WEEK #17 August 20th, 2017
With not too much going on in the surrounding area to affect us, coupled with some near perfect weather, today’s turnout was not too bad with 96 riders split into 26 motos.
The day started with the naming of our Rider of the Week. We went with Cayden Melillo. In the interview, conducted during the break, this 7 year old Novice informed us that his favorite rider was his brother Cole. He also expressed pride in being picked up by the Family Pride Racing team early this year and also told us that he had just turned Intermediate with a win the day before at Falcon BMX.
With 4 Balance Bikers in the house, all four of these 3-year old spitfires were put in the same moto. Cole Lyman, who was definitely in the mood for some racing action today, won all three rounds of action. “Mr. Cool”, Malachi Goggins was second all day while “Burrito” Ryder Champagne and Logan Barker battled for the third spot.
The first points class was the 11-12 Girls Cruiser class made up of four riders ranging in age from 6 to 14. Riley Richardson, a Vermont rider could not find a way to transfer today and had to sit on the sidelines and watch her Warped BMX teammates, Haley Blackburn and Avery Badendyck compete. Haley, at only 6 years old managed a third place finish behind second place racer Marissa Lyman and the eventual winner Avery Badendyck.
The 11 year old class was a three rider Total Points race and it would be the same order of finish in all three rounds. RJ Reale, riding out of the Warped BMX Racing Stables, scored the perfect. Shane Johnson, Factory C-Yaa Frames was second with 8 year old Breton Provencal third. This was RJ’s fourth Cruiser win at Foothills in four tries this season.
The 12 year old division was surprising large and a pure 13 year old class with 6 riders all the same age. Dylan Rodriguez looked like he wanted nothing to do with the heavy comp and cruised around without trying to qualify. It appears he was looking to save his energy for the 20 inch version of his day. So the five rider main event saw Andrew Hurst, our top cruiser racer last year, win today in only his second 2017 appearance here. “Flash” Logan Demerski, Overhaul BMX, was second while Mason Blackburn put his Warped BMX colors in the third spot.
The last group was titled 26-30 but, in reality was 14-40. Tim Brown, the 40 year old for Team Edge, let the two 14 year olds battle it out by letting them have a clear run. With Adin Philbrick, turning 14 years old just today, winning round one of this Total Poits race, it would be JT Kellher winning round two. In the tie-breaking showdown third round, JT reigned supreme with the win.
The 6-year olds were first up and with only three riders, would be a Total Points race. Evan Wadman was uncatchable today with a sweep of the three rounds. Eddie Delaware was second with Matt Daniels, although showing significant improvement, would go home with a third place award.
The 8-year old class saw 4 riders battling in the qualifying rounds for the three positions in the main event. When those rounds were over with it was Chase Comboni missing the cut This was Chases first visit to Foothills and it’s also tough to see a first-timer miss out on the main event. Having been the top Novice last year, Kayla Barker would put career win #9 in the record books today but it sure was not easy. In the first qualifying round, she and Brody Kesl passed each other twice before Kayla got him at the line. Brody transferred in the second round as Jeff Weaver got in from round three. In the main event it was Kayla, pulling off an incredible pass in the final turn to get by Brody for the win. “The Dream Weaver” Jeff Weaver was third in his first ever visit to Foothills. On a side note, I announced many races that Jeff’s father was in up to 1995 when he quit. He raced in the same class as my late son Dan and they were good BMX friends so it was really nice to see him at the track today. I gave his son the old nick name that I hung on his dad so many years ago. Welcome aboard “Dream Weaver”.
Next up was the 10 year old group and another Total Points race with two 10-year olds and one 9-year old. Last week’s Rider of The Week, Dave “Farm Boy” LaBarge, made it look easy with three moto wins. Chris Pedersen hung on to second in front of last week’s birthday boy, Dalton Miller.
The 13 year old class was quite memorable. It was a Total points race and it would be a sweep. What made it memorable is the sweeper was Pat Martin who earned his 10th Novice win and now moves up to the Intermediate class. Making it equally memorable is that he was immediately picked up by Overhaul racing. Well done Pat! The second spot saw Emily Aldo hold off “Mad” Maddy Philbrick.
Pat Martin racing in his last day ever as a Novice.
Congratulations Big Guy.
The last Novice class was the 46 & Over gang and there were 5 riders going for some Sunday Afternoon glory. Dave Weihs, who hasn’t been here since the one time we saw his son in 2015, missed making the cut today. That’s a shame as he came all the way from Middle Island New York. Trumbull’s Mark Reale, definitely on a quest to reach the Intermediate ranks quickly, showed us again that he is the “Real Deal” with an impressive win after Chris Champagne (Overhaul) was the first to transfer out of the qualifying rounds. Brian Wadman, the favorite rider of Evan Wadman, earned second while Chris Champagne would settle for third.
There were seven classes in the Intermediate group today and four of them were Total Points races. The first up was the three rider 7-year old group. 6-year old Ryder Richardson, all the way from Vermont, put his Warped BMX colors on the top tier of the podium today with a sweep of the Total Points motos. 7-year old Cayden Melillo (Family Pride Racing) earned a solid second while 5-year old Devon Hurley was third.
It was another Total Point’s race for the 9-year old group and, at least in this one, all racers were 9-years old. It would be the colors of Family Pride Racing again on the top spot as “The Hammer”, Wes Hammel, got the job done in a sweep. Dave Weihs, only racing here once before back in 2015, was second while Taylor Einarsen, recently moving up to the Intermediate class, was third.
There were four riders going for it in the 10-year old class. Vermont’s Riley Richardson suffered the agony of not making the main event today and watched from the sidelines. Shane Upham, in only his second time here this season, won today just as he did two weeks ago. We need to see more of this hot-rod. Kevin Kelleher kept it close keeping the pressure on him all the way around but would finish second. Cole Barker, sponsored by creative Racing Products and sporting the Ramp Farm Racing colors, was third.
In 11 year action it was a Total Points event that looked a funeral procession. Jonah Graves, known as “The Undertaker”, would win two of the three rounds putting the last nail in the coffin in round three. Marek Stasiowski, riding out of Chicopee, was second while third went to “Hot-Rod” Johnny Tomboly. Paul Bearer was a distant fourth.
The 13 year old class, another Total Points race, saw Dylan Rodriguez (Overhaul racing) and Jake “Loose Change” Nichols (Family Pride Racing), each win a round after the first two. Dylan won the tie-breaking third round with Jake second and Family Pride’s Shamus Crane third.
The final two Intermediate classes had four riders each and both were a mixed bag of ages. The 19-27 class saw Falcon’s Eric Pulaski miss the transfer despite a good try. Chris Aldo put his T.R.A.C.K. colors on top of the podium with a nice win after Brandon Daniels, first to qualify, might have been considered the favorite. Brandon was second in the main with Emily Fullerton (Overhaul Racing) finishing third. With Aldo being an Expert, all riders making the main earn Expert points.
The last class was titled 41-45 but was actually 29-46. “Big Sexy”, Vic Rodriguez missed the transfer out of the motos and it rare to see Overhaul colors watching from the sidelines. 29-year old Ron Carver, making a rare appearance at Foothills, earned today’s victory. Tim Brown (Artolli Dodge sponsored Team Edge) was second while Jeff Sperrazza would finish third.
First up was a Total Points race in the 7-year old class. Kyrie Coddington-Sweet, had no trouble putting her colors in the winner’s circle in all three rounds. He colors were those of Team Guatemala. She had acquired the shirt from her visit to the UCI Would Championships a few weeks back. Hayley Blackburn, only 6 years old, looked good finishing second for Warped Racing while Natalie Kent was third.
It was Total Points again for the 11 year old Class, with that rare occurrence happing after the first two rounds. All three riders were tied with 4 points each going into round three. Samantha Sperrazza, after finishing third in round one, came back and won the next two for the overall win. Pippa Sweet (Gold Cup #1) would finish second with the third spot going to Marissa Lyman (Warped BMX).
The last Girls class was the 14-year old Total point’s race made up of two 14-year olds and one 12-year old. Avery Badendyck (Warped BMX) looked like she was in a class by herself as she made it look so easy with a sweep. Ashley Jasensky also from Team Warped and former track champion was second. Third went to 12-year old Peyton Pulaski.
In 10 year old action it was Noah Andersen and Breton Provencal battling hard in the last qualifying round for the one remaining spot in the main event. Noah would make it in but it was a great effort from 8-year old Breton. In the main, Owen “Ice-Man” Golden, who hasn’t raced nearly as much this year, maybe is getting the urge back as this Rhode Island racer was unstoppable and won it. Noah Andersen held off a hard charge from Shawn Biello for the second spot.
In 11 year old Action it was “Superfly” Trevor Cooper earning a sweep in this Total Point’s race. Shane Johnson (C-Yaa Frames Factory) actually had him in the first round but let up just a bit nearing the finish line and it cost him as Trevor stretched it out to win by inches. Shane was second overall with RJ Reale finishing third.
The featured class of the day was the 13 year old Expert class with 7 evenly matched riders really going for it. Kyle Lyman (Warped BMX) was the rider missing the transfer in this stacked class. In the main event Connor Mannion (C-Yaa Frames Factory) took the lead down the front chute but in turn one, Overhaul’s Logan “Flash” Demerski dove to the inside, somehow found some grip and completed the classic swoop to take the lead up the second straight. As they headed into turn #2, Warp’s Mason Blackburn nearly got alongside Mannion who had become unclipped. When they headed up the third straight it was nearly a three rider break-away as they headed into turn #3. This time Blackburn dove to the inside and passed Mannion. Up the backstretch and what was once a three-rider breakaway became a two-rider breakaway as Blackburn was closing in on Demerski. While that was going on, Andrew Hurst passed Mannion in turn #4. Through the rhythm section and into turn #5, Blackburn was closing and actually got his front wheel alongside Demerski’s rear wheel but that would be as close as he would get. At the stripe it was Demerski, Blackburn and Hurst rounding out the top three positions. This was definitely the most exciting class of the day.
|This Class was stacked with talent providing some heart-stopping action
The 14-year old class was a four rider shoot-out after Joe James, despite a valiant effort for the only Intermediate rider in the group, was eliminated in the qualifying motos. Justin Wilmont (C-Yaa Frames Factory) pretty much owned this class and he easily raced to a win. Adin Philbrick, racing for the first time as a 14 year old, was second with the third spot going to JT Kelleher.
The last Total Points race of the day was the 15-year old class and there was even one Girl in the mix as 16-year old Maya Brown was in the mix for Team Edge. “Butter”, Hunter Zeiner (Family Pride Racing), held off a great effort from “Jumpin” Jerry Taylor (Kid Dynamite). Jerry stayed on his rear wheel in every round but could not find a way around Hunter and would settle for second. Maya would finish third.
16 & Over was 4-riders strong and it would be Lisa Mannion, all the way from New Hampshire for the 5th time this year, not making the transfer. Lisa is another of those C-Yaa Frames riders that we’ve seen so much of since the Gold Cup. The kid in this class; 365-year old Ralph MacCracken (Factory Yess), got the best of two legends. 47-year old London Wilmont (C-Yaa Frames Factory) was second with crit Plate’s Mike Savage third. Mike, known as the “BMX Man of Mystery”, has raced at 470 different BMX tacks around the world. You just never know when and where he will pop up.
During the break between the main events today, Mike Maduske joined me in the tower for an interview. Mike thanked everyone that supported and helped him after his unbelievable crash just two weeks ago. Mike is suffering from a concussion, 5 broken ribs, bruised lungs and a slight shoulder separation. After 20 years of motor sports racing and never being injured, he got completely banged up racing BMX. He hopes to return in time to compete at the State Championship race on September 24th.
Mike Maduske addresses the crowd on his return to Foothills
So that’s it for this week, thanks for coming out today and hopefully we see you again very soon.
Complete finish report