So how do you follow up after a 51 moto race? With a 53 moto race! Today was simply amazing. This was our Double Points State Qualifier coupled with our 6th annual Daniel J. Plaskett Memorial Race. Dan was the son of Roger and Donna Plaskett. Most know that Rog was one of our founders and has been involved with the track for the last 25 years. (including the two years it took to get a track built). Dan’s life was cut short due to a deliberating disease and this is our way of honoring his memory and to bring awareness to this genetic disease.
With a beautiful day on tap, and many of Dan’s old racing friends in the house, the line at registration was even longer than last weeks. Kudo’s to our Clerk, Catherine Biello, for her steady and relentless processing of the 242 entries that we enjoyed yesterday. Out-of-state riders pushed these numbers to new heights today as we had 52 riders from Massachusetts; 29 from New York; 10 from Rhode Island; 2 from Vermont and 1 each from Virginia and New Jersey. Add to that our Connecticut riders and we had 7 states represented again this week!
Isabella Nelson was named our Rider-Of-The-Week for her efforts last Sunday. She, although rather reluctantly, named her brother Connor as her favorite rider. I wonder if Connor actually bought her the ice cream cone he promised her if she named him?
Before the Main events ran, we held the Daniel J. Plaskett Memorial Award Ceremony. With Roger giving a moving speech telling us a little about Dan’s history most people were listening intently. This has always been rough on Rog as we hold this race on Father’s day and, this year, only two days before Dan’s birthday. This was the first year that Dan’s mom was in attendance as it’s been a tough 6 years since he passed. Time does heal and it was great to see her at the track.
Rog felt that this year’s choice was one of the easiest he’s made in choosing a recipient of the award. Dedication to the sport along with general character plays a big part and this year’s award goes to Jagur Layman, 15 year old Expert. Judging by the sound of the crowd, Jagur was a great choice. We will be building a page for him over the next couple of weeks.
A huge thank you to Joe Doherty and all the DDR crew for creating the Side Hack race where over $100 was collected and will go to the United Leukodystrophy foundation who are doing research into the disease that claimed Dan’s life. The hope is to find a viable treatment and ultimately a cure.
The Plaskett family thanks everyone who came out and supported this race and helped celebrate Dan’s memory. Nearly $500 will be donated to the foundation. Very Special thanks to The Litchfield County BMX Association for creating and hosting this event the last 6 years.
A record setting 19 riders were entered in the Balance Bike classes. We split them into 4 groups. Group one was the 5 year olds and both did well with Savannah Wood the fastest.
3 riders made up the 4 year old squad and it was Drake “No Brake” Videtto the top dog.
8 riders made up the starting grid in the 3 year old division. “Racin” Mason Murphy out pushed them all.
Finally, 6 riders made up the 1-2 binky squad with Cheyenne “Lil Thumper” Orlandi hopped her way to victory.
The first of the point classes was for the 15-16 year old Girls Cruisers. In reality they ranged from 8 years old to 45 years old. Things that make you go hmmmmmm. With Gina Layman, recovering from an injury just touching the gate, the remaining 4 riders were assured a spot in the main event making the qualifying rounds useless except for track time. In the Main it would be Avery Badendyck blasting out of the gate and never looking back as this 13 year old was on fire. Second went to 15 year old Kaylynn Cortis while 8 year old Mary Sloan was third.
IN 12 year old Cruiser action there was one rider with an apparent disadvantage by being the only 9 year old in this 12 year old 6 rider class. With Andrew Hurst in the mix this would be a tough job just to qualify. While the 9 year old did make it in, New York’s Nate Lasher was eliminated in the motos. Hurst fairly easily won the main but the 9 year old, Mason Jacquier, scored an impressive second place finish. “Wild Cherry” Kyle Kuehn, salvaged a third.
The 15 year old Cruiser class was the first of a few Total Points 3-rider shootouts. “The Beast” Dave Albert, put a “perfect” in the record books with a three-moto sweep. “Thunder Midget” Alex Kuehn was second with Jake Bacis third.
The 31-35 Cruiser class was a little strange with one 17 year old, Lewis Cianfarani, in the mix with three other riders in the 31-40 age bracket. Lew was trying so hard and was right there in each qualifying round but just couldn’t put himself in a transfer spot. He would sit and watch the main event. “Rabbit”, Jeff Orlandi was on his game today after missing the cut last week. He was the first across the stripe with Cliff Benoit and Chris Morris in tow.
The 41-45 Cruiser class saw Dave Pawson, traveling up from New Jersey for the first time in about 15 years in honor of his old friend Dan Plaskett, miss making the transfer to today’s main. Dan Kolodziej was first to qualify and the long rest served him well as he outraced second place finisher Jor Doherty and third place finisher John Ouellette.
In the last cruiser class the 46-50 year olds that actually raced got a free ride into today’s main as Craig Begnoche, injured at Pottstown a couple of weeks ago, is still nursing some broken ribs and was simply touching the gate earning rider points. Jeff Badendyck (NAG 10) was simply too much to handle for the rest of the Geritol gang. Johnny Buttwell made him work for it as did “The Governor” Pat McDonnell but it was Jeff all the way. John was second with Pat third. It was good to see Tom Johnson back here for the first time in way too long.
A ton of Novice riders were here and we start with the 5 & Under division. 3 year old Joey Deitz, impressive in itself that he was riding the entire track, failed to qualify for the 4 rider main event. He did suffer a crash but looked ok. Shaftsbury Vermont is home to today’s winner Ryder Richardson. Im guessing the ride home wasn’t as long as it could have been for him. Devin Poirer was second with third going to “The Comet” Hayley Blackburn.
The biggest class of the day was the 6 year old Novice group with 11 riders going for spots in the 8 rider main event. They were split into two groups for the first two rounds and then combined for the final qualifying round. It’s sad that 3 riders have to be eliminated in the qualifying rounds. With Brianna Kent and Kayla Barker (Creative Racing Products) suffering wrecks in a moto, only Brianna would miss the cut possibly due to effects of her crash. Cayden Melillo and Elaina Byrne were the other two non-qualifiers who tried so hard but just missed. In the Main, it was again “Super-Boy”, Guy Julian putting his green machine in the winner’s circle for the fourth week in a row. Ollie cleary was a solid second while earning a nice third was Oskar Kalnenieks.
In 7 Novice action Liliana Asselin just missed transferring out of the motos. Ernie Nieman, traveling all the way from Weston Ct., won the class this day. Tommy Berg continues his improved riding skills with a solid second. Third went to Kubrick Tarrant.
In the 8 year old Novice class it was Wes Hamel, well on his way to earning his Intermediate ranking putting another Novice victory in the win column. A rare appearance from Owen Kumiega was nice to see and he earned a solid second while Mike Arnold was right behind him for third. Despite a great try, Kaydence Morris missed qualifying.
The 9 year old Novice class had 4 rider going for the three available spots in the main event. Derek Linnick missed qualifying for the first time in four weeks and had to watch the main from the sidelines. “The Undertaker” Jonah Graves, got the job done with Josue Bruno displaying some awesome moves earning second place while “Fearless” Alissa Hatt was third.
The 10 year old Novice gang battled hard in the qualifying rounds and sadly it was Maddy Philbrick who just missed the transfer. “The Outlaw” Jesse Forlenzo earned his last Novice win and instantly became an Intermediate upon crossing the finish line. Congratulations to this little jet from Redding CT. Isabella Nelson was second with third going to Peyton Polaski.
The next three groups were all Total Points races. In the 12 year old Novice class it was Shamus Crane with a sweep in front of Emily Aldo and Sean Adams. In the 14 year old Novice grouping it was Nick Vazzano sweeping with Gianna Deitz and Ashley Thacker second and third. Then in the 28-35 Novice class yet another sweep this time it was Dan Heideger with Brian Babcock and Stefanie Blackburn second and third.
It was a good turnout in the 36-40 Novice class with 6 riders going for some Double Points glory. Shawna Nelson missed the cut this week but at least managed to stay upright and not crash. The main event win went to Zach Vanwinkle. Tim Brown (Team K-Mart colors) was second while Chris Champagne earned a third.
The final Novice class was the 4-rider 46 & Over gang. Mark Reale, the oldest at 53 years old missed the transfer. Art Ramsey, after winning last week, turned the deed again this week making it 2 out of 2 at Foothills. Chris Poirier was second with Dan Platoni third.
The Intermediates were out in force with 50 of them participating. The first group was the 7 year old group of 4 riders. As is the case most of the time, the first one to qualify was the racer who wins the main event. That was the case for Justin Donahue as he cruised to victory after qualifying in round one. Jayden Kent and Dustin Correia were second and third.
The only Total Points race for Intermediates was the 8 year old class. Black Babcock simply took no prisoners as he swept all three rounds of action. Rocky McMillan settled into the second spot while Chris Strandberg put the Northeast Air Systems colors in the third spot.
7 riders strong was the 9 year old Intermediate class. After the very competitive battle rounds it was Cole Barker (Creative Racing Products) just missing this week. Brandon Houle hung on for the main event win after holding of a hard-charging Jayden Rego who was a close second. Third place finisher was “The Iceman” Owen Golden.
The class for the 8 year olds was even bigger with 8 riders in the gate in round one qualifying. “The Crusher” Gary Winter was odd man out today. Jacob Hatt, after winning big last week, did the same again this week. RJ Reale was second and third went to Kayden Smith.
In the 11 year old Intermediate class it would come down to two riders battling for the last transfer spot. “Fierce” Pierce Curtis and Jacques Roy were close in the last qualifying round but it would be Jacques forcing Pierce to the sidelines grabbing the last main event spot. Matt robinson, Sporting a hot looking “C-Ya” frames uniform, got the job done in the main. Trevor Nielson was second while third went to Jacques Roy.
In the third round of 12 year old Intermediate qualifying, Jake Nichols would crash pretty hard in the final turn costing him any shot at transferring to the main event. He would be ok but a little disappointed. Liam Knott nailed down a nice double points win with Adin Philbrick not far behind in second place. Congrats to Adin on getting picked up by the Custon Cycle Team Edge team. Third went to Mason Blackburn.
Tim Robinson had trouble in the motos and missed making the cut for todays 13 year old Intermediate main event. The win went to Henry Dzwonkowski while Connor Nelson and Jorn Layman were second and third.
In the 15 year old Intermediate class the “Dominator” is finally back. Dom Rossi not only made his first trip to foothills today, but he won his main today. Well done Dom, where have you been? Ke-Andre Godbolt was a pretty close second while hanging onto third place was Gage Levine. Diespite trying hard, it was Mike Strandberg missing the transfer into the main.
Jake Layman, after injuring his knee at the Whip on Saturday, could only touch the gate today in a class identified as 19-27 Intermediate. Will Farrel easily won the main by a long distance phone call. Dakota Cortis held off his older brother Dan for the second spot.
IN the 28-35 Intermediate grouping it was Craig Begnoche just touching the gate allowing all the others to gain entry into today’s main without any more effort than simply riding the track. Pedro Nunes held off Cliff Benoit for the win. Behind Cliff was third place finisher Chris Morris.
In the Girls class the first one up was the four-rider 8 year old class. Same thing this week with Kyrie Coddington-Sweet being the only 6 year old racing and she would miss beating out any of the three 8 year olds for a main event starting spot. Pippa Sweet continued her dominance in the 8 year old class with another win. Mary Sloan was second while “Lil Ripper’ Elena Curtis was third.
The 12 year old Girls class saw Track Champion, Marissa Lyman displaying some nifty moves to earn a perfect in her 3-rider Total points race. Genevieve Asselin was second while Samantha Sperrazza was third.
The last Girls class was for the 14 year olds with 4 ladies going for it. Kirsten McDonnell was so close but just missed the cut. Avery Badendyck continued where she left off in her Cruiser class with another win. Ashley Jasensky, the only 13 year old was second while finishing third was Ashley Asselin.
One Woman’s class was run and it was identified as 17-20 Woman. In reality it was 15 to 33 with a Novice rider, Maya Brown in the mix of riders. Jen Wood was the rider missing transferring out of the motos. Jen hasn’t been around much as she is working a new job. Hannah Blanquart held of a determined Emily Fullerton for today’s win. Maya Brown did great with a third.
The foirst Expert class was the 8 year old squad and it was a sweep for Cole Melillo in this Total Points race. Second and third went to Aiden Grover and Nash Byrne.
With 7 riders in the 9 year old Expert class, it was going to be tough going to transfer out of the qualifying motos. Despite a great effort, Charlie Grover didn’t make it out this day. Mason Jacquier, out of the Standard Northeast Army, earned a nice win in the main event. Brennan Lasher was second while third went to Koleton Kolodziej.
There were 4 evenly matched riders in the 10 year old Expert class. After the three quyalifying rounds Zach Tuohy was a little rusty and did not transfer out. Even though Aiden badendyck was the first to transfer, this main event belonged to Kyle McDonnell. Once he got the lead it was all over. Aiden settled for second in front of third place finisher Christian Platoni. The Platonis’ were here from New Palz and we certainly hope we get to see them again very soon.
The 12 yr old expert class had a couple of 11 year olds thrown in the mix of 6 riders. Both of them did make the main. It was Nick Strandberg who missed the cut. Nick is only a occasional visitor here and lost out to the guys that really have Foothills dialed in. Andrew Hurst would double today by winning his Cruiser class and now this class. Second went to “Wild cherry” Kyle Kuehn. Aidan Biello enjoyed a solid third.
Victor Alves, in his first 2016 visit to Foothills, just missed the cut in the 13 year old Expert 4-rider group. “The Natural” Baley Levine got the job done with a nice win. Kai Escobar was a close second while Hunter Zeiner continues his comeback with a third.
The 14 year old Exprt class was loaded with talent. Whip City’s Josh Faunce, tried very hard but came up just short in the last qualifying round and missed the cut. “Thunder-Midget” Alex Kuehn put this one in the record books with a nice hard earned win. Jagur Layman had the lead for awhile but he simply could not hold of the “Midget”. Jagur settled for second while Jacob Bacis, for Custom Cycle, finished third.
Standard’s Dave Albert was the dominant rider in the 15 year old Expert class. “The Beast” heldo off “Mr. Dirt” Frank Pereez, riding out of Virginia, for the win. Third went to Matt Rowe as he eliminated Jake Stephens in the final qualifying round.
One had to feel bad for Lewis Cianfarani as he suffered the same fate in the 17-18 Expert class that he did in his Cruiser class. He just missed transferring out of his motos. Scotty Thomson was on fire and could not be stopped never mind caught. It was an easy win for him. “The Machine”, Dean Zebian, managed a solid second with third going to Justin Boissonneault flying the GHP flag.
The 19-27 year old Expert class was a Total Points between two riders as Mark Pilz must have been just touching the gate. Brian Ortis and Tyler Ortis went at it just like last week with each winning a moto in the first two rounds. The third round should be amazing. It should be but it wasn’t as Tyler wreck in turn one allowing “Flyin” Brian to cruise to an easy win.
In 28-35 Expert racing action it was Steve Scibelli who was “Stone-Cold” this week as he missed the cut. “Flash” Felix Pagan, who used to claim he could not race in a main event because he always wrecked, Stayed upright this day and earned a hard fought win. Charlie Grover had to settled into the second spot as he was able to keep third place finisher, “Rabbit” Jeff Orlandi behind him.
Tony Kumiega nailed down a “Perfect” in the three rider 36-40 Total Points shootout. Brent Rideout edged DDR team-mate Zak Gietek for the second spot.
The 46 & Over expert class was fun to watch but I wouldn’t have wanted to be in there. In round one Joe Doherty decided to straddle his rear wheel down the back side of the big first jump. As his pants were smoking, Johnny Ouellette had nowhere to go except into the back of Joe. Joe stayed on his rear wheel as John took a mean looking tumble while Jeff Badendyck and Mike Sigrist disappeared into the distance. After probably melting an ice pack or two, Doherty finally qualified out of round three. Ouellette never did qualify. Badendyck won the main as Sigrist chased him around and settled into second. Doherty was a hot third, literally.
The last two weeks have been overwhelming with tremendous rider counts. From the botoms of our hearts, we thank everyone for choosing Foothills for your Sunday activities. So long until Thursday when we hold our free Olympic night race. This race does count for track points. Come on out.
Complete finish report