25 YEARS OF BMX RACING IN TORRINGTON CT.

Located at
71 Albany Turnpike
Canton, CT.


WEEK #3
JUNE 2ND, 2019
STATE QUALIFIER
Story by Rog Plaskett

 

Over the course of the two race weekends prior to this race, the track was undergoing a work-in-progress transition of sorts as the new sections of the track were tweaked to make it the best possible configuration. These tweaks included fine-tuning the new Rhythm section and the altering of the first jump out of the gate which some people had dubbed “The Cliff”. Both areas seemed better after the adjustments and the comments that we heard were quite positive. Kudos to the volunteers who listened to the riders and made these adjustments. The tracks flow is back and is good. Next on the agenda will be to cap the surface with a much better clay material. This will be done periodically in sections during the first half of the season.

So Mr. Weatherman said a weather front would move through between 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm. In the Northeast corner there was even a severe weather alert. Our Track Operator determined that the 2-moto transfer system was a good idea to come as close to insuring to complete the race before the rains came as possible.

With a perfect on-time start we were ready to go 7 minutes early but, due to 5 people that had pre-registered but had not yet checked in, we decided to wait until 12:00 and then get going which is what we did.

This was the first state Qualifier in Connecticut for the 2019 season and the turnout was decent with 154 riders registered split into 35 motos.

There were 5 Balance bikers registered but One rider would fail to show. He is only 2-years old and last week was his first week and he pulled out after giving it a try. He registered today but seems his feet may have gotten cold at post time. That left four 3-year old’s to battle it out. Averi Wadman took care of business with Lucas Reinek finishing second. Akira Shorti was 3rd while the fourth spot went to a smiling Skylar Hardgrove.

CRUISERS
The first Cruiser class was titled 15-16 Girls cruiser with 5-riders ranging in age from 13 to 36 years old. 14-year old Savanna Cortis was the rider missing the cut in the two qualifying rounds despite a great effort. The main event would go to Marissa Lyman who remains unbeaten in the class at Foothills this year. She is the defending track class champion here and is positioned to repeat this season. Rounding out the three positions on the podium were Kaylynn Cortis who finished second while her sister Shyanne finished third.

The 15-year old Cruiser class was next and it included two younger riders. Chris Pedersen, sponsored weekly by Associated Lightning Rod Company Inc., is 13 years old while R.J. Reale is 13 years old. Chris would be the rider eliminated in the motos. The main event was a two rider shootout for the win between the two 15-year old’s Logan (Flash) Demerski, riding for Overhaul, and Warped BMX’s Mason Blackburn. Both riders were making their initial appearance here this season. Logan held off Mason as both riders were really flying. R.J. was third.

The 31-35 class was 5-riders strong but again, as is the norm with most Cruiser classes, it was a large disparity of ages. 16-year old Baley Levine (Warped BMX) was the youngest while the oldest in the mix was NAG #3 Matt Dallas. Overhaul’s Tommy Healey just missed making the cut. In the main it was all Matt Dallas as he was simply riding like he was in a class by himself. Marcelo Oliveira, out of Boston MA., was second while Baley rounded out the top three.

There were 40 Novice riders registered today and they were split up into 8 groups. The first was the 5 & Under gang with 5-riders going for those double points. Cooper O’Hearn, making his first trip to Foothills, could not get the track dialed in enough to qualify out of the motos. Ari Regan, who came here last week for the first time, made it two wins in as many weeks at Foothills. Tripp Fowler, who had a win here two weeks ago, was second this week. Third went to Cole Lyman.

The 7-year old bracket had 6 riders looking to cash in on some of these double points going around. Jacob Reinke, who just signed up at Whip City three weeks ago, blasted across the stripe in the first qualifying round then did the same in the Main event. Second went to Grayden O’Hearn out of East Hampton while third would be “Steady Eddie” Delaware. Owen Scott-Smith was the hard luck guy just missing the cut.

Next up was the 8-year old’s and this four-rider battle to get into the main was a good one. Trevor Stott, who made his first trip to Foothills not so memorable wrecked in the first round and did not make the cut in the final round of qualifying. He started racing last fall in Bethel. We hope he gives us another shot. In the main it was Hunter Woof earning his first Foothills win ever and he sure picked a good day to turn the deed. With the double point value, he just added 58 points to his total. Second went to Bryce Comboni while the Tuff Gurls colors of “The Aviator” Ava McKay crossed the line in third.

There were 6-riders in the 9-year-old grouping and it was Grant Borelli, riding out of Canton CT. who pulled off his first Foothills win of the season. He held off the hard charge from Gold Cup #3 Kevin Nunes. Danbury’s Ben Perna was third. Landyn Moynihan missed the cut for the first time this season.

The 10-year old gang was another 5-rider race and in this  one Brendon Vecsey, who had not been here since last August, was the hard luck rider missing the transfer. One dominant rider this year has been Toby Schoonmaker and he sure learned his lesson after last weeks “cruise to lose” venture at the finish line when he shut down early thinking he had the win only to get passed at the stripe. He stayed on the gas all the way this week and won a big-point event by doing so. Chase Comboni was second and Kenan Borelli salvaged a third place finish after Noah Sifuentes had a problem in the last section of the track.

The 12-year old class was also 5-riders strong. After the qualifying rounds it was Hunter Phoenix, all the way out of Rhode Island. Just missing the cut despite a valiant effort. Preston Wilder and Jaylynn Armstrong put on a show but after some great moves it would be Preston winning it with Jaylynn a close second. The third spot belonged to Liam MacNeil.

The only Total Points race in the Novice ranks was for the 26-35 grouping which was actually three riders ranging from 17 to 33 years old. Kyle Reese, riding out of the “Dots R Us” camp, nailed down the days first “perfect” with a sweep of the three rounds. Josh Hardgrove and Sam Taylor finished second and third all day as well.

The last Novice class was titled 41-45 but, here we go again, it was 6 riders ranging in age from 37 to 51. Charlie Fowler, who won here two weeks ago, probably thought it was gonna be easy this day and he was right. At 37-year-old he was clearly the younger guy and the fastest this day. Charlie was our main event winner. Jason Darmofalski, was the rider missing the cut today. Second went to Bruce Krouse with third going to Shane Hayes. A scary moment in the main when Brian Kesl splattered his Scylent Rage Racing colors all over the new asphalt in turn two in a wreck. Brain would get up and ride it off much to the delight of the crowd. Early reports from the pits indicated the uniform was not too badly injured either.

INTERMEDIATES
The first two groups were Total points events with just three riders in each bunch going for the gold. It started with the 5 & Under gang and it was Logan Rice winning round one with Kris Meinel finishing second with Bash Noteboom in the third spot. Round two changed everything as Logan had a problem and would finish third as Kris was the top dog. Kris would enter the final round ahead by one point. But Logan came back and won it with Kris second meaning both riders now had a total of 5 points. With the third round being the tie breaker, the finishing order was Rice, Meinel and Notboom 1-2-3.

Blake Gauthier has only been here three times in the past and he has never won. Well, that changed today and in dominant fashion. Blake won all three rounds of the 6-year old gang as he was doing it for his Full Circle Bike Shop team. “Hammerin” Cameron Rothemeyer was second while Dave Crichton was third.

The 8-year old class was the biggest class of the day although it included two 7-year old’s plus a 8-year old Girl. The girl rider was Hayley Blackburn (Warped BMX). Silas Regan, from New Milford, was the rider eliminated in the qualifiers after making his first trip here. The main event would see 7 riders lined up for the dash for some big points as the winner would garnish 116 points! Gate 1 is always the gate of choice and this one saw CT #2 Jeff Weaver sitting on the pole position. The gate dropped and “Dream Weaver” did not disappoint his fans as he got a great snap and the hole shot as they entered turn 1. Jeff has not always faired well here, especially in his early days here last season. But there was no denying now. Sporting some new colors as he is now a member of “Ramp Farm Racing”, Jeff led the charge from coast to coast. Among the cheers you could almost hear that 1975 song Dream Weaver echoing through the oak trees. “Smilin Rylan” Spence certainly kept the heat on but could not catch him and finished second. “Racin Jason” Armstrong put up a strong fight and finished third. As I announced that Main my mind drifted back to when I had the pleasure of calling races that his dad was in when he had that same Nick Name so many years ago. History does repeat itself.

The 9-year old class was amazing as it featured three Intermediates and one girl. Natalie Kent, who had not finished any higher then 6th place in a main event this year, was second to qualify behind the reining Rider-Of-The-Week, Johnny Urban. Scylent Rage Racings Brody Kesl sure was trying hard but just could not muster up enough speed and would be forced to watch the three-rider main event from the sidelines. So, it looked like a good choice if you picked The Urban Legend” Johnny Urban or Family Pride Racings Cayden Melillo to win the main. I’m glad I didn’t bet my mortgage on this one because Natalie Kent was not going to be denied this week. SHE WON THE MAIN! Holy girl-power Batman! Wow, that was big. Urban was second while Melillo was third.

It was Total Points Racing for the 10-year old gang of three. Jayden Jones would make it two weeks in a row here as a winner with the sweep. “Fire Ant”, Alyssa Mckay, a first time Foothills rider all the way from Plymouth Massachusetts, put her Tuff Gurls colors on the second tier of the podium while the bronze position went to Cayden Melillo.

The 11-year old group was four-riders strong and the biggest move in this group came in the last chance qualifier where “Rocky” McMillan pulled off one of the passes of the day in the final turn to steal the last position in the main from Ryan Assheton. The main event saw James Wolf truly the “Leader of the Pack” as he led the charge from start to finish. Mikey Roy was a solid second and very competitive. Third went to Rocky.

The 12-year old class was made up of 6 evenly matched racers. Connor Dallas, who was born with BMX DNA in him as his dad is the current NAG 3 and multiple time State champion back in earlier days, made his first trip here this year. Connor was just to unfamiliar with the track layout and recent changes to qualify for the main despite giving it his all. Josue Bruno, only here for the second time in two years, looked like he never left. He and “Farm Boy” Dave Labarge were the first two riders to qualify and they would battle it out in the main event. Josue got the best of the Full Circle Bike Shop’s Labarge this day with the win. Labarge was second and “Quick-Nick” Tirendi rounded out the top three.

The 13-year old class saw 5-racers going for those four spots in the main. Nick Krupa has raced here 10 times in the last two years and only missed one main event. Unfortunately today would be the second time that it happened. It was a tough break for Nick as he was the only Novice here and put into the Intermediate class. Kodie Carlson is really developing some serious racing skills especially now riding on the YESS Devo team. Last week he was thrown into the 14-year old bracket and missed making the main. This week there were enough 13 year olds to make a class. Kodi qualified first along with Ian Stone and got the job done in the main event. He was able to hold off “Hot-Rod” Johnny Tomboly, who was making his first BMX appearance since the one time that he raced last year. Johnny finished second while third went to Kane McMillian.

Matching a Novice rider with Intermediates happened in the next group also with Rich Nunes matched with three Intermediates. Personally, I hate this method of combining but rules are rules I suppose. Rich was eliminated from further competition after the qualifying rounds. Riding out of the Overhaul Racing stables, Chris Gonyer used the Foothills winning experience that he gained last week to his advantage this week. Chris nailed the track revisions and cruised to another win. Noah Toney, who is one incredible jumper, kept the wheels on the ground for the main but could manage just a second. “The Outlaw” Jesse Salva was third.

Next up was the 15-year old Intermediate gang with 5-riders in the gate for the first qualifying round. The lineup included two girls, one of which is our former Track champion. Ashley Jasensky, home again for the first time this year, (At Foothills) battled hard with Shamus crane. Both would qualify out of round one. The last qualifying round eliminated Emily Aldo, who tries so hard each week. So the main event lineup was set and it figured to be between Shamus and Ashley although Sean Adams and Evan Kryger are no pushovers. It was a classic shootout between the two perceived favorites and at the line. Ashley Jasensky, riding for warped BMX, was victorious. Shamus was a close second while third went to Sean Adams. In fairness to the riders behind Ashley, she is 16 years old. So, if your gonna get beat by a girl, might as well be Ashley. Well done!

The 17-20 gang was yet another 5-rider mix of riders except in this one There was an Expert in the mix meaning Expert points to all the guys that could qualify. Eric Pulaski, who has not been here since the four races he participated in here last year, would be the one rider missing the transfer. In the main, whoa wait….is that right? 17-year old girl racer Gianna Deitz would make it two mains in a row that were won by a girl! Wow, you gotta love that. Sabastian Chapman, who hadn’t raced here since he was a Novice in June of last year, nailed down a second-place finish. The Expert, Travis Cortis, salvaged third. Travis stopped in the main after Devin Murphy went down. Devin wrecked hard coming out of turn one and needed help to get off the track. She selectively went to the hospital where x-rays were negative. We hope she feels better much sooner then later.

The 26-35 groups of 4 also included Justin Boissonneault, an expert who would bring Expert points for all qualifiers. Kyle Cortis, the youngest Intermediate in the group at 21, just missed the cut. Justin is a State Champion and he showed why yesterday with an impressive win even though college has kept him away form BMX lately. Jason O’Hearn grabbed the second spot in the 4th turn with an incredible pass putting Rob Dabb, out of Trumbull making his Foothills debut, back to third.

Next up was the 41-45 4-rider group. Despite a valiant effort it was Tony Carneglia not making the transfer out of the qualifying rounds. Tim Brown did grab the top spot on the podium for the Men in Black. Dan Rice and Trevor Toney battled for the second spot which finally went to Dan.

In the 46-50 gang is was another group with four riders going for three main event positions. Bill Fellows, who was making his one annual pilgrimage to Foothills, was looking good when he pulled up in the last qualifying round. He said he knee was barking at him for mercy. That gave a free ride to the main for the remaining two riders. In the 3-rider main, Eron Lefebvre out of Ridgefield, was here foir the first time and seemed to like the track or the track liked him. He was challenged but unbeatable and won the main event. Denis Coull, all the way from Quincy Ma., was second and Mark Reale would occupy the third podium position.

EXPERTS
The last twelve motos were all Experts and that started with the 13-year old Expert Girls class. Sophia Machnik, after back to back third place Foothills finishes in the last two weeks, would miss the cut today. In the main event, the phenom out of Falcon BMX. Peyton Pulaski, now riding for Warped BMX, proved that it was no fluke last week when she won here. She repeated again this week. “Supergirl” Samantha Sperrazza held off a hard charging Marissa Lyman for the second spot.

The 7-year old gang was the first of five consecutive Total Points races. In this group it would be the same order of finish in all three rounds. Max Meinel was first, Devon Hurley was second while third went to Joey Deitz. Joey was the only 6-year old in this shootout and certainly held his own.

The next group was the 10-year olds and Dion Hurley was the fastest scoring a “perfect”. Everett Stone and Sawyer Spence traded second place finishes, but it was Spence finishing ahead of Ev in the tie-breaking third round to score second overall for the day.

11 Expert class was also a class that featured the exact same total points finish in each round. Cole Melillo (Family Pride) was first, Wes “The Hammer” Hamel (Family Pride was second while Ben Machnik was third. The rhythm section feasted by eating up Machnik and Hamel in the main.

The 12-year old class was a three-rider shootout. The "Undertaker" Jonah Graves from The Full Circle Bike Shop set the stage for today last week. Jonah, with only one Foothills Expert win last year, won the class last week and came back to repeat this week. Gavin Suares, who returned after a tough first week here, appeared to like the track flow a little better and looked good with a solid second place. "The Ice Man" Owen Golden, was third.

The 13-year old trio was a classic as some of the fastest and most skilled riders were in it. Trevor Cooper is our only 4-time Track Champion in our 25-year history. He was only beaten last year once. That one time was by R.J. Reale. This year Trevor was beaten once and again, it was R.J. Reale last week. So here is the same match up again this week. One can only wonder what the third rider in the trio was thinking in the gate. Ramp Farms Kayden Smith is always up for the challenge. So in all three rounds it was a two-rider shoot out and, at least the first two were extremely. But coming unclipped would cost Trevor Cooper from spoiling the Perfect that R.J. was building, and R.J. would do it yet again. When the dust settled it was Reale, Cooper and Smith and nothing but smiles and high fives at the finish line.

Next it was the 15-year old gang and it was a big class with 7-riders at the gate. After the qualifying rounds, Family Pride’s “Loose-change” Jake Nichols was the odd man out. The main event saw “Flash” Logan Demerski (Overhaul) fighting hard with Mason Blackburn (Warped BMX), Tyler Farwell (YESS Devo team) and “Hurricane” Henry Hatt. At the stripe it was Demerski, Farwell and Hatt for the podium spots.

The 26-35 class was a Total Points race and Matt Markie (Family Pride) turned the dirty deed again this week. Steve Healey was second and it was “Stone-Cold” Steve Scibelli earning third place points.

The last main of the day was Main Event #35 and the class was titled 36-40 Expert. The fun race in this one was the last qualifying round where 52 year old Mike Savage, pulled off the old-school foot down pass in the final turn that forced Craig Deitz to go way high and allow Mike to slip under him on the inside to earn the last spot in the main and those valuable double points. The highest ranked rider in the house today was NAG #3 Matt Dallas and he looked to be in his prime even at 44-years old as he pretty easily won todays final main event. 36-year old Pedro Nunes was a solid second and must have some feeling of self esteem as he held off the Mystery man Mike Savage who finished third.

That’s it for this week everyone, Thanks to all 154 entries we enjoyed today, and we certainly hope we see you again real soon. A special thank you to Dan Urban for stepping up and filling in for me in the Tower for a round of motos. Must appreciated and it seemed that a Star was born. See at least some of you next week.

 
For Complete Finish Report