26 YEARS
OF BMX RACING IN TORRINGTON CT.



WEEK #5
JULY 19th, 2020
Story by Rog Plaskett

 

These reports are created as remembered by the author. They may or may not be approved by The Litchfield County BMX Group, Inc. If any rider wishes to fix an error, please contact Rog Plaskett via facebook messenger.


This would be the hottest and most humid day of the year to date according to the weather forecasters. They were predicting temps approaching 100 degrees with tropical humidity. With that in mind and the safety of our riders, we chose to go with the two-moto transfer system for the classes that have qualifying rounds. (Total Points races excluded). It appears that was a good choice as no complaints were heard. We did let the Balance Bikes run three rounds. Despite the heat we enjoyed 144 entries split into 41 motos.

In the pre-race festivities Joe Toomey (10 Year Old Novice) rider who was named The Pete Doda’s Ice Cream sponsored Rider Of The Week two Sundays ago for his efforts on June 28th where he won his third Foothills race in a row, was called to the tower. He was not here when we called his name last week and Vic Rodriquez, a teammate on Overhaul racing, came up on Joe’s behalf and said he would get the trophy to Joe. Vic thought that Joe would probably claim him as his favorite rider. So, I called up Joe to verify that his favorite rider was Victor. When asked he said “Nope, my favorite rider is Connor fields.” Well how about that. He chose Connor fields over Victor Rodriquez. Conner does have a few impressive credentials. He is the gold medalist at the 2011 Pan American games, the UCI World Champion in 2013, an Olympic gold medalist from the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio and even a world cup race in 2020. Never mind numerous National titles. Victor Rodriquez, Well, he does ride for Overhaul and has finished here in second place twice in the last two years. Yeah, Conner is a good choice.

Naming the Rider Of The Week for last week was tough as there were many great candidates. I chose to go with a rider who won his first race ever and it was in the biggest class of the day. Reid Waters won the 5 & Under Novice main event which started with a full gate of 8 riders in the qualifying rounds. He said his dad Lee Waters, who raced at Foothills when he was a kid, was his favorite rider.

BALANCE BIKES
4 YEAR OLDS
Ben Hagan outran the field in all three rounds in this group of four. Mattie Doyle gave it a great try as she finished second. Victoria Machnik and Olivia Cernak were the next two across the finish line.

 

These two were battling
 

3 YEAR OLDS
Only two riders were in this one but neither seemed to care where they finished. Both smiled all the way in each round. If there was a winner, Asher Smith was first across the stripe.

2 YEAR OLDS
This was a group that were 4-riders strong. Ryan Lataille was “Flyin Ryan” as he ran herself to a three-round sweep. Tanner Smith was second. Carter Anthony would be third. Novah Heath (4th place) and Tanner Smith stopped in the first round trying to figure out which way to go.
 

Any one have a road map?
 
CRUISERS
13-14 YEAR OLD GIRLS
Ella Urban just started racing last week and is still learning the ropes. She was in a class that featured our current Track Cruiser Class Champion and a very experienced National Rider along with another rider who has a ton of National experience as well. Ella tried hard but did not make the transfer but was in a great mood as she smiled even after elimination. In the main it was all the “Movie-Star” Marissa Lyman (Full Circle Bike Shop) winning for the third week in a row. Kyrie Coddington-Sweet was a solid second even being four years younger than Marissa. Laiken Comier was the third-place finisher.

9 YEAR OLDS
This was a good-sized group with 6-riders entered. Noah (Bobblehead) Hardgrove (Full Circle Bike Shop) missed making the main event for the first time this year after transferring 4 weeks in a row. The Main Event saw everyone sort themselves out early. By the time they reached turn 2 there would be no changes in the running order. “GI” Joe Olbry’s, all the way from West Grennwich Rhode Island had the lead and he would not give it up. This would be his first Cruiser win here this year. Hunter Heath (Boosted BMX) was a solid second while Ryder Richardson (Warped BMX) rounded out the top three.

12 YEAR OLDS
This would be a 3-rider total points race, the first of many total points races this day. In this one it was Chris “Sparky” Pedersen (Sand Road Animal Hospital), after finishing no higher than third in his previous four races here, blast his way to a 3-round sweep and the win. The third round was scary as both Zack Rukakowski (Overhaul) and Jeffrey Weaver (Ramp Farm Racing) tangled in turn one and went down hard. Eventually both would get up and ride it out. Zack would finish second overall with Jeffrey third.

14 YEAR OLDS
This was another total points race and it was a good one. RJ Reale (Warped BMX) and Jonah “The Undertaker” Graves (Full Circle Bike Shop) traded wins in the first two rounds. Shane Johnson (C-Yaa) would finish in the third spot as the battle raged in front of him. In the tie-breaking third round, RJ would get an awesome snap out of the gate and lead the charge into turn one by half a bikes length. But coming out of the turn he took the lead and Jonah was on him all the way. At the line it was RJ by one bike length and he would hand Jonah his first loss on Cruiser here this year.

17-20 YEAR OLDS
It’s total points again and anther seep with all three rounds finishing in the same order. Tijaye Henderson (Bad Apple Racing) would ace the “perfect”. Joe Broderick continues to amaze with the speed he generates for a big guy and enjoyed a hard earned second place finish. Braeden McDonald, flying the O’neal colors proudly, was third.

41-45 YEAR OLDS
Hey, lets do a total points race for a change. In the one Tim Brown got on the inside of last weeks winner Jason Moriarty in turn one and went on to win the opening round. Jason was second with Jody Toomey (Overhaul) third. In round two it was Moriarty keeping Brown behind him causing the need to break the tie in round three. Jason took the lead early and that’s all she wrote. Tim Brown was about two lengths behind at the stripe and settled for the second spot. Toomey was third.
 

Tim Brown and Jason Moriarty
Were tighter than Jason Lyman Wearing Spandex
 

51-55 YEAR OLDS
The was yet another Cruiser total points race and it was head-lined by the BMX legend Mike Savage (Crit Plate). Mike raced two guys that I have not seen in a while. Mike was perfect with three wins. Shawn Morris, from Scotia New York was second. Shawn was once on the Board of Directors at Rotterdam BMX and someone I knew from back in the NBL Days. Third went to “Barefoot” Stu McCready. He is an old friend from Huntington Massachusetts. He and I have something in common that we both wish we did not. That is another story for another time.

NOVICES
5 & UNDER YEAR OLDS
Last week this was the biggest class of the day starting with 8 riders. Reid Waters one his first race ever in that one. This week the class was half that size. Skylar (Knucklehead) Hardgrove (Full Circle Bike Shop) was the hard luck rider missing the transfer out of the qualifying rounds. Reid Waters did it again this week with an exclamation point! He not only won but it was by a full straight away. Killian Connelly, making his first trip ever to Foothills, was second with his brother Finnegan Connelly earning the third spot.

6 YEAR OLDS
This was also a 4-rider class and this time it was Olivia Pieterse the rider eliminated in qualifying. The main event saw Owen Sanzone, a local rider from Winsted Connecticut win his second race in a row. Bentley Preston was solid again for the 5th week in a row and earned a nice second place finish. Bentley pulled off a great pass in the second round to earn his transfer spot. Ryder Osorio, from Torrington, was third.

7 YEAR OLDS
The next four races were all total points events. Parker Moriarty (Gold Cup #1) made it two weeks in a row with a win. He did it this week with a sweep. Soleil Schuster and Tyler Norrie traded second place finishes, but it was Norrie holding him off in the third round for second overall.

8 YEAR OLDS
In this one (total points) Drake Videtto would win the first two rounds and finish second in the final round. This was good enough for him to earn the top spot on the podium after his second place finish a couple of weeks ago in his only time here. Molly Patrick, who missed her second moto, won the last round giving her second overall for the day. Gretchen Dalton made her Foothills debut and earned third.

9 YEAR OLDS
More total points racing and another sweep for the top spot. This time it was Joe Toomey, who claimed Connor Fields was his favorite rider, kinda rode like Connor today. Joe was “perfect”. Rowan Harrison was second this week as he was last week. Third went to Aiden Felizardo.

10 YEAR OLDS
Here we go again with a total points race and a class that featured the same order of finish in every round. It was Landyn Moynihan, in his fifth Foothills race this year, finally getting the winners circle with a great win. Tyanna Lepicier enjoyed her best finish here this year with a second. Third went to Olivia Kaleta.

12 YEAR OLDS
Finally a class with more than three riders. Five were going for it in this group. All the way from Coventry Rhode Island, Blake Noblin made his first ever trip to Foothills but must have been disappointed that he missed the transfer. He sure has some skills; he just doesn’t know the track yet. In the main event it was Ethan Cournoyer and Drayke Palazzi in a two-rider break-away. All the way around it was Palazzi all over the rear wheel of Cournoyer. In the rhythm section he got along side but took the exact same line into turn five. The lack of a final turn move sealed Palazzi’s fate and he would settle for second. Cournoyer would win for the second time here this year. Third went to Henry Morini (Full Circle Bike Shop).

14 YEAR OLDS
This was a total points race but only two riders as Dillon Smith had pre-registered but did not show up. Magnus Harrison and Wyatt Keeler would go at it hard. Magnus had the Redline racing machine looking like it had a four-barrel carb under the hood. He would outrace Wyatt for the overall win.

15 YEAR OLDS
This gang of three was another total points race. Vinny Fahey (Full circle Bike Shop) had it all his way and he would win every round for the sweep. Trey Lepicier, mounted on a nice-looking GT bike, settled for the second spot. Third went to Peter Drwiega. This was Vinny’s second win here in five tries.

26-35 YEAR OLDS
This was four rider vying for the three starting spots in the main event. James Kaleta (Rubber Side Down Racing) was the rider missing the transfer. Chris Gravelle (Vengeance BMX) was the first one to qualify and the first one across the stripe in the main event. Andy Chalko showed some gutsy moves and overcame an early flat tire to earn a solid second place finish. Joe Lataille settled into the third spot.

41-45 YEAR OLDS
With four riders on the entry list, it should have provided some exciting racing during the qualifying rounds. As it turned out they meant nothing as everyone qualified. Tim “Big Timber” Adams had entered but was a no-show assuring everyone racing would qualify. Our Novice points leader, who sits on top of the leaderboard by one point, did himself proud again this week as Tony Dickerson, all the way from New Hampshire, made it four wins in a row adding 29 points to his total. Brian Kesl (Scylent Rage Racing) was second with Nate Suares was third.

46-50 YEAR OLDS
this was the last Novice class and it was also a total points race. Jason Graves, father of “The Undertaker” Jonah Graves, rode like he was “The Cremater” as he simply burned the competition today for the gang at the Full Circle Bike Shop. Jason won everything he raced. Pat Golden III was second for Team Rejects” We could hear his son Owen encouraging him on by yelling “second place is the first loser”. So Pat was the first loser while third went to Terry Miller. This was Jason’s first win here.

INTERMEDIATES
7 YEAR OLDS
This was the biggest class of the day with 7-riders in the mix. Looking forward to some hectic qualify in never happened as one rider who had entered was a no show, Its frustrating when this happens as the qualifying rounds mean nothing as everyone makes it in. The main was a good one. Dave Crichton had that checkered helmet up front and he would earn his second Foothills win. “Racin” Mason Delaney was fast and earned a nice second place finish. Joe Lataille, who was involved in a horrendous crash here last week in the qualifying rounds, Finished in the third spot.

9 YEAR OLDS
Carmine Angelo has now tried three times to make a Foothills Main event and came up just short once again. We are all rooting for him and hope he does not get discouraged as this kid from Poughkeepsie can ride. So, Jason Moriarty set the bar high for his class when he won his Cruiser main earlier today. Then it was Parkers chance in the 7-year-old novice class, and he came through. Now the pressure was on Logan who crashed last week. Well what a difference a week makes. What a ride home it must have been for the Moriarty clan as Logan completed the family sweep. Dom Cheavalier was second with Noah Hardgrove (Full Circle Bike Shop) Third.

11 YEAR OLDS
In this 4-rider class it was a surprise to me when Gold Cup #3, Noah Sifuentes missed transferring out of the motos. Maybe a mechanical problem or he wasn’t feeling well? IN the main Nick Preston would earn his third Foothills win in a row. “The Urban Legend”, Johnny Urban (Scylent Rage Racing) was second with his teammate Brody Kesl finishing third after crashing in turn one.

12 YEAR OLDS
This was a battle using the total points 3-rider system. “The Gambler” Caleb Kaleta (Rubber Side Down Racing), mounted on an Elite XL, was unbeatable scoring wins in all three rounds. Noah Rushford (Boosted), after a hard crash in practice, was solid with a second-place finish. Third went to Toby Schoonmaker.

13 YEAR OLDS
Another total points race but this one was not as predictable as some of these have been. In round one it was Nick Tirendi coming out on top. In round two it was Chris Pederson (Associated Lightning Rod) the winner. This set up a classic battle between these two in the tie-breaking third round. Unfortunately, heading into turn one, Tirendi blew a tire and “Sparky had the rest of the lap without a serious challenge. CT #3 Liam McNeil would finish second behind him but, overall, it was Pedersen, Tirendi and McNeil.

26-35 YEAR OLDS
This was a total points race and it was a little nostalgic as thee guy who came out on top, was once a regular here. Shawn Kennedy, now 34 years old, moved up to the Intermediate class this year and Sunday, he scored his first win. Jody Toomey and Joe Broderick were second and third. Back to Shawn, in 2003 he finished on top here in the 18-20 year old Intermediate class. Then he left for Iraq as a member of the United State Marine Corp. We gave him a proper send off. When he returned in 2007, one of his biggest fans was 12-year-old Austin Vaillancourt (Shades). Austin wrote a poem about how happy he was that his hero had returned safely. That year Shawn rode as an Expert but we didn’t see him after that until just a couple of years ago. Now he has stepped up and is a valued member of our staff. Congratulations to Shawn as he works his way through the ranks again.

 

Austin Vaillancourt reads a poem he wrote about his hero Shawn Kennedy upon his return
 

46-50 YEAR OLDS
This was a nice sized class and it would be Expert points for everyone making the main event as Mike Savage was in the mix. Jason Dalton was the only rider not able to take advantage of the big points as he missed the cut. Mike Savage (Crit Plate) has not been beaten in a 20-inch class this year and the streak is now 5 in a row after today. Second went to Sean Delaney and third across the stripe was Shawn Morris (Hostile).

EXPERTS
12 YEAR OLD GIRLS
We went back to another total points race in this group and it would be pretty sweet to watch. Pippa Sweet earned her third 2020 Foothills win in as many tries with a three-moto sweep. Second went to her younger sister Kyrie Coddington Sweet with Tayler Kuhn picking up the third spot.

14 YEAR OLD GIRLS
It was another total points race and another one of those with the same finishing order in all three rounds. Reining Track champion Marissa Lyman (Full Circle Bike Shop) had little problem in winning this class and it will increase her points lead in the quest for an unprecedented fifth championship. Sophia Machnik (Warped BMX) was second while her teammate from Vermont, Riley Richardson was third.

8 YEAR OLDS
Another total points race and the fourth Foothills win for “Air Devon” Devon Hurley (Family Pride). Logan Kuhn was second. Rylan Spence, who flipped the gate in the first round, was third.

9 YEAR OLDS
Robo-Quads Joe “GI JOE” Olbrys made the trip from Rhode Island worth the long ride as he earned his first Foothills 20-inch win. Ryder Richardson (Warped BMX) and Hunter Heath (Boosted) traded second place finishes with Ryder earning second overall in the tie-breaking third round.

10 YEAR OLDS
This was a four-rider group. Jeff Weaver, who moved up to Expert at the end of last season after earning 10 wins here, is struggling in the higher class. This is very normal but, when you are a front runner in Novice and the same in Intermediate, it’s just a matter of time for the same to happen in Expert. Jeff missed the cut today. Sawyer Spence, after 4 consecutive second place finishes finally got to the top podium spot with, his first Foothills win of the year. Dion Hurley (Family Pride) held off Cole Charette (Overhaul Racing) for the second spot.

12 YEAR OLDS
A great lineup was the feature in this 5-rider group. Ben Machnik (Warped BMX), seems to be struggling a bit getting Foothills dialed in and he would miss the transfer today. Matt Meagher (C-Yaa Factory) had it all his way with his second win in as many weeks here at Foothills. Zack  (Zackattack) Rukakowski, after wrecking in his Cruiser class, came back with a strong effort here and grabbed the second position. Hunter Dye put his Hostile colors on the third tier of the podium.

13 YEAR OLDS
Back to total points racing and, “The Iceman” Cometh for sure as Owen Golden (Team Rejects) wanted nothing to do with any spot but the top spot. He would win for the second time here this season. Gavin Suares (Rubber Side Down) was second while Ramp Farm Racing’s Noah Andersen was third.

14 YEAR OLDS
This one had four of the fastest 14-year olds around in the mix. After two rounds of hectic qualifying, it was Shane Johnson (C-Yaa frames) the rider missing the cut. “The Undertaker” Jonah Graves (Full Circle Bike Shop) is undefeated in three races so far this season here. RJ Reale (Warped BMX) is the same after two races. Three days ago Jonah had a birthday and now these two BMX Titans are in the same class. Today it would be RJ across the stripe first with Jonah pushing him all the way hoping for a mistake that never came. Rj win with Jonah second and 4-time track champion, Trevor Cooper (Ramp Farm Racing) third.

15 YEAR OLDS
Kodie Carlson whose home track is Bethel Supercross could not make it into todays 3-rider main event. Kodi was the only 15 year old Intermediate here today and was matched with these experts. In the main Lance “Spike” Miller (Eliminator) had it all his way leading from start to finish. Oh wait, he led from start to 20 feet short of the finish line when, maybe he let up thinking he had it in the bag, allowed Aidan Biello (Ramp Farm) to speed by as he stayed on the Jamy right to the end. A surprised Miller settled for second while another birthday-boy Jacob Faunce (rubber side down) was third.

16 YEAR OLDS
This was a total points race and one that I’d like to forget. Tyler Farwell won the first two rounds and looked well on his way for an overall win with a perfect. Gordon Johnson finished second and third in the first two wounds while Kyle Lyman (Full circle Bike Shop) finished third and second. So, going into the final round Farwell and Lyman were tied for second with 5 points while Farwell had 2. Here’s where it gets confusing. When I looked up after calling the previous moto, I only saw two riders, Johnson and Lyman. At the stripe it was Lyman and Johnson in that order with Farwell no where to be seen. So thinking Farwell was a no show he would take a 4 as a no-show gets last place plus 1 giving him a total of 6. Kyle Lyman, by winning that last round also has a 6. The third round is a tie- breaker so the win goes to Lyman with Farwell second and Johnsons 7 gives him third place. It was later that I learned what happened. Farwell was in the gate for round three but had a mechanical problem out of the gate, stopped and walked off the side of the track. This happened while I was still announcing the previous moto where Biello stole the win at the line. Because he actually started the moto he takes last place which is a 3 not last place plus 1 (a 4) per the USABMX rules. I verified this with a call to USABMX that afternoon. So the official finish is Farwell with a 5, Lyman with a 6 and Johnson with a 7. (Side Note: I looked at Tim Browns replay video and I said “Big Bale on the starting hill” so this was really my error in scoring).

17-20 YEAR OLDS
The last two races were total points events and this one was pretty escitingl as Colin Morini put the Full Circle Bike Shop colors across the stripe first in all three rounds while Devin Murphy (Daylight Bicycles) was all over his action trying to get by after Colin passed her in turn three in the final round. Colin wanted nothing to do with getting beat by a girl and scored the win. Devin was second with Zack Cernak third.

26-35 YEAR OLDS
This was also a total points event and in round one it was Nick Stodolski, the man in black with the ewin. Round two saw Tijaye Henderson (Bad Apple Racing) with the win tying the score after a great pass in turn 4. In round three Henderson grabbed the lead and stayed there for the overall win. Stodolski was second and Danielle Jolicouer was an awfully close third.

So that’s the way it went down. Don’t forget the deadline to register for this weekend big events are 8:00 pm tonight.

See you this weekend
PLASKETT OUT!

 

For Complete Finish Report