Plaskett Memorial Trophy” to a rider that Roger has determined is worthy of receiving it in honor of Dan. This year he chose one of our longest term riders, 9 year veteran Chris Pannullo. Chris has been a fixture at Foothills and, as he has gotten older, has given back to us in the form of helping maintain the track and also serving as one of our clinic instructors. He has truly become a role model for many of our younger riders. Chris was an excellent choice this year.

The winner of our Rider-Of-The-Week award for June 2nd was Brady Carlson. When asked who his favorite rider was he said, and without hesitation, that it is his brother Rylan. This week we named our Rider-Of-The-Week for last week’s efforts and we chose Rylan. When he received his trophy he said, and again there was no hesitation, that his favorite rider was his brother Brady. How cool is that?

As the popularity of BMX racing seems to be trying to find itself after the 2011 consolidation into one sanctioning body, our numbers have certainly been down. A quick review of older race write-ups certainly shows how times have changed. For example: On Father’s Day Sunday in 2005, yes it was a Double Points race, there were 287 riders in 70 motos. Today, it was 62 riders in 14 motos. Even three short years ago, week #6 had 257 riders in 66 motos.

With that said the novice classes are doing pretty good number wise so hopefully they stay with it and we see a rise in numbers as time goes on.

This week the 5 & under novice class had 5 riders. Nathan Cedor in round 1 and Wyatt Cawley in round two earned the right to run the main event. In the third round two of the remaining three riders would earn the transfer spots. They would be Dan Helms and Elena Curtis who did classic battle with Kayla Barker (Infinity Music Therapy) for that last spot. It was a great try by Kayla but she came up just short and had to watch the main. Cedor or Cawley had to be the favorites based on when they transferred but it would be Dan Helms winning the main event. Nathan just could not catch him and settled for a second place finish while Wyatt went home with a third.

There were 6 riders in the 6 novice class and some surprises were there also. In round one Mason Jacquier earned the lone transfer spot. In the next two rounds we would transfer two riders each into the five rider main event. Brady Carlson and Nate Giroux from round two and Noah Anderson and Cole Barker (Brian Neff P.E.) from round three would round out the starting grid for the main. A good effort from Kevin Kelleher but he was the one eliminated in the moto rounds. Nathan Giroux would be the surprise winner of the main with “Racin Mason” second and Noah third. You just never know in the novice classes and that’s what makes them so much fun to watch. Congrats to Nathan on his first win of the year.

In the 7 yr old novice division there were 4 riders hoping to go home with a first place trophy but there was much more on the line for one of these spit-fires than simply a trophy. One more win and this guy would earn some Intermediate stripes! Although Aden Helms did not transfer into the main, his efforts were outstanding. Now, talk about using the word “Outstanding”, it certainly applies to the efforts this year by Tristan Enquest. His fifth win here at Foothills this year was enough to allow him to bid farewell to the novice classes. With today’s win the Intermediate ranks just welcomed Tristan Enquest. Matt Evanuska enjoyed a solid second today with the third spot going to Johnny Tomboly.

It would be Total Points action for the 8 novice gang and the three riders going for it were determined. Jana Wilkinson had a tough job as she was going against two riders who have really turned up the skill level recently. Nick Gentile and Pierce Curtis. Pierce put his passing skills on display coming out of turn two in one of the motos as he powered his way around the outside of Nick for the win and eventual perfect. Overall it was Pierce, Nick and Jana at the trophy window.

In the 9 yr old novice group Brendan Healy was back after a couple of weeks off and promptly won round one for a transfer into the four rider main. Rylan Carlson earned the spot in round two. Round three action saw Derek Wood and Clara Giroux get the last two position as Josh Trivaudey was odd man out. Rylan, as always seems to be the case with the racer just named Rider-Of-The-Week, captured the win. Brendan was second and Derek Wood rounded out the top three.

In 14 yr old Girls action it was actually 3 different ages for three different ladies. 14 yr old Lexy Doty (Home Town Pizza), won the first two rounds and just touched the gate for round three as she had enough of a lead over 12 yr old Hannah Blanquart and 13 yr old Kyly Milton to ensure an overall first place finish. Hannah would be second and Kyly third.

So now the combining would start in a 7 rider class identified by the computer as “8 yr old intermediate”. In reality it was mixed with a 6 yr old Intermediate, a 7 yr old Expert and an 8 yr old Girl. At least they would all receive “expert points” but the going was tough for some. Lily Dwan tried so hard and you could feel her disappointment as she would be the rider not making this mixed main event. 8 yr old Intermediate Dylan Barker (Brian Neff P.E.) would be our winner. In the second spot would be 7 yr old expert Trevor Cooper while Zander Hicks (Matco Tools) rounded out the top three.

In 11 Intermediate action it would be Total Points competition as two 11 yr olds and one 10 yr old were going head to head. Dominic Nivolo was perfect with three wins. Austyn “The Shadow” Denette and John “JT” Kelleher battled hard for the second spot which went to Austyn by one point.

14 yr old Intermediate action had a 13 yr old Novice (Mike Wilkinson), a 13 yr old Intermediate (Dean Zebian) and a 13 yr old expert (Griffin Lafleur) thrown into the mix. So this would be expert points for all who made the main. Unfortunately despite a great effort, Mike Wilkinson was eliminated in the qualifying rounds of motos.  The expert came through as Griffin “GW” Lafleur would earn the top spot on the podium. Second went to Ethan Begnoche while Matt Higgs finished third.

In 10 yr old expert action defending track champion Fin Milton aced a perfect as he stayed in front of Victor Alves and Garret Cooper all day. Garret was the only non-10 expert in the group at 8 yrs old.
4 riders strong or maybe better said “4 strong riders” filled out the field in 12 expert. Two of these hot-rods were 12 and the other two were 11 yrs old. Age did not matter here as Matt Rowe (12 expert) did not make the show. As the dust settled it was 11X Jumpin Jeremiah Taylor the top gun. Jacob Bacis (11X) was second and Ethan Russell-Ward was third.

In the 15 Expert classification it was a rough lineup for 15 novice Connor Lafleur. Connor was placed in with these much more experienced riders. Connor would not make the main event but he displayed great sportsmanship in giving it the old good try. The “Fluorescent Flyer” Casey Tanner would prevail. Josh Blanquart gave him all he could handle and was a close second while “Double D” Dylan Denette was third. Dylan was the youngest rider in the mix at 14.

With Nick Ingala a no-show it would be a 4 rider shoot out in the 17-18 Expert “Chain Gang”. There were two16 yr olds in the mix including Chris Pannullo, our DJP Award winner today and Wes Reel. Pannullo came through on his day and won the hotly contested main event. John Devino, in only his second visit here this year was second and third went to Wes Reel.

Finally in 41 & Over Expert action it would be a Total Points showdown and it was worth the wait. The two oldest guys here, 47 yr old Fred Roy and 43 yr old Mike Sigrist were really going at it. 28 yr old Intermediate Steve Scibelli had the best view as he ran third all day and the action in front of him was nearly unbelievable. Mike won round one with some intense elbow to elbow action. A determined Fred Roy won round two. In round three it was all Mike Sigrist at the ¾ pole but then Roy turned it on at the final sprint. It was a photo finish as to who would get the gold. Oh wait, on of the finish line scorers was Fred’s daughter. Didn’t matter, what’s fair is fair and Mike just held off a hard-charging Fred at the stripe. Had the finish line been two feet to the south, the results would have been different. It was Sigrist, Roy and Scibelli one, two three.

So week #6 is now in the record books. Next week it’s a double points state qualifier here at foothills. Hot action expected with hot food as well. Jakes Way Back Burgers will be in the house. See you all then.

Complete finish report