Terry Cook (303) opted for the deepest inside rut, while most riders selected the less stressful outer ruts. (Rich Stuelke photo)

SoCal race tracks dry up incredibly fast. Compare this photo, shot  just before the start of practice, and the dirt in the following race photos. (Debbi Tamietti photo)

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.

Mark Hall is either working on a new signature style or he just can’t keep the front of his YZ450F down. (Dan Alamangos photo)

Mark Hall again. (Dan Alamangos photo)

Mark Hall again. (Dan Alamangos photo)

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.

Robert Pocius (153) started his career in the Over-50 Intermediate class with a holeshot. (Dan Alamangos photo)

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).

Tom Hinz (57) shows the right way to go around this tree at Glen Helen. (Dan Alamangos photo)

Brian Underdahl gets it wrong. (Dan Alamangos photo)

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.

If they don’t leave you any room sometimes you’ve got to improvise. (Debbi Tamietti photo)

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.

Luther French made his move to win the Over-50 Expert class. It didn’t work out as planned. (Rich Stuelke photo)

As Luther French blocks his way eventual winner Phil Dowell (23) cuts back to go around the fallen Suzuki. Luther would end up 7th. (Rich Stuelke photo)


Ralf Schmidt won the Over-40 Intermediates on a TM 250 two-stroke. Ralf is the TM importer. (Dan Alamangos photo)

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.

Terry Varner takes a moment to check his six. (Dan Alamangos photo)

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).

During practice a fog bank rolled into Glen Helen. This is Willy Simons, Jr. (Debbi Tamietti photo)

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.


In the Over-60 Expert class, four-time National Champion Gary Jones (3) had the kind of holeshot most riders only dream of. (Dan Alamangos photo)

“If they beat you when you were 20, then they will beat you when you are 30, So, it is no surprise when they beat you when you are 60,” said Jody Weisel (192) about losing to Gary Jones (30). Gary was first and Jody was 9th. (Dan Alamangos photo)

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.

Carl Gazafy (176) picks his bike up after his first moto crash as REM promoter Frank Thomason (red shirt) watches. (Dan Alamangos photo)

50 feet later Carl crashes again as Frank looks on in disbelief. (Dan Alamangos photo)

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.

Willy Simons (46) won the Over-50 Elite class, while Terry Cook (303) won the Over-40 Experts. (Debbie Tamietti photo)

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




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