A beautiful day with zero threat of rain and a Double Points CT State Qualifier. What could be better? Well, it would have been even better had we not had another Massachusetts State Qualifier to contend with for the second race in a row. Normally we enjoy at least 1/3 of our riders coming from the Bay State but today, only 9. Still we had 39 motos which is not too bad, but when you consider that 1 was a Strider moto and another 8 were Opens, the affect of the Massachusetts Qualifier was obvious.
Before we started we honored two previous Riders Of The Week. For his efforts on July 5th, Adin Philbrick was honored. He name AA Pro Maris Strombergs as his favorite rider. Maris is a two-time Olympic gold medalist.
Next it was The Dominator, Dom Rossi for his big win last race. Dom said Tom Kuehn was his favorite rider.
There were only 3 striders competing today and they were 3 different ages. Mason Murphy at 2 years old; Brandi Wilkinson at 3 and Haley Blackburn at 4. As always they were fun to watch.
In the open classes our winners were as follows: Elizabeth Von Wahlde in 7-8 Mixed; Marissa Lyman in 9-10 Mixed; Henry Dzwonkowski in 11-12 Mixed; Chris Aldo in 13-14 Mixed; Justin Rivera in 17-20 Mixed; Craig Begnoche in 31 & Over Mixed; Robbie Webb in 9-10 Open and Scotty Thomson in 15-16 Open.
In the Cruiser classes Angela Therriault would dominate by being the first one to transfer out of the motos and the first one across the stripe in the Main event. Gina Layman was second with the third spot earned by Jennifer Wood. Mary Sloan tried hard but this 7 year old was over powered by the older riders and missed qualifying for the main.
The 11 year old Cruiser class saw Mason Blackburn miss the cut and he had to watch the 3 rider main-event shootout from the sidelines. After 6 weeks Sam DeGrange was out points leader but, after reeling off 5 wins in a row, he’s been missing in action ever since until today. He picked up where he left off with his 6th win here at Foothills. Kyle Kuehn was second with third going to Connor Noll.
The 21-25 Cruiser class was a three-rider event with 17 year old Chris Therriault easily beating 13 year old Alex Kuehn and 22 year old Dan Cortis.
The 36-40 Cruiser class saw Dave Hile just miss making the Main event. Jon Eastwood, making a rare Foothills appearance nailed down the win. Mike Von Wahlde held off Ben Cardwell for second.
The last Cruiser race of the day was the 46-50 class. This was for “Total Points” with John Butwell giving the legend, Mike Savage all he could handle. With John winning round 1 the possible upset was in the making. Mike came back to win round 2 forcing a classic shootout for the deciding round 3. Mike held off a very intense effort from John. John almost got him or took them both out with a real aggressive attempt in turn three but Mike was able to maintain the lead. Butch Feitel, still reeling from a crash at another track a few weeks ago was third.
In the Novice classes the 5 & under group featured 5 riders going for some SQR glory. A rider from New Jersey, making his first stop ever at Foothills, captured the win away from some of our locals. Tyler Peditto Held off an impressive effort from Logan Moriarty for this win. While Logan was a close second, Ollie Cleary finished third. Cayden Melillo just missed qualifying.
In the 6 year old Novice class there were 6 riders going for it. Liliana Asselin is certainly paying her dues as she missed the cut again but again but the obvious improvement is noticeable. Here time will come soon. Jayden Kent was on fire and there was no catching him. He sped to the victory with Oskar Kalnenieks second just in front of third place finisher Dylan Cardwell.
It would be “Total Points” action for the 7 year old Novice class. With “Lil Ripper” Elena Curtis winning round one and Reese Hageman winning round two, it would come down to round three to determine which of these two spit-fires would go home with the gold. Elena would lead all the way around. As they came out of turn 5 Hageman was enjoying a head of steam and passed a disappointed “Ripper” just before the stripe. Kaydence Morris was third in each round.
It would be a full gate of 8 riders in round one of the 9 year old novice class. Ian Asselin and Iibby Hile got tangled up in turn 1 and both went down hard. Somehow Maddy Philbrick maneuvered around the carnage and made it through. Both riders would get up but Libby felt the effects the rest of the day and missed qualifying. In the main the win was a big one for “The Crusher”. Gary Winters won the main and automatically moved up to the Intermediate ranks. Congrats Gary, you have earned it!. Samantha Sperraza was second while Andrew Cardwell earned a solid third.
More “Total Points” racing in the 10 year old Novice class and again it would go to round three to determine an overall winner. Anthony Nicolo and Jana Wilkinson each nailed down a moto win but Jane would win the final round giving her the overall title. Behind Anthony it would be Logan Berko third.
Deven Lombardo, back after not racing in a few years, just missed making the transfer to the three rider 11 Novice main event. Jake Nichols captured the win with Shyanne Cortis and Shamus Crane second and third.
Katelyn Paine, another first timer at Foothills just missed making her main in the 12 Novice class. Matt Nicolo put his machine in the winner’s circle with Mason Vansteenbergen second and Connor Nelson third.
The last Novice class was the 14 year old group and, despite trying very hard. Nick Vazzano missed qualifying for the main. With Gage Levine and Dom Rossi traded wins in the last two weeks this was a classic show-down between tow friendly rivals. This week it was Gage holding off Dominic for the win with Sean Fellows finishing third.
The 8 year old Intermediate class was a mixed group of ages with 7 year old “Rocky McMillan and 6 year old Landon Hansen in the mix. As unfair as it seems the combining rules of USABMX determines the groupings. 6 year old Landon was eliminated in the motos. Brady Carlson won the main with a solid second place finish for Kevin Kelleher. McMillan was third.
“Hot-Rod” Johnny Tomboly earned his second Foothills win of the year in the 9 year old Intermediate class after Riley Hile missed the transfer out of the motos. RJ Reale kept the heat turned up but could not find a way around Johnny and settled for second place. Third went to Kayden Smith.
Trevor Nielson swept all rounds of the 10 year old Intermediate Total Points race. Aidan Drenen and Ryder Vansteenbergen were second and third all day.
The largest class of the day was the 11 year old Intermediate class with 9 riders going for 8 main event spots on the starting grid. After three rounds of motos it would be Gen Asseline missing the transfer out of the motos.
Nolan Cardwell, who we haven’t seen since mid-June, earned a sweet victory in this big class. Hayden Provencal was second with Kyle Lyman third.
“The Natural” Baley Levine, continued his streak now winning his last for races here at foothills. JT Kelleher sure kept the pressure on him and Baley needed a flawless main event lap to win it and that’s exactly what he did. Third went to Henry Dzwonkowski.
It was a full gate of riders in the 16 year old Intermediate class and Jake Layman would suffer the disappointment of missing the cut. Jake was still smarting from a recent crash. Lewis Cianfarani won it by holding off second place finisher Justin Rivera who I thought might be the favorite going in. Great win for Lewis. Third went to Dakota Cortis. Chris Tomkins was the only Novice in the mix and despite a 6th place finish he will earn “Intermediate” points.
The 25-35 Intermediate class was strange as only two of the 4 riders who earned a spot on the starting grid showed up for the main. Brian Ortis and Chris Morris finished 1-2.
9 Year Old Girls was the only Girls class of the day and was made up of 4 riders but only 2 were 9 years old. Marissa Lyman and Riley Pennucci did battle with 7 year old Mary Sloan and 8 year old Elizabeth Von Wahlde. Elizabeth would be the rider eliminated in the motos. Marissa won the main event with Riley second. Marissa now takes over the points lead for the Female Track Championship.
Five riders were in the 31 & over Womens class and Melissa Morris would have to watch the main from the sidelines as she missed the cut. Jana Roy and Angela Therriault would battle hard and finish 1-2. The third spot went to Gina Layman.
Starting in the Expert class first up was the 8 year old group. Round three of the motos was very exciting as Cole Melillo and Noah Andersen were handlebar to handlebar for the last transfer spot. Cole would hold off Noah at the stripe by half a wheel. In the Main evbent the order was Connor Noll; Shawn Biello and Cole Melillo.
In 10 year old Expert action it would be Aidan Biello missing the cut in a class that was loaded with talent. Robbie Webb had his hands full of Sam DeGrange and it was a two-rider break away in the main. Robbie managed to stay in front of Sam as they crossed the stripe tith Trevor Cooper finishing third.
In 13 year old action it would be Alex Kuehn setting fast time and holding off Matt Webb for a big win. Kai Escobar was third.
The 15 year old Expert class was Total Points racing and Justin Boissoneault would get the job done. Jagur Layman, in his first Foothills ride wearing the colors of his new team The Standard Northeast Army, was second with Ethan Escobar third.
In 17-18 Expert action Evan Greco blasted out of the gate and never looked back. He easily won the main with Ethan Begnoche second and Chris Therriault third.
The last Main of the day would be for 46 & Over experts and it would be Mike Savage and Mike Sigrist running 1-2. A finish that must have been repeated 100’s of times over the years. Third went to Craig Begnoche.
On a side note Curtis Jackson, from USABMXfitness.com and Puma was in the house with a bag full of swag and a speed gun. He set up special prizes in four categories. They were 14 & under boys, 14 & under girls; 15 & over boys and 15 & over girls. Whoever got fast speed down the front straight would win a prize. This was definitely an added element of fun.
In 14 & under Boys it was The “Thunder Midget”, Alex Kuehn setting fast time with a 1st straight sprint of 24 mph. the 14 & under Girls went to Marissa Lyman with a speed of 21 MPH. The 15 & over girls’ class went to a shoot-out between Jana Roy and Angela Therriault with Angela beating Jana to the first turn by inches.
Lastly the 15 & over boys’ class had three riders tied with 26 mph forcing another shootout. Brian Ortis, Mike Savage and Scotty Thomson all qualified but Mike elected to not go for it. Scotty spun a bit in the gate and Brian won the shoot out. The next day we realized that Jon Eastwood should have been in the shootout as well. Sorry Jon, we simply missed it.
Big thanks to Curtis Jackson for organizing this and added an element of fun to an already exciting event. Props to USABMXfitness.com and Puma.
Complete finish report