Week #1

With the long awaited season opener finally here, for the second year in a row we were forced to employ the two-moto transfer system. Again it was the weather that would hinder three rounds of action. With the untested new track layout, most of the sparse crowd stood under umbrellas or at least bundled up in warm clothes as they watched the rain pelt the track into a soft somewhat muddy surface. Finally, at about 11:30 the steady rain stopped and the track was opened for an abbreviated practice session. With only 65 riders signing up on this gloomy day, they were split into just 18 motos.
The first race got off at 12:15 and the action continued through occasional light rain. Five Balance Bikers got us started in their usual controlled mayhem. With “Mr. Cool”, 3 year old Malachi Goggins in the house, he was taking no prisoners. He would ace a perfect in his 3 rounds of racing action holding off Logan Barker (Creative Racing Products). Cole Lyman flat-footed his way to the third spot on the podium. “Hollywood” Ryder Champagne held off Dan Demers, who is only 2 years old, for the 4th spot.
In 12-year old action it would be a three-rider total points shootout between a 12-year old and two 8-year olds. Marissa Lyman, reigning Foothills BMX Girls Cruiser Champion, was the 12-year old and easily cruised to a sweep of the rounds. Matt Horjatschon would edge out “Lemon Drop” Evan Sauer two out of three rounds for second place overall.
There were five riders going for the win in what was described as “14 Cruiser”. In reality they ranged in age from 14 to 33. Unfortunately, it was the 33-year old, “Stone-Cold_ Steve Scibelli who lived up to his nick-name this day and failed to make the cut. In the main it was all Logan Demerski. He was first to qualify and then led coast to coast in the main event. “The Steamroller” Steven Healey, who seems to be making an early habit of looking at the rear wheel of a main winner, did the same today with a second place finish sporting some unfamiliar race wear. Third went to Warped BMX’s Mason Blackburn.
The 6-year old class would be made up of three racers including one 5-year old in a total points match-up. It would be the same order of finish in their three rounds with Evan Wadman, Kevin Torres and Cooper Jarest finish 1-2-3.
The 8-year old class saw  Jacob Dipasquale just miss transferring out of the motos into the main. He raced hard and represented his new team, Scylent race BMX Racing Team, very well. Today’s main saw Dion Hurley, in his first race ever at Foothills, go home with a first place trophy in his lap. Brody Kesl, who is the Foothills BMX Novice Class reigning champion, have to settle for a second place finish. Third went to Brianna Kent, who hasn’t raced here since 2016. Welcome Back Brianna!
It was also total points racing for the 11-year old division but, in reality, it was two 11 year olds and one 9-year old. The 9-year old was Toby Schoonmaker, a new home town rider, drawing the tough duty but tried hard. He would finish third. Nick Tirendi and Cody Baker shared wins in the first two rounds making round three the one that would decide today’s winner. As the mud squished around the feet of the finish line scorers, it was Tirendi laying claim to fame for the victory.
The last Novice grouping was the 46-50 gang. Anthony Carneglia made it look fairly easy as he sloshed his way to a sweep in the total point’s race. Art Ramsey, who we haven’t seen since the 2016 season, put his Scylent Racing colors on the second tier of the podium and Brian Kesl made his racing debut a memorable one as he broke his bike and carried it around the track in the final round.
The first group was the 8-year old gang of five. After the two qualifying rounds, it was Kayla Barker (Creative Racing Products) who missed the transfer. West Hartford’s Devon Hurly (6-year old) nailed down a hard fought win. 7-year old Haley Blackburn was impressive with her second place finish while third went to Natalie Kent.
Just as was the case with the previous class, this one (10 year old) was also made up of 5 riders. Kevin Baker was the unfortunate rider who would miss the cut today and force to watch the main event from the side lines. Jayden Kent put himself in the winner’s circle with an impressive effort. Cole Barker (Creative Racing Products) really looked strong with a very solid second place finish. Third went to Taylor Einarsen. Both Barker and Einarsen will earn “Expert Points” as Jayden was the Expert in this grouping.
The last five groups of Intermediates were all Total Points situations with only 3-riders in each grouping. The 11 year olds saw a sweep with Gavin Torres turning the dirty deed and winning everything. Lucas Holda made him work for it and finished second “Farm Boy” Dave Labarge was third.
The next one was shaping up to be a classic third round shootout as both “Butter’ Hunter Zeiner and “The Natural” Baley Levine each won a round previously. But, when the gate dropped in the tie-breaking third round, Sam Taylor, a Novice thrown in with two Experts, blasted out of the gate while Zeiner and Levine chose to coast in a “coaster race” as neither peddled anywhere on the track. Taylor won the moto but it was Zeiner edging Levine for a slow-motion second place finish giving him the overall win for the day. Taylor will earn “Intermediate Points’ for racing two riders of higher proficiency. Points are awarded one proficiency level higher in this type of situation.
BREAKING NEWS: Just learned that Hunter Zeiner gave his 1st place trophy to Sam Taylor. Wow, how cool is that? Well done Butter!

The next to last Intermediate group was the 26-35 class. Tim Baker was perfect today and swept everything in this group. “Choo-Choo” Tommy Healey was second with the third spot going to Patrick Brady. Pat is a Novice but earns “Intermediate Points” today.
Finally the last Intermediate class was the 41-45 pairing with two Experts trying to humle the one Intermediate in the gang. “The Steamrooler” Steven Healey avenged his second place Cruiser finish with a win in this class. The Intermediate, Tim “Tail-Bone” Brown, held off Steve Scibelli for the second spot.
8 year old Experts was the first group of Elite riders. Only 3 were on hand but they were all the same age and proficiency. Sawyer Spence, turned the sweep in to his first 2018 foothills win. This was the first time we’ve seen him since his move-up to the Expert class so this deserves a “Well Done Sawyer!” “Lemon-Drop” Evan Sauer earned a solid second while third went to Matt Horjatschon.
In 11 Expert action this total points race featured a pleasant surprise for the staff at Foothills. At the end of last season, the rumor mill was abuzz with news that Noah Andersen was done with racing. Today he was here, running stronger then we’ve seen him in a long time and he nailed down only his second win in over a year here. We sure hope he stays with it as he certainly has proven by yesterday’s effort that he can get the job down in winning style. “The Undertaker” Jonah Graves, nailed the coffin shut on Owen “Ice-Man” Golden by edging him in the third round after Owen had done the same in round 2.
Marissa (The Movie Star) Lyman was racing two 12-year old Experts today and drew probably the toughest duty of the day by having to race our three-time Track Champion Trevor Cooper and another one of our Hot-Rods Kayden Smith. She looked strong but the two Experts were just a wee bit stronger. At the end of the day it was Cooper – Smith and Lyman in that order.
In 13 Expert action Shamus Crane (Intermediate) gained some valuable experience by racing 3 Experts however, his persistent effort was not quite good enough to transfer into today’s main event. Dylan Barker (Creative Racing Products), came on strong at the end of last season by winning 3 of the last 7 races. Showing that was no fluke, he powered his way to the top spot on today’s podium. Aiden Biello (former track champion) settled for second while third went to “Loose Change” Jake Nichols.
The final class of the day was the 14 year old Expert class and were 4 riders strong including one Intermediate. For that guy to earn Expert Points, he needed to qualify for the main event. In spite of this announcer mispronouncing his name all day, Tyler Farwell did just that beating out Kyle Lyman for the last transfer spot. In the main there simply was no catching Logan Demerski who just made it look easy. It was a good battle for the second spot with Mason Blackburn holding off the hard-charging Intermediate Tyler Farwell.
A huge thanks to all the volunteers who got the track ready those who maintained it, those who lined it and those who filled in for me in the announcers tower.
See you next week. So long for now.
Complete finish report