After running in a constant rain last Sunday, surely the weather would break this Sunday after 7 straight days of rain. With every other Connecticut track being rained out this week, we were determined to provide racing at Foothills. At 7:00 a.m. the rain was coming down quite hard by radar showed it would blow through and be done about 9:30. We hoped that we would then have enough time to get the track in somewhat of a race ready condition. With a moderate crowd braving the elements, practice was held up for 30 minutes while the track dried out a bit more. At 12:00 the entire track was opened for practice and, although soft in some areas, was ready to race on. But our luck was about to run out as a small but powerful cell moved through drenching the facility once again. With muddy conditions but skies that were starting to show some blue, we started racing about 1:00 p.m.
With today being Mother’s Day, we opted for the two-moto transfer system to allow families to enjoy the rest of the afternoon with their loved ones in a dry environment.
11 year old Novice rider Shamus Crane, from Huntington Massachusetts, was named our “Rider-Of-The-Week” for acing his first foothills win ever last week. Shamus claimed fellow Bay-Stater Anthony Luchessi as his favorite rider.
The 98 riders entered were split into 25 motos and the race began with two groups of Balance Bikes. Two 3 year olds went head to head in the first moto with Saraphina Sperrazza running second behind “Hot_Rod” Hailey Clough. The second group were two 1 year olds with Cole Lyman, sponsored by Racing Products showing the way around to a reluctant Logan Barker who had more fun playing in the mud than he did racing on this day.
The first of the point classes was the Total Points race between three 12 year old Cruisers. With Jared Small and Mason Blackburn splitting moto wins in the first two rounds, Masons third place finish in round one kept him 1 point behind Jared going into the final round. Jared came back and won round three for the overall win with Mason dropping back to another third place finish allowing Logan Demerski to take over the second spot on the podium.
Total Points action was also the theme for the 16 year old Cruiser class with only 3 riders in the house. Whip City’s Josh Perrier made it look easy as he scored a perfect with 3 wins. “The Natural” Baley Levine was second with Kaylynn Cortis third.
In 41-45 Cruiser action there were 5 riders working hard to earn a spot in the 4 rider Main event. A rare appearance at Foothills by the “BMX Mystery Man” Mike Savage is always a treat. Mike joined our announcer in the tower for some chat and we learned that he has raced at every track in the U.S. this side of the Mississippi River and over 400 tracks around the world. Mike would be the oldest rider in this group at 49 but experience would prevail. He qualified out of round one along with “The Governor” Pat McDonnell, and was joined in the main by John Ouelette and Jeff Orlandi. Mike would win the Main event with 47 year old McDonnell second and 44 year old Ouelette a close third.
The first Novice class was for the 5 & under gang and this would be a Total Points race that resulted in the exact same finishing order in all three rounds the same as it was last week. Natalie kent and twin sister Brianna would finish 1-2 with Hayley Blackburn charging hard for third.
With four riders going for it in the 8 year old Novice class, the odd rider not making the cut was first-time Foothills rider Elena Vernon despite a good effort. Wes Hamel, the rider who fell twice last week in the same moto but came back to win it, almost turned the same trick again this week. In round one Wes had the lead coming out of turn one and self destructed while Kayla Barker and Mike Schaller zoomed by the sprawling Hamel. We jumped up, got back on his mount and caught them as they entered turn 4 then completed the sweep to the finish line for yet another impressive moto win. And yes, he also won the main event with Kayla second and Mike third.
Lucas Holda would be the hard luck racer in the 3 rider 10 year old Novice group as he just missed the transfer out of the two rounds of motos. In the main it would be Jesse Forlenzo, riding out of Redding Connecticut with the win making it two weeks in a row for him. Isabella Nelson was impressive with a second place finish with the third spot going to Vinny Orlandi.
It was a Total Points event for the 12 year old Novice group with round one going to Jake Nichols. He won round two also but finished third in round three. Even though Shamus Crane won the third round, Jake had enough points to take the overall win by one point over Shamus. Third went to Shyanne Cortis.
Dan Heideger and Brandon Daniels each won a moto in the 16 Novice Total Points event after two rounds. The tie-breaking third round would go to Dan with Brandon a very close second. Third place went to Maya Brown.
The first Intermediate class was a three rider 7 year old main event after Kyrie Coddington-Sweet was eliminated in the qualifying motos. Kyrie was the only 6 year old Girl in the group and that one year difference sure put her at a disadvantage. Jaden Barnett, traveling from Rhode Island, made his journey worth it as he put one into the win column. Jayden Kent was second with third place going to Breton Provencal.
The 9 year old Intermediate class was especially exciting as one rider was about to move up in proficiency. The Racing Products sponsored Cole Barker missed the cut setting up a 4 rider battle in the main event. Nate Giroux exploded out of the gate and never looked back as he cruised his way to the Expert class with his 25th win as an Intermediate. Well done Nate, you deserve it. Matt Small was second today and will certainly benefit going forward with Giroux out of the Intermediate rankings. Third went to Brandon Houle.
The 10 year old Intermediate class featured 5 riders going for 4 spots in the main event starting grid. Hayden Macdonald would just miss the transfer out of the motos but we sure hope we see this West Springfield hot-rod again soon. In the main Mateo Vernon, who we only saw once last year, scored a nice win after holding off both Ryder Vansteenbergen and Johnny Tomboly.
A good size group was on hand in the 12 year old Intermediate class with 6 riders going for some Mother’s Day glory. Hebron Connecticut is a pretty good hike from Foothills and Adin Philbrook sure made it worth his travel as he was in the first group to qualify and first across the stripe in the main event. Second went to Logan Demerski while Kyle Lyman would finish third. Nate Small gave it a good try but missed qualifying for the main.
The 13 year old Intermediate class also had 6 riders in it and bad luck continued for the Cortis family as Travis missed the cut in his first trip to foothills this year. Lou Masonni, who finished second last week, captured the win this week. J.T. Kelleher, who moved up this week from the 12 year old class, was solid with a second place finish while third went to Mason Vansteenbergen.
The 15 Intermediate class was only 3 riders strong so this would be a Total Points event. The Evolution-X colors were up front every round as Jacob Stephens put them in the winner’s circle scoring a “perfect”. A perfect second went to Ben Babcock while Gage Levine had to settle for a third.
The biggest class of the day was the 7 rider 19-27 Intermediate class. In reality it was made up of a 17 year old Girl; a 17 year old Novice; a 46 year old Novice and Intermediates ranging from age 17 to 24. 46 year old Alex Philbrick was odd-man out in the motos but we hope he had a good time playing in the mud with the younger riders? 24 year old Intermediate Mark Pilz won for the second consecutive week. Lewis Cianfarani was second with Will Farrell third.
The first of only two pure Girls classes was the 3-rider 10 year old Total Points class. Reining female Track Champion Marissa Lyman remains undefeated with a nice three moto sweep. Pippa Sweet, two years younger at 8 years old made it very close in each round but could not find a way to pass Marissa and finished second. Third went to Samantha Sperrazza.
The 15-16 long-haired rockets were up next and this was a 3-rider shootout. 15 year old Hannah Blanquart, trading her Kryptonite colors for the Custom Cycle brand this year, was unbeatable was a “perfect”. 13 year old former track champion Ashley Jasensky was second overall with third place going to Kirsten McDonnell.
A nice turnout in the 10 year old Expert class with 6 riders. (two were 9 year olds) Zach Tuohy missed the transfer but the main would be pretty good. Jared Small actually beat reining Male Track Champion Trevor Cooper in a qualifying round setting up what might be a main event upset. Trevor got a good start in the main and had it all his way around the course for another win. Kyle McDonnell was impressive as he held off a great effort from Jared Small for second place. Jared settled into the third spot.
In 11 year old Expert action it was Dylan Barker (Racing Products) who missed the cut this week after assuring us he was fine after his turn 3 crash last week. Blot out Graphics National Team rider Robbie Webb was pushed hard by Garret Cooper but he would be too much and won today’s main event. Garret was second with Aidan Biello third.
In the 14 year old Expert class. Robbie’s brother Matt Webb, who also rides for the Blot Out Graphics National team, scored a perfect in his Total Points event. Jagur Layman made him work for it and was a close second while third went to Baley Levine.
In the 15 year old Expert class it looked like “The Beast” Dave Albert would easily score a perfect in his three rider shootout after winning the first two rounds. In BMX nothing is automatic as Albert would crash pretty hard in the second turn while in the lead in round 3. He would be ok but State Champ Gunar Vansteenbergen, after finishing second in the first two rounds, wound win the round three battle and, because of Albert’s third place finish, be today’s 15 Expert champion. Albert salvaged second with third going to Matt Rowe.
The 28-35 Expert class had 4 riders vying for 3 main event gate positions. 34 year old Intermediate Matt Giroux would miss the cut so he would schedule some lessons form his son who had just turned Expert about ten minutes before. “The Machine” Dean Zebian (16 years old) screamed his way to a first place finish. “Stone-Cold” Steve Scibelli was second while Jeff Orlandi settled into the third spot.
The last class of the day was the 46 & Over Expert class that also had a 31 year old Mother in it. Amanda Orlandi, on her special day, would hold off Alan Perry for the last qualifying spot. “The Mystery Man”, Mike Savage would add the 2,135th career win to his impressive total after staying in front of a very hard-charging John Ouelette. Amanda was third but was the first mother across the stripe on this special Mother’s Day.
Thanks to the 98 riders and families who spent the good part of the day with us. Your support is very much appreciated. See you all next week, weather permitting. So long for now.
Complete finish report