Located at
71 Albany Turnpike
Canton, CT.

WEEK #14
AUGUST 18th, 2019
Story by Rog Plaskett


This is going to be a hot day with temps around 90 and a significant level of humidity. Couple that with the fact that 45% of our riders come from Massachusetts and Whip City is running a triple-track points race today, we figured we would be lucky to pull 10 motos. When the motos were posted there were 70 entries and 17 motos. Even though we only had 6 Massachusetts riders, Connecticut riders were more then the usual and a few from New York as well. You just cannot predict rider counts anymore. This was a pleasant surprise.

This was our Race for Life charity race. This was started by the ABA back in 1981 after a young Todd Kingsbury passed away from Leukemia, a blood related cancer. Todd was a Michigan BMX'er. This event has become the longest charitable race in BMX history and now has earned over $4,000,000 towards trying to find a cure for this disease.

Our Rider-Of-The-Week choice was an easy one for a change. After earning his first win ever last week, 8-year old Novice rider Hunter Darmofalski was the chosen one. During the interview he claimed that his favorite rider was Nick Krupa.

During the “half-time” break and after seeing him on the track during the motos. Johnny Saladin was given his Rider-Of-The-Week award for the July 21st race after he won that event. He hasn’t been racing since until today so we kind of played catch-up. John, when asked who his favorite rider was, he couldn’t come up with anyone. I then asked him who is the rider he would like to beat the most and, without hesitation he said Liam MacNeil. They were both in the 12-year old Novice Total-Points race today.

There were four Balance bikers slappin some sole to the asphalt today in their usual romp to the finish line. 5-year old Ryder “Hollywood” Champagne was challenged hard again this week by 3-year old Bennett Pieterse but managed to hang on for the win in all three rounds. Ryder was seen earlier in the day riding half the track on a 20-inch bike. Looks like a new Novice is coming soon. Bennett, in spite of a crash in the second round, would still finish in the second spot all day. 2-year old Dylan Thompson, a local Torrington rider who we haven’t seen in a while, was third for the day while 3-year old Dan “Moose” Demers put his Overhaul Racing colors across the stripe fourth.

12 Year Old’s
In the first of the two Cruiser classes this was a Total Points event and included three 12-year olds. Dave “Farm-Boy” LaBarge was definitely fired up todays as he pulled off the “Hat-Trick” with a sweep of the motos. Nick Tirendi, who just raced Cruiser for the first time here last week, looked solid and had a great battle with Chris “Sparky” Pedersen (Associated Lightning Rod Co.) for the second spot. Chris would finish just ahead of Nick in tow of the three rounds hence, he would earn second overall for the day.

46-50 Year Old’s
This was a 5-rider shoot-out between riders whose ages varied from 15 to 63. That’s a 48-year difference! One rider had to be eliminated in the qualifying rounds and today it was 48-year old Ryan Murphy. This being only the second time he was here this year; he just didn’t have the track dialed in enough to qualify. The Main event saw 22-year old Wes Reel and 52-year old Mike Savage break away from the back and really go at it on the track. At the stripe is was Reel with Savage right there for a close second. 15-year old Mason Blackburn (Warped BMX) held off the pesky 63-year old Rog Billings for the third spot.

6 Year Old’s
This was a Total-Points race and it was between 2 4-year year old’s and one 6-year old. ┬áThe 6-year old had no trouble in turning the “perfect” with a sweep of the motos. Kristopher DeVaux looked great and was unbeatable. Logan Barker and Jace Parsons raced each other hard. After Logan finished second in the first round, Jace came back and finished ahead of him in the final two rounds giving him second overall.

8 Year Old’s
There were 5-riders on the moto sheet, but one would not show in any round. This would virtually hand a free pass to the main event to the remaining four competitors. Hunter Woof did not race for some unknown reason, at least to me. Despite the free pass the second round was kind of crazy. Hunter Darmofalski would wreck on the second straight while Noah LaFrance would bale down in turn #4 while in the lead. That allowed Nora Russel, who failed to qualify last week in her first ever race here, to win her first moto here. Both Noah and Hunter were OK. In the main event it was Dylan Murphy earning his first Foothills win here in only his second visit this season. Noah LaFrance enjoyed his best finish in his 6-race career with a solid second. Third went to Hunter Darmofalski.

10 Year Old’s
This was another Total Points shootout and it was a good one. Collin Ramsey, who just started racing on July 3rd, put his first moto win in the books in round one. Reinaldo Dehostos, a regular down in Trumbull, made his Foothills debut with a second-place finish in that same opening round. “The Slayer” Aryana LaBarge was third. Round two went the same way. In the final round Dehostos jumped out to an early lead and held on for the win. However, when the points were tallied, it was Collin Ramsey (Scylent Rage Racing) earning his first ever BMX win. Dehostos was second and Aryana (Full Circle Bike Shop) was third.

11 Year Old’s
This was another Total Points race and featured the same order of finish in all three rounds. Turning the “Hat-Trick” was Antonio Amisano earning his third Foothills win in six tries. Kenan Borelli was second while Damion Whitney, making only his second visit here, was third.

12 Year Old’s
The was yet another Total Points race and it featured two former Riders-Of-The-Week doing battle. Liam MacNeil, the rider that Johnny Saladin said he wanted to beat the most, showed why as he was able to hold off a determined Saladin for the win in all three rounds. The third spot went to William Bonsma, making his Foothills debut. William, who stopped at foothills with his mom and dad last year after driving by from a soccer game at the lower fields, simply to check out what was going on. Now, he has given up soccer and taken up BMX. He looks like he has some serious bicycle skills and will be a front runner before long.

41-45 Year Old’s
This was a large class with 6 riders entered. It also was a class that featured some pretty neat racing. In round one of qualifying it looked like Shawn Kennedy would be the first rider to transfer out of the motos until they reached turn 5 when Todd Borrelli pulled off a classic pass to win the sprint to the stripe. Round two Shawn did qualify along with Mike Amisano. Round three eliminated Jason Darmofalski from further competition as Brian Kesl and Art Ramsey made it in. In the main it came down to the two riders who raced each other so competitively in the first round of qualifying. Shawn Kennedy would hold off Todd Borelli for the win. Mike Amisano held off Art Ramsey for the third spot.

9 Year Old’s
This was a large class that included two girls with six riders going for it, the end result was very unpredictable. Kyrie Sweet, who we haven’t seen in over a year, was the first to qualify. That was impressive as, after so many years racing at Foothills and, being as young as she was, never had anyone her own age and proficiency to race, was paying her dues. Looks like she has paid off her bill. Hayley Blackburn, who hasn’t been here since early June, did not make the transfer today despite a great try. In the main it was all Kyrie Sweet from coast to coast. It couldn’t have gone to a girl that’s anymore “sweet”. Scylent Rage racing’s Brody Kesl was strong and finished second. Third went to Max Cucolo out of Sandy Hook. Every week there seems to be one rider who has a terrible day. Today that rider was Ramp Farm’s Jeff Weaver. Jeff crashed very hard on the first jump in the first qualifier. Then, in the main event, he would do it again in turn 5. Neither wreck left him injured, but this was a day he will soon forget.

Jeff Weaver in Trouble

Still Trying to Save It

About to Get Dusty
11 Year Old’s
Back to Total Points racing for this group of three. The good news is there is an Expert in the mix so it’s big points for everyone. The Expert was Family Pride racer Dion Hurley and he had little trouble earning his fifth foothills win of the season. Owen Russell grabbed the second spot overall with two second place finishes. Third went to Toby Schoonmaker.

13 Year Old’s
This was another large grouping with 6-riders and there were a couple of Novices looking for some Intermediate points if they could make the cut. Unfortunately for one of them, “Zack Attack” Zack Adams, would have to watch from the sidelines and receive only 6 rider points. In the main it was all Full Circle Bike Shop colors on the point. Dave “Farm-Boy” LaBarge would make this day a great one for his resume as he won this class after winning his Cruiser class earlier today. Nick Tirendi, who has been looking really strong lately, was second while the third spot on the podium would go to “Sparky” Chris Pedersen (Associated Lightning Rod Company Inc.).

15 Year Old’s
this was a four-rider race with one being an Expert. Emily Aldo was the hard luck rider this time as she could not keep her Trumbull Track colors in a qualifying position and had to sit out the 3-rider main event. Trevor Cooper would add 104 points to his years total with today’s win. Not only that but, with Aidan Biello not here today, Trevor takes over the top spot in the race for the track championship by a mere 27 points. The top three are within 37 points of each other. Second place in the class went to Noah Toney while Sean Adams finished third.

36-40 Year Old’s
This was the biggest class of the day with 7-riders entered and a mix of Girls, Experts and Intermediates. Stefanie Blackburn, in only her second race here this year would be the one rider eliminated in the qualifying rounds. The two experts were 22-year old Westley Reel and 52-year-old Mike Savage. As expected, they would quickly pull away from the pack and battle each other. Savage led early but could no hold off Wes from taking over the lead. When they reached to rhythm section Wes was ahead by about three bike lengths. Savage manualed through the humps and caught Wes but could not find a way around. It was a very close finish and probably the race of the day. It certainly got the crowds attention as everyone was cheering. After those two finished 1-2 it was 40-year old Trevor Toney becoming the first Intermediate across the stripe for third.

Mike Savage leads early but a charging Wes Reel would pass him

7 Year Old’s
The three “Expert” classes would all be Total Points races. This one saw Devon Hurley (Family Pride Racing) earn his sixth consecutive Foothills win. Blake Gauthier and Logan Rice, both 7-year old Intermediates finished second and third and both earn expert points.

11 Year Olds
This Total Points event saw “The Hammer” Wes Hamel hold off Pippa Sweet and James Wolf for todays win. Pippa, making her first visit to Foothills in aver a year, was second while the third spot would go to James Wolf.

15 Year Old’s
The last race of the day was also Total Points and was made up of two 15-year old’s and one 14-year old. Tyler Farwell, who has only been her for six races this season, earned his 5th win in an impressive effort. Mason Blackburn, made a rare Foothills appearance and earned a second place award. The 14-year old was Dylan Barker and he would finish third.

A Huge THANK YOU to al the volunteers today and especially to those who stepped up to help while some of our staff members were away. These include Mike Savage, Dan Urban, Chris Gombos and many others. Very much appreciated.
For Complete Finish Report