MXA’s Dennis Stapleton won the 450 Pro class.
It was a packed Saturday at SoCal’s famous Glen Helen Raceway as the Over-The-Hill gang held “day one” of their National on the USGP track, the Lucas Oil Offroad Truck Series took over the short course track and REM Motocross raced on their upper motocross track. Three races on the same day isn’t all that unusual at Glen Helen?and they have held as many six races a week. In fact, over the last two weekends Glen Helen held a two-day WORCS motorcycle race (Saturday and Sunday), a two-day Police/Fire Motocross (Monday and Tuesday), a Thursday open motocross practice, a Friday practice for quads-only and a two-day WORCS Quad race.
LightSpeed-sponsored Tony Amaradio tries to bury his side panel in an REM rut.
So this Saturday was fairly relaxed, but the racing at all three tracks was intense. In the 450 Pro class, Dennis Stapleton and Tony Amaradio, both AMA National veterans, had an incredibly close duel for the victory. With only three laps to go, Amaradio made a great pass at the start of the Mt. Whitney uphill to take the lead, only to have the MXA test rider make an equally amazing pass at the bottom of the Mt. Whitney downhill. Stapleton would go 1-1 for the win. Young Parker Eckman tried to join into the 450 battle with the two experienced pros on a CRF250, but they took exception to his tactic of charging up the inside and dispatched him (to the ground). Eckman was third overall.
Parker Eckman (47) followed by Garrett Eckman (44).
The 250 Intermediate win went to Parker’s brother Garret Eckman in front of Richard Sterling and Dylan Mroz.
George Kohler had to start dead last in the first moto when he missed the start, but finished just as well as he did in the second moto (when he didn’t miss the start).
THE REALLY OLD GUYS
The Over-50 Experts have been the premier class at REM for the last couple years and this week they were elevated to running a 20-minute plus one lap moto (in the second gate behind the Pro class). The distance was no problem for Don Grahn. In fact, Don needed the whole 20 minutes after having a miscue in the second moto. Grahn’s 1-1 beat Dirt Bike Magazine editor Ron Lawson’s 3-2, Dave Eropkin’s 2-4, Dennis Boulware’s 4-3, George Kohler’s 5-5 (which was pretty good given that Kohler missed the start of the first moto and started from the pits in dead last), Randy Skinner’s 6-7, Pete Vetrano’s 7-6 and Ken Ehler’s 8-8.
Pete Vetrano double-classed it at REM with a seventh in the Over-50 Experts and a first in the Vet Novices.
Tom White of White Brothers fame holeshot both Over-60 Expert motos and won easily. Alan Olson did his normal trick of letting the pack go and then working his way up, but this time he couldn’t catch White’s 2011 KTM 450SXF on his 2011 KTM 350SXF. MXA‘s Jody Weisel went 3-3 in front of Bengt Johansson, who has been in Sweden for the last four months. Bill Seifert had a few crashes on his way to a 6-6 day.
Bryan Friday moved back to the Over-40 Expert class (for the second time this year) and took the win.
Mike Monaghan won the Over-50 Novice class with a 1-1 in front of Paul Crouch Jr.’s 2-2 and Tim Norton’s 4-3. Steve Sussman was fourth with Brian Martin fifth. Craig Johnston gave up a solid fifth overall when he stopped on the last lap to help 79-year-old AMA Hall of Famer Feets Minert get out from underneath his crashed Yamaha. Feets was okay, but Craig deserves a lot of credit for his selfless act in the middle of heated battle.
Aussie Dan Alamangos’ 2-1 was better than Tim Murphy’s 1-3 or Kevin McCarthy’s 5-2 in the Over-40 Intermediate race.
Randy Skinner (383) went 6-7 in the Over-50 Expert class.
The Vet Novice class was dominated by a group of old guys with Over-50 rider Pete Vetrano taking the win over Gary Taylor (who stalled his KTM in the final corner of moto two to hand the victory to Vetrano). Mike Phillips was third.
Gunnar Johnston won the 250 Novices.
THE NERVOUS NOVICES
Gunnar Johnston swept both motos of the 250 Novice class. Johnny Martinez was steady with a 2-2 for second.
Over-40 Novice winner Kenny Campbell used a 2-1 to defeat the 1-2 of John Runa. Kevin Worrell was third with Frank Beach (4-6) fourth. Mike Hillion (7-4) was fifth.
Kenny Campbell used a 2-1 to take the Over-40 Novice victory.
REM races again next Saturday October 9, but will then take two weekends off for the 24 Hours of Glen Helen endurance race and the wedding of promoter’s Frank and Myra Thomason’s daughter Janae. REM will return on October 30 with a special Octobercross race on the World Veteran Championship track…a chance for riders to get a look at what to expect on November 6-7. For more info go to www.remsatmx.com
Photos by Dan Alamangos