REM GLEN HELEN: THE WARM-UP FOR THE WARM-UP FOR THE…
Photos by Dan Alamangos
The weekly REM motocross races are unique in the motocross world in that the organization holds 40 races a season (from January 10 to December 19), keeps points at every race to determine the top ten Glen Helen riders and runs such a well-oil system that the riders get long motos, are typically done by 2:00 p.m. (so they can go home and work on their bikes for where ever they are riding on Sunday) and don’t have to rent transponders (they are free at REM). On a side note, it is often said that REM is the last bastion of the remaining “Saddleback Specialists” of the 1970s (most of whom are now in their 50s and 60s). It also boasts the most AMA Hall of Famers of any weekly race in America — as it is not uncommon to have as many as five Hall of Fame members racing on any given weekend.
If you’ve never been to Glen Helen, you might think that the REM races are held on the famous AMA National track, but in truth REM has its own track (which was originally the site of Arroyo Cycle Park back in the 1970s). The REM track sits on a hill above the National/USGP track. Many AMA National motocross riders use it as the race of choice when they are getting ready to return to racing after an injury — because it is rough, hilly and very technical.
With the 2015 World Vet Moocross Championship only two weeks away, REM is the best place to prep for the annual International event — largely because it has the most Over-40, Over-50 and Over-60 riders of any race in the world (this week 55% of the rider at REM were over 40 years old), but also because on the weekend before the World Vet, October 31, they move the show down to the USGP track to hold the “Octobercross” race. It is billed as the first chance for anyone to race on the World Vet layout, which is always different than the existing Glen Helen track. So, this week’s REM motocross was a warm-up for next week’s race, which is a warm-up for the following week’s big race. Got that?
Dennis Stapleton (98) raced REM this weekend, then headed to the airport to go to a race in Guatemala, but has to be back in time for a big MXA test a few days before the World Vet Championship. Photo: Rich Stuelke
OVER-50 EXPERT: BIGGEST CLASS OF THE DAY
1. Steve Pfaff (KTM)…2-1
2. Luther French (Suz)…1-2
3. Bryan Friday (KTM)…3-3
Other notables: 4. Ron Shuler; 5. Phil Dowell; 6. Jerry Black; 7. Phil Desimone; 9. Dave Eropkin; 11. Will Harper; 14. Dan Alamangos; 15. Michelle Horton; 16. Randy Skinner; 17. Joe Sutter.
OVER-50 NOVICE: SECOND BIGGEST CLASS OF THE DAY
1. Lonnie Paschal (Yam)…3-1
2. Anthony Rose (Hon)…2-3
3. Mike Hillion (Hon)…1-4
Other notables: 4. Ted Kukla; 5. Greg Boren; 6. Mike Martin; 7. Lance Northcott; 8. Marc Crosby; 11. Tim Rohan; 13. Shawn Khacherian; 15. Rick Parker; 16. Bobby Hunt; 17. Mark Homan.
250 NOVICE: THIRD BIGGEST CLASS OF THE DAY
1. Gavin Valdez (Yam)…3-3
2. John Roggero (Hon)…2-4
3. Austin Wade (Kaw)…6-2
Other notables: 4. Luis Macias; 5. Cody Whitsett; 6. Bradley Cole; 7. Connor Steel; 8. Nicolas Ziegler; 10. Thomas Poole; 11. Mitchell Grasso; 12. Tyler Nichols; 13. Kevin Henley.
If there is a drag race to the first turn of the Over-60 Experts it almost always involves these two guys. Will Harper (7) is losing by three inches to Kent Reed at this point, but would end up going 1-1 for the victory. Kent went 7-7 for seventh.
OVER-60 EXPERT: FOURTH BIGGEST CLASS OF THE DAY
1. Will Harper (KTM)…1-1
2. Gary Jones (Hon)…2-2
3. Bob Rutten (KTM)…3-3
Other notables: 4. Rollie Rodriquez; 5. Lyle Sweeter; 6. Gene Boere; 7. Kent Reed; 8. Tom White; 9. Bill Seifert; 10. Jeff Lambson; 12. Tony Parsons; 13. T.V. Holmes.
OVER-50 INTERMEDIATE: FIFTH BIGGEST CLASS OF THE DAY
1. Paul Fitz-Gibbon (Hon)…1-1
2. Todd Wiseman (Yam)…4-2
3. Robert Pocius (Yam)…3-4
Other notables: 5. Pete Vetrano; 6. Jeff Scott; 7. Joe Pena; 8. Eddie Jaramillo; 9. Jim Hanson; 10. Bill Reimer; 11. Terry Varner; 13. Bill Pawasarat; Duane Quale.
Every week the Over-40 Intermediate class boils down to a battle between David Cincotta (861) and Ralf Schmidt (73). More times than not Schmidt takes his TM two-stroke to the top step of the podium — and this week was no different.
OVER-40 INTERMEDIATE: SIXTH BIGGEST CLASS OF THE DAY
1. Ralf Schmidt (TM)…1-1
2. David Cincotta (Suz)…3-2
3. Ken Maddux (KTM)…5-3
Other notables: 4. Val Tamietti; 5. Joe Sutter; 6. Brian Calhoun; 7. Drago Atanasovski; 8. Kendall Stanley; 9. Jeff Case; 10. Pasha Afshar.
Jon Ortner (10) and Andy Jefferson had a close-quarters battle for the win in the Over-50 Elite class — with Ortner’s 2-1 besting Andy’s 1-2. At REM the Over-50 Elite class is a step above the Over-50 Experts, but at the World Vet there will be no such division. Photo: Rich Stuelke
450 NOVICE: SEVENTH BIGGEST CLASS OF THE DAY
1. Zach Randolph (Yam)…2-1
2. Daniel D’Agostino (Yam)…1-2
3. Jeff Fitzgerald (Hon)…3-3
Other notables: 4. Josh Fout; 5. Nick Fiello; 6. Jeff Carpenter; 7. Mark Taylor; 8. Seth Hadfield; 9. Lamont Dusseau.
Scotty Walker (222) is part of a rapidly growing all-white Husky surge. This week there were Husqvarna’s in the Over-50 Novice, 250 Intermediate, Vet Intermediate, Over-50 Expert, Over-50 Elite and Open Intermediate classes. You could not say that a year ago.
BREAKDOWN BY BRAND
1970s Baja 500 and 1000 hero Bob Rutten (83) was third in the Over-60 Experts behind Will Harper and Gary Jones — although Jones and Rutten had to come from the back of the pack in moto two after a first turn incident.
BREAKDOWN BY AGE
1. Under 30 years old…36%
2. Over 30 years old…63%
3. Over 40 years old…55%
4. Over 50 years old…44%
5. Over 60 years old…12%
Tom White (80) was a AMA Grand National dirt tracker in the 1970s, built the White Brothers into a powerhouse in the 1980s and developed one of the most impressive motocross museums in the world (if you think owning 150 motocross bikes from the 1960s and 1970s is impressive). He still races every week and is the founder of the World Vet Motocross Championship — which his company’s have always sponsored. This year, Dubya USA the World Vet Sponsor.
REMAINING 2015 REM RACE SCHEDULE
Nov. 7-8…World Vet Championship
Nov. 14….REM track
Nov 21…REM track
Dec. 5…REM track
Dec. 12…6D Helmet Day REM track
Dec. 19…REM Final
Next Saturday is the 15th Annual Octobercross race, formerly known as the Commotion-By-The-Ocean when REM raced at Carlsbad Raceway. It is a World Vet Championship warm-up race that promises to use 90% of the new World Vet track (something has to be saved as a surprise). For more info about REM go to www.remsatmx.com