Jason Potter (758) from Spokane, Washington, swept the 450 Pro class. Former AMA National rider Tony Amaradio was third overall.
In what is easily America’s longest points paying motocross series, Glen Helen’s REM series has whittled its 40-races down to the last four final motocross races?culminating is a special “New Year’s Eve morning” race to award Glen Helen’s Number 1 plate for 2011. Amazingly, no one knows who will be #1, or even who is in the running for #1, because REM sealed the points back in October and won’t tell any of the racers how many points they are ahead or behind?or even what place they are in. So, with four races to go (Nov. 26, Dec. 3, Dec. 10 and Dec. 31) the contenders have to scramble to get every point they can.
Although the Swedes came to the USA to avoid freezing weather, the SoCal locals found the 65-degree day to be too cold, so they bundled up like Vance & Hines’ Steven Tokarski, while the Swedes took their shirts off.
The overall 2011 points winner will not be announced until the New Year’s Eve event is over. There is no doubt that the new #1 rider will come from one of the bigger classes (because the classes with the largest turnouts and highest skill level get more points than classes with smaller fields). That most likely means that an Over-50 Expert, Over-60 Expert or Over-40 rider will win the plate. Since REM began counting season-long points back in 1989 there has only been one young rider to earn the most points (15-year-old Billy Musgrave back in 2004).
If you win the the #1 plate, you get a big trophy and your name goes on the wall.
Since the Pros can never earn enough points to win the number one plate (because they don’t race often enough), the number one plate doesn’t got to the fastest rider (which is often true in the AMA also), but to the most consistent performer from January 8, 2011, to December 31, 2011.
Hugh McDonald (37) takes some time to style for awhile. McDonald was seventh in the 250 Intermediate class.
OFF TO THE RACES
450 Pro: Jason Potter had one of those days that doesn’t come around all that often. Not only did Jason sweep both Pro motos, but he ran pretty much by himself most of the day as major competitors Steven Tokarski (2-2), Tony Amaradio (3-3) and Brian Nelson (4-6) had issues with starts, ruts and a deceptively difficult track.
Nisse Kjellstrom gets a wonderful view of just how steep Mt. Saint Helen, in the background, really is.
250 Intermediate: With a couple feet of snow on the ground back home in Sweden, the yearly exodus to SoCal has begun. There were two Swedes and an Italian in the 250 Intermediate class (they finished second, fifth and sixth), but Santa Ynez, California’s Daniel Meynet swept both motos. Swede Simon Svardstrom used a 3-3 to best Ryan Surratt’s, son of former AMA 125 West Supercross Champion Willy Surratt, 2-4 day. Max Groom had issues in moto one that dropped him back to 7th, but came back in moto to finish a strong second, which was good enough for fourth overall in front of Swede Nisse Kjellstrom (5-5) and Italian Lorenzo Brogi (4-7).
Kris Palm has been racing in the United States for two years, and works for TM importer Pete Vetrano. That doesn’t get him favored status when it comes to being assigned bikes to race. Palm drew a TM EN450 enduro bike this week, but he made it work.
450 Intermediate: Another Swede, Kristoffer Palm (no relations to the late GP star Uno Palm), won the 450 Intermediates on a TM 450 enduro bike (with a headlight).
Randel Fout became one of the select few to win in REM’s incredibly competitive Over-50 Expert class at Glen Helen. It was his first victory in a long time.
Over-50 Expert: As always, the Over-50 Expert class was the biggest race of the day. The surprise winner was KTM 350SXF-mounted Randel Fout. This was Fout’s first Over-50 Expert win in three years. Randel has been dealing with injuries, but based on this week’s performance is finally back up to speed. Greg Nelson (3-2), Willie Amaradio (2-3), Dennis Boulware (5-4), Husqvarna CR144-mounted Ron Lawson (4-5), Mike Monaghan (7-6), George Kohler (6-7), Pete Vetrano (9-8), Randy Skinner (8-9) and Robs Deeds (11-11) rounded out the top ten.
Dirt Bike’s Ron Lawson raced a 2012 Husqvarna CR125 (with a 144 kit installed) to second in the two-stroke class and fifth in the Over-50 Experts. Behind Lawson are Scott Williams (20), Chris Alamangos (32) and Randel Fout (3). Coming down the hill behind this pack are Pete Vetrano (37) and Billy Seifert (610).
125 “A”: The 125 two-stroke class might as well have been another Vet class as Over-50 Expert winner Randel Fout took his KX125 to victory in front of the Ron Lawson’s Husqvarna (2-3), Scott Williams’ YZ125 (4-2) and Chris Alamango’s KTM 125SX (3-3). The youngest rider in the two-stroke class was still over 40-years-old.
You don’t see the presidents of U.S. Suzuki, American Honda, Kawasaki or Yamaha racing on the weekends, but TM America President Pete Vetrano not only races what he sells, but he raced two classes this weekend on a 2012 TM MX250.
250 Novice: Matt Cerami took the win in front of a top five of Talon LaFountaine (3-2), Renton Minuto (5-3), Rudy Renka (4-4) and Steven De Rose (2-6).
Scott Williams (2) is one of a surprising number of local racers who have parked their 450 four-strokes to return to the joys of two-strokedom.
Minis: The minicycle class winners were: Ryan Higashi (65 Advance), Taryn Minuto (85 Novice), Landen Lowell (85 Intermediates), Renton Minuto (150 Advanced) and James Butte (150 Beginner).
Someday in the future, Geoff Patterson (211) and Christopher Lee (173) will be able to say that they passed AMA Hall of Famer Chuck “Feets” Minert (62) in a race. They probably won’t mention that he was 80-years-old when they did it.
Over-60 Expert: The top five were all familiar names from the past. Former Saddleback racer Ray Pisarski swept both motos with a 1-1 in front of AMA Hall of Famer, two-time World Vet Champion and Inter-Am 500cc winner Lars Larsson (2-2), Jody Weisel raced MXA’s KTM 300XC to a 3-3 day, Former Catalina Grand Prix winner Chuck Minert had his best day this year with a solid 5-4, Bill Seifert had a couple of holeshots ruined by a couple crashes and ended up with 4-5 in front of Earl Shuler’s 6-8. Shuler crashed at the top of a hill in moto two and got tangled with his bike.
Daniel Meynet (15) and Max Groom (659) try two different approaches to the same turn in the 250 Intermediate class.
REM races again next weekend, November 26. For more info go to www.remsatmx.com
Photos by Chris & Dan Alamangos