Located at
71 Albany Turnpike
Canton, CT.

MAY 19TH, 2019
Story by Rog Plaskett


After two rainy Sundays we finally got our Opening Day Race in. Maybe the two-week delay was a blessing in disguise. Last year’s opener, a gloomy day weather-wise, only drew 65 riders in 18 motos. Today with near perfect racing weather, the number of rider entries was 115 with 27 motos.

This is our 25th Opening Day.

Typically, opening day can run a little late with new Registrations requiring a lot of paperwork and questions to be answered. Catherine Biello is our clerk and her performance at the window is OUTSTANDING. I’ve always said that the personality of any track facility is established at the Registration window. I think the personality of the Foothills facility is in great hands.


So with the first moto getting underway at 12:15 pm, No one seemed to mind the slight delay. There were 7 Balance Bikers split into two groups. The first group only had two sprinters but they sure were competitive. 4 Year old Summer Einarsen and 5 year old Ryder (Hollywood) Champagne were never more than two scooter lengths apart as the crossed the finish line. Ryder would score a perfect with three wins.

The next group had 5 riders on the sheet but it appeared that one rider had withdrawn, possibly after practice. Carter Mancino, a regular up at Whip City, nailed down a win in all three rounds in this all 3 year olds class. Skylar Hardgrove, Dylan Thompson and Danny Demers were next across the stripe in that order in all three rounds of action.


The first of the points classes from the top of the hills was the 15-16 Girls Cruiser class. This one was a four-rider class that pitted three ladies from the Cortis racing stables against our 2018 Girls Cruiser class champion Marissa Lyman. Marissa was the first one to transfer out of the qualifying mots as she held off Kaylynn Cortis. Kaylynn would qualify out of round two leaving the two sisters, Savanna and Shyanne to battle for the last transfer spot in round three. Shyanne would earn that spot. In the Main Event it was all Marissa Lyman as she held off Kaylynn and Shyanne who finished second and third.

The next moto was titled 16-year-old Cruiser but, 12 year old Chris Pedersen was put in this mix against two 16 year olds. Chris, in his first race under his new sponsorship from Associated Lightning Rod Company Inc., but in a good effort but would settle for third in this 3-rider total points race.


The last Cruiser class event was also a 3 rider total points race with Chris Deamelio, Brennan Struthers and Mike Savage on the starting grid. Brennen, at 35 years old, would win two of three for the overall victory. 45-year-old Chris was second while Mike, over 50 years old now finished third.

The first group was the 5 & Under class and it was 7 riders strong. After transferring 2 riders in each of the 3 qualifying rounds, one rider was eliminated. Logan Rodrique, giving BMX a try with a one-day membership, decided this was not his day and failed to start the final round giving a free pass into the Main event for the final two. In the Main event, Tripp Fowler, out of Shelton and making his first ever trip to Foothills, appeared to like the track layout as he dominated the 6 rider field. Behind Tripp across the stripe was William Adams out of New York. Third went to Logan Barker.

Next up was the 8-year-old group with 6 riders including one 7 year old. Sabrina McCleod would only earn 6 rider points as she was the rider missing the cut. Zack Still, who we only saw once last year, made his trip from Huntington Massachusetts worth the car time as he went home with a first-place trophy. Eddie Delaware, the only 7-year-old in the mix, put in a solid effort and finished second. The third spot on the podium went to Christian Ramirez. Christian made a nice comeback after crashing in the second round.

The 9 year old class was 4-riders strong with this a possible special day if he could pull off a win. Johnny Urban (The Urban Legend) needed just one more Novice win to move up to the Intermediate class. After the qualifying rounds which eliminated Aryana Labarge from further competition despite a great try, the 3-rider Main event was ready to go. Out of turn #1 Urban had the lead but when he hit the first obstacle on the second straight, he slipped a peddle and was riding the cross bar. Grant Borelli made the pass and Landyn Moynihan was knocking on the door to do the same. Urban gathered himself and got back on the jammy. Out of turn two he regained the lead and he never looked back. When he crossed the stripe he became the newest Intermediate rider in the country, at least for that moment. Borelli was second with Moynihan a close third.

It was a 3-rider total points shootout in the 10-year old class. Toby Schoonmaker nailed his first win of the season with an impressive “perfect”. Kenan Borelli was second while Damion Whitney was third. Afterwards Toby told me his secret to winning was his magical green bracelet he was wearing. Shhhhhh, don’t tell anyone!

Next was the 12-year old Novice class with 5 riders registered. Liam MacNeil was the first to qualify. In round two Antonio Amisano was set to win his first moto ever in his first race day ever when disaster struck and he went down in the new Rhythm section. He was ok and came back to win round three. The Main event was 4-riders strong as Madison Krupa was the hard luck rider eliminated in qualifying. Macneil made it look easy as he led start to finish. Antonio Amisano was really impressive for a first day rider and finish second. Third went to Jaylynn Adams.

The 26-35 Novice class was set up as a total points race but one rider, Tim Cosenzi, never made it to the gate. Devin Murphy, out of Falcon BMX got the best of Josh Hardgrove in every round showing that there really is something about this thing called “Girl Power”.

The 36-40 gang of three saw “Chargin” Charlie Fowler ace the first two rounds. With Chris Champagne and Mike Amisano trading second place finishes after those two rounds, the winning position was already decided for Fowler who just needed to show up. He did win the class overall but Amisano’s win in round three assured him the second tier on the podium. Champagne was third.

The final Novice class of the day was the 51 & Over gang. This was also a 3-rider total points event with tow of them being teammates on the Scylent Rage racing team. Team Manager Art Ramsey took no prisoners and he was perfect with a sweep of the motos. His teammate Brian Kesl was second overall with Jason Darmofalski finishing third.

The Intermediate classes were good size groups ion most cases. The first was the 7-year old gang but this one was just four riders. Dave Crichton would crash in the second round and that would cost him as he missed qualifying. In the Main event “Smilin” Rylan Spence got the job done with a win. Evan Wadman pulled off a second while third went to Nick Slater.

The biggest class of the day was the 8-year old grouping with a full gate of 8 riders vying for the 7 spots available in the Main Event. Natalie Kent wasn’t feeling herself today in fact she missed her last shot at qualifying as she was with her brother hanging out somewhere. Devon Hurley was in a class by himself it seemed as he sped away from the group and pulled off a huge win. Conor Christofori Held off a determined Hunter Heath for the second spot.

Moto #16 was for the 11 year olds and there were 4-riders entered. After the three qualifying rounds it was Jayden Jones just missing the transfer into todays 11 year old Intermediate Main event. Jayden was the only 10 year old competing and gave it a great try. It was like a pack of wolves in the Main and the leader of the pack for the entire distance was James Wolf. He stayed in front of Voorhees Hageman and Taylor Einarsen who finished second and third.

The 12-year old class was also large with 6 riders going for some Sunday Glory. Kevin Kelleher looked a little rusty and just missed transferring out of the motos. In the Main it was Full Circle Bike Shop’s “Farm Boy” Dave Labarge getting the job down and making it look pretty easy doing it. “Quick Nick” Tirendi was second with the Associated Lightning Rod Inc sponsored Chris Pedersen third.

Total points racing for the 13-year old gang and it was Kodi Carlson, just moving up to the Intermediate class two weeks ago, showing the way around with “full pulls” in all three rounds. Nick Krupa was second while Vico Tirillo was third.

Back to the big classes in the 15 year old grouping with 7 riders in the hunt. Emily Aldo just could not get used to the new layout to get herself into a qualifying position and was forced to watch the Main from the sidelines. Shamus Crane had a crazy day as, in the first qualifying moto he was leading most of the way only to finish in the third spot. He would finally qualify in the last-chance round only to crash in the Main along with Jesse Johnson. Shamus said he was ok after a few minutes and would ride off. Jesse took a bit longer before he picked himself up and di9d the same. Later in the evening I learned that he was sore but only a few scratches and should be fine. The win went to Colin Morini who we only saw three times last year. We sure hope he comes back soon. Second went to Andrew Morris who was only here once last season with third going to Kirsten McDonnell. Kirsten was awesome as she hadn’t made a main event here since the 2017 season.


The 41-45 Intermediate class was the race of the day as far as I’m concerned. Even though it was a mixed group of Intermediates and Experts, it was a move by a legend that made this one so memorable. Now to set the stage my involvement with BMX racing started with the 1983 season so I’ve been around for 36 years (Yikes). Mike Savage was 16 years old when I first saw him and he was already building his legacy. Mike is now 52 years old and is known as “The BMX Man of Mystery” all over the country and even in parts of the world. Mike is in his 39th year of competition and has raced at 508 different tracks around the world and only has four more to go to have raced at every current track in the USA. In this class he and 45 year old Chris Deamelio were the only two experts in the class. After Tim Brown surrendered his chance in the main event by shutting down while leading in round three, it was game on! As expected, the two Experts pulled away early with Deamelio leading all the way around. As they came off turn 4 the rhythm section was next with the very deep new six-pack in front of them. In my 36 years I have never seen anyone do at 52 years old what Savage pulled off. He was two lengths behind when Chris hit the first hump running in the middle of the lane. Savage picked up his front wheel and manualed through the entire section passing Chris on the inside while on one wheel as he rolled over the last hump. I remember yelling “Savage is tip-toeing thru the tulips” as he danced his way on that bike. It was just an amazing win. Chris, of course, was second while Trevor Toney was the first Intermediate across the stripe for third.


The Girls Expert class was the 13 year old division and was a total points race. With our current Track Champion Marissa Lyman in the mix, I figured she would earn her first Foothills win of the year. Well, think again Popeye! “Supergirl” Samantha Sperazza was in the house and not only did she win the overall title for the day she did it with a “Perfect”! Marisa was close but settled for second while Sophia Machnik was third.


The 9-year old Expert class saw Sawyer spence winning two out of three in this Total points event. Dion Hurley wrecked in the first round and he appeared to be suffering the effects throughout the day as he finished third after the crash; grabbed a second in the second round then won round three. That was good enough for second place overall behind Sawyer. Third went to Scylent Rage Racings Brody Kesl.


The 11-year old class saw Breton Provencal qualify first out of round one then come out to win the Main Event later on. “The Hammer” Wes Hamel, kept his Family Pride colors in the second spot while third went to Ben Machnik. Jaden Kent, who fell in round two, failed to show in round three giving up the main event last chance to Machnik.


There were also 4-riders in the 12-year old class and it was those Full circle Bike Shop colors again in the winners circle as “The Undertaker” Jonah Graves took it to the house. His team mate “Huricane” Shane Upham was a close second while finishing third was Noah Andersen for Ramp Farm Racing. Gavin Suares was a favorite to be in the main but a crash in the second round sealed his fate for the day.


With just three groups to go the next one up was the total points 13 expert total points race. Four time and current Track Champion Trevor Cooper was perfect as he won all three rounds easily. Kayden Smith. Another Ramp Farm Racer as is Cooper, was second. Kyle McDonnell was third.


The 15-year old expert class featured four evenly matched riders and it was a little scary to see them come over the top of that first obstacle with all tires off the ground. Kyle Lyman, not a big fan of that first jump yet, was the hard luck rider eliminated in the qualifying rounds. Kyle has become one of Foothills best rider-volunteers working to get the track ready for racing this season. Tyler Farwell got the job done as he won the Main event. Second place wen to Aidan Biello while Dylan Barker would finish third.

15 year old experts diving into the canyon

The final class of the day was the 26-35 Expert class which included one Intermediate. In the last qualifying round Travis Cortis and “Stone-Cold” Steve Scibelli tangled on the first obstacle in the third straight and Scibelli would go down in flames. Travis would grab the last transfer spot. Steve “congratulated” Travis as he crossed the finish line. In the Main event it was all Brennan Struthers as Matt Markie came unclipped at the start and never put up a challenge. Behind Struthers was Kyle Cortis with brother Travis in third.

All in all it was a pretty good day. The staff at Foothills recognizes a few teaks are required and will be working on those as time goes on. Thanks you everyone who came out to spend the day with us.
As a reminder, these reports are written by Roger Plaskett who is not a board member of the organization. All comments are solely Rogers observations and opinions and are not necessarily those shared by the Foothills BMX staff nor the sanctioning body folks at USABMX.

For Complete Finish Report