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Photos by Chris Alamangos, Ernie Becker, Chris Alamangos & Debbi Tamietti
It was a big day for the sons of racers at REM this weekend. Obviously, having a dad who raced or still races is a big plus for a young rider and at Glen Helen this Saturday there were at nine sons on the track (and we may have missed a few).
Justin Jones: With a father who is a four-time AMA National Champion and an eight-time World Vet Champion. Justin has been riding all of his young life. With Gary sidelined for the time being with knee surgery, Justin is on his own. Justin has been selected ot the ISDE World Junior team and is using the weekly motocross wars to get ready for the Argentinean event. It must be working as Justin swept both 450 Pro motos.
R.J. & Robbie Wageman: R.J. just turned Pro, while his brother Robbie is an Intermediate. Although R.J. couldn’t beat Justin Jones in his first outing, he did acquit himself well. As for Robbie, he won both 250 Intermediate motos and had Pro speed.
Shawn Hillion: Shawn’s dad has raced at REM for many years and Shawn himself has worked his way up through the ranks there. Shawn was fourth in the 450 Pro class.
Ryan Surratt: Do you remember “Wild Willie” Surratt? You should. He was the 1987 AMA 250 West Supercross Champion. Willie’s son Ryan has made a name for himself at Loretta Lynn’s and is now a Pro.
Braden O’Neal: Braden O’Neal won the 250C class at the 2014 Loretta Lynn AMA National Amateur Championships, which made grandpa Jim and father Keith O’Neal very proud. Along with the glory of winning your class at Loretta Lynn’s is an automatic bump up to the next skill division — so, Braden is now a 250 Intermediate.
Preston O’Neal: With a famous grandfather, former pro father and Loretta Lynn winning brother, Preston O’Neal is just starting his career in the minicycle class. He won the 150F class at REM.
Ford Heit: The son of Shawn Heit, the 2013 Surfercross Champion and sixth in the Over-50 Expert class this weekend, Ford Heit finished first in the 125 Two-Stroke class.
Jack Ward: Jack Ward was second behind Ford Heit in the 125 Two-Stroke class and also finished seventh in the 250 Novices with a 4-8. Jack’s dad Kevin went 8-8 in the Over-50 Expert class.
THE OTHER STORY LINES
Back in June George Kohler moved to Carson City, Nevada. He made the long drive back to race at REM this weekend and proved that the former three-time REM number one rider hadn’t lost the touch as he easily swept the Over-60 Expert class. Meanwhile, Dan Alamangos drove from Park City, Utah, to race. Alamangos has spent the summer in Park City working on a big construction project, which he hopes to wrap up by mid-September and return to racing weekly.
In what could be considered a landmark number, 62 percent of the racers at REM this weekend were over the age of 40. The three biggest classes of the day were the Over-50 Experts, Over-60 Experts and Over-40 Intermediates.
Of the 15 biggest classes, 5 were won by Yamahas, 5 by KTMs, 4 by Hondas and 1 by Suzuki. No Kawasakis won any of the biggest classes and the highest finishes Kawasaki got were two thirds (Over-40 Intermediate and 250 Pro).
The brand breakdown this week was 34% Yamaha, 26% Honda, 17% KTM, 14% Suzuki and 8% Kawasaki.
REM races again next Saturday. For more info go to www.remsatmx.com