Week #16 August 13th

It was a perfect day weather wise and a decent turnout in spite of the National down in Pottstown with 108 riders in the points classes and another 3 racing in an Open for 29 motos. In days of yore this would have been a very low rider count but by today’s standards we are quite happy with it.

After a number of reposts, we finally got going about 7 minutes late. In our opening ceremonies we honored our weekly Rider-Of-The-Week and this week it went o 10- year old Novice rider Dave “Farm Boy” LaBarge. Dave is from North Hampton, MA. and claims Whip City as his home track. When asked who he looked up to the most, he quickly answered Logan Demerski. Dave won his first race at Foothills last week.

The day started with the usual Balance Bikers and group 1 was made up of 4-year old Cheyenne Orlandi and 4-year old Hailey “Hot-Rod” Clough. Cheyenne would fall in the first round but quickly picked herself up and showed us all what “Mookie Strong” is all about. Hailey put her Overhaul Racing colors across the finish line first in all three rounds of pedaless action.

The next group was 4 riders strong with 3-years olds Kaiya Duplesie, Ryder (Burrito” Champagne and Malachi “Mr. Cool” Goggins doing battle with 2 year old Login Barker (Creative Racing Products). “Mr. Cool” would win two out of three rounds with Logan Barker, Ryder Champagne and Kaiya Duplessie in tow. It certainly mattered not in what order they finished as all had huge smiles.

CRUISERS

The first point’s class was the 9-year old Cruiser Total Points event. As the only 9-year old in the mix, Mary Sloan got the job done by winning the tie-breaking third round. 7-year old Evan “Lemon Drop” Sauer, was tied with her going into that round but would settle for second place. Third went to 6-year old Hayley Blackburn.  It seemed that Sauer was sporting some new colors today. He was picked up by Team Edge Tuesday Night. Congratulations L.D.! This was also his first race on a Cruiser. Well done.

The 13-year old class had 5 riders in the mix. Through the qualifying rounds the racing was fast and close and in the end the mandatory elimination of one rider would be Dylan Rodriguez. The main event saw Mason Blackburn got pushed hard by Kyle Kuehn but Kyle could not find a way to make a pass and settled for second place behind Mason as they hit the finish line. Third went to “Flash” Logan Demerski.

The 14-year old gang of three was a real barn-burner. “The Natural,” Baley Levine, enjoyed a perfect Total Points race but it didn’t come easy. Mason Vansteenbergin kept the heat turned up in every round but would finish second with JT Kelleher hanging tough but finishing third.

The 21-25-year old class had 5 riders ranging from 16 to 40 years old. It would be the older rider missing the transfer as Tim Brown would have to watch his main from the sidelines. Ryan Bogli continued his comeback tour with his third Foothills Cruiser win in 6 starts as he is honing the skills that he abandoned a few years ago when he “retired”. Cody Rose, another rider who hasn’t raced in some time, was here today and he let me know that it’s been 4 years since he took a break from BMX and went onto motocross. He’s back and put in a solid effort to finish second. Third went to “Rabbit” Jeff Orlandi.

NOVICES

In the 6-year old division there were 5 riders with two being 5-years old. Sure enough, it would be one of those two who would not transfer into the main event. This time it was Matt Daniels despite a valiant effort.  Hunter Heath, after not qualifying for the main event two weeks ago, not only qualifying today but he won it! Now that’s revenge. Dan LeClare earned the second spot while third went to Torrington’s own Ryder Duplessie.

Next up was a 3-rider Total Points race for the 7-year olds. Cayden Melillo kept those Family Pride colors out front all day long and nailed down a sweet “perfect”.  Brody Kesl was second while Mikel Aubrey finished third in his first trip here.

It was also Total Points racing for the 8 year old group. This time the “perfect” went to Kayla Barker (Creative Racing Products) as she is getting very close to an earned move-up. The second spot went to a rider who wishes anonymity while third went to Brendon Vecsey.

It was 5-riders going for 4 spots in the main event for the 9-year olds. After all the qualifying rounds were done, it was Kane Carr the rider missing the cut. This was the first time that we’ve seen Kane and hope he returns again soon. He was fun to watch. The main event saw James Wolf, a Woodbury rider who was only here for the second time this year, look great as he grabbed the lead early and hung on all the way around for a big win. Izaya Frazier, the first rider to qualify, was second across the stripe in the main. Third went to Dalton Miller. Dalton, making his first race here, chose us to celebrate his birthday with. Happy Birthday Dalton, nice ride!

In the 4-rider 11 year old class the main event was made up of 3-riders. “Quick Nick” Smith, who has never raced here before, showed us why he’s sitting in the top ten for Novice points at Whip City as he nailed down the win. “Farm-Boy” Dave LaBarge was second with “Mad” Maddy Philbrick finishing third.

This main event was not without incident as Mady Philbrick and Dave LaBarge would crash in the first turn giving Nick a free ride to victory. However, in an amazing display of sportsmanship, Nick stopped just short of turn three and went over to the crash site obviously concerned on the condition of the two competitors still down on the track. I don’t think Nick knew these two riders, at least not very well if at all. They both would get up uninjured and finish but kudos to Nick. It was really heartwarming to witness.

In the 13 year old class is was little scary first round as Emily Aldo would crash seemingly hard coming out of turn one. Using incredible “Girl-Power” she quickly jumped up and signed to her parents that all was well and once she got assistance from a track official to get the bike adjusted, simply continued on and would qualify for the main in round three. The main saw Pat Martin, also sitting in the top ten up at the Whip, get the job done here today. Evan Kryger nailed a solid second place finish while third went to Emily Aldo.

Emily went down hard
Evan Kryger avoids her
Emily starts to pop up quickly


The last Novice class was the Total Points 41-45 gang. Kevin Buynicki, racing for the first time here at Foothills, got todays win with an impressive sweep of all three rounds. Chris Champagne got the second spot while “Chargin-Charlie” Jablonski was third; Charlie was also making his debut at Foothills.

INTERMEDIATES

The first group was the 7-year old gang with 5 riders going for it. Unfortunately this group included one 5 year old Intermediate and he, “Smilin” Rylan Spence, was the rider eliminated. This one was about one special rider as Evan “Lemon Drop” Sauer, after being picked up by Team Edge Tuesday night, won today’s main event for the first time wearing those colors. Evan is our Intermediate leader in points and added more to his lead today with this win. Jackson Murphy. Only racing here once before this season, earned a solid second place finish while our little 6-year old Girl, Hayley Blackburn finished an impressive third.

In the 8-year old class, Cooper Matlasz, giving foothills a visit for the very first time, did not qualify out of the motos. Cooper is one of the Intermediate stars up at Whip and is sitting in the top ten there in the points chase. He definitely has some skills. The main event went to Kubrik Tarrant. Kubrik has only been here twice before in this season and we sure would like to see more of this speedster out of Bethel Supercross. Kyrie Coddington Sweet, a 7 year old Girl was most impressive with a second place finish that she probably would have won had she not been listening to the praise being heaped on her by the announcer and got passed by Kubrik. Third went to Landon Hansen, who has now made 6 out of 8 main events here this season.

Moving onto the 9 year old class this one was an important race for one rider.  Only racing here once this year, it was great to have this guy here today for his special day. Blake “The Snake” Babcock is sitting 7th in Intermediate points up at The Whip. But after today, he will bring those points into the Expert class as today was win #20. So glad it happened here. This guy is so ready. Look out you experts, you’re about to get snake bit. Voorhees Hageman was second while the third spot went to Brady Ronaldson. It was the same finishing order in all three rounds of this Total Points race.

Blake "The Snake" Babcock jumps his way into
The Expert class today.

Moto #17 was the 11 year old group with 4 riders registered. Cole Barker (Creative Racing Products) would miss qualifying for only the second time this year in 11 attempts. Tyler Bouteiller scored a first place award for his first Intermediate win with a nice effort. Vinny Orlandi, who only made one main here in 3 previous 2017 attempts, not only made the main but looked great with a solid second place finish. Kevin Kelleher was third after a quick repair to an exploding tire between rounds.

The 13 year old class was a Total Points class and Dylan Rodriguez, after not even making today’s main in his Cruiser class, aced a “perfect” in this 20 inch class. Hayden MacDonald hung tough for second place while Dylan Bogli was third. Dylan hasn’t raced in four years and is still trying to find his BMX legs for this longer track.

The 15 year old gang was also a Total Points race with one14-year Novice rider and one 14-year old Intermediate to go along with the one 15-year old. “The Freight Train” Ben Babcock was the only rider not racing oput of class and he certainly didn’t disappoint. He was perfect in all three rounds. The other Intermediate, Joe James was second while Novice rider Kyle earns Intermediate points for his third place finish. That’s good for 53 points, much more than if he raced in a Novice class.

The 28-35 class featured one woman in the mix. Amanda Orlandi, in this all Massachusetts lineup, was the one rider not making the cut but she seemed ok with that. Tommy Healey won the class with Steven Healey second while Brandon Daniels was third.

The 46 & over gang was made up of two Intermediates and two Experts meaning anyone making the main would earn Expert points. Unfortunately for “Big Sexy” Vic Rodriguez, there were no Expert points for him today as he would miss the transfer into the main. “Deadeye” Kevin Marchildon would earn those points and they are valuable even though they were third place points (64). The two Experts battled for the top two spots and when the dust cleared it was “Crankin” Ralph MacCracken getting the best of “Rabbit” Jeff Orlandi for today’s win.

EXPERTS

The 9 year old class was four riders deep with two of them being 9-year old Girls. Mary Sloan, despite a nice effort would miss the cut. Pippa Sweet did make it and finished third behind the two Experts. Factory Yess rider Hunter MacCracken scored the win with Cole Melillo second.

The 10 year old class was a Total Points three rider shootout which, as is the case way too many times, would have the same order of finish in all three rounds. “Nasty” Nate Giroux, only seen here just four times this season, showed why he’s sitting 5th in track points at Whip City as he made his sweep look easy today. Matt Small, also a regular at The Whip was second with Noah Andersen a very close third.

The 11 year old class was for Total Points and our reining Track champion was the favorite going in with 11 wins already this year. But today, this was going to be tougher than expected. Matt Small, who raced here 11 times last season but had not been seen this year, was back and back stronger than ever.  In round one he edged Trevor at the line which could have been a photo finish. In round two he got him again. Round three went to Trevor but Matt’s second place finish assured him the overall win for the day. Kayden Smith was third.

The last Total points class of the day was the 12 year old group. Cyan Barker (Creative Racing Products) would win round one. Round two saw Anthony “Warrior” Bartolo grab the win. The tie-breaker round saw Bartolo blast out of gate 4 with Dylan in tow and lead him all the way to the stripe for the win. Ryder Vansteenbergin was third each round.

The 13 year old gang surprisingly saw Kyle Kuehn not make it out of the motos. Logan ”Flash” Demerski, the leader in points for the Whip City track championship, brought those skills here today with a big win. Mason Blackburn pushed him hard and finished second while Adin Philbrick, also right in the mix, was third.

The “Mod Squad” 16-year old Expert class was loaded with 6 riders. JT Kelleher, a 14-year old in this mix, did not transfer out of the motos. Matt Rowe was solid all day and earned a hard fought victory today in this group of some very skilled riders. Maxwell Rose, only seen here once in two years, was second while third went to 14-year old Mason Vansteenbergin.

The last points class was also large with 6 riders competing in the 28-35 class. This class also had one girl, 28 year old Danielle Jolicoeur in the mix. John Bacchiocchi, maybe used up two much energy in practice as he was the odd man out in the qualifying rounds. The first to transfer out was Jeff Albert as he certainly surprised Dean Zebian with an unexpected turn 5 pass in round one. In the main, Zebian was ready for it and held him off to the stripe. In hindsight, had Albert not showed that passing skill in round one, he just may have gotten him in the main. We will never know. The third spot went to Eric Barkyoumb.

The one Open class was won by Cole Melillo.

That’s it for this week. Again, please remember it takes 10 races to qualify for a year end track award. This needs to happen prior to September 18th. There are only 5 races left to accomplish that. See you soon.

Complete finish report