25 YEARS OF BMX RACING IN TORRINGTON CT.

Located at
71 Albany Turnpike
Canton, CT.


WEEK #19
SEPT 29th, 2019
Story by Rog Plaskett

 

Today was the final race of the 2019 Mitchell Subaru Racing Series. It was also the “Haul For McCall” charity race. This race is intended to benefit the McCall Center for Behavioral Health and their new initiative called The McCall Family Center which focuses on youth, adolescents and families who are affected by substance abuse. On hand today along with representatives from McCalls were The Torrington Awareness Prevention Partnership; The Northwest Hills Prevention Connection; The Hero Project and The Northwest CT. Arts Center.

There were numerous raffles and a huge thank you goes out to R & M Trucking and Leasing LLC for their support including the donation of a bicycle that was raffled off.

Before we started, we honored a Rider Of The Week and for his efforts last week it was 11 Year Old Hunter Phoenix who was chosen. He said he got into BMX because of Wes Hamel but when asked who his favorite rider was, he said he could think of none. Hmmmm.

This race day also featured a Team challenge and five teams entered the competition. There was also a “Haul For McCall” Money Open which paid $400 to win. For younger riders there was even an “Outlaw Open” which featured gift certificates for the Full Circle Bike Shop for prizes. Huge that you to those folks for stepping up yet again. The turnout was good for this time of the year and we enjoyed 94 riders split into 24 motos.

 

BALANCE BIKES
Most of our pedal-less pushers who were regulars here this year have moved up to the Novice Class now so just two of these Rug-Rats were here today. 3-Year Old Ben Hagan was too fast for 3-Year old Craig Banholzer. Ben scored the hat trick with a sweep of the three rounds. Craig, once he figured what was going on sure looked like he was having fun in his first race ever. Craig lives in Norfolk, so we look for him to become a regular either later in the fall or next season.

CRUISERS
13 Year Olds
This was a four rider class and the cruiser standing sure have been affected over the last two races. Chris “Sparky” Pedersen 9Associated Lightning Rod Company Inc.) was once the class points leader but drawing some tough breaks the last two weeks have sealed his fate. Chris is 12 years old and has drawn a class that was predominately 13-year olds. He has missed qualifying for the main events both weeks and dropped out of the points race. Today the win went to “The Undertaker” Jonah Graves for his 7th Foothills cruiser win this season. His teammate, Dave “Farm-Boy” Labarge (Full Circle Bike Shop) was second while Nick Tirendi finished third.

26-30 Year Olds
This was a 5-rider class that was made up of riders ranging in age from 15 to 58 years old. Its always great to see an old Foothills friend “Barefoot” Stu McCready all the way from Huntington Ma. He was here in this group but missed making the transfer. The youngest proved to be the fastest as Logan “Flash” Demerski, just 15-years old was on-fire. He blasted his way to a main event win. 52-year old Mike savage was second while rounding out the top three was 29-year old Joe Broderick. Wes Reel was in the mix but was taking a chill-pill saving himself for the upcoming money-open. Mike Savage, by finishing second and earning those 85 points, clinched the Cruiser Class Championship.

NOVICES
5 & Under
This is always a fun group to watch and today was no different. The youngest in this mix is Bennett Pieterse at just 3-years old. He just moved up from the Balance Bike Division one week ago. Today he really got messed up on the starting hill in the first qualifying round but was able to get back on and finish. He has a personal parking spot on top of the big obstacle by the announcing tower where mom is usually there to offer encouragement. He will figure it out. Bennett did not make todays main event where Cole Lyman pulled off not one, but two incredible passes. Running in the third spot coming out of turn one, he passed a much improved Jace Parsons on the second straight. Up the third straight he had a head of steam and powered his way past his old nemesis from the Balance Bike days, Logan Barker. Cole led the rest of the way and Jace was also able to swoop past Logan for the second spot.

6 Year Olds
This was a 3-rider total points shootout. Parker Moriarty, who has won here in two of the three times he has been here, made it 3 out of four today with a sweep of the three rounds. Joe Lataille also looked strong and certainly made Parker work for those wins. Joe finished second every time while Cooper Jarest finish in the third spot.

9 Year Olds
Total Points racing was the situation in this race also. Zuleika Bruno won for the fifth consecutive time here at Foothills and it was her 10th and final win as a Novice. Welcome to the Intermediate class young lady. She is so ready for this. Hunter Woof and Noah Lafrance probably were as happy to see her move up as were her pit crew. Hunter and Noah finish second and third.

11 Year Olds
This was a tough on to watch with the beaten and broken. There were only 4-riders in the group by one of them, Aryana “The Slayer” had broken her arm a couple of weeks ago while roller-skating and was just touching the gate for rider points. That left the remaining three competitors with a free ticket to the main event. One of them, “The Warrior” Collin Ramsey, went down hard during practice and appeared to be in discomfort as he ran the qualifying rounds and the main event. He would end up third but still did the Scylent Rage Racing Team proud. Kenan Borelli, sitting second in Novice Championship points behind Liam MacNeil by just 14 points going into today, pulled off a nice win. Those 29 points put him in the Novice lead by 15 points with Liam’s class coming up next. Hunter Phoenix finished second.

14 Year Olds
This was a three rider total points race and, Liam MacNeil had a 14-point lead for the Novice title as we entered today. As mentioned, Kenan Borelli had just won and added 29 points to his total. In round one Liam won but in the second round he fell in turn 4 and I thought, this might change everything. He finished third in round two. A second-place finish in round three gave him second overall which puts 23 points to his total. He wins the overall Novice Championship by just 8 points over Kenan Borelli on the last day of the points season. What a battle it was!

41-45 Year old’s
This was a 4-rider group and after the qualifying rounds it was Tim “Big-Timber’ Adams who just missed the cut. Shawn Kennedy brought out his old Gary Ellis GT jersey. Gary Ellis was one of the fastest BMX pros I have ever seen. He raced professionally from 1983 till his retirement in 1998 at the NBL grands. He was the #1 Pro in both the NBL and ABA sanctions and “The Lumberjack” may just have been the best there was and the best there ever will be. Shawn seems to race a little faster when wearing that shirt. Shawn won todays main holding off the hard charging Eric Tindell and Scylent Rage racing’s “Flyin” Brian Kesl.

51 & Over
This group was just three riders strong today so it total points racing. Todd Borelli, after a couple of weeks off, was back and put his 5th Foothill win in the books. Stephen Machnik held off Dan Bishop for the second spot.

INTERMEDIATES
6 Year Olds
This was a large class as is usual at this time of the year as the Novices start moving up. Six rider were going for some Haul For McCall glory today and the qualifying rounds were pretty competitive. Kris DeVaux was racing his first race as an Intermediate as he had earned his tenth Novice win the week before. Kris was running in the middle of the pack in the first two qualifying rounds but seemed to be finding himself as his confidence was building. In round three he was sitting comfortably in a transfer spot when something went wrong up by turn #2. I’m not sure if he came unclipped, chained popped or exactly what happened but he shut down. That cost him any chance at making his first main event. The main went to Dave Chichton, a regular up at Whip City, brought some serious skills with him today as he won this hot main event. Nate Gomes, all the way from Rhode Island was second. 5-year old Bash Noteboom (Family Pride racing) was third.

9 Year Olds
This was another group with six riders going for it. With one Expert in the mix (Chace Wilcox) this was big points for everyone who could make the main event. In the last-chance qualifier it came down to either grant Borelli or Brody Kesl earning the last transfer spot. Grant has missed the cut in the last three times out while Brody had made the main 8-times in a row. But that was then and this is now. Grant managed to stay in front of Brody for the last transfer position. The 5-rider main was good as Logan Moriarty and Chace Wilcox put on a passing clinic. Each of them pulled off passes on each other that were amazing to watch in what became a two-rider breakaway. At the stripe it was Logan just edging Chace. Third went to “The Dreamweaver” Jeffery Weaver who sewed up the overall Foothills BMX Intermediate Championship today.

10 Year Old’s
For whatever reason we just don’t have many 9-year-old Experts this year. Dion Hurley, because there was no Expert class for him, got put into this group of three riders that included two 10-year-old Intermediates. Dion had no problem showing off the differences between Expert and Intermediate proficiencies with an easy win. Noah Sifuentes held of “The Urban Legend” Johnny Urban for the second spot. Urban tried a heavier 44 tooth gear today and sure looked faster and not spinning as much. Once he gets used to how to apply the added power, he’s going to be a serious threat in these mixed classes.

12 Year Old’s
This was a five-rider class and it was tough to watch the frustration on one rider. Toby Schoonmaker won his Novice class back in June at our State Qualifier and move up to the Intermediate class. In his first Intermediate race he wrecked and broke his thumb which caused him to miss the next 7 races. Its been tough on him coming back and today just added to the frustration as he just missed the transfer. In the main it was Zach Rukakowski, using the rest he earned by qualifying out of round one, racing to a solid main event win. “Sparky “Chris Pedersen, used a beautiful pass on “The Gambler” Caleb Kaleta to steal the second spot from him.

13 Year Old’s
It was back to Total Points racing in this group, but it was a good battle. In round one Nick Tirendi used a good gate assignment to his advantage as he got to turn one first and held off Nick Smith (Full Circle Bike Shop) for the win. Nick was second while Vico Tirillo (Ramp Farm Racing) was third. In round two Nick had the inside line and returned the favor making the third round a tie-breaker round. Would it come down again to whoever had the inside gate? It sure did as Tirillo drew the Pole Position gate #1. In spite of a great ride, Smith could not find the right line to set up a pass and Tirendi won the tie-breaking third round giving him the overall win. Nick was second with Vico third.

36-40 Year Old’s
This was another total point race and another one that would go to a third round qualifying before we had a winner. This time it was Joe Broderick winning round one. This was after he was the sole survivor of a devastating crash in turn #1. Derek Schneider, who was back for the first time in well over a dozen years, had the lead going over the last obstacle before turn #1. He went over the handlebars and Dan Rice piled into his yard sale while Broderick made it around and coasted to the win. Everyone was ok so round two saw Rice score the victory with Derek and Joe second and third. Going into the final round it was Rice leading with 3, Broderick second with 4 and Derek third with 5. Derek jumped out to the lead and led the entire lap until the turn that would become “Calamity Corner” this day, turn #5. Derek simply exploded in a shower of sparks as his machine bounced around the turn. Rice was close behind but was able to miss the carnage. Broderick did the same. Derek was ok but certainly left some Schneider DNA on the track from his road-burned arm. Overall it was Rice, Broderick and Schneider.

41-45 Year Old’s
This would be an interesting 4-rider shoot-out with one rider making his Intermediate debut today. “The Rock-Star” Art Ramsey, had just moved up earlier this week and drew some tough duty with Mike Savage, Randy Komssi and Tim Brown in the mix. Art, despite a valiant effort missed the cut. Mike Savage, the only Expert in the class, made it look easy as he raced his way to the main win, the Expert Class championship and the Foothills BMX Track Championship in one lap. Randy Komssi was second while the third spot went to Tim Brown, after he almost launched himself into the turn two crowd.

EXPERTS
17-20 Women
This was a fun class even though the age disparity is significant. 20-year old Devin Murphy (Family Pride) was mixing it up with two 13-year olds. Marissa Lyman (Full Circle Bike Shop) and Sophia Machnik (Retribution Race Corps). Devin won all three rounds of total points racing. Marissa was right on her the whole time and, over the last few weeks, this situation has made Marissa a faster rider. Sofia was right in the mix as well and all seemed to love racing each other.

7 Year Old’s
There were 4-riders in this group with one being an Intermediate. Collin Tindell was the hard-luck Intermediate who was put in this class and, despite a great effort, just missed the cut. Devon Hurley, recently crowned State Champion, got the job done again today. Logan Rice, at just six years old, was second with the third spot going to “Smilin” Rylan Spence. I just realized that Rylan must have earned his move-up during the week as the last time I saw him he was an Intermediate. Congrats and it no wonder he was "Smilin".

11 Year Old’s
This was a four-rider group of Experts but only three were 11 year olds. Jayden Kent (Scylent Rage Racing) is 10 years old and he did a good job keeping up but could not get himself into a qualifying position. The main was won right from the start as it was “Hammer Time”. “Can’t touch this” was probably going through our leaders mind as “The Hammer’ Wes Hamel, (Family Pride) never looked back leading start to finish. Ben Machnik (Retribution Race Corps) held off James Wolf for the third spot.

12 Year Old’s
This was a fun race and hotly contested. You know this 6-rider class is stacked when someone like Dave “Farm-Boy” Labarge missed qualifying. When the main event gate dropped Josue Bruno (Family Pride) had an early lead with Full Circle Bike Shops Shane “The Hurricane” Upham in hot pursuit. Up the second straight and suddenly, a power spurt from Noah Andersen (Ramp Farm Racing) occurred. It was like he hit the overdrive button as he blasted his way past Upham and the it was Bruno in his sights. Up the back stretch and an inside line in turn four and we had a new leader. Noah Andersen was on the point! Upham also passed Bruno and it must have been all or nothing for Josue as he shut it down at that point. At the stripe it was Andersen. Upham and Gavin Suares for the top three.

14 Year Old’s
This was a five-rider class which included 2 13-year olds. After the qualifying rounds it was Jacob Faunce the rider not making the cut. In the main it was Aidan Biello jumping out front early with “The Undertaker” Jonah Graves going out there with him. Dylan Barker was on Graves rear wheel with Trevor “Superfly” Cooper following Barker. It looked like a NASCAR draft at Talladega as they raced up the long backstretch. At the stripe the order remained the same. Biello, Graves and Barker.

15 Year Old’s
The last Total Points race of the regular season and it was the same order of finish all day long. Logan Demerski (Full circle Bike Shop) was pretty much unchallenged this day and he swept through the three rounds. Kyle Lyman, also out of the Full Circle Bike Shop stables, looked strong and finished second. Third went to Rosco Spencer_Dubuc. Rosco is a Novice who really drew some tough duty today.

21-25 Year Old’s
This was a 4-rider group with three of the participants racing in the Haul For McCall Open. After “Jumpin” Jerry Taylor missed the cut, it was Wes Reel with the main event win, Evan Kryger second and Josh Santiago third.

HAUL FOR McCALL OPEN
This was an amazing “Dash for cash” as it was $400 to win, $150 for second and $100 for third. Add to that a $100 hole shot award and this was gonna get hectic. Being a total points event, it meant that you needed three good rounds and any falls would be nearly impossible to overcome. Well that’s kinds what happened to two of the favorites. In round one Logan Demerski had the lead with Wes Reel right alongside. When the hit the mid-way point in the second straight Logan lost it and wreck on the big jump. Josh Santiago, running in the third spot had no where to go but into the wreckage from Demerski. Wes Reel had it all his way after that and scored the win. Devin Murphy (Family Pride) amazingly finished in the second spot holding off Jerry Taylor who finished third. In round two Josh Santiago came back from a sixth-place finish to win the round. Wes Finished second while third went to Devin Murphy. So the top three going into the final round was Wes Reel with 3, Devin Murphy second with 5 and Jerry Taylor and Josh Santiago tied with 7. In the final round it was also time for the $100 hole shot award. Whoever hits the turn one asphalt first wins the saw-back. When the gate dropped it was Reel and Santiago side by side. As they reached the asphalt Reel go the hole-shot by hqalf a wheel. In and out of turn one and Santiago grabbed the lead. Up the second straight it was Santiago, Reel and Murphy. Jerry Taylor was starting to make his move. When the hit the third straight it was the same top two as Reel certainly knew that, because Santiago crashed in round one, the best he could do was a score of 8, Wes simply needed a fifth or better to claim the top prize. Jerry Taylor completed a pass of Devin Murphy to take over position number 3. Up the back straight into turn for and Taylor dove to the inside and passed Wes as the flew through the rhythm section. Enter turn five and disaster struck again. Josh Santiago exploded again, and everyone braked. Jerry Taylor manuipulated his way through the debris and Wes did the same. Devin almost got ahead of Wes in the turn but not quite but salvaged third. So the official overall standing ended up being #1 Wes Reel, #2. #2 was “Jumpin” Jerry Taylor while the third spot went to Devin Murphy. That was a very memorable class.

OUTLAW OPEN
This was a 5-rider race and the same deal being a total points race. It was Aidan Biello winning all three rounds for the top spot. Marissa Lyman and Shane Upham each finished second and third, but the tie breaker would go to Marissa. Shane was third overall.

Haul For McCall Open Top Three and Outlaw Open Top Three
In Team Competition there were five teams entered.
1st Place - Full Circle Bike Shop
2nd Place - Ramp Farm BMX
3rd Place- Metal Pushers
4th Place - Retribution Race Corps
5th Place Scylent Rage Racing

Maria Courant-Skinner, Exec Dir of McCall Center
Presents the #1 trophy to Full Circle Bike Shop Team
 
For Complete Finish Report