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


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


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