Photos by Dan Almangos & Debbi Tamietti

Click on images to enlarge

DennisFlagSoCal race promoters are always leery about holding races on holidays, because of the many varied vacation locations in California on a 4th of July weekend, but REM’s willingness to hold a race on the Glen Helen National track drew a big crowd—and MXA’s Dennis Stapleton is framed against Old Glory on his way to the Vet Pro victory.

REM not only held their 4th of July Spectacular on the Glen Helen National track, but they gave every rider who holeshot his second moto a barbecue apron emblazoned with the race poster and handed out free ice cream to everyone in the pits after the race was over.

BradleyTaftBradley Taft (961) won the first moto of the 450 Pro class, but, in the end, split 1-2 and 2-1 scores with Ryan Surratt — with Surratt taking the win.

It’s no secret that REM racers are very fond of their own track at Glen Helen—the one located on the exact same spot where the famous Arroyo Cycle Park was located 40 years ago. However, four times a year, the REM racers come down off their hill to race on the Glen Helen National track, which in two months will become the USGP track. Although the big track has been tamed since the AMA National, the layout remains the same. For the 4th of July race the conditions were almost perfect. The dirt stayed wet enough all day, thanks to the occasional passing cloud that modulated the 90-degree temperatures, and the bumps that formed were not as vicious as they normally are (especially in the downhills).

tunnelchrisThis is the view from the Log Cabin tunnel as a pack of riders start into the Talladega first turn.

OVER-50 NOVICE: The biggest class of the day resulted in moto scores that looked like football scores. But, Eddie Jaramillo’s 1-1 wasn’t one of them. John Caper’s 2-2, Ray Guilbeau’s 5-5, Alex Hill’s 7-4 and Anthony Rose’s 6-6 rounded out the top five. Other notables included film maker Mark Homan’s 21-22, Husky rider Frank Emerson’s 23-18, Syd Woods’ 18-8 and Bill Pawasarat’s 19-2.

SimonsWilly Simons (246) navigates a steeply banked turn with Benny Breck (318) in close pursuit.

OVER-50 EXPERTS: The second biggest class of the day was going to be won by Luther French, but he threw the win away on the last lap and Chris Cole gladly used his 2-1 to beat French’s 1-2. Jerry Black, Steve Williams, Doug Goodman, Val Tamietti, Bryan Friday, Dan Alamangos, Steve Piattoni and Fred Nichols rounded out the top five. Other notables included John Atwood (11th), Joel Harriott (12th), Robert Reisinger (13th) and Willie Amaradio (15th).

JoachimFaldenDanish rider Joachim Falden has been racing in the USA for a couple years. He went 3-3 in the 450 Pro class behind Ryan Surratt and Bradley Taft.


OVER-60 EXPERTS: The third largest class of the day was the Over-60 Experts and it had major duels throughout the field. Jim Latendresse and  Bob Rutten battled at the front for the win. It went to Latendresse. Lyle Sweeter, Doug Smith, Bil Maxim, Mic Rodgers, Jim O’Neal and Carl Gazafy squabbled over 3rd through 8th. Mitch Evans (9th), Kent Reed (10th), Jody Weisel (11th) and Dave Rabjohn (12th) fought for the final top ten spots.

DennisStapletonDennis Stapleton got home from riding in Costa Rica, washed his gear and headed to Glen Helen the next morning to race MXA’s 2016 KTM 450SXF.

PROS/INTERMEDIATES: Trustin Sgouromitis won the 250 Pro class. Ryan Surrat took the 450 Pro win. Dennis Stapleton won the Vet Pro class, while Jon Ames was the 250 Intermediate winner and Jordan Borowski got 450 Intermediate honors.

JonAmesJon Ames (17) went 1-1 the 250 Intermediate class in front of Kai Mukai and Willy Simons Jr.

NOVICES: Jay Morris and Col Puckett traded moto wins in the 250 Novices, with Morris getting the upper hand on the count-back. Jeremy Macrae’s 3-3 was a solid third in front of Ryan Washburn (5-4) and Tyler Nichols (6-5). Skylar Von Der Launitz swept both moto of the 450 Novice class. Nicholas Dorsett won the 125 Novices. Garrett Briggs took the 85 Novice victory.

JohnCaper44John Caper (44) and Eddie Jaramillo (52) dueled for the Over-50 Novice victory. Jaramillo took the win.

For more info on REM’s race program go to

TravisHoffmanYou gotta wonder what desert racing club Travis Hoffman belongs to. Could it be the Checkers? Hoffman had an 11-7 day in the 250 Novice class.


RuttenLatendresseBob Rutten (83) and Jim Latendresse (564) were the fastest riders in the Over-60 Expert class. The top five was Latendresse, Rutten, Lyle Sweeter, Doug Smith and Bill Maxim.

TonyParsonsTony Parsons (68), Bill Seifert (37) and Brian Martin (65) play roller coaster in a close battle.

JimOnealJim O’Neal used the Over-60 Expert class to test his own gear, chest protector, boots, helmet and goggles. Jim finished 7th overall.

roket1MXA celebrated the 4th of July by firing its FAA-legal, Estes-engined, single-stage rocket off during the opening ceremonies. Rather than risk an American, we had Aussie Dan Alamangos stand next to the rocket when we fired it from the roof of the Glen Helen tower.

rocket2The hill in the background is 22 stories tall. At launch the rocket blasted past the American flag on its journey upwards.

rocket3After reaching 1000 feet, the rocket motor ran out of fuel, the parachute opened and the rocket floated back to earth…about a half a mile from the launch site.



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