The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain, but at Glen Helen, where it rarely rains, the rain falls on the big hill and then runs down to the lowlands. So, after two days of heavy rain at midweek, the REM motocross racers showed up to find hills that were moist and crunchy — but the low lying parts of the track had the texture of porridge.
The REM crew of Frank Thomason and John Allen had routed the new track layout away of the goopiest stuff, but motocross bikes can find ground water faster than a witching wand. During practice one section of the track had to be raised up one level…after the stuck riders were extricated from the lower level. Thanks to the track prep and a typical sunny SoCal day, everything worked out well. The REM motocross track had massive rutted berms in the corners and one long straight of slot car tracks, but it was more technical than muddy.
The biggest class of the day was the Over-50 Novices. with 2014’s dominant Novice rider Robert Pocius voluntarily moving himself up the Over-50 Intermediate class, it was open season for victory. Three riders battled each other and the ruts for the win with Gary Stoltenberg’s 3-1 getting the nod over a three-way tie at 4 points. Scott Sigar’s 2-2 got second and Eric Swanson’s 1-3 was only good enough for third. Ties were the order of the day in the Over-50 Novices as Ray Valenzuela and Corby Reutgen went 11-9 and 9-11 (with Valenzuela getting 9th spot over Reutgen) and farther back Angel Montoya and Chuck Cook split 13-12 and 12-13 scores (with Montoya taking 13th place). Even farther back Ian Pederson and Kent Reed tallied 19-18 and 18-19 motos (with Pedersen getting 19th place).
As for Robert Pocius, the highlight of his move up to the Over-50 Intermediates was a holeshot in the first moto and getting to lead for awhile before being run down by Kirk Waymire, Michelle Horton, Darren Cortines and Jeff Scott. Pocius would end his first day in a faster class with an impressive 5-3 day — good enough for 4th overall. The top three were Michelle Horton (2-1), Jeff Scott (4-2) and Darren Cortines (3-4). There was a four-way tie for 5th overall, with Terry Varner, Jeff Mason, Shy Moshe and Mike Phillips all collecting 14 points. Varner’s 9-5 got fifth in front of Mason’s 8-6, Moshe’s 7-7 and Phillips’ 6-8. As for first moto winner Kirk Waymire, he DNF’ed the second moto.
The Over-50 Expert class was also decided in the second moto tie breaker as Phil Dowell’s 2-1 nipped Bryan Friday’s 1-2. This was a victory for Hollywood actor Friday, who will appeared on CBS’s CSI on Sunday night, because he has been coming back from a femur he broke in May (in a brutal crash with Mike Monaghan). To win a moto was a big step back to where Bryan was before his crash. Chris Cole used a 3-3 to take the last step on the podium.
THE CLASSES OF LESSER AGE
New TM importer Ralf Schmidt swept both motos of the Over-40 Intermediate class in front of a top five of David Cincotta (3-2), Pasha Afshar (4-3), Kendall Stanley (5-5) and Ron Shuler (2-8).
Pasha Afshar came back to win the Over-30 Novice class, using the one skill division per-10-year rule to drop from his Over-40 Intermediate class to the Over-30 Novices. Kirk Waymire, who had bad luck in the Over-50 Intermediates, gave up 20 years to finish second. The first 30-year-old was Kevin Cook in third with a 5-3.
Steve Lusa (2-1) took the Over-40 Novice win in front of Keith Fairchild (1-3), Cary Larock (3-2), John Pratt (5-4) and Gary Taylor (4-7).
The 250 Intermediates represented the younger set with Derek Kelley ‘s 2-1 edging out Kai Mukai’s 1-3. Willy Simons, Jr. was third with a 3-3.
CLASSES OF EXTREME AGE
There wasn’t a lot of drama in the Over-60 Expert class — although there was a big field of hopefuls. Gary Jones, four-time 250 National Champion (1971-72-73-74), disappeared from the pack at the drop of the gate. Ken Ehlers, who has been winning in Jones’ absence, had nothing for Jones, but Mike Marion and John Alden has plenty for him. Ehlers got second with a 3-2 to Marion’s 2-4 and Alden’s 4-3. The unluckiest rider of the day was Carl Gazafy, who crashed in both motos. To highlight how bad Carl’s day was, he crashed in the first moto, picked his bike up and crash again 50 feet later. He survived for a 10th overall.
Bob Hueth used a 2-1 to win the Over-60 Novice class in front a revitalized John Huegel (1-2) and last week’s winner Brian Martin (3-3). Rich Stuelke and Earl Shuler rounded out the top five.
Zac Roessler and Riley Giacomazzi traded moto wins and seconds in the 65cc Beginner class, on bikes that fit very deeply in the rain ruts. Roessler took the win.
REM races again next Saturday, December 13 (plus on December 20 and the last race of 2014 on December 27). For more info go to www.remsatmx.com