REM GLEN HELEN RACE REPORT: THE “STRAIGHT EIGHT” HEATS UP

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Photos by Dan Alamangos, Rich Stuelke, Debbi Tamietti and Jody Weisel

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88desimoneDADominic DeSimone won the 450 class for the second week in a row. He has a new sponsorship deal from Pasha Racing.. Photo: Dan Alamangos

The vast majority of REM motocross racers take what they have for granted. They never lived in North Dakota, where summer is a short-lived thing. They never been more than a 90-minute drive from 10 different race tracks (which allows them to ride every day of the week). They never had to go more than a week or two without a race on the schedule (because REM race more races in a year than many tracks race in five years). They have never lived under the rule and regulations of of the AMA, because REM doesn’t have very many rules and absolutely no regulations. They would be shocked if they showed up at the race that had 15 races and their first moto was at 11:00 a.m. and their second moto at 4:30 p.m. (they are used to being done by 1:30 p.m. after two long motos).

88desimonesimonsDTDominic DeSimone was chased every step of the way by 250 Intermediate winner Willy Simons, Jr. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

What they don’t take for granted is the camraderie of racing against the same racers as the week before, the year before, decade before and, in many cases, 30 years before. They like the fact that the track is changed every month (this week’s track went in the opposite direction to last week’s). They like that factory and former factory riders show up to race on a weekly basis (normally with a pickup truck and their bike). They love that the guy they are lining up next to on the starting line is a big wig at one of the multitude of SoCal aftermarket companies (it proves that they actually test their products on regular racers). And they like Frank and Myra Thomason—because they treat everybody like family.

88kaiokumuraDAKai Okumura will return to Japan next week, but he got in some serious racing during his time in America. Photo: Dan Alamangos

There is nothing usual about racing at REM—if you raced back in the down-home era of the 1970s. It is a laid-back, fun day in the sun, which is probably why it is populated by the largest turnout of racers from the 1980s and 1970s this side of the World Vet Championship. This week 53% of the racers at REM were over the age of 50.

88lindleyDA1Over-40 Intermediate winner Scott Lindley may have pushed a little too hard into this corner. Photo: Dan Alamangos

88lindleyDA2But, no harm, no foul. Photo: Dan Alamangos

 

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88brorowskiDAJordan Borowski (157) was second in the 250 Intermediates behind Tanner Basso. Photo: Dan Alamangos

The biggest class: The Over-50 Experts were the biggest class of the day and Dave Eropkin used a 1-2 to take the victory. Ron Shuler, son of ESR suspension tuner Earl Shuler, got second with an unlikely 7-1. Hollywood actor Bryan Friday was third with a 6-5. Desert and ISDE ace Paul Krause was fourth and Fred Nichols fifth.

88costelloDTPro Valve’s Nick Costello (188) has finally shaken off his injuries and had a great day at Glen Helen. Nick won the Over-60 Novice class. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Second biggest class: Dan Paulson used an unbeatable 1-1 to take the Over-50 Novice class. Lonnie Paschal was second with a 3-2 in front of Mike Hillion (4-3), Gary Stoltenberg (5-5), Glen Pietronico (7-4), Jeff Greene (6-8) and Frank Emerson, on his twin-shock, air-cooled Husky(10-6). Syd Woods was second in the first moto, but DNFe’d the second moto and Mechanix Wear’s John Caper didn’t make it two laps before aggravating an old injury.

88billreimerJWBill Reimer went 11-8 in the Over-50 Intermediates. Photo: Jody Weisel

Third biggest class. The Over-50 Intermediates were won by Paul Fitz-Gibbon (1-1). The top five were rounded out by Robert Pocius. Jeff Mason, Pete Vetrano and Terry Varner. Last week’s winner, Ginger Hill, went 3-11.

88kentreedDAKent Reed (491) holeshots the Over-60 Expert class. Carl Gazafy (176) was second and Ken Ehlers (103) third. By day’s end Reed would go 6-6, Gazafy 4-4 and Ehlers 3-3. Will Harper, who didn’t get the holeshot, took the win. Photo: Dan Alamangos

The fourth biggest class: The Over-60 racers had a full gate as will harper went 1-1 in front of a top ten of Jim Latendrese (2-2), Ken Ehlers (3-3), Carl Gazafy (4-4), Mike Marion (5-5), Kent Reed (6-6), Gene Boere (8-7, Bill Seifert (7-9), Jody Weisel (9-8) and Tony Parsons (10-10). Brian Martin won thr Over-60 Intermediates and says that he will move tot he Expert class next Saturday. Nick Costello won th Over-60 Novices and will probably move to the Intermediates in the future.

 

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88jodyDTMXA’s Jody Weisel spent the day testing suspension and maps on the 2016 KTM 450SXF. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

88ortneDTJon Ortner (67) raced MXA’s 2016 Honda CRF450. So far, Ortner has raced the 2016 Suzuki RM-Z450, Yamaha YZ450F and KTM 450SXF in successive REM races.. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

88hallDTMark Hall was assigned MXA’s 2016 Yamaha YZ450F. He won the Vet class, but went 13-12 in the Over-50 Experts. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

88danDTDan Alamangos raced MXA’s 2016 KTM 150SX two-stroke. He was competitive in the Over-50 Expert class, but broke the spring inside the shifter tip and struggled in the second moto. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

88RANDELdtRandel Fout was given a notebook, fork pump and MXA’s 2016 Suzuki RM-Z450. By the time the day was over he had tested ten different air spring settings. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

 

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88varnerphillipsDSTerry Varner’s doctor said that he could go back to normal activity after his triple bypass heart surgery. This is Terry’s normal activity. Mike Phillips (433) gives chase. Photo: Rich Stuelke

88frednicholsJWFred Nichols (56), Jerry Black (11), Robert Reisinger (52), Jon Ortner (67) and Ian Fitz-Gibbon (21) careen up and down Glen Helen’s hills in the biggest class of the day—the Over-50 Experts. Photo: Jody Weisel

88dowellDAPhil Dowell (23) was sixth in the Over-50 Experts behind winner Dave Eropkin, Ron Shuler, Bryan Friday, Paul Krause and Jerry Black. Photo: Dan Alamangos

88tycullinDTTy Cullins (66) rails a berm on his way to second in the 250 Novice class. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

For more info about REM (which races again next Saturday at Glen Helen), go to www.remsatmx.com

 

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