25 YEARS OF BMX RACING IN TORRINGTON CT.

Located at
71 Albany Turnpike
Canton, CT.


WEEK #6
JUNE 23rd, 2019
Story by Rog Plaskett

 

BOB WARNICKE DOUBLE POINTS SCHLORSHIP RACE
With a huge Gold Cup Qualifier down in Trumbull yesterday bringing many out of state riders to Connecticut, would some of them stay for today’s Double Pointer up here in Torrington? The weather is probably the best racing weather so far this year with low humidity and temps in the mid 70’s with a breeze. But, when registration closed for this Double-Points event, only 79 riders were here and split into just 18 motos. You just never know.

 

Before we started, we had a moment of silence for Carson Stoffel, who passed away last Sunday at a National Event in Illinois.

I took the opportunity to speak a little bit about my old friend Bob Warnicke and this related Scholarship program. I can’t say enough how grateful we old-timers are that USABMX kept this tradition going after they took over and have built it to such an impressive program that it is today. Based on Today's rider count, $790 goes towards this years schlorship program.

Rider-Of-The-Week
We have been holding back the announcement of ROTW for the June 2nd race as the rider we chose had not been here the last two races. Today he was here and Hunter Woof, 8-year old Novice from West Simsbury collected his award. He said that Grant Borelli is his favorite rider.

For last weeks effort we chose Aryana “Slayer” LaBarge as the recipient. She showed no hesitation in naming her brother Dave LaBarge as her favorite rider.

BALANCE BIKES
There were Five Balance Bikers here today and they were all combined into one group and their three rounds of drag-racing (No Pun Intended) was its usual fun to watch. Ryder “Hollywood” at 5-years old, got the job done but 3-year old Skylar Hardgrove sure made him work for it. 3-year old’s Carter Mancino and Dan Demers both looked good as well as did 2-year old Braylee Bessette.

CRUISERS
12 Year Olds
This class was a total points event with just three riders here. Full Circle Bike Shop’s Jonah Graves swept all three rounds for the perfect. Not bad for “The Undertaker” as he just started racing in the Cruiser class only one week ago. Dave “Farm Boy” LaBarge was a perfect second while Chris Pedersen (Associated Lightning Rod Co.) was third.

26-30 Year Olds
In reality it was 5-riders ranging in age from 13 – 52 years old. Rolando Carballo, all the way from East Newark N.J. came up for the big race in Trumbull. Unfortunately, he thought it was today instead of yesterday. SURPRISE! So he looked at what might be racing in the area and found us. He hadn’t raced in about 10 years and has just recently come back to the sport. Unfortunately, he was the rider not making the transfer today. I saw him after the race and commented on his old school Torker uniform. He said he liked the track and might come back soon. We certainly hope he does. Tim Brown had it all his way and led the main event all the way after a killer start from gate one. “Rad Brad” Besestte did keep the pressure turned up but could just manage a solid second. Third went to Joe Broderick.

NOVICES
5 & Under
This group was 5-riders strong and included just one 5-year old, three 4-year olds and a 3-year old who is a in her second year of racing. Brave Noteboom is the youngest rider here today and, unfortunately, she would miss the main event despite a gutty effort including a crash. In the main it was Kristopher Devaux, who won last week in his first BMX race, did it again this week. This kid from Winsted can sure ride a bike. Logan Barker needed to put some moves on Cole Lyman (Overhaul) to finish second. Cole was third on the podium.

9 Year Old Novices
After the first two qualifying rounds there were 3-riders left going for only two remaining starting positions in the main event. Eddie Delaware, Pat LeBlanc and Aryana LaBarge were left to battle for them. When the gate dropped, only two were on the track. Eddie Delaware, for some reason, had missed his last chance to cash in on some double Novice points. Pat and Aryana had a free pass to the main. Grant Borelli had won the previous two weeks that he raced here and today he made it a three-peat. Grant held off a hard charging Hunter Woof. Hunter had his hands full keeping Aryanna “Slayer” LaBarge behind him in the third spot.

11 Year Olds
This was a six-rider class and all were 11-years old. Blake “Earthquake” Carbone, in only his third BMX race ever, experienced the agony of not transferring out of the qualifying rounds today. This happens to everyone sooner or later and I hope he’s not too discouraged. Zachary Rukakowski, who has only been here once before in this season, which was on June 9th when he won, did it again today. This was a big win for him but we had no idea until he showed up at the trophy window, Just how big it was. This was win #10 for this Southhampton rider and he is now an Intermediate. Well done Zach! Antonio Amisano was a close second and. Rounding out the top three was Kenan Borelli.


Zachary with Track Operator
Jason Lyman

12 Year Olds
The was a three-rider total points race and it really was a tossed salad type of result as the first two rounds were totally different from each other. After Liam MacNeil won the first round, he would wreck in turn 2 in the second round and finish third. So going into the last round it was John Saladin with 3 total points, Liam with 4 and Zach Adams with 5. In the final round it was Liam at the halfway point but not by much. John was right on him while Zach was watching the shootout happen right in front of him. All the way up the backstretch Saladin was closing. As they went through the rhythm section Liam knew that whoever won this moto would be first overall. Liam managed to hang on with John second and Zach third.

26-35 Year Olds
This was another of the total points events with one of the three riders coming back to the sport after not racing since 2004 just before he was deployed with the US Marines in Fallujah Afghanistan during the Iraq War. Sean Kennedy was a little heavier but still looked like he had some skills. Looks were deceiving however and he quickly learned that the gears that he ran as a 18 year old, would not work for him now as he was gasping for air after each rounds and would finish third. Brad Bessette, who I don’t believe has raced here before, finished first for the sweep. John Hardgrove was second.

INTERMEDIATES
5 & Under
With just three riders this would be another total points race and it was one of those where the top spot was never in question other then by how much he was going to win not if he was going win. Logan Rice made it three wins here at Foothills in as many tries. This rider from Manchester Center was simply uncatchable. Bash Noteboom and Kris Meinel traded second place finishes in the first two rounds, but it was Bash who would grab that spot in the tie-breaking round three race.

8 Year Olds
Going into today, Rylan Spence was just one point behind Jeff Weaver in the early race for the Intermediate class championship. Today, this 8-year old group of four included one Expert. This means that all riders who could make the main would earn Expert double points. Even a third-place finish would be worth 120 points where a first-place Intermediate win is worth 100 points. With the Expert, Max Meinel qualifying out first and James Blanchard making the cut in round two, that left Noah Hardgrove and Rylan Spence to battle for that last spot in the main. Unfortunately for Rylan, the one-year difference in age was too much and Noah would hold him off for the last transfer position. Max had no problem winning the main with James Blanchard second and Noah third.

9 Year Olds
This was now a golden opportunity for Jeff Weaver to put a little distance between himself and Rylan. This was a 5-rider event made up of four Intermediates and one Girl. “Dream Weaver” was the first one to qualify so its now game-on! “Urban Legend” Johnny Urban was next in round two. Lucas Mancino and Cayden Melillo transferred from round three leaving Natalie Kent, who is enjoying her best year ever, watching the main from the sidelines. Even though Jeff drew gate 8 in the main, he used a sweet pass in turn one to get on the inside of Johnny Urban and took the lead up the second straight. Johnny stayed on him all the way, but it would take a mistake by Jeff for Johnny to pass and it just never happened. At the stripe it was Weaver, Urban and Cayden Melillo (Family Pride). This was Jeff’s third Foothills win this season and worth 110 points. (50 plus 5 rider points x two)

13 Year Olds
This was the biggest class of the day with 7-riders going for some Sunday glory. In the mix were two Girls and one Novice plus a female Intermediate. The Novice rider was Vico Tirillo and it would be double Intermediate points if he could get into the main event. Vico already has a couple of Novice wins here this year so his chances were good. The main event battle might have been indicated in the first qualifying round when both the Girls, Peyton Pulaski and Marissa Lyman transferred. After the last qualifying round it was “Mad” Maddy Philbrick (Full Circle Bike Shop) just missing the cut for the first time this year. In the main event it was a two-rider break-away and those two riders were the two Girls. Peyton Pulaski and Marrisa Lyman (3-Time female track champion) pulled away from the pack and raced each other hard all the way around. At the stripe it was Peyton earning her fourth consecutive Foothills win. Peyton now has a 110-point lead in the race for the Female Track Championship. Marissa was second and third place went to Kodie Carlson (Yess Devo).


Peyton and Marissa ruled the class
In this 7-rider shootout

15 Year Olds
This was another 5-rider race that included one Expert. That Expert was our 4-time track champion Trevor Cooper. Former Champ Aidan Biello took a digger in practice and was really hurting throughout the morning. By the time we got to the main event he looked fine and won the main. Intermediate racer Sean Daniels was second while a very generous Trevor Cooper was third. Despite a great try it was Sean Adams who did not make the cut today.

17-20 Year Olds
This was a tough class made up of four riders who would battle for three main event spots. They were 15-year old Expert Kyle Lyman, 16-Year old Expert Hunter Zeiner, 16-year old Intermediate Colin Morini and 20-Year old Devin Murphy. It was Devin who missed the Main event in this lop-sided class. Hunter Zeiner (Butter), who hasn’t raced here since last August, looked like he had the track dialed in and grabbed the main event win. The other expert, Kyle Lyman was second while Colin Morini (Full Circle Bike Shop) was third.

46-50 Year Olds
This was another mixed bunch of ages and proficiencies. In this 5-rider mix were two Novices, two Intermediates and one Expert so its big points for all who get in. Bill Fellows who is not a regular here, shut it down at the halfway point in the last qualifying round letting the regulars go for those big double-points available in the main event which he watched from the side-lines. With 39 years of racing at 510 different tracks around the world, The International Man Of Mystery, Mike Savage, who once graced the cover of BMX Action magazine, made it look easy as he put another win in his impressive list of accomplishments. Tim Brown was a solid second while the third spot on the podium would go to Jed Blanchard. One notable was Todd Borelli, Grant and Kenan’s dad. He was given a BMX bike for his birthday this past week. He looked pretty good and finished fourth in his first day.

EXPERTS
11 Year Olds
This class was made up with four-Experts but three different ages ranging from 9 to 11. 10-year old Jayden Kent was the rider who did not transfer out of the motos for only the second time this year. Cole Melillo (Family Pride) and his teammate Wes “The Hammer” Hamel put on a show as these two went nose to tail and handle-bar to handle-bar with Cole edging him at the line to finish 1-2. Sawyer Spence was third across the stripe.

12 Year Olds
This was a pure class with all four riders being 12-year old Experts. Through the qualifying rounds the battles were good but in the end it was Josue Bruno eliminated despite a good effort from this rider who calls Falcon his home track. “The Undertaker” Jonah Graves (Full Circle Bike Shop) led coast to coast and won for the fourth time this season here. Noah Andersen was a close second while third went to Dave “Farm Boy” LaBarge (Full Circle Bike Shop).

26-35 Year Olds
This was the last class of the day and a total points event but really only a two-rider event, at least for those going for the win. One of them, Steve “Stone-cold” Scibelli, missed his first round as he was filling in for me in the tower, so he gets a “4” for that round. Wes Reel would sweep the motos. Steve raced the next two rounds and finished second both times giving him a total of 8 points. Joe Broderick also finished with 8 points, so Steve salvaged a second-place overall finish. Officially it was Reel, Scibelli and Broderick. Steve announced that he is in semi-retirement mode. He is the voice of Whip-City BMX.

For Complete Finish Report