Located at
71 Albany Turnpike
Canton, CT.

JUNE 9th, 2019
Story by Rog Plaskett


Today was a day that was hit or miss with scattered showers. The forecast predicted showers would move into this area around noon and some of them could be severe. Knowing that this was the same forecast as yesterday and it just never happened here, the staff decided it was worth the chance at going for it. Local radar at 10:00 am showed a line of showers were closing in fast but the thought was we could weather the storm (No pun intended). Sure enough, about 11:00 am it started to ran but that same radar showed that they appeared to be falling apart as they got close. By race time the sky had partially cleared, the track was in great shape and it was GAME ON!

The crowd was not that big with just 77 riders and 19 motos but it sure was a fun day.

Before I start a huge “Thank You” goes out to Rene Gauthier for the incredible work he did on the new deck behind the Registration building. This will allow us to actually do some cooking with the approval of the Torrington Area Heath Department. We put it to good use yesterday for the first after-race picnic.

Last week Zachary Rukakoski earned his move-up to the Intermediate class with a big win here at Foothills. Because of that he was named our Rider-Of-The-Week. During the interview he explained that Whip City was his home track and that he really enjoyed racing against Caleb Kaleta. Caleb is his favorite rider.

There were 6 foot-stomping Balance Bikers in the house, and it was one hot round of motos. Lucas Reinke pushed his way to wins in two of the three rounds. This was the first time Lucas has tried the course at Foothills and did well and adding to the impressive accomplishment was the fact that he is only 2-years old! It sure looked like he is a natural. 3-year old Bennett Pieterse was the second-place rider, and this was his first time here as well. Foothills veteran 3-year old Skylar Hardgrove was third.

15-16 Year Old Girls
This was an interesting class with 5-riders going for the four spots in the main event. They included riders from Massachusetts, Connecticut and Denmark. Yup Denmark as in The Kingdom of Denmark in Northern Europe. Katie Hansen has been coming here for four years although she missed last year due to a broken wrist. Today she paid us a visit before she heads out to California as her vacation continues. She used a borrowed bike but still managed to make the main event after just beating Savanna Cortis in the last qualifier. Track Champion and reining cruiser class champion Marissa Lyman was able to stay in front of Kaylynn Cortis for the main event win. Kaylynn was second while her sister Shyanne held off Katie for the third spot.

12 Year Olds
This was a three rider total-points race and it was the same order all day long with the sweep going to “The Undertaker” Jonah Graves riding for Full circle Bike Shop. Dave “Farm Boy” LaBarge, also out of the Full Circle Bike Shop racing stables was second and third went to “Sparky” Chris Pedersen, sponsored by Associated Lightning Rod Company Inc.

26-30 Year Olds
Total points racing in this event with Ryan Bogli (CYAA Frames) making his 2019 debut here. It was a good way to start as he was perfect with a sweep. 15-year old Evan Kryger raced for the first time here on a Cruiser and was second. Dan "Dangerous Dan" Cortis was third.

31-35 Year Old Cruisers
This was another 3-rider total-points shootout and was a good battle for supremacy. Legendary Mike Savage won the first round while Tim Brown got him in round two setting up a tie-breaking dash for the overall win in round three. Starting in gate 2, Mike had the inside as Tim would start out of gate 4. As the gate fell they both got good snaps but it was Mike who crossed the stripe first after both guys made some sweet moves in the corners. “Stone-cold” Steve Scibelli, who filled in for me in the tower for the first round, had a good view of the battles in front of him as he finished third.

5 & Under Year Olds
Cole Lyman (Overhaul) had his streak of six consecutive main event appearances broken as he just missed qualifying after “Mr. Cool” Malachi Goggins passed him in the last-chance qualifier. In the main it was Tripp Fowler, who we haven’t seen in a month, make it look easy as he captured his second win of the season here. Logan Barker was second while Malachi finished in the third spot.

11 Year Olds
This was the biggest class of the day with 6-riders in the mix. Colin LeBlanc was first to transfer out of the qualifying rounds so he would be the favorite to win the main. When the remaining qualifiers were done it was Foothills first-timer 9-year old Olivia Kaleta forced to watch from the sidelines. As predicted, it was Colin Leblanc earning the main event win. Kenan Borelli held off Caleb Kaleta for the second spot.

36-40 Year Olds
This was a four-rider grouping and always fun to watch. Last week Shawn Kennedy returned to the BMX scene after several years making babies and eating well. He was using a large gear and was obviously struggling. This week he was back with a smaller gear and almost looked like he went down too much. None the less he made the main after Foothills first-time racer James Kaleta missed the transfer despite a good try. Josh Hardgrove had it all his way in the main event as he not only cruised his way across the stripe first but transferred right into the Intermediate ranks.

7 Year Olds
This was a mixed bag of four riders. There was a five-year old, a six-year old, a seven-year-old and a six-year-old Girl. It was the six-year-old Girl who missed the cut in her first trip to foothills. It looked like the Callanan family may have recently moved to Middletown from Georgia but I’m not sure. Fiona Callanan, after looking pretty good in practice, was a last minute pull out as she was feeling Ill. We hope she is feeling better now. So, it was a free ride into the main event for the remaining three riders. Dave Crichton was the benefactor of Fiona dropping out as he wrecked all by himself in the last round but was able to get up and rider it out to transfer into the main. “Smilin Rylan” Spence had it all his was and he grabbed the opportunity to put some more first-place points into his total with his third Foothills win of the season. Logan Rice, only five-years old was second while Dave Crichton was third.

9 Year Olds
With 5-riders going for the four spots in the main event, the qualifying rounds were interesting. Natalie Kent, 9-year old Girl was the first to qualify after Jeff “Dream Weaver” Weaver went down in flames in that first qualifying race. This was Jeff’s second crash of the day as he went down in practice also. Jeff did transfer into the main after winning the second qualifier. Jacob Reinke and Johnny Urban earned the last transfer sports leaving Noah Hardgrave, who also fell in practice, on the outside looking in for the first time this year. Jeff, knowing that one of the riders he is battling for the Intermediate championship, Rylan spence, had just won the previous main event, was up to the challenge and won this main event. “Urban Legend” Johnny Urban was solid and earned a great second place finish while it was Natalie Kent rounding out the top three.

Jeff Weaver bites the dust in round one
of qualifying as Johnny Urban hangs on

12 Year Olds
This was a tough class for Liam MacNeil as he was the only 12-year old Novice rider here today and was thrown into this Intermediate class.  Despite a great try, Liam did not transfer out of the qualifying motos. The three-rider main event saw Zach Rukakowski show that his 10th Novice win here last week, was proof that he was ready for the next level. Not only did he win his first race as an Intermediate Friday at The Whip, but he duplicated that effort today as he was on the top of the podium after this race. Next to him in second place was “Sparky” Chris Pedersen (Associated Lightning Rod Co.). Third went to “Quick Nick” Tirendi. (Ramp Farm Racing).

17-20 Year Olds
I have no idea why the computer titled this three-rider group as 17-20 Intermediate when it consisted of two Girls and an Expert? Anyway, Travis Cortis, the 16-year old Expert, ended up third behind the two ladies. CYAA Frames Factory Rider Maya Brown, after competing in Virginia yesterday, won here today. Devin Murphy (Family Pride) Continues to look fast as she was second with Travis in position #3.

46-50 Year Olds
this was also a four-rider mixed bag of ages and proficiencies. They ranged from Novice to Expert and ages from 37 to 52. Todd Borelli, in only his second week racing, would only earn 4 rider points this day as he could not transfer into the main. Mike Savage would hold off Tim Brown for the second spot while Dan Rice was third.

15-16 Year Old Expert Girls
One of the hard-luck Girls that has frequented Foothills this year has to be Trumbull’s Emily Aldo. Today she, being the only 15-year-old Intermediate here, was combined with the 13-16 year old Girls. Two of the 3 Girls were Track Champions. Emily, really looked to be giving it her best but, in the end, she was forced to watch the main event from the sidelines. In the main event it was reining and 3-time Foothills Female Track Champion Marissa Lyman holding off the 2014 Track champion Ashley Jasensky (Warped BMX) for the top spot. Ashely was second with Sophia Machnik third.

11 Year Olds
With this 4-rider class made up of two 11-year olds, a 9-year old and a 10-year old, it was one of the younger riders eliminated. Jayden Kent, was pushing it to his outer limits but could just not get himself into a qualifying position and would miss the main event. “The Hammer” Wes Hamel (Family Pride) and Ben Machnik were battling hard in the motos and even pretty much took each other out in round one. But in the main it was Hamel with the win after an incredible pass in the last turn. Ben was second and maybe still feeling the effects of that earlier crash. He was ahead of Hamel all the way around and the difference at the stripe was less than a bikes length. Sawyer Spence was third.

Ben Machnik bales as Wes Hamel
is weed-whacking in turn 4

13 Year Olds
This was a total=points race that was predictable right from the start. 4-time and reining Track champion Trevor “Superfly” Cooper was the only Expert and would easily win. The only Intermediate was Kodie Carlson (YESS Dev) and he was second while third went to Vico Tirillo (Ramp Farm Racing) and the only Novice. Expert Points for everyone in this one.

15 Year Olds
With one Intermediate thorn in this mix of 5-riders it was he, Evan Kryger who missed the cut. Tyler farwell (Yess Devo) was looking really good and won todays main event. “The Westfield Warrior” Anthony Bartolo, who we haven’t seen since he won in week #2 was second while Kyle Lyman finished third.

26-35 Year Olds
This was the last class of the day and another total-points race. Wes Reel won for the 4th time in as many weeks as this Lakeville rider continues his impressive comeback. Kyle Cortis was second with Steve Scibelli third.

After racing was over with, the track remained open and the first regular season family picnic was held. It was certainly well attended with some racing families showing up who didn’t even race here today. A huge pot-luck mid afternoon lunch was served buffet style and numerous games an fun antics were going on in and around the track. This is definitely something that we will do again.
For Complete Finish Report