REM GLEN HELEN: DEAN WILSON RETURNS TO GLEN HELEN

June 22, 2014
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Photos by Debbi Tamietti

Click on photos to enlarge.

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Less than a month after his big Glen Helen National crash, Dean Wilson was back in the saddle and racing again. REM Glen Helen is the go-to race for AMA Pros looking to test themselves—this where Brett Metcalfe raced in May to show everyone that he was serious about getting a ride in the USA—and he got one.

Pro Circuit Kawasaki star and 2011 AMA 250 National Champion Dean Wilson made his return to racing at the weekly REM Glen Helen. Wilson was seriously injured at the Glen Helen National on May 24 when the razor sharp footpeg on his flipping KX250F ripped through the back of his leg coming down Mt. Saint Helen. The gash was so deep that Dean not only had to have it sutured back together, but doctors put him in cast to keep it from tearing open.

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Justin Jones (42), Preston Tilford (7) and Dean Wilson (15) sweep through the first turn in close formation. Jones would come out ahead on this start, but Wilson’s KX250F would holeshot all of the 450’s in moto two.

To test his readiness to return to the AMA Nationals Dean came to REM and raced the 450 Pro class (it is common for AMA National riders to race their 250s in the 450 class at Glen Helen rather than the 250 class). Then, Dean raced in the Over-50 Expert/Elite/Intermediate race to get in some extra saddle time. Officially Dean was signed up as an “Open Expert” in this class, but as the only one in this class Dean contented himself with seeing how far up he could lap.

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Iowa’s Klint Stapes 5-7 left him seventh overall in the 450 Pro class at REM.

450 PRO: Justin Jones, son of four-time 250 National Champion Gary Jones, holeshot the first moto and opened up a quick lead as Dean Wilson worked his way up from fourth. The expected battle between Jones and Wilson was muted when Jones had a lapper get in his way, allowing Wilson to zap by in a blink. Jones was philosophical, “I really wanted to watch him ride. I was expecting him to pass me, but because of the lapper I didn’t get a chance to see his lines for very long. Following talented guys is like going to school.” Wilson would go on to win moto one while Jones, Preston Tilford, Aussie Damon Gibbons, Iowan Klint Stapes and Brandon Petersen followed him in (at a distance).

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Willy Simons Jr. (46) leads Tristan Miller (351) in the battle over third in the 250 Intermediate class. Simons’ 4-3 would best Miller’s 3-4.

The second moto was much easier for Dean was he got the holeshot, while Jones was back in fifth. The top five for the day was Wilson (1-1), Jones (2-2), Tilford (3-3), Petersen (6-5) and Gibbons (4-6).

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Tristan Miller (351) had an eventful day as here he tries to hold off second place 250 Intermediate Jon Ames (17).

250 PRO: Zac Commans swept both motos of the 250 Pro class in front of Cody McCullock, Cole Seeley and Benny Breck. Commans is a newly minted Pro that the Pro Circuit team has high hopes for in the future.

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Jody Weisel (192) switched back and forth between a 2015 KTM 450SXF and a 350SXF. He holeshot the first Over-60 Expert moto, but would end the day with a 5-4 score for fourth overall. Earl Shuler (7) and Bill Seifert (37) give chase.

OVER-60 EXPERT: Ken Ehlers took the victory in front of Tom Holmes with a 2-1 and a 1-2. Philip Cruz was third, Jody Weisel fourth and Bill Seifert fifth.

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Jon Ortner (48) raced MXA’s bone-stock 2015 KTM 450SXF test bike to first overall in the Over-50 Elite class. Here Jon is chased by Over-40 Pro winner William Hendershot (501)

OVER-50 ELITE: In the faster Over-50 Elite class, Jon Ortner’s 1-2 beat Willy Simons’s 3-1 and Shawn Hybarger’s 2-3. Jon Ortner was sharing MXA’s brand new 2015 KTM 450SXF with Jody Weisel and gave it an inaugural win. Northern California’s Shawn Hybarger has decided to move to SoCal full-time so he can race more often. He is currently staying at Willy Simons’ house—which makes it a good thing that he didn’t beat Willy in the overall.

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Kent Reed (491) leads Brian Underdahl (606) and Ted Kukla (96) in the Over-50 Novice class. Kukla ended up third, Reed fourth and Underdahl fifth.

450 INTERMEDIATE: Edward Denton used a 2-1 to defeat Beau Dargel’s 1-3. Stuart Robertson split the front duo in moto two with a second for a 3-2.

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35 years ago CMC number 1 Val Tamietti (blue) and AME number 1 Will Harper (7) would have given Dean Wilson (15) a run for his money, but it isn’t 1979 anymore. Dean raced with the Over-50 Experts to get more racing time in. Imagine the thrill for the former Pros to get to race against a modern star.

OVER-50 EXPERT: The front position in this class is a crap shoot every week. The list of former winners includes half of the riders in the class, but this week there was a first-time winner. Luther French, fresh out of the Over-40 class, took the win while being chased by former class winners Phil Dowell, Val Tamietti, Dave Eropkin, Will Harper, Ron Lawson and Bob Rutten.

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Phil Dowell (23) is pursued by Luther French (2). Luther would get his first-ever Over-50 Expert victory and he did it with all the big players in attendance.

250 INTERMEDIATE: Bradley Taft’s 1-1 was followed home by Jon Ames’ 2-2, Willy Simons Jr.’s 4-3, Tristan Miller’s 3-4 and Jake Martineau’s 5-5.

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Ron Lawson (93), Randy Skinner (383) and Will Harper (192) spread out across the top of one of REM’s many hills.

THE BIGGEST CLASS: For the first time in years the Over-50 classes were not the largest ones at REM Glen Helen. Why not? Because this weekend is Mammoth Mountain Vet weekend and many of the REM regular’s were at the Mountain. So, what were the biggest classes? The 450 Novice class was the biggest class of the day. It was won by Sean Fisher (3-1) over Alex Boost (2-2), Brandon Reid (4-3), Ryan Brooks (7-5) and Callum Evans (6-6). The second largest class was the 250 Novice class. It’s top five was Austin Burns (2-1), Parker Wilbanks (1-2), Noah Hickerson (3-3), Cole Tompkins (4-4) and John Roggero (8-5).

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Shawn Hybarger (23) used to make the long trip from Northern California to Glen Helen to race the big races, but he got tired of the drive and decided to give up his NorCal roots and relocate. He will probably be shunned by his Northern buddies for such blasphemy.

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We spotted Terry Varner (34), Mark Hall (62), Joe Sutter (111), Bob Rutten and Phil Dowell (23) chasing Dave Eropkin (811) and Val Tamietti (in lead)

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Glenn Lindsey (35) gives it all he’s got in the 250 Novice class—all he had was good enough for an 11-6 day.

REM does not race next Saturday, June 28, because of the Annual Glen Helen 10-Hour endurance race, but they return on Saturday, July 5. For more info go to www.remsatmx.com

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