Week #5
STATE QUALIFIER

It was a nice turnout and perfect racing weather. 182 riders split into 43 motos plus two more motos of Opens not counting the two “Money Opens” and respective qualifying rounds. This was our Double Points State Qualifier and those Double Points can sure make a difference, both on the state level and the local level.

 

The Rider-Of-The-Week award went to “Quick-Nick” Krupa. This 12 year old Novice rider earned his first win last week here at Foothills. During the award interview, he attributed his improvement and success to his two friends Trevor Cooper and Dylan Barker. When pressured to pick one he reluctantly chose Dylan.


"Quick-Nick" Krupa
Named Rider-Of-The-Week
 
BALANCE BIKES

The Balance Bikers were 6 riders strong and split into two groups. The two fours year olds started us off and it was Camilo Montoya, after making his first visit to Foothills from New Haven, out ran Ryder “Hollywood” Campagne for the win.

 

The next group was the 2-3 class and was four riders strong. “Mr. Cool”, Malachi Goggins put another “Perfect” in the record books by winning all three rounds. Cole Lyman, who is often seen in practice on a “pedal bike”, was second while Logan Barker smiled his way to a third. The only 2 year old was Dan Demers and he chose to kind of chill out today and watch the action from Mom’s arms.

 
CRUISERS

The 11-12 Girls Cruiser class was a Total Points event with two 12 year olds and one 10 year old battling for the top podium spot. It would go to the unbeatable Isabella Nelson this day. Marissa Lyman was second while the 10 year old, Mary Sloan was third.

 

In 17-20 Woman’s action Kaylynn Cortis, after a solid second place finish last week, was the one rider eliminated in the qualifying rounds today. Gold Cup #2 star, Emily Fullerton nailed the win and was the only rider whose age fell into the title of the class. 15 year old Avery Badendyck was second while Jen Wood pushed her 35 year old legs to the third spot.

 

The boys Cruisers started off with a three rider Total Points shootout for the 8 year olds. Briton Ryan, who we haven’t seen since last year and never on a Cruiser was perfect today and swept all three rounds. Briton is from Ossining N.Y. which is nearly a 2 hour ride each way. Kijani Reeves, another New Yorker, Lives nearly two and a half hours away and finished second. Third went to Briton’s little brother 6 year old Brody Ryan.

 

In 14 year old action 12 year old RJ Reale was the only rider of the four who was under 14 years old. He would miss the transfer but don’t feel bad, he certainly would avenge his disappointment later in the day as you will soon see when we get to the 12 year old Expert class. This class was eventually won by Overhaul Racing’s Logan Demerski, who has not lost a Cruiser class race yet this season here and put his third win in our record books. Warped BMX Racing’s Mason Blackburn was second while Overhaul’s Kyle Lyman was third after he crashed in the main.

 

The 16 year old group was a three rider Total Points class. In late April, Alex Kuehn suffered a broken or torn Labrum in his left shoulder and it was thought that he would be out of action for 3-4 months. Yet, here he was at Foothills only 7 weeks later. “Thunder Midget” would win the first two rounds then cruise to a second place finish in the third round for the overall win. “The Natural” Baley Levine was second while Mike Strandberg was third.

 

The last group of Cruisers was the 46-50 class with only one of the three competitors falling into that age category. 49 year old Jeff Badendyck, who has not raced at Foothills this season, picked up where he left off last July when he last raced on a Cruiser here. He swept the Total Points race. 51 year old legend, Mike savage was a close second while 62 year old Roger Billings added 126 third place points to his total.

 
NOVICES

With 52 Novices in the house the action was pretty exciting everywhere. First up was the 6 rider six year old class with two 4 year olds in the mix and they would both qualify for the main. Falcon’s Aiden Hills, who we haven’t seen since last june when he was here on a Balance bike, was the rider forced to watch from the sidelines as he just missed qualifying. Kevin Torres, riding out of New Rochelle New York, finished second last week after being mixed in with 7 year olds, put it all together today and captured the main event win. Eddie Deleware earned a solid second place finish with the third spot going to Liam Noe.

 

The 7 year old class had five riders and it was quite an experience for one rider. Bryce Comboni entered his first BMX race ever today and experienced just about everything. After doing ok in the first round, he fell twice in the second round. But this kid was determined. In round three he won the qualifying round and made his first main event in his first try. Well done! In the main Fabio Lenoci, who rides out of Rocky Hill Ct., won the main in his first trip here. Noah Hardgrove was second and yep, Bryce Comboni earned the third spot on today’s podium with a great effort on the start of his BMX career.

 

The 8 year old class was quite interesting. The real battle was to transfer out of the qualifying rounds with 5 riders vying for the 4 available spots. With Dion Hurley and Brody Kesl transferring out in the first two rounds, the third round was a war for the two remaining spots between Jacob Dipasquale, Kevin Nunes and Landon Cheyne. When Landon Cheyne fell on the second straight, it looked like Jacob Dipasquale would inherit the last qualifying spot with a free ride into the main. But then, he nearly stopped looking back at the crash site where he saw Cheyne jumping up to get back on his mount. Jacob had lost all his momentum and Cheyne would pass him to earn the last spot. In the main, Dion Hurley was well on his way to his fifth straight Foothills win in as many weeks with a nice lead but the unthinkable happened. Dion simply self destructed and went down in flames. Kevin Nunes now became the leader until Brody Kesl used a sweet pass move in the final turn to take the win. Nunes was second while Landon Cheyne earned a third.

 

In the 9 year old division there were six riders going for the gold. After the qualifying rounds Damion Whitney was the odd man out. Owen Russell, not racing here since last August, Looked like he was a regular with a great main event win. Brendon Vecsey was consistent all day and enjoyed a second. Chase Comboni came back from a fall to finish third.

 

The 11 year old class eliminated one rider before the 4 rider main event. Madison Krupa, despite a really good try missed making the cut. With Chris Pedersen, being the favorite after being the first racer to qualify had the lead going into turn two in the main. Nick Tirendi, a former Rider-Of-The-Week, dove to the inside and completed the classic “swoop move” to put him on the point. He led the rest of the way as Pedersen could not find a way to pass him and settled for a second. Zach Adams finished in the third spot.

 

In 12 year old action all eyes were on last week’s winner “Quick Nick” Krupa. But with five riders running hard for those four spots and double points, Nick would struggle and miss the cut. Ian Stone came here for the first time last week and finished third. He used what he learned and took it to the top today. Vico Tirillo, who missed making a main here in his previous three attempts, made it today and was a solid second. Third went to Rich Castaldi. Kodie Carlson was in the mix but a wreck early in the main doomed his chances.

 

Richard Nunes suffered a mechanical problem by losing a crank arm in the first round and he would be forced to sit out the 13 year old main event. The main was one of the most exciting of the day even though there were only three riders in it. At one point during the main each rider had the lead. There was more passing going on than that at a Patriot’s football game. At the stripe it would be Payton Bell, Noah Toney and Dylan Evans 1-2-3.

 

The first Novice Total Points race was the 14 year old class. Evan Kryger and Shyanne Cortis traded moto wins in the first two rounds. The final round would determine who took home the 56 points going to the winner. Evan would come back and capture that important win. Shyanne was second and Emily Aldo would finish third.

 

It was also Total Points racing in the 17-20 group with Sabastian Chapman capturing the overall win with three moto wins. Sam Taylor, after missing his main last week was second this week. Pat Brady was third.

 

Jeromy Slater won all three rounds of the 26-35 Total Points race keeping Kyle Reese behind him each time. Josh Hardgrove was third as everyone finished in the same position in each round.

 

The last Novice Total Points event was in the 36-40 grouping. Trevor Toney was the dominate rider and won all three rounds. After a crash in the second turn in the fourth turn in round two, Jason Russell came back to finish second overall for the day. Chris Champagne put his Overhaul colors in the third spot.

 

There were five riders in the 46-50 class with one being from Palmetto Florida. This guy has made some stops on his trip north. After missing his third round of total points racing after winning the first two rounds down in Trumbull, he was taking to prisoners today and easily earned the win. Anthony Carneglia suffered his first lose after three wins here this year but still enjoyed a second place award. Brian Kesl, after missing the main last week, held of Rog Billings for the last transfer spot and was third in the main.

 
INTERMEDIATES

In 6 year old action Rylan Spence has been struggling a bit with the heavier Intermediate competition after moving up late last year. He made the main event in week #1 here but has missed the cut ever since. Unfortunately he suffered the same fate today despite a great effort. He’s just paying his dues. This rider who blasted his way through the Novice class will soon find the “magic” again and become “Smilin Rylan” once again. Today’s main went to Devon Hurley after a first round crash. Joey Dietz, who went down pretty hard in practice was second with third going to Broody Ryan.

 

The 7 year old class was Total Points racing and Kijani would use a nice pass of Max Meinel to round out his perfect days for three wins. Max had to settle for second with Jason Armstrong third. This was huge for Kijani because Max, being an Expert, all three riders earn Expert Points. That’s 206 points added to Kijani’s total.

 

The 8 year old class saw 4 riders going for three positions on the main event starting grid. Family Pride’s Cayden Melillo was the hard luck guy today as he just missed transferring out of the motos. Jackson Geitek made it two consecutive wins with a smooth effort today. Nick Anderson was second with Kayla Barker (Creative Racing Products) third. Not only was Jackson’s dad proud but so was his Grandfather who was also in attendance. On a side note his grandfather was once the voice of the BMX facilities in Meriden and Trumbull. In 1989 he took me under his wing and helped me out with becoming a BMX announcer. I’ll always be grateful to Joe Gietek. But now he needs to show me how to hang up the damn microphone!

 

The 10 year old class was a tough one for Chris Strandberg as he just missed transferring out in the 6 rider class. Everett Stone made it two weeks in a row with a dominant effort. Kubrick Tarrant, who hasn’t made the trip here from Bethel since last September, was a solid second while James Wolf earned a third.

 

The 11 year old class was a good size also with five riders going for it. “Mad” Maddy Philbrick gave it a great try but just missed the cut. Jacob Hernandez, whom I don’t believe has ever raced here grabbed a big win from our regulars. Shane “The Hurricane” Upham was second wnd Dave “Farm Boy” LaBarge was third after missing the main the last two times here.

 

The 12 year old class was a Total Points race. Evolution X rider Jacob Faunce won the first round but Nick Smith would win round two. Nick would win round three and Kane McMillian held off Faunce in round three for the second spot but overall it was Smith Faunce and McMillian. Sounds like a Law Firm.

 

Jacques Roy just missed qualifying for the 14 year old main event. Tyler Farwell made it 4 wins in 5 tries here at Foothills but today’s was a big one. Bethel’s Jesse Salva was second with Sean Adams finishing third.

 

The 17-20 class was also Total Points and Dan Heideger easily won the first two rounds. All he needed was a second or better in round three for the overall win. But, it didn’t happen. Dakota Cortis and Dom Rossi would finish ahead of him in the third round so Dakota, with only one moto win, would be the overall winner for the day. That’s something you don’t see often. Dan was second with Dom third.

 

The biggest points class of the day was the 46-50 group of 8 riders and a mix of Intermediates and Experts. All would earn Expert points but only for those who made the 7 rider main event. Mark Reale, the oldest at 55 and an Intermediate would miss the transfer. It would be big Jeff Badendyck adding the 216 points in his 2018 total with a big win. The BMX Mystery Man Mike Savage made him work for it but finished second. Third went to Intermediate Bill Fellows.

 
GIRLS
As usual the girls classes these days are nowhere near what they once were. Nonetheless 15 racing in the Girls classes. First up was the 8 year old gang and there were three of them including 7 year old Hayley Blackburn in this Total Points event. Elaina Byrne, out of the All Tow Family BMX camp, easily picked up her second Foothills win of the year with a sweep of the three rounds. Hayley Blackburn manage to finish second in the third round but overall, the second spot would go to Natalie Kent based on her two second place finishes.
 
The 12 year old class was pretty strong with 4 of the 5 being 12 years old. Unfortunately for Mary Slaon, she would be the only 10 year old in the mix and, despite a valiant effort would miss the cut. The main saw Isabella Nelson, who is now almost unbeatable, transfer out of the motos first and cross the finish line first in the Main. Samantha Sperrazza wwas also very strong and did make Bella work for her win and would finish second. Marissa Lyman held off Peyton Pulaski for third.
 

The 15-16 class was four riders strong and a nasty crash in turn four sealed the fate of Ashley Thacker as she was ok but would not qualify. Gianna Dietz, who we only saw here four times last year and none this year, really had the track dialed in. She would grab the win in the main event. Avery Badendyck seemed to have the second spot in the bag but her teammate and good friend Ashley Jasensky nipped her at the line. Being a state qualifier and state yearend state awards only going to state residents, it was a nice jester by New York’s Avery Badendyck.

 

The last Girls group was 17-20 and a Total Points race. Track Champion Maya Brown made it look easy as she raced her way to a perfect. Emily Fullerton, who we wish we would see more of on a regular basis, was second all day while Julionna Olson, who hasn’t been here for probably 10 years, was third.

 
EXPERTS

The tough day for the Spence team continued in the 8 year old class as Sawyer would have to join his brother Rylan on the bench to watch the main events as he also missed qualifying. This was a very tough class full of talent. Justin Donahue (Gold Cup #2) won for the fourth consecutive week here at Foothills in a 4 rider main event shootout. Jaden Barnett, who we only saw once last year finished second in his first trip here this year. Briton Ryan was third.

 

10 year old Jayden Kent also found it tough to qualify and he would miss the transfer today. Factory Yess racer Hunter MacCracken, after two consecutive second place finishes in the two previous weeks, had it all together today and nailed down the main event win. Cole Melillo, who was the first of the bunch to qualify, settled for second. Third went to “The Hammer” Wes Hamel who had some problems in turn 5 earlier.

 

The 12 Expert group was a 6 rider mix of 11 and 12 year olds. There was a nasty wreck in the first round of qualifying when Noah Andersen and Kayden Smith tangled up. Both got up and each would eventually qualify with Noah using a back straightaway pass of Brandon Houle to make the main. So dating back to last season, reining track champion Trevor Cooper has not been beaten in eight consecutive main events. This year he has’t even been beaten in a moto. For the first time this year R.J. Reale was in the house and felt it was time to make a statement. Did he ever! After Cooper qualified from round one, it looked like this would be win #5. With RJ starting in gate 1 (Pole Position) in the main and Trevor drawing gate 7 it was “Game on”. All the way around R.J. had the lead with Cooper all over him like a wet T-shirt. But as they headed for the rhythm section, R.J. turned it up a notch and pulled off the upset of the day. Cooper was second and third was Jacob Hatt. Wow what a race that was!

 

The 13 year old gang of three saw Dylan Barker (Creative Racing Products) win round one of this Total Points event. Former track champion Aidan Biello won round two setting up a final round showdown. That tie braking round would go to Biello, Barker was second and Lance “Spike” Miller was third.

 

There were six 14 year olds in this hot class. Logan Demerski (Overhaul) got the job done today but had to hold off a determined Mason Blackburn (Warped BMX) to do it. Also riding fast was “The Hurricane” Henry Hatt who earned the third spot.

 

They get older and they get faster as was the case in the 15 year old class. Eric Pulaski was looking good bu a hard fall in turn one during the qualifying rounds killed his chances. Hunter Zeiner and Kai Escobar put on an amazing show thrilling the crowd with some unreal hard but clean racing. Hunter would prevail with Kai right there. Willem Lebelle was third.

 

“The Mod-Squad” was next up and this 16 year old class was stacked. With Alex Keuhn, after winning his Cruiser class in the mix, all were expecting another front-running effort. However, “Thunder Midget” would finish third behind eventual winner Julian Freed and second place finisher “Jumpin Jerry” Taylor. Ah but Kuehn was registered in the Foothills Outlaw Money Open” coming up in a few minutes and it was obvious he was saving himself for “The Big One”.

 

In 21-25 action Andre-Anne Chenaille, a girl racing the experts, would not make the cut. Big props to this Vermont girl out of the Warped BMX camp for her efforts. Justin Boissoneault dusted off a lot of rust after not racing in awhile to put his bike in the winner’s circle. Josh Santiago managed to hold off a hard charging Matt Rowe for the second spot.

 

It was 7 riders strong in the 26-35 grouping and it was a game Jennifer Wood the rider eliminated in this qualifying rounds. She was heard to mutter “What am I doing in this class?” The main event was a great show with two of Connecticut’s long time best riders and best friends going for the glory. The last time out it was Anthony DelVento beating Matt Markie. This time Markie drew gate 2 while DelVento was over in gate 7. Markie would have the preferred line going into turn 1 and emerged out of there with the lead with delvento all over his rear wheel. All the way around Ant kept the heat turned up on Matt but there was no way Markie would give up the lead on his “home track” this day. They would finish 1-2 with Steve Healy steamrolling to a impressive third place finish.

 

The last points class of the day was the 41-45 grroup Total Points race. Zac Gietek got the job done as did his son earlier in the day. Ralph Maccracken put in a good effort and held off Pedro Nunes for the second spot.

 

There were two money Open classes to day. The first was an 8 rider Girls class with a $25 hole shot award to boot. Maya Brown would hit the hole shot mark first but it was Gianna Dietz with position on the inside of her going into the first turn. Gianna would complete the pass and held on the rest of the way for the win.


Maya Brown wins Hole Shot
But Gianna Dietz has the inside line
for the lead in turn one
 

The other Open was split into two qualifying groups. The first group of 8 was 17 & under while the second group of 8 was 18 & over. Four from each group transferred into the main. Alex Kuehn Earned the Hole shot despite Zac Gietek being on his inside. Once he powered his way out of turn one it was over as no one had anything equal to what the midget had. Kuehn went home with $125 to put towards some car parts.

 

Alex Kuehn Wins
Hole Shot Award

Kuehn Led The Entire
Lap
 

This was a great day of racing. Huge thank you to Tim Brown and Donny Olson for filling in for me in the announcers tower during the first round of motos.

 

Next week is our annual Daniel J. Plaskett Memorial Race. I hope to see a lot of your there.

 
Complete finish report