Saturday, December 11, 2021

The 2021 “Mighty RORR” Dual Sport

 Author: Joshua Schucker

Pictures courtesy of Joshua Schucker, Bill Lemunyon, Dave Bittner, and Don Fegley

Each year, just in time for the beginning of fall’s color changing beauty, the town of Pine Grove is awakened by the sound of hundreds of dirt bike enthusiasts setting out for a trip through the scenic and challenging terrain left behind by the area’s legendary mining operations. 


The sold-out event is a part of the East Coast Enduro Association’s (ECEA) yearly schedule and begins and ends at the North End Fire Company in this small Pennsylvania town. The fire company has been a long-time partner with the Reading Off Road Riders (RORR), who are the brains and brawn behind the event.

The club’s members are hard at work for several weeks ahead of the event maintaining trails and mapping a unique dual sport experience. The course is laid out in two loops, morning and afternoon, that take place on property that was once considered “open” riding, These areas near Tower City, Joliet, Good Spring, Blackwood, and Llewelyn are a source of great memories to the folks that grew up riding the region in the later 20th century. 

Unfortunately, times change and increases in vandalism, injuries, insurance claims, ownership changes, etc. all played a hand in losing access to these areas. Thankfully, RORR has been able to maintain long-standing relationships with the various landowners throughout the years and provide the sport with a “one-time-only” annual access to the historic areas and a great reason to mark this event on your calendar.


At just over ninety miles, the ride is certainly a full day, and while you will justify that license plate by spending some time on blacktop, don’t let the dual sport moniker fool you…this ride is no jaunt through some graded forestry service dirt roads. After all, the event is brought to you by the same folks that present the “Tough Like RORR” extreme enduro, and it’s only natural for the club to incorporate a bit of that attitude into all of its events. But, to clarify, and lessen the scare factor for next year’s participants, the majority of the difficult sections are incorporated as options that are clearly marked for you to decide your fate. However, there are some rocky areas even on the main trail. This is Central PA…you cannot avoid rocks, you just have to embrace them.


A brisk overcast morning greets the riders as they leave North End Fire Company warmed from the breakfast provided by the North End’s volunteers. The ride heads west into the land managed by Rausch Creek Trailriders Club. Today’s access is granted only for the event by the Rausch Creek management team, but memberships, as well as campsites, are available for purchase to enjoy this vast riding area annually by visiting https://www.rauschcreekracing.com/. Here the main trail will follow mostly two-track trails, mine access roads, and scenic paths with terrain ranging from the aforementioned rocks, black coal dirt, hard pack, and even sand. Several optional routes incorporate some wonderful, challenging single track and romps along the spine of “dragon-backs”, piles of overburden and manipulated ground left over from strip mining activites.


A return to the fire company for a tasty lunch follows before setting off to the Blackwood/Llewelyn section for the afternoon loop. This area is accessed by the longest stretch of blacktop in the event, but once the tires hit dirt again, you quickly realize the trek was worth it. Unlike the morning’s section, where there is an active club using the land, this area is off limits except for the Mighty RORR. So, the trails are fresh and neatly trimmed from the club’s preparation. As in the morning, the main line will traverse a mix of dirt roads and wider paths and the rocks are resigned to background noise compared to earlier. There is one difficult bit of main trail toward the end of the loop that is a consequence of the terrain and access but be sure the RORR representatives are willing and able to assist as needed. The fun level really amps up when choosing to tackle the options as the single track is truly spectacular. And, if you make it through one of the last, and most challenging options, where you ascend the mountain side through a tangle of rocky trail and tight trees, you may be rewarded with a hearty cheer and snack from the fire as you pass by an accommodating welcoming party at a rustic cabin atop the hill.


Not far beyond the cabin, the trail returns to the blacktop for a return to the starting area concluding another year’s Mighty RORR. The members of RORR are very grateful for the cooperation of the various landowners that provide the access for the event and well as the support of Rausch Creek Trailriders Club, the North End Fire Company, and the ECEA and its sponsors. Make your plans to join in next year, but be sure to watch the website https://www.rorr.org/ for sign-up information in late summer/early-fall as the event is known to sell-out quickly!








Tuesday, November 23, 2021

AHRMA Mid-Atlantic Cross-Country

 Round Nine – Frackville, PA: October 10, 2021

Author: Joshua Schucker

Photography: Nolan Matthews


After a successful inaugural event in 2020, the accomplished competitors and event coordinators from South Penn Enduro Riders (SPER) once again welcomed the Mid-Atlantic gang back to its stomping grounds outside Frackville, Pennsylvania. The racers were greeted by a picturesque fall day with leaves starting to begin their seasonal color change and temperatures settling into the low sixties. Looking north, the scene was dominated by a large pile of culm blanketing the horizon reaffirming the history of this land and its striking features. Everything was in place for a spectacular start to the series’ penultimate event. It is remarkable to think that forty-eight hours ago we weren’t supposed to be here…well, not this exact “here” anyway.

If the previous round in Ohio had to deal with a last-minute change of venue, the folks at SPER had to deal with a last second change in Frackville! You see, the event in 2020 was held across the street from where we’ve set the stage for this event. And, all of that event’s layout and acclaimed trail from last year was all set-up, trimmed, and marked as a repeat in 2021 until SPER was notified by the land’s management that, due to an unforeseen communication lapse, the event would NOT be able to commence as planned. The SPER team had to quickly leap into action to salvage round nine.


Thankfully, the club also has access to the land south of the blacktop road and is intimately familiar with its topography through years of hosting modern hare scrambles events there. So, with only Saturday to work with, SPER leveraged its knowledge and willing manpower to connect existing trails, cut a bit of fresh trail to reroute some areas for vintage friendliness, and just get the site in general ready for the incoming racers. A serious amount of coordination and effort went into relocating the event to the southern side of Morea Road in such short time, but amazingly the SPER team was able to make it happen with no sacrifice to the experience. Anyone unfamiliar with the tribulations that occurred would not have known the event wasn’t intended to be in this spot from the start…that’s high praise in itself!

Ultimately, the course was a blast with a combination of existing and fresh trail with the requisite number of exposed roots, rocks, ruts and mud puddles, all connected by old access roads, and with an occasional view of the unsuspecting traffic hustling by on Interstate 81. A few rock gardens were encountered, with the shortest route arrowed, while some nice elevation changes came courtesy of fresh trail through abandoned mining pits. Huge thanks to series’ regulars, and SPER members, Mark Hummel, Steve Bowman, and Sandy Quickel, who with many more volunteers, too numerous to mention here but equally appreciated, made this event happen.


Vintage Races:

Josh Zerance jumped in front early to take the overall and AA class lead, but he ran into trouble on lap three as Dave Kutskel was able to squeeze his Yamaha MX360 past for the overall win. Zerance’s Can-Am fell to third behind Brett Reichart before Josh put on a last lap charge past the Puch of Reichart to take the AA win (second overall) while Brett hung on to third overall. Sandy Quickel (Penton) secured the Classic Expert class victory along with fourth overall. Jay Parkins had no answer to Ed Weger’s performance as Weger led from the start and relegated Parkins to the runner-up position in Vintage 50+ Intermediate. Ryan Horan would finish just ahead of Parkins in the overall standings as he put in an impressive ride for a novice; however, Brandon Rowe would outclass Horan and take top novice honors. Both novices would take their respective Vintage class wins with Rowe topping the Open class and Horan the 200 class. Charlie Walker scored his first win of the season in Vintage 60+ Expert class over Randy Marshall (Husqvarna).


Post Vintage Races:

John Ashcraft (CR480) laid down the fastest lap times throughout the middle race in claiming the overall and AA win over fellow AA rider Mike Blackwell on an IT175. SPER’s Mark Hummel would hang close to Blackwell on his Husqvarna but was unable to make his way past in settling for third. Hummel was able to win the competitive Post Vintage Open Expert class as Adam Stelmack and Dane Brownawell followed Hummel closely across the line going two-three in class. Father and son IT175 pilots dueled in the Post Vintage 200 Intermediate class with the elder Merrell, Sam, taking runner-up as his progeny Sylas steadily pulled away in a convincing victory. Eric Rupp made a last lap for third and completed a trifecta of sky-blue Yamahas. Nick Patterson, also riding an IT, would nail down the Novice win in Post vintage 200. Craig Shenigo, making his series return after a rib shaking crash at Coyote Run, proceeded to chase down early leader Eric Weiland to make the pass for the Post Vintage 50+ Expert win on lap four. Joe Cole was able to hustle his Husqvarna past Weiland on the last lap to take second with Weiland sliding back to third.




Disc Brake Races:

John Ashcraft’s overall win put an exclamation point on his domination for the day with another show of blistering speed besting runner-up Michael Cramer by nearly a minute per lap. Mark Hummel secured another third in the overall standings and a class win in Early modern Open Expert with the KDX of Roy Miller and Brain Schwein’s YZ250 going two-three. Fellow SPER member Steve Bowman took fourth on his CR250. Joe Wallace (expert) and Brian Turk (intermediate) took the wins in the Pre-Modern 200 classes. The KDX200s of Ken Wagner and Greg Kemp took the top two spots in “KDX Battleground” Early Modern 200 Intermediate.



As always, thank you to the Mid-Atlantic region’s volunteers and the sponsors that support the regional events; Potomac Vintage Riders, Preston Petty Products, Stainless Cycle, Vee Rubber, Grove Printing, KMI Printing, Horizon Homes, and Works Enduro Riders. The complete results from this event and the upcoming schedules can be found at https://www.ahrma.org/ahrma-mid-atlantic-region




Thursday, November 18, 2021

AMA East Harescramble Series presented by Beta

 November 14, 2021

Photos by: Scott Mickelsen at  Roots, Rocks and Mud

Eagleswood, NJ was the setting for the final rounds of both AMA East and ECEA Hare Scrambles.  Its been 2 years since we were able to do a co sanction with ECEA but it was great to be home for the AMA East HQ's and staff.  


Over 750 racers from NYOA, NETRA, D6, ECEA and AMA East regulars converged on the small town of Eagleswood, NJ.  This was the largest off road race within the Tri State area for 2021. The club, Motorcycle Competition Inc, began prepping the course several weeks ago as they were anticipating the larger then normal crowds.  With this many racers, the course was sure to get hammered rather quickly.  Fortunately MCI did not let this happen.  Working directly with the management of Sahara Sands Mining facility, the club was able to put in several miles of single track trail with superb connector sections.  Added to the mix was 3 MX Grass tracks with each heat getting their own catered affair.  A great menu!


In the main event we had a dozen Pros thirsty for a year end win.  The current AMA East points leader, Kyle McDonal (Beta) had already cinched the title in Stillwater OK the week before but truly wanted to celebrate at home with friends and family. If he was to win this day, it would only add to the 2021 celebration.  Also on the line were several of the Lafferty family racers as well as some notable D6 and NETRA Rockstars.  

When the green flag was raised it was AA Veteran Rich Lafferty (KTM) with the Hole Shot.  Directly behind him was his nephew Justin Lafferty (KTM).  The 2 immediately became targets and the roar at the shore was under way.  McDonal got squeezed on the inside and had his work cut out for him with a mid pack start.  By the time they reached the 1st mile marker, McDonal would take the lead.  



Behind him was yet another seasoned AA Vet Andrew Delong aboard his Privateer Honda. The 2 would begin a 4 lap battle which was 2 close to call when they came through scoring on lap 1.  Separated by only seconds, McDonal and Delong would set the pace.  Shortly after the start of lap 2, McDonal was forced to pit due to a bent rear brake lever which he caught on a root.  the lever was completely bent under the foot peg.  His pit crew got it bent back out and he was gone with the lead changing hands and Delong in front.  

McDonal now had current ECEA points leader Jason Tino (KTM) stalking him less then 20 seconds back.  McDonal told this reporter, prior to the race, that 2nd would not be an option this day.  At the end of lap 2 McDonal was back in the lead with Delong one bike length behind with Tino still in contention.  On lap three McDonal and Delong would begin to pull away.  Behind them we saw New Englander Brayden Nollete from the A 250 Class move into the top 5.  There was no shortage of excitement going into the final 13 mile lap.  Our spotters at the halfway mark advised it was still to close to call.  McDonal was leading but just by a few seconds.  One mistake would force a lead change.  Fortunately for McDonal, he held his lines and surfaced onto the final stretch with Delong directly on his back fender.  Tino would settle for 3rd this day and secure the #1 Plate for the ECEA Series. 

 

Top 10 

Kyle McDonal - Beta

Andrew Delong - Hon

Jason Tino - KTM

Brayden Nolette - KTM

Salvatore Cusimano - Yam

Hunter Bush - GG

Justin Lafferty - KTM

Kyle Grenewicz - Yam

Corey Doughten HSQ

Nathan Dulaney - Yam 



In the morning C event over 350 racers would fill the starting grid to capacity.  The top pilots would not come from the C open class or the C 250 class.  The young rocketeers would come out of the Schoolboy 1 and 2's.  Many of them had raced the day before in the Youth Main.  By the end of lap one we had 5 Schoolboy 1's leading the heat.  Out front was local favorite Lucas Seelman aboard his KTM.  Directly behind him was Dalton Hook (Yam) and Sahara Sands regular Joey Rainone (Kaw).  They would hold these positions for the 1.5 hour race. 

 Top 5

 Lucas Seelman - KTM

Dalton Hook - Yam

Joseph Rainone - Kaw

Justin Adkins - KTM

Domenico Marts

 

Youth Main 

GNCC regular Robert "Christopher" Weiss would get the holeshot racing a row forward in the 14-15 Super minis.  Wiess, a regular on the East Coast running with the 12-13 Super minis would up the anti at this final race and put a challenge to the older kids.  Weiss would check out within the 1st mile and never look back.  In 2nd place was Lucas Seelman and Joseph Rainone.  After 1.5 hours, this is how they would finish. 

Top 5

Robert Weiss - HSQ

Lucas Seelman - KTM

Joseph Rainone - Kaw

Austin Tsakanikas - KTM

Carter Przemelewski - Yam




Juniors

Camryn Popek on his Precision Powersports Yamaha would take the hole shot and would not see another racer until he would come upon the lappers.  Trying to draft him was his long time buddy and Yamaha Team Mate Gabe Molinari.  Cutting through the pack from the 2nd row was Enzo Zaccaria (HSQ).  Enzo would make the pass on Molinari for 2nd overall.  Enzo did try frantically to catch Popek but to no avail.  Popek was turning out 30 second faster lap times.  Enzo knew he had to keep up the pressure.  He is a 6 year Off Road racer and knows that it aint over till the checkers are dropped and anything can happen.  Fortunately for Popek....nothing happened and the checkers he would get.  Enzo would still take the win in his class 7-9 65c and 2nd OA.  On lap 4, 7-9 65cc racer Preston Siniavsky would had made a charge and would go from 5th to 3rd Overall and 2nd in his class. This would remain till the end.  Great job boys!

 

Top 5

Camryn Popek - Yam

Enzo Zaccaria - HSQ

Preston Siniavsky - Yam

Tyler Sztancsik - KTM

Gabe Molinari - Yam




Pee Wee 50's

 Its no secret that the future AMA AA's are coming from the front line in this heat.  Brendan Grey (KTM) who had already clinched the AMA East and the ECEA title was just out for a ride with his buddies.  This kid loves to race.  The battle today was for 2nd place for the year.  both Brian Sands and Landyn Dalmasso were only separated by a few points for the ECEA series heading into this final round.  Sands did not get the start he was hoping for which allowed Dalmasso the put some distance between them.  Sands was sitting back in 8th by the end of the 4th lap.  On the final lap, Sands did make a final lap push and got himself up to 4th position but just could not catch the determined Dalmasso.  In the end it was Grey, Dal

 

Top 5

Brendan Grey - KTM

Landyn Dalmasso - KTM

Aubrey Tsakanikas - KTM

Brian Sands - KTM

Preston Siniavsky - HSQ

 

 

Kenny Held

AMA Off Road Commissioner

AMA East Hare Scramble Coordinator

americanmotorcyclist.com









Thursday, October 7, 2021

Rounds Six & Seven: AHRMA Mid Atlantic Cross-Country

 Coyote Run: August 7 & 8, 2021

Author: Joshua Schucker

Photography: Becky Schreckengost

Summer break is over! While this statement may bring a tear to the eye of students heading back to school, those wrapped up in the 2021 AHRMA Mid-Atlantic Cross-Country season have a totally different reaction. 


Saturday’s Vintage Class Start

The downtime is obviously a good time to catch up on overdue maintenance or needed repairs, but after a full six-week break from action, the racers are anxious to hear “Ten seconds!” and twist a throttle again. Knowing that the second half kick-off event is the always anticipated Coyote Run, with its two-day format, chef Holley’s pig roast, camaraderie and fellowship, and famous Powder Puff event only adds to the excitement for summer break to end. 

Welcoming a group this large to your home is never an easy task, but as usual, regional director Dave Kutskel and his family, wife Darlene and children Emily and Brock, always make it look easy. Their hard work and graciousness, along with the persistence and valued effort of the core group of volunteers, ensure the event easily lived up to expectations.


Thanks to all that make it happen - it takes an army of volunteers.

The Kutskel’s property, along with wonderful cooperation from neighboring properties, is flush with fantastic trails from past Coyote Run events as well as general play riding and practice. To supplement the existing trail system and ensure the participants get the absolute best experience, Mike Zdybak spends considerable time clearing debris and cutting fresh trail to formulate a wholly unique course for each day of the event. This year racers were treated to a Saturday course that was relatively open and flowed well through a plethora of established two-track, switch-backing through a combination of trees and underbrush, with some well-paced single-track thrown in. There was just enough elevation changes and moisture in the ground to create a few tricky spots as well. 

Sunday’s course took a different approach using far more single-track including some quite tight areas along the creek bank that was run in reverse from last year. Sunday also included the spectator favorites of the shale pile hill-climb, which was descended this year as a twist, and the “pit” just off the dirt road toward the starting area, which was also run in a different direction compared to year’s past. Both day’s courses were similar in length with Sunday’s lap times just a touch longer due to the tighter terrain. While certain folks may have preference for one or the other, in general, both courses were well regarded based on the bench racing that followed, with only a sour word or two for the dust which again plagued the event although not even close to the 1930’s- dust bowl proportions from 2020.


There's just something special about a Vintage bike...


Vintage Races:

Considering his obvious familiarity with the place, it is no surprise to see host Dave Kutskel near the top of the leaderboard. He was able to capture the top-overall spot on Saturday after early leader Brian Grove’s dominance was derailed when he exited on the last lap. Christian Brumbaugh (Yamaha DT250) continued his remarkable, and inspirational, recovery from a near debilitating injury with second overall and first in the Vintage Open Expert class. Runner up to Brumbaugh was Ethan Walker making a long-anticipated return to action following the birth of he and Lorena’s second child, congratulations! Third and fourth overall in Saturday’s race were captured by strong intermediate performances by Josh Horvath and Brock Kutskel who also took the top two spots in Vintage 200 Intermediate. 

Property owner and event organizer Dave Kutskel grabs the Saturday O/A.


Lynn Parkins and Glenn Hershey dueled for the Vintage 60+ Intermediate win throughout as Glenn took an early lead only to fall behind Lynn on lap two. Glenn held on tight and pushed Parkins to the end, but was unable to get by, handing Lynn the win. Glenn’s Can-Am was followed by Dave McIntyre and his Honda in third. Brandon Rowe continued his strong season with a pair of Vintage Open Novice wins on the weekend with TJ Dixon claiming the runner-up spot both days.


Dave Light takes his MX360 to a pair of wins on the weekend.

Brian Grove struck back on Sunday as he took the overall win on his Husqvarna with fellow AA class rider Josh Zerance (Can-Am) just behind. Kutskel led early but fell to third just ahead of another AA rider, Wyatt Stoup. Dave Light followed up Saturday’s victory in the Vintage Open Intermediate with a win yet again on his MX360. Mike Bretz would take runner-up on a Can-Am, replacing Saturday’s second place rider Aaron Walker. Tim Spigelmyer made a strong impression in his series debut Sunday by taking an early lead in the tough Vintage 200 Intermediate class, but ultimately settled for second after being forced to retire on lap three. Following a last lap pass by Kevin Marshall to take Saturday’s win, Ed Klinger’s runner-up to Kevin on Sunday may have been more impressive. Ed clipped a hidden rock on his Husqvarna on lap one, and despite being spit off the machine, the crash looked innocent enough. While he remounted and continued his pursuit of Marshall, a post-race assessment of his well-being uncovered a sizable laceration from the earlier crash which sent Ed to the ER for some repair work. Reports indicate a full recovery.


Post Vintage Races:

Apart from Logan Holley’s lap one lead, the rest of the post vintage weekend was all Husqvarna and Brian Grove. After Brian passed Holley on lap two Saturday, he would go on to lead every lap thereafter in taking the overall and AA class wins both days. Logan managed to hang on for second place on his Husqvarna with Craig Shenigo taking third on his Yamaha IT. 

Rylin Pacella and Dane Brownawell hustled their 125s (CR and YZ respectively) into the top three overall on Sunday as well as placing one-two in the Post Vintage 200 Expert class each day. Following his impressive vintage class rides, Sylas Merrell led three laps in Saturday’s Post Vintage 200 Intermediate action before home-track advantage carried fellow young phenom Brock Kutskel (XR200) into the lead and the win. 


Brock Kutskel takes the home track win.

Sylas settled for second and his Dad, Sam Merrell, upheld the honor of the “older’ folks by following Geoff Kemp across the line for fourth with all except Kutskel on IT175s. The elder Merrell would best his progeny on Sunday with a strong runner-up to Brock. As typical, there was plenty of competition in the Post Vintage Women’s classes with five ladies taking to the course each day. Husqvarna/XR hybrid-mounted Laci Horvath knocked down the wins in the Expert class, Kelly Pearce was closely followed by Emily Reichart in the Intermediate field, and Claudia McDowell held off Pam Leibgold and her IT175 in the Novice class. In a duel of 80’s Yamahas, Eric Weiland was able to better his Saturday second place finish with a Post Vintage 50+ Expert win over Steve Bowman on Sunday. Robert Radcliffe and Rick Klingensmith diced for the Post Vintage 60+ Intermediate win all weekend with Rick coming out on top both days. James Nice also joined the fray on Saturday with a third in class.


Laci Horvath wins the Ladies Expert division.


Disc Brake Races:

AA class riders Kurtis Palmer, Mike Blackwell, and Brian Grove, in that order, made a clean sweep of the overall podium on Saturday. With Kurtis absent for Sunday’s race, Mike took advantage and claimed the top spot followed by fellow AA competitor Wyatt Stoup. Cameron Pennington and Steve Bowman derailed the AA freight train on Sunday with their pair of Early Modern Open Expert Honda CRs as they managed one-two in the class and three-four overall. 

With his characteristic XR250 out of action for the weekend, Josh Folmar scoffed at his father’s “if you can start it you can ride it” challenge by not only starting dad Keith’s beastly XR600, but piloting it to the Pre-Modern Open Intermediate class win on Saturday after chasing down Grant Reichart’s CR250 on lap three. Brian Holley rode his Husqvarna to third place. Grant again took an early lead Sunday, but this time he refused to cede to the challenge by Yamaha TT- mounted Jim Laird. Grant would lead every lap to take the win with Jim behind in second and Keith Folmar in third. Scott Day took the Early Modern 200 Intermediate win on Saturday while Tim Spigelmyer took that honor on Sunday. Greg Kemp was runner-up to each on his KDX200 and his son Greg Kemp Jr, also riding a KDX, was the winner in Sunday’s Early Modern 200 Expert contest.


The kids cheer on Cameron Pennington to the win.

The second half of the 2021 season has kicked off with yet another amazing Coyote Run weekend. Thanks to the Kutskel family and their neighbors for the hospitality and opportunity to visit and race.  


Two more rounds to go - make sure you don't miss out. 


A huge thank you to all the volunteers that make this series possible, and thank you to the sponsors that support the regional events:

 Potomac Vintage Riders, Preston Petty Products, Stainless Cycle, Vee Rubber, Grove Printing, KMI Printing, Horizon Homes, and Works Enduro Riders. The complete results from this event and the upcoming schedule can be found at https://www.ahrma.org/ahrma-mid-atlantic-region. Follow the series’

 Facebook page @ AHRMA Mid Atlantic Cross Country for updates. 

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Tuesday, August 17, 2021

AHRMA Northeast MX and Mid Atlantic Cross-Country

 AHRMA Northeast MX and Mid Atlantic Cross-Country – Ashcraft Farms 6/26-27/2021

Author: Joshua Schucker

Photography: Michael Fleck

The sprawling and gorgeous Ashcraft family farm was once again host to a collaborative weekend spectacle of vintage off-road motorcycling. AHRMA’s Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regional operations worked together to present another wonderful event in their third visit to the foothills of the Bald Eagle Mountain range just northwest of State College, PA. Patriarch, Brian Ashcraft, along with his considerable extended family are the most gracious hosts throughout the weekend. Not only had they spent considerable time and energy creating top-notch racecourses leading up to the event, but also provide excellent and comprehensive support to the racers and series’ staff throughout the weekend as well as serving wonderful food.


The Northeast region would serve as the facilitator for Saturday’s scheduled grass track motocross action. As in past events, the Ashcraft’s reserved the familiar pasture for its well-regarded grass-track. As always, the grass is high, and ribbons guide the way through a haven of natural terrain. An expanded starting area with a longer path to turn one was a welcome addition giving riders a bit more time to separate following the rubber band start. The first half of the course took a slightly different route through the off-camber western slope of the pasture before navigating the fan-lined straightaway along a high-tensile boundary fence where cheers welcome all racers. The second half of the course follows a similar path as year’s prior making sure to include the popular jump in the center of the pasture followed closely by the downhill ski jump with a  landing area that quickly turns 180 degrees as the course heads back uphill to the final few turns before the checkers. A standout motocross experience yet again.

Cross Country group photo on Sunday morning.

Motocross Results:

Grant Reichart swapped moto wins with Adam Mavanik but Grant took the overall by virtue of a lower overall score on his Super Combat Wombat in Sportsman 125 Intermediate. Kelly (Ashcraft) Pearce made the local crowd proud with both moto wins over Laci Horvath and Emily Reichart in Post Vintage Women’s Expert action. Doug Reitz used consistency in taking the overall Vintage 60+ Expert win with two seconds after moto one winner Terry Herr was unable to get his Can-Am to the line resulting in a Paul Wawrynovic moto victory. Terry was far more successful in Post Vintage 60+ Expert with a pair of wins while Reitz settled for second. Dustin Loss rode his Suzuki to the moto two win and an overall while Geoff Kemp’s moto one win was enough to garner him runner-up. After wining moto one, Kevin Marshall was unable to hold back a charging Rik Smits in moto two. Smits would take the overall win in Post Vintage 50+ Intermediate on his Maico. Richard Light had his Kawasaki rolling with a pair of moto wins in Vintage 70+ Intermediate while his daughter-in-law Bean was also locking up the Post Vintage Women’s victory with a perfect score over Carol Bailey. Dan Ambrosio held off challenges from the Yamahas of Mike Giambone and Marc Kalipolites each moto to put his Suzuki atop the Historic 125 Intermediate class. 

 

Terry Herr on the way to a moto win on his Can-Am.

Cross-country racing took center stage on Sunday with the Mid-Atlantic regional team serving as the primary operators. With the region’s recent adoption of a three-race format, the Ashcraft’s took a new approach to course layout driven by the nature of the property and comments from the previous events at the farm. There is a plethora of available trails throughout the property covering the entire mountainside and the lower ground at the base. As the ground gains elevation up the southern slope of the mountain, the terrain gets challenging, particularly for limited ground clearance vintage bikes. Having a three-race format made it easier for the folks setting up the course to justify creating a separate course for vintage classes aimed at maximizing the experience on the older bikes while the other two races would build upon that with some tougher mountain single track. All indications from riders in all classes prove that the decision was a success. 


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The morning’s vintage race saw forty-five riders hit some early single track right off the starting line that would eventually drop right into the grass-track course where riders were led around the first half of the MX track before making a hard left into some freshly cut single track right before the ski jump. A combination of fresh single track and existing two-track brought the pack from the far eastern part of the property to the fan-favorite quartet of sinkholes to the west. Another jaunt through some flowing foothill single track would complete a lap at just around four miles of fun. Fifty-six and thirty-two riders lined up for the Post Vintage and Disc Brake races later that day and were treated to a different experience. The afternoon course was supplementary to the vintage course as it followed the same path up to a certain point at which the trail pointed up the mountainside using a portion of high-quality, but challenging, single track that was used in last year’s event. The Ashcraft crew redirected some areas for a unique experience and added some fresh cut trail near the approximately 1800-foot summit of the mountain before descending for a jaunt through the sink holes where the course rejoined that of the morning’s action. At nearly seven miles in length, the course is the longest in the series and while challenging, it is truly a blast to ride. 


“Dover Vintage Riders” and their cohort of ITs – Eric Rupp, Shane Reichert, and Josh Stewart (L-R)

Cross-Country Results:

John Ashcraft defends his home turf with the overall and AA class wins in the Post Vintage and Disc Brake races while another local, Brian Grove, claimed the same in the morning’s Vintage event. Rick Huth made a much-anticipated return to race action at Ashcraft Farm and nailed down the top spot in Vintage 70+ Intermediate despite a strong challenge from runner-up Jim Heasley. Jacob Ritorto wowed the crowd by man-handling his thumping BSA in unique style to a first-place finish in Classic Intermediate over second place Taylor Belling. 


Jacob Ritorto and his BSA…speed with style.

Claudia McDowell is becoming a familiar face atop the Vintage Women’s Novice class as she collected another number one plaque for her efforts. Brock Kutskel ended the string of different winners in Post Vintage 200 Intermediate with his second consecutive win with another fast youngster, Sylas Merrell, lurking just behind. Josh Horvath controlled the Post Vintage Open Intermediate class for the last few rounds but couldn’t overcome the challenge from Jeremy Peace’s Honda and Tom Bank, as they claimed the top two spots respectively. Cameron Pennington and his CR250 made the move to the Expert class and wasted little time getting acclimated to the competition as he was the first to see checkers in Early Modern Expert action with Brian Schwein’s YZ second and Chris Haag in third on an XR. Josh Castaldo, Steve Winklebauer, and Wesley Heeman filled the Pre-2K Open Intermediate podium.

Joe Cole leads Josh Horvath (277) and the rest of the pack into turn one.


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Tremendous thanks to Brian and Lisa Ashcraft and their family for the generosity in opening their home to the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic families each year. The hard work and pride they take in this event is easy to see and everyone that makes the turn onto Ashcraft Lane that weekend is welcomed openly. These events rely upon the hard work of many volunteers such as Ed Roman and Merritt Brown of the Northeast region and the Marshall’s, Zdybak’s, Reitz, Reichart, Cole, Kutskel, et al, crew of the Mid-Atlantic. Thanks to you all and to the various weekend volunteers for keeping the wheels moving and providing the participants great venues and experiences. Please support the people that support the sport; Northeast series sponsors are Equinox Cycles, Hatch’s Hodaka, Jenning’s ATV & Cycle, Metro Racing, and Mr. Crankshaft, while The Mid-Atlantic region is sponsored by Potomac Vintage Riders, Preston Petty Products, Stainless Cycle, Vee Rubber, Grove Printing, KMI Printing, Horizon Homes, and Works Enduro Riders.



Host Brian Ashcraft powers off the start in the Disc Brake race on his way

to the Pre-2k Open Expert win.

The 2021 schedule and complete results from this event can be found at:


https://www.ahrma.org/ahrma-mid-atlantic-region 


and https://www.ahrma.org/ahrma-northeast-region



John Brandt (861) and Brock Kutskel (5) flying in formation.








Wednesday, August 4, 2021

AMA East Hare Scrambles Championship Series Presented by Beta

By Kenneth Held

Photos Melissa Stanwood

 

08/01/21 Millville, NJ, Round 5 of the AMA East HS Series was hosted by District 2's NJ Field of Dreams.  If you've never been there and you are from the Tri-State area, I would highly recommend a visit sooner then later as the trails from this past weekend are still freshly engraved into the landscape. 


The 3 top dogs in this race were all locals and have been racing many of the same races since they were on 65's.  New to the front row however was Beta's Max Fernandez.  The track was 50% old school mx combined with 50% tight trails and slightly wider connector sections.  Reports of thunderstorms kept many away.  In the past if it rains at this location it is known for destroying motors and an abundance of DNF's.  Fortunately this was not the case.  In fact the promoter was forced to water the tracks and pit areas several times throughout the day.  



In the main event, Wild Wally Palmer would get the holeshot and early lead.  Back in 2nd position was series 2nd in points Ryan "The Mighty Quinn" aboard his Gas Gas. All AA's got off to a clean start and immediately began to do battle on the MX track.  All but Beta's Kyle McDonal dabble with MX in the off season so the sooner he could get them in the woods the better.  The modified MX track was about 1.4 miles and after they all came around around it was Palmer still in the lead with Quinn and McDonal banging bars for 2nd.  Max Fernandez was trying to play catch up with his 125 small bore, but was no match for the Open 4 strokes.  




As the front line went into the woods, they could be heard but not seen and there were many switchbacks.  The 2 miles of woods and modified Quad Track would keep Palmer in the lead with McDonal just a few seconds back.  Quinn and Fernandez were now battling for 3rd.  Although this was only a 5 mile track, the speeds were quite high and frequent pit stops were a must for most of the racers.  At the midway point McDonal would take the lead over Palmer, however Palmer was not ready to give up.  This was his 1st race after some injuries so he was suppose to take it easy......nope, not in his data base.

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In the mean time, Fernandez would pull ahead of Quinn as these 2 are currently battling for year end points as well.  The small bore allowed Fernandez to conserve some energy and was scarcely affected by the blistering the track was causing under the gloves.  On the White Flag lap McDonal put the hammer down and began to distance himself from the rest.  Palmer had a few get offs which allowed Fernandez to tighten the gap.  He was within seconds of Palmer and the 2 would engage in a final MX track battle that surprised even Max's dad.  Max gave his all but needed one more lap if he wanted to make the pass but the clock ran out.  In the end it was McDonal, Palmer and Fernandez.  



Kyle McDonal would race to the overall win at Round 5.


Top A Rider was "Flying" Josh Klouchek - KTM - A 250

 Top B Rider was Team Perfect Storms Kenito Held - SUZ - B 250 

Top Female was Blue Cru Easts Cate Nash - YAM - A/B


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In the morning C event the Schoolboy 1 and 2 kids on 125-250's just disappeared from the rest of the field.  By the 2nd lap they managed to lap all but a few.  Imagine they used to put these kids towards the back rows.  The positions were pretty much set after the 1st lap with the exception of 3rd position.  Caramanna would lose his rear brakes and would have to pit and douse them with water every lap.  He and Justin Penrose KTM, would race to the final straightaway with Caramanna edging him out by just a few feet.  After 1.5 hours it was Lucas Seelman KTM, Dalton Hook YAM and Vince Caramanna YAM all from the Schoolboy Classes.

Top Female was Mikayla Nye - YAM for the C Women's 





Youth Main:

 Robert Weiss - HSQ

Lucas Seelman - KTM

Ryan Gribbin - KTM

 

Jrs:

Cameron Popek - Precision Powersports - YAM

Liam Vernon - KAW

Leland Jones - KTM

 

Pee Wees:

 Preston Siniavsky - YAM

Brenday Gray - KTM

Chase Steenweg - GG



For full results go to: http://www.moto-tally.com/EHS/Results.aspx

 

Kenny Held

AMA Off Road Commissioner

AMA East Hare Scramble Coordinator

americanmotorcyclist.com





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