REM GLEN HELEN RACE REPORT: WOULD YOU RACE EVERY WEEK?
Photo by Rich Stuelke, Ernie Becker & Jody Weisel
Jon Ortner (10) was celebrating finishing the painting that will be used as the official race poster for the 2016 Glen Helen 250/450 National by exploding some decomposed granite. Ortner went 2-2 in the Over-50 Elite class.
This year is only 14 weeks old, but the REM motocross racers have raced 10 of those 14 weeks. The REM guys are so consistent that promoters Frank and Myra Thomason actually give away four 6D helmets during the year (via a drawing of every racer who raced every race in that quarter). With a weekly race schedule that races 40 weekends out of every year, it is hard to imagine that anyone could survive throughout the year to race every single race, but it happens. At last year’s REM races there were two racers, Kent Reed and Jody Weisel, who never missed a race, and they were joined by 4 riders who only missed one out of 40.
For most motocross racers, a racing season takes breaks—for birthdays, weddings, sick days or family vacations—but not for the typical REM guy. The weather is almost always summer-like at Glen Helen and since the park hosts the AMA National, the US Grand Prix, Lucas Offroad truck races and a hundred other events, the place is always busy. REM does take a few breaks during the year. They don’t race on the weekends of the AMA National, USGP, 24 Hours of Glen Helen, Lucas Oil Offroad Truck Championship, Tough Mudder mud run, Last Dog Standings and, in 2016, Christmas and New Years fall on days when REM would normally race.
UPCOMING 2016 REM RACES
April 9…Glen Helen, CA
April 16…No race (Tough Mudder)
April 23…Glen Helen, CA
April 30…Glen Helen, CA
May 7…Glen Helen, CA
May 14…No race
May 21…Glen Helen, CA
May 28…No race (AMA National)
June 4…Glen Helen, CA
June 11…Ultra-4 offroad truck race
June 12…Glen Helen, CA (Sunday)
June 19…No race (Last Dog Standing race)
June 25…Glen Helen, CA
To find out more about REM (which races again at Glen Helen on April 9, 2016) go to www.remsatmx.com. Until then, enjoy the photos of this week’s race.
Northern California’s Justin Muscutt (72) came down from Oakdale to race, but discovered that his Yamaha frame was cracked after practice. MXA lent him a KTM 250SXF Factory Edition and Justin went 3-4 in the 450 Pro class. For some reason, the 250 Pros at REM tend to sign-up in the 450 Pro class.
Bill Seifert (37) comes down the canyon on the backside of the ridge. This part of the track is not visible to the spectators on the other side of the hill, but in the Spring it is very colorful. Photo: Jon Ortner
Hollywood stuntman Will Harper flew in from Atlanta, where he is working on “Guardians of the Galaxy 2,” to race at REM. Will went 1-1 in the Over-60 Experts in front of Jim Latendresse (2-2), Joe Pena (3-4), Mike Marion (6-3) and fellow stuntman Mic Rodgers (5-5). Will caught a plane back to Georgia at 5:00 a.m. the next morning.
While fellow Over-50 Elite racer Luther French was out of action following minor surgery, Phil Dowell (23) borrowed Luther’s $3150 WP Cone Valve forks. With WP’s version of A-kit forks on his KTM 450SXF Phil won two straight Elite races. Then, Luther healed up and took his forks back. Phil’s win streak came to an end.
As the heroes of the Over-50 class swing through the first turn, we see a repeat of previous races. Dave Eropkin (811) and Luther French (2) fight for the lead, while Over-50 Elite riders Eddie Davis (155) and Jon Ortner (10) are buried farther back. It didn’t take them long to move to the front.