Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Hare Scramble Racing in the Northeast

April 6-7, 2019 Millville, NJ 
Rd 3 of the SRT-AMA East - 
Rd 1 of the ECEA Hare Scrambles Championship Series.  

Here we go! This is the 1st race I can remember since 2017 where I don't begin the race recap without saying "Rain Soaked Weekend."  The weather was perfect.

Some drizzle the night before kept most of the dust down for the 2 day format where we were just shy of 800 riders.  The Competition Dirt Riders (CDR) property was at full capacity.  AMA East, ECEA and CDR staff members were working double time to provide a safe and fun event.  

In the main event 16 AA's followed by an additional 240 racers would traverse a 9 mile course for 2 hours.  At go time it was Michael McGee with the holeshot with last years ECEA Champion Ryder Lafferty trying to take an inside line.  McGee would hold him off till the 1st woods section.  In 3rd was AA newbie Paul Gerhart ringing out his TM.  Unfortunately the last section before the woods was a tad dusty so was hard to determine any positions moving forward.  We had to wait for their return trip.  

On their way in from lap 1 we received reports that Honda's Andrew Delong was being pursued by KTM's Ryder Lafferty.  Behind them was AA Freshman Mike Beeler Jr. aboard a, get this, KTM125.  Shane Watts would be proud.  When they came through scoring it was Delong by 3 seconds, Lafferty and then Beeler screaming his 125 less then 10 seconds behind them.  This would continue to the midway point until we received a report that Beeler was out with an unknown injury and Lafferty would take over the lead.  Beta USA's McDonal was now in a strong 3rd place position.  Delong was still keeping a healthy 2nd place position but it appeared Lafferty's lap times were a few seconds faster.  On lap 4, Lafferty would dropped his bike to the ground and proceed to kick the back wheel.  He apparently caught a tree root and knocked his chain off.  During the struggle to remount the chain, Delong would pass him and stop.  Delong could be heard yelling "Are you ok?" Lafferty gave him the thumbs up and Delong continued on.  You know what they say, you meet the nicest people on a Honda.  Lafferty got back up and motored on in an attempt to catch Delong but just couldn't make it happen this day.  Back in 3rd McDonal would get caught in the worst Conga Line in recorded history.  Coming through the scoring shoot behind no less then 15 lapped riders that just kept falling over.  We could see the frustration right through his goggles but McDonal just took it in stride and continued on.  On the final lap it was Delong, Lafferty and McDonal.  It was a great day for AMA East and an even better day for ECEA. 

Andrew Delong takes the win.

In the morning C Event we had a record 350 racers.  The starting lines looked like a 1980's Grand Prix Dessert Race.  The 8 mile course would provide a great track with plenty of passing areas.  Many of the older youth racers from Saturday would take their place on the lines as well.  All eyes were on Brayden Nolette who took the Youth Overall the day before.  All wondering if he could do it again.  Nolette who is a freshman on the Trail Jesters KTM Off Road Team is a great kid and a great ambassador to the sport.  At 15 years old he entered the School Boy 1 class.  At the end of lap 1 he had already established the Overall Lead and continued to the end.  Notable mention, there were several past and current Enduro AA's that rode sportsman this day.  Nolette and several of the other School Boy 1 and 2's were producing faster lap times.  Gulp!  In the end it was Nolette 1st, C-200 racer "Flying" Josh Klouchek aboard his KTM 125 and SB 2 racer William Holmes - KTM in 3rd. 

Brayden Nolette wins the Morning C O/A and the Saturday Youth O/A.

On Saturday's Youth Main it was another full house with just under 100 racers.  Its been a while since we have seen 2 full front lines of super Minis.  35 in all.  Behind them were the Sr 85's, Jr 85's and Senior Girls.  On the final row were the 11-15 trail Class.  And we don't take that title literally.  The trail class has produced many of the ECEA's fastest rivals. Some great starts were recorded this day with incredible precision.  We were very proud of these kids as they go through the first several turns like synchronized swimming.  Barely touching and bobbing but remaining good sportsman.  The course was approximately 6 miles and at the end of lap 1 it was Trail Jesters-KTM Brayden Nolette.  Nolette would establish an early lead and pull away from the pack.  KTM's Dylan Hicks would establish a solid 2nd at the halfway point.  The battle now was from the 12-13 SM.  Team Perfect Storms Kenito Held, KTM's Greire Moir and Kyle Grenewicz would form a trio of passing, bobbing and weaving for the final 2 laps.  Grenewicz and Moir would begin to pull away from Held who had a pit malfunction and was forced to pit a 2nd time. Grenewicz would pull ahead on the last lap with Moir only a few seconds back.  It was later discovered that Grenewicz would melt his rear brake right off the hub.  In the end it was Nolette, Hicks and Grenewicz.  Notable mention goes out to Team Perfect Storms SUZ Cate Nash who would take the win in the Senior Girls and again on Sunday winning the C Womens class.  Not bad for a 13 yr old.

Team Perfect Storms - Cate Nash. 

In the Juniors it was a battle between Senior 65cc racer Carter "Pretzel" Przemelewski - KTM and new to the class Braden Meyers - Yam.  Local favorite Hunter Gardner would hang with the pack for 3rd.  Trying to get to the podium was 4th Pl Ryder Sigety.  Ryder, an incredible technical racer, did his best to keep up.  In the end it was the Sand Men that prevailed. Pretzel, Meyers and Gardner. 

Carter Przemelewski (417) takes the Junior win.

Pee Wees (the Future) had a great turn out as well.  Sent through a 3 mile course and racing for an hour, Enzo Zaccaria - HUS would exchange the lead position with Tanner Emmons -KTM each lap.  It was a nail biter for the parents and the fans.  Unfortunately for Emmons and Zaccaria they did not check their rear view mirror as Fun Factory Cobra Racer Camryn Popek would blast by the both of them on the final lap and would take the checkers.  

Camryn Popek (52) with the win in the end.

Main Event Top 5:

Andrew Delong - Honda
Ryder Lafferty - KTM
Kyle McDonal - Beta
Jason Tino - KTM
Johnny Manera - KTM

Morning C Event Top 3:

Brayden Nolette SB 1 - KTM
Josh Klouchek C 200 - KTM
William Holmes SB 2 - KTM

Youth Main Top 3

Brayden Nolette - KTM
Dylan Hicks - KTM
Kyle Grenewicz - Honda

Juniors Top 3

Carter Przemelewski - KTM
Braden Meyers - Yam
Hunter Gardner - Yam

Pee Wee Top 3

Camryn Popek - Cobra
Tanner Emmons - KTM
Enzo Zaccaria - HUS

Click Here  for complete weekend results. 

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