25 YEARS OF BMX RACING IN TORRINGTON CT.

Located at
71 Albany Turnpike
Canton, CT.


WEEK #16
SEPT 1st, 2019
Story by Rog Plaskett

 

So here we are on Labor Day weekend with great racing weather. Last year on this weekend we had 64 riders and just 17 motos so, should we use those numbers to make a prediction? With our average number of entries this year being 82 while last year we were at 69, this should be right around the average. That’s exactly what it was with 78 riders in the house. The computer program gave us a rough time but, in the end, we learned why it happened after conversation with USABMX and the situation was remedied but did cause a 20-minute delay in meeting our starting time. Finally, the 21 motos were posted and we were set to go.

We named Zuleika Bruno as our Rider-Of-The-Week after her first Foothills win here last week. She said her favorite rider is her brother Josue.

BALANCE BIKES
There were 5 Balance Bikers pounding the track and they were split into two groups. The first group was 4-year-old Lucy Muller, who calls Shoreham BMX her home track running against 5-year old Ryder Champagne (Hollywood) from Ludlow MA. Ryder would jump out to an early lead in all three rounds only to see “Leapin Lucy” sprint by him every time on the final straight.

The next group was made up of three of these ankle-biters and all were just 3-years old. Skylar “Knucklehead” Hardgrove had it all her way as she ran her way to three wins. Danny Demers was second while Rich Wendt, after dying to run the track in practice, totally changed his mind when it was race time. He turned on the BMX siren but was credited with a third-place finish.

 

CRUISERS
The 12 year old class was made up with three entries. One was 11-years old, one was 12-years old and one was 13-years old. So, you would think they would finish by their ages and that’s what they did, however, it was in reverse order. 11 year old Alex Marshall, who hasn’t been here since May of 2015, nailed down a “perfect” with a sweep of the Total-Points rounds. 12-year-old Chris “Sparky” Pedersen was second (Sponsored by Associated Lightning Rod Co. Inc.). Third went to 13-year-old Nick Tirendi.

The 26-30-year-old group had four riders in it so one would need to be eliminated in the qualifying rounds. Despite a great try, “Barefoot” Stu Mccready was the rider not making the cut. Stu, once a regular here, hasn’t been here since the 2015 season. It was great to see him again and hope he makes it here from Huntington Ma. more often. In the main event, 22-year-old Wes Reel made it 12 wins in 13 tries on the Cruiser this year. He had to beat 52-year-old Mike Savage to do it. Mike was second while 13-year-old Max Marshall was third.

NOVICES
5 & Unders
The first group was the 5 & Under class of four riders. In this one Jack Wendt, just 4-years old, had shown up this morning just to ride the track during gate practice. He did so well that he asked his dad if he could race. So, he bought a membership and jumped into the mix. Jack didn’t qualify but his riding skills were as good as anyone in the group. The difference was the bike that he was on which was not really a racing bike. Put him on a bike more suited for racing and this kid will be very competitive. Cole Lyman and Logan Barker put on their weekly battle and neither of them like to lose. Jace Parsons was the other rider in this 3-rider shootout. He looked sharp but a crash on the third straight in the first qualifying round, sure made the hot looking uniform that he was wearing require some serious cleaning when he got him. He would finish third in the main event. Logan was the first to qualify so he would be the favorite to win the main event. He led as they sped into the six-pack rhythm section. Cole was gaining quickly and used an unbelievable pass in the final turn to score his 6th Novice win of the year. Logan settled for a second-place award.

6 Year Olds
This was also a four-rider class. In this one Joe Lataille would miss qualifying for the first time in his three trips here. Parker Moriarty would put his second win of the year in the record book. He used a classic pass on the second straight to do it. Cole Muller held off Cooper Jarest for the second spot. This was Cole’s first trip here ever. He has been on a BMX weekend tour having raced on Rhode Island, Falcon and here on the tour.

9 Year Old’s
This was another 4-rider race but, as always, only three positions available in the main event. After the qualifying rounds it was Noah LaFrance, the local Torrington rider, not making the transfer into todays main event. The main got scary as the group headed into the final turn. Zuleika Bruno had a comfortable lead on her way to her second consecutive win. But behind her Tom Musarella and Landyn Moynihan were battling hard. As they entered the turn nearly side by side, Moynihan blew his front tire and he went over the handlebars contacting Musarella. Tommy bobbled but saved a fall. But then, when he heard the wreck he stopped, jumped off his bike and tried to help Landyn up. Tommy has never been here before and does not know Landyn. This was an impressive display of concern for a fallen competitor over finishing the race. Once adults reached the scene Tommy did finish the race with a second-place finish. Landyn eventually got up and limped off the track. I saw him later and he said he was OK but his leg was a little sore.

 

Tommy Musarella Stopped to
Help a Competitor he didn't even know
 
12 Year Old’s
This one would be a free pass to the main event for three riders as Hunter Phoenix, was not on the track in any of the motos. I’m not sure if he was just touching the gate or not in the house at all. This would benefit Henry Morini, who tried out the sport with a one-day membership. This is Colin Morini’s brother and he looked like a natural out there earning a third-place finish. Liam MacNeil and Kenan Borelli raced each other clean but hard. Liam would prevail with his 6th Foothills win of the year.

41-45 Year Olds
After qualifying rounds were in the books, this was a 4-rider main event with all riders wearing yellow. Last week in this one Shawn Kennedy got passed right at the stripe. He told me today that he learned his lesson and would never let that happen again. For luck, he wore his Gary Ellis GT shirt hoping some of the skills that “The Lumberjack” had when he raced as one of the country’s top pros. It looked good for Shawn until he reached the fourth turn. That’s when Todd Borelli made his move and pulled off a sweet pass. Todd held on as Shawn just shook his head in turn five seemingly admitting that he had nothing left. He would finish second. Third went to Big-Timber; Tim Adams.

INTERMEDIATES
7 year Old’s
This was another 4-rider event. It was made up with two 6-year old’s and two 7-year old’s. One of the 6-year old’s; Will Adams, could not put his Scylent Rage racing colors into a transfer position and he was forced to watch the main from the sidelines. Rylan Spence was truly “Smilin Rylan” as he led the main event from beginning to end. Cameron Rothmeyer, in his first ever visit here, was second. Third went to Pete Pereira, who just earned his Intermediate ranking the day before. This was Pete’s first race here this season.

8 Year Old’s
this was a Total Points event and Expert points were up for grabs as Devon Hurley was in the mix as the only Expert. He would win round one. But round two would go to Logan Moriarty setting up the final round tie-breaker. Starting on the inside of the group in gate 2, Devon would use that to his advantage and hold off Logan for the win. Logan and Noah Toney (Full Circle Bike Shop) were second and third for the day.

9 Year Old’s
This was a group of four and included one girl. After the qualifying rounds, it was another tough day for Grant Borelli who missed qualifying. Grant has been paying his dues since moving up to the Intermediate class a few weeks ago. He is showing good patience and is trying hard. He will soon be the same front runner that he was in the Novice class. It just takes a little time. Brody Kesl (Scylent Rage Racing) was really running hot today and Jeff Weaver (Dreamweaver) would need to use all his skills to get by Brody and capture his 15th Intermediate win. That’s exactly what his did and Brody settled for the second tier on the podium. Natalie Kent rounded out the top three.

10 Year Old’s
This was also a Total-Points race and there were two Experts in the group so big points for Johnny Urban, the only Intermediate in the group. Dion Hurley (Family Pride) and Sawyer Spence, the two Experts, had good races but it would be Dion all day long in this one. Sawyer was second and The “Urban Legend” (Scylent Rage Racing) puts 63 points into the bank with a third.

11 Year Old’s
Toby Schoonmaker, after missing seven weeks due to an injury, is still trying to get redialed in and would miss making the transfer today. Zack Rukakowski, who has been here just three times this year prior to today, made it four for four with another win. To add to his good streak, he even won the Rider raffle today. Mikey Roy, who hadn’t been here since the June Double Pointer, put in a good effort to earn a second-place finish. Third went to Leithen “Rocky” McMillan.

13 Year Old’s
this was a class made up with 5-riders vying for the four positions in the main event. Naimi Bruno, the only Novice in this group, put up a great effort but did not transfer out of the motos. Kane McMillan blasted out of gate #6 in the main and never looked back as he went coast to coast for the win. Nick Tirendi, beat his Cruiser finish by one position with a second place award. Rounding out the top three podium positions was “Sparky”, Chris Pedersen who is sponsored weekly by the Associated Lightning Rod Company, Inc.

16 Year Old’s
In this four rider group, Tyler Farwell, the only Expert, would dominate it. He was first to qualify and first across the main event stripe. He simply never had anyone in front of him all day long. Colin Morini (Full Circle Bike Shop) was second. Third place went to Noah Toney. Noah edged out Evan Kryger in the last qualifying round.

36-40 Year Olds
This race was a mixed class made up of three Experts and two Intermediates ranging in age from 22 to 52 years old. Two of the three Experts would finish 1-2 but it sure was close. 22-year old Wes Reel led the charge up through the rhythm section, but that section has historically belonged to 52-year old Mike Savage. Using the mad skills that only he seems to have, Savage half-manacled the entire six-pack and tried an old-school foot down pass of Wes in the final turn. Had his rear wheel not hit the pebbles on the inside of the asphalt he might have pulled it off. Instead the slight slide cost him his shot and he would settle for second place behind Wes. This was Wes’s eleventh win this season! Third went to Intermediate racer Trevor Toney. With Mike’s second place finish, combined with Coopers third place finish in the last race of the day, Mike Savage now trails Trevor Cooper for the Foothills BMX Track Championship by just three points going into the last three weeks of the season.

17-20 Year Old Women
This was a Total Points race with two 13 year old’s battling one 20 year old. Family Pride’s Devin Murphy would need to pull off a sweet pass in the rhythm section to win the first round. Somehow, she powered her way past Marissa Lyman. The next two motos belonged to Devin as she completed the “Hat Trick”. Points leader and eventual 4-time female track champion Marissa Lyman was second while the third spot went to Sophia Machnik.

 
Devin Murphy passes Marissa Lyman on her way to a sweep
 

EXPERTS
11 Year Old’s
This was for Total-Points and there was a new Marshall in town. Alex Marshall led his posse across the finish line in each of the three rounds. When I announced “Here comes the Marshall” five people from the crowd ran into the woods. It took a lot of coaxing for them to come out. Second place today went to “The Hammer” Wes Hamel (Family Pride) while Chris Hess, riding out of Medford New York, was third.

12 Year Old’s
Here is the last of the Total Points races and it was a good batlle in all three rounds featuring a different finishing order in each of them. In round one Gavin Suares used a sweet rhythm section pass of Josue Bruno for the win. Noah Andersen was third. In round two It was Josue returning the favor with Noah Second and Gavin third. S Going into the final round the score was Josue 3; Gavin 4 and Noah 5. Josue, starting in Gate #7, used his front straight power to get to turn one first. Once there it was all over. Josue would race to victory lane with Gavin second and Noah third. Earlier I thought that Jouse had a little dust in his eyes as he was rubbing them pretty hard. Over the microphone I asked, “Josue can you see”? When I looked up 17 people were standing with their hands on their hearts. Gotta be careful what I say.

14 Year Old’s
This was a wild and wholly 4-rider battle. In the final qualifying round, it was just reigning Track Champion Trevor Cooper and Max Marshall going for the last spot on the main event starting grid. “Superfly” Trevor Cooper had a slight lead as they sped into turn one. Cooper’s tires slid out and he went down directly in from of Marshall. Both went down hard. Trevor was the first to get up and he coast around the track to earn the last spot. Back in turn 1 Max took quite a while to get up but he did walk it off and hopefully ok. In the main it was Dylan Barker winning it with Aidan Biello very close behind Cooper was third. With that race, Trevor Coopers lead in the Track Championship Points race shrinks to just three points over Mike Savage.

 
For Complete Finish Report