25 YEARS OF BMX RACING IN TORRINGTON CT.

Located at
71 Albany Turnpike
Canton, CT.


WEEK #4
JUNE 9th, 2019
Story by Rog Plaskett

 

So today we go up against a big National Event down in Maryland and it certainly influenced the rider count back here on the local end. With just 80 entries and only 20 motos, this would be the smallest race to date for this season, but it sure wasn’t without some great racing action and some cool story lines.

Before we started, we named our Rider-Of-The-Week from two weeks ago. 11-year old Novice rider Antonio Amisano had only raced two times prior to todays and just two weeks ago won his first race in only his second attempt. This Hot-Rod from East Granby said his dad was his favorite racer.

The call went out for an announcer to fill in for me while I took some photographs in the first round. To my amazement Mike savage stepped up to announce the first round. Mike has been racing for 39 years and has almost zero experience announcing. Once a very soft-spoken introvert, Mike has become quite outgoing now as he ages a bit. Personally, I liked both versions of Mike Savage as I have known them both. “The BMX Man of Mystery” did a great job filling in. Thanks Mike!

   

Mike Savage rockin the mic
 

The day started off with the Balance Bikers and there were five riders split into two motos. The first moto was the 5 & Over gang made up of one five-year old and one 4-year old. Ryder “Hollywood” Champagne had it all his way and held off the challenge from Summer Einarsen.

The next group was three 3-year old’s. Carter Mancino and Ryan Stott were really battling in these two riders break away. It was two even to even try and call the outcome, but they really were having fun. Danny Demers sat out the final two rounds as the blazing sun was a bit much.

CRUISERS
The first of the pointed classes was the 15-16 Girls Cruiser class. There were 4-riders going for it with three of them being from the Cortis Racing stables. With Marissa Lyman qualifying first that left the three sisters to battle it out for two spots. When the dust settled it was the youngest of the three, Savana, was forced to watch from the sidelines. In the Main it was all Lyman showing why she is the defending female Cruiser class champion as she led from start to finish. Shyanne Cortis was second while Kaylynn was third.

The 26-30 Cruiser gang was only three riders strong. With one of them, Mike Savage, filling in at the Announcers tower, that left round one just a two-rider shootout between 13 year old Chris Pedersen (Associated Lightning Rod Co. Inc) and 36-year old James Stephenson. James raced here 22 years ago as a 14-year old and did not fare well then. But this is now and, as expected, he had no problem with the youngster Chris Pedersen. Savage would just go through the motions in the next two rounds so it was James winning the class with Chris Pedersen second.

NOVICES
The first gang was the 5 & Under class and it was a three-rider total points race between three kids that were all on Balance bikes at the onset of last season. Logan Barker would win round 1 with Cole Lyman and Malachi Goggins second and third. Malachi had a problem in the rhythm section and wrecked hard. He would eventually get up and finish the lap. In round two it was Cole making a sweet pass on Logan to capture the win. In round three, with Cole and Logan tied going in, this would be for the overall win for the day. Cole would not be denied his first win ever as a Novice as he held off a great run from Logan Barker. Maklachi Goggins would settle for third.

The 8-year old gang was a good-sized class with six riders vying for the 5 starting positions in the main event. After the moto battles, Collin Tindell was the rider eliminated in the qualifying rounds despite a great effort in his first time ever racing here. We sure hope this Chicopee rider gives us another try soon. Christian Ramirez wrecked big-time in turn one in the first round, but he did eventually qualify. In the main Eddie Delaware finally put his favorite colors in the winner’s circle here at Foothills this year after four tries. Aiden Flechsig grabbed the second spot holding off third place finisher Trevor Stott.

The biggest class of the day was the 11-year old group with 7-riders in the lineup. In the last chance qualifier first time Foothills rider Janelle Cappa, from Blandford Massachusetts, took the hardest fall of the day down in turn #2. She went over the handlebars landing hard on her shoulder. She did eventually get up and walk it off but she was in obvious distress. Reports early in the evening was that she did suffered a shattered shoulder. We couldn’t feel worse and certainly hope her pain has been relieved and that she heals quickly. In the main event it was Zachary Rukakoski, in his first visit ever here, grab the big win. Antonio Amisano was a close second while finishing in the third spot was Kenan Borelli.

The last Novice class was the 13-year old division, and this was a total point race with just three riders in the group. It would be the same order of finish in all three of the rounds. Vico Tirillo (Ramp Farm) was first, Liam MacNeil was second and Madison Chalko was third. Madison was right in the mix in her first time on a BMX track with a one-day membership.

INTERMEDIATES
The first group in this proficiency was the 8-year old group of four. In the last qualifying round, it was a battle between Dave Crichton and Rylan Spence as both Jeff Weaver (Ramp Farm) and Hunter Heath (Northeast YESS) had already transferred. In that last round Crichton wrecked hard in turn one losing any chance he had to qualify. He seemed to be ok afterward. In the main event it was a real shootout going down the front straight. Weaver and Heath seemed to lock handlebars in turn one and both went down in flames. “Smilin” Rylan Spence had a free ride to the podium in this one. Weaver got up first and was second across the stripe. Heath eventually finished the lap also for third. For Weaver it was a tough way to end the weekend and his career as an 8-year old. Jeff turns 9 today. On Saturday he won at Trumbull and at Falcon. Two of three isn’t bad. Happy Birthday Jeff.

The 10-year old class was equally unfortunate. Toby Schoonmaker has won here in two of the last three weeks. He would have had all three except for a brain-burp in week #2. During the week, he was informed by USABMX that he had earned his move-up to the Intermediate class, so this was his first race in the higher proficiency level. After Brody Kesl (Scylent Rage Racing) just missed qualifying out of the motos, the main event was set. As they hit turn one, which was “calamity corner” today, Toby would wreck on the asphalt. He was eventually Ok. Jayden Jones put his blue and black Answer colors on the podiums top tier with a great win. Natalie Kent, after pulling off a great pass just to qualify, was second. Third went to Lucas Mancino (Gold Cup #1).

The biggest grouping of the day occurred with the 12-year old Intermediates with seven riders registered. In the mix were two 11-year old’s. Remember, it takes three riders to make a class. With only two 11-year old’s in the house, the combining rules put them with the next group up. After the qualifying rounds, Lucas Holda was the rider that missed the cut. The first two riders to qualify were James Wolf and “Farm Boy” Dave Labarge (Full Circle Bike Shop). Based on that alone, you would figure that these two would be the favorites in the main. That is exactly how it played out. With Labarge starting in gate 3 and Wolf over in gate 6, Labarge inherited the preferred line down the front straight heading into turn 1. As they exited the turn Labarge was in the lead and, although challenged all the way by Wolf, this was his day. As he came out of the final turn for the last time as an Intermediate ranked rider, in the next 30 feet he became the newest Expert in the country. Wolf was second with Ramp Farms “Quick” Nick Tirendi third.

The fun continued in the next group as the 15-year old Inters were set to battle in a 4-rider shootout. Teddy Roman, who just signed up this spring down in Trumbull, was the only Novice in class and did not make the main event. This was Teddy’s first trip here and we hope he’s not discouraged. In the main the luck of the draw favored Chris Gonyer as he was on the pole in gate #1. It couldn’t have come at a better time. Jesse Johnson was over in Gate #5 while Evan Kryger was between them in gate #3. Bam, the gate dropped and these guys raced side by side momentarily down the front chute. Into turn #1 and here came those familiar Overhaul racing colors in the lead. It was Gonyer, Johnson and Kryger the rest of the way and it wasn’t really close. As they came out of the final turn, Chris Gonyer knocked Dave Labarge off the status podium and became the newest Expert in the country taking over the title that Labarge held for about 1.5 minutes. The first to greet him at the finish line was Labarge and it was all smiles and hugs as both riders were mobbed by their family and friends. WHAT A MOMENT!

 
 
  Chris Gonyer and Dave Lebarge
earn Expert status just minutes apart.
 

Nothing as exciting occurred in the next group but it was a good one non-the less. Devin Murphy, the girl who appeared to suffer a serious injury in a turn #1 wreck last week and took the trip to the hospital, was back and was on attack. This was the 17-20 group of four riders battling for the three spots in the main event. This was really a mixed bunch of proficiencies with one Novice (Sam Taylor), one Expert (Travis Cortis, and two Intermediates Devin Murphy and Colin Morini. Taylor was eliminated in the motos despite a great try. The main event would not be Expert points for the three remaining riders. Colin Morini was last here for week #1 when he nailed down a win and he repeated that performance again today. Devin Murphy looked great and stayed with him for a second-place finish while Travis Cortis was third.

The 21-25 gang was a total points race between three riders that were of different proficiencies. Kyle Cortis was the only Intermediate and he would score a perfect with a sweep on the three rounds. Amanda Rock, who we haven’t seen since July of 2017, was back and earned a second-place finish. Jason Morse, who once was a weekly regular here but hadn’t raced in about 15 years, was third. Jason had stopped in last week to say hello and stayed the entire race, bought a inexpensive bike during the week and was back on the track today. Pretty cool!

The last Intermediate class was the 6-rider 41-45 gang with three Experts bringing Expert points to all who made the main. Unfortunately for the only Novice in the gang, Brian Kesl (Scylent Rage racing) he would not make the transfer into the main. So when I saw the moto sheets today, I did a double-take as there was a familiar name there. I think it was 2012 when Wes Reel was last here but today, here he was again after graduating from college. Now 22 years old, he looked much taller, but his racing skills were as good as ever. He won the main event. Mike Savage, at 52 years old continued to amaze with a second-place finish sporting some very old-skool racing gear including a number plate as big as a pizza box! Third went to Tim Brown.

EXPERT
The next group was 17-20-year old Expert women, but two of the three riders were just 13-years old. 18-year old Maya Brown, former track champion, was first in all three total points round. Reining Track Champion Marissa Lyman (Overhaul) was second while third went to Sophia Machnik.

It was the same total points scenario in the 10-year old group. Round one saw Rocco Corey with the win. Rocco is from New York and hadn’t been here since midway through the 2017 season. Round two went to Breton Provencal, setting up a tie breaker shoot-out in round three. It would be Breton holding off Corey for the top spot, Corey was second for the day while third went to Jayden (I really need a number plate on my bike) Kent.

The 12-year old gang was four riders strong and after three rounds of intense competition, it was Ben Machnik missing the cut here for the first time this year. In the main it looked like “The Hurricane” Shane Upham would repeat what he did at Whip city on Friday when he won the main. Dominic Corey used gate #1 to his advantage in the main and just could not be caught. Shane let up right at the finish line and Noah Andersen zoomed by him for a second-place finish.

The last two groups were total points races. The 13-year old gang included one Intermediate but Kodi Carlson sure looked like he belonged with the experts. “Superfly” Trevor Cooper was perfect and won every round. But Kayden Smith and Kodi traded second place finishes in the first two rounds but it was Kayden finishing ahead of Kodi in round three to earn second overall.

The last race of the day was the 15-year old Expert gang which included 14-year old Aidan Biello. Tyler Farwell was unstoppable and enjoyed a sweep. Aidan was second with the third spot going to Kyle Lyman (Overhaul).

So another week goes in the record books. Thanks to everyone who came out and all the volunteers. Single point race next week on Father's day. Hopefully, we will see you all then.
 
 
For Complete Finish Report