“SATURDAY AT THE GLEN” MOTOCROSS REPORT: THERE’S NOTHING LIKE A NEW TRACK DESIGN

450 Pros Preston Tilford (7) and Sean Lipanovich flash by Dan Alamangos’ camera as they quickly pull away from the pack. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

PHOTOS BY DEBBI TAMIETTI, MARK RIKER & DAN ALAMANGOS

One thing you can say about Glen Helen motocross racers, they aren’t afraid of heat — which is a good thing because Glen Helen only has two seasons — “Hot” and “Windy.” With the weather forecast predicting temperatures in the 102-degree range, every racer who drove into Glen Helen thought there would be a small turnout, but by the time practice started, it was just a normal day for “Saturday at the Glen.” All the EZ-Up enclaves were neatly tucked into their personal space in the pits, with the late arriving overflow guys squeezing into nooks and crannies in the upper pits (or going down to where the new starting line is located in the National campground).

Sean Lipanovich (505) took the 450 Pro victory for the umpteenth time. Preston Tilford suffered a mechanical failure, but still managed a second. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

What greeted the racers on this Saturday was a revised back half of the track—it crossed the paved road, behind the triple step-up jump, that leads to the Glen Helen Pavillion (where they hold rock, country-western and Ozzy Osborne concerts). By crossing the road the track was able to dive bomb down to the old Bud’s Creek section of the National track, which was used this past winter to store sand from the winter rainstorms that required the county to send out dump trucks to pick up the sand that was often two feet deep on the road into the track. Glen Helen graciously allowed the county to store the sand in Bud’s Creek—where they use it to replenish the sand sections of its race tracks.

This Saturday, the mounds of sand, were graded into an ultra-deep and very soft straight that swept back across the paved road and into a tree-lined section, that MXA had Glen Helen’s John Allen build a year ago for a one-time drone video shoot. The track then made a hard right up a steep hill that featured a fly-away drop-off that connected to the normal sand section in the canyon. By combining Bud’s Creek and the tree-lined uphill, the lap times increased dramatically. The stadium section of the track, which provides excellent viewing from the upper pits, was modified slightly, but still was familiar to the Glen Helen regulars. With the addition of the hill in the trees, along with the Mt. Whitney, the track featured lots of ups and downs.

MXA’s Jody Weisel came back after two months off, while healing from surgery. He said, “I’m gonna take it easy, but you probably won’t noticed any difference from my normal speed.” He was on a 2023 Husqvarna FC350. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

When Will Harper (7) saw that Jody was willing to let the pack go and chase after them at a safe and sane speed, the also injured Harper, who has been sidelined for six months, decided to get dressed and do the same thing in moto two. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Surprisingly, the day started with mild 80-degree temperature for practice and the first round of motos. The temperature climbed into the 90s by noon, but one of the best things about “Saturday at the Glen” is that they run long motos, but organize them so the multiple gate starts can keep the number of motos down to around seven. It makes for great racing and a fast moving program designed to get the racers in-and-out without the normal drawn-out program that have riders racing their first moto at 10:00 a.m. and their second moto at 4:00 p.m. “Saturday at the Glen,” much like REM before them, aims to get the riders headed home after the final motos by 2:00 p.m. (so they can work on their bikes for wherever they plan to ride on Sunday). The mercury for the second motos hit 94 degrees before the rank-and-file racers drove out the pits. Immediately after the Saturday program ended, the early Summer sun turned up the thermostat. It reached 99-degrees at 3:30 p.m., but no one was in the pits to worry about seeking shade.

Pasha Afshar, the empressario of 125 two-stroke racing, was on his new KTM 125SX. It’s one of three he owns. Pasha is going to hold two warm-up 125 two-stroke races before his $10,000 Over-30 and Over-50 125 Pro races at the November 4-6 World Vet Championship. The first warm-up race will be on August 13 and the second will be on October 1. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Father & Son #1: There are a lot of father’s and son/daughter combos racing at “Saturday at the Glen.” This is Randel Fout (81) on MXA’s 2023 Husqvarna FC250. He is a very fast Over-60 Expert, who grew up racing Pro in Michigan. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Father & Son: Josh Fout (41) is Randel’s 30-year-old son. He won the Vet Expert class on a 2023 Husqvarna FC450. Glen Helen’s John Allen takes a break from working on the three race tracks being used this Saturday at Glen Helen to snap a photo of Josh. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

As always, moto-photographer Debbi Tanietti, who has been the races ever since her husband Val Tamietti was the CMC Number One rider at Saddleback Park in the 1980s, was there to shoot all the action. Tired of hanging around the pits, while Val raced, she picked up her camera and started shooting photos of the racers. She has since shot AMA Nationals, Grands Prix, World Vet Championship and the Motocross des Nations. Most of the locals racers look for her on the track, in hopes that she will capture either a really good whip shot or, paradoxically a really big crash (racers seem to love photos of their crashes more than a great bermshot). Debbi is the hardest working and nicest photographer you’ll ever meet. She heads out on the track as soon as practice starts and doesn’t come back until the last moto is over. She has become famous for her “Where’s Waldo” moments, where the riders try to spot her, but can’t seem to find her at the top of a biggest hill on one lap, behind a trackside tree on the next lap or down in a gulley trying the make them look good just one lap later. But she’s always there. This week’s photos are a potpourri of the action and atmosphere at “Saturday at the Glen,” MXA test rider Dan Alamangos often helps Debbi shoot photos, but he is doing it between racing his motos and working on test bikes. Enjoy”

Father & Son #2: Marc Crosby is the “Dentist of the Stars.” He works on an A-list of motocross racers every day of the week—except Wednesdays and Saturdays when he’s busy riding. Marc is on Josh Mosiman’s back-up KX450SR from the Hangtown National. It stands out with its metal-flake teal Acerbis plastic. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Father & Son: Nigel Crosby (92) quit racing after his minicycle days, but moved in with his dad and is now a full-time racer. Nigel won the 250 Novice class, while Marc was 6th in the Over-60 Intermediate class. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Father & Son & daughter #3: Andrew Yarnell (57) ended up going 2-2 in the Vet Expert class behind Josh Fout, but dad Andrew had more things on his mind than just his racing—his kids were racing also. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Father & Son: Andrew had to take care of his kids at the track. Matthew Yarnell (157) finished fourth in the 7-t0-8 year old Pee-Wee class. At “Saturday at the Glen” the Pee-Wees run on a modified version of the big track, minus the monster hills. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Father & daughter: Madison Yarnell (26) looks perfect on her all-white Yamaha PW50 YZinger. She went 5-6 for fifth in the 4-to-6 year old class. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

RACE RESULTS FROM SELECTED CLASSES

Phil Dowell (23) went 2-2 after long chases trying to catch Over-50 Expert winner Luther French. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

OVER-50 EXPERTS
1. Luther French (KTM)…1-1
2. Phil Dowell (KTM)…2-2
3. Arek Kruk (KTM)…4-3

OVER-50 INTERMEDIATES
1. Pete Anagnos (Hus)..2-1
2. Morgan Pierce (Hon)…1-2
3. Rocky Hash (Yam)…3-4

6D Helmet’s Robert Reisinger roosts his way up the canyon to a 1-1 sweep of the Over-60 Expert class. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

OVER-60 EXPERTS
1. Robert Reisinger (Hus)…1-1
2. Dean Adkins (Kaw)…2-2
3. Dave Eropkin (KTM)…3-3

Bruce Ashmore (111) finished fourth in the Over-60 Intermediates. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Russell Brown’s third in the second moto was ruined by a ninth in the first moto, but he he still eked out a top-five finish in the Over-60 Intermediates. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Randy Skinner (62) won the first moto of the Over-60 Intermediate class, but elected to sit out the second moto. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

OVER-60 INTERMEDIATE
1. Bill Reimer (Hus)…2-1
2. Mark Sandzimier (KTM)…3-2
3. Jim Hanson (Hon)…5-4

250 NOVICE
1. Nigel Crosby (KTM)…1-1
2. Gavin Sorenson (Hon)…2-2
3. Ryan Freitas (Kaw)…4-3

450 NOVICE
1. Michael Oetzell (KTM)…1-1
2. Ezra Tate (Hon)…3-2
3. Isaac Lizama (Hus)…2-3

Bob Rutten (83) won the last Over-65 Expert showdown with Val Tamietti (31) two weeks ago, and although Bob did get to lead briefly this week, Val Tamietti (31) took a 1-1 win. These two racers come from the ranks of the famous from 40 years ago. Photo: Mark Riker

Val Tamietti was the Glen Helen number one points rider in 2017 and 2018 on a KTM 350SXF. He decided it was more fun to race a YZ250 two-stroke. Photo: Dan Alamangos

OVER-65 EXPERTS
1. Val Tamietti (Yam)…1-1
2. Bob Rutten KTM)…2-3
3. Pete Vetrano (GAs)…3-4 

OVER-65 INTERMEDIATES
1. Sam Lupear (TM)…1-1
2. Phil Cruz (Hus)…2-2
3. Ernie Kopasz (KTM)…4-3

Robert Kuhry (1) won the 125 two-stroke class over Pasha Afshar and Chris Heinrich. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

125 TWO-STROKE
1. Robert Kuhry (Yam)…1-1
2. Pasha Afshar (KTMs)…2-2
3. Chris Heinrich (Hon)…3-3

250 INTERMEDIATES
1. Cody Brownfield (KTM)…1-1
2. Isaac Lizama (Hus)…3-2
3. Ezra Tate (Hon)…2-4

Richard Albach (65) was the only Suzuki at this week’s “Saturday at the Glen” motocross. He went 3-2 for second in the Over-30 Novice class. Photo: Mark Riker

OVER-30 NOVICE
1. Vance Freeman (Hon)…1-1
2. Richard Albach (Suz)…3-2
3. Matthew Chott (Hon)…4-3

OVER-30 INTERMEDIATES
1. Michael Lopez (Hon)…1-1
2. Joel Licon (Yam)…2-2
3. Ryan Mayfield (Gas)…3-3

OVER-40 NOVICES
1. Chris Mankowski (KTM)…1-1
2. Rado Bastovic (Kaw)…2-2
3. Lamont Dusseau (Yam)…3-4

Alison Bushnell (13) won the Over-40 Intermediate class, while her husband and two sons raced also. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

ETS Fuels Kyle Moose came out to Glen Helen to race the Over-40 Intermediates. He went 3-3 for third overall. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

OVER-40 INTERMEDIATES
1. Alison Bushnell (Hus)…1-1
2. Stephen Moore (KTM)…2-2
3. Kyle Moose (Yam)…3-3

Bode Bushnell’s 3-1 came up short of winning the 85 class where Eli Hicks went 1-2. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

85 CLASS
1. Eli Hicks (Hus)…1-2
2. Bode Bushnell (Yam)…3-1
3. Jet Bushnell (Yam)…2-4

85 BEGINNER
1. Tanner Morris (Yam)…1-2
3. Stanley Cook (KTM)…2-2
3. Kai Lopez (KTM)…4-3

A.J. Gould’s 2-1 edged out Kasey Shelton’s 1-2 for the 65 Beginner win. Photo: Mark Riker

65 BEGINNER
1. A.J. Gould (Yam)…2-1
2. Kasey Shelton (KTM)…1-2
3. Dakota Ramos (Cob)…3-3

Memphis Padama (733) put together a 2-2 day for second in the 7-to-8 year old Pee-Wee class. Photo: Mark Riker

PEE-WEE 50 (7 to 8)
1. Dakota Ramos (Cob)…1-1
2. Memphis Padama (Cob)…2-2
3. Christian Daley (KTM)…3-3

Grayson Hood (516) used a 2-1 to take the win in the 4-to-6 year old Pee-Wee class on a Cobra. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

PEE-WEE 50 (4 to 6)
1. Grayson Hood (Cob)…2-1
2. Camden Licon (KTM)…1-3
3. Lance Pierce (KTM)…3-2

Colton Potkay was second in the 65cc class, while his dad Todd was second in the Over-50 Novice class. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Dan Alamangos (192) raced Jody’s 2022 Husqvarna FC350 during the time that Jody was out of action. When Jody came back this Saturday, he elected to let Dan keep racing  it again, while Jody switched to a 2023 FC350 model. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

2022 SATURDAY AT THE GLEN RACE SCHEDULE

Apr. 2…Spring Series #1
Apr. 23…Spring Series #2
Apr. 30…Spring Series #3
May 7…Spring Series #4
May 14…Spring Series #5 (National Track)
June 11…Summer Series #1
June 25…Summer Series #2
July 9…Summer Series #3
July 23…Tentative
July 30…Summer Series #4
Aug. 13…Summer Series #5 (National Track)
Sept. 10…Fall Series #1
Sept. 17…Fall Series #2
Oct. 1…Fall Series #3 (National Track)
Oct. 15…Fall Series #4
Oct. 22…Fall Series #5
Nov.r 12..Winter Series #1
Nov. 19…Winter Series #2
Dec. 3…Winter Series #3
Dec. 10…Winter Series #4 (National Track)

Yellow is rapidly replacing black as the color of choice for the hot summer months. Dave Eropkin (811) demonstrates. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

In the month of July, “Saturday at the Glen” motocross will race on July 9, July 23 (tentative) and July 30. Pre-entry is only $30 (post-entry is $40 on the day of the race). The gate fee is only $10 (per person). If you pre-enter you don’t have to come to sign-up. You can sign up for the next “Saturday at the Glen” motocross www.glenhelen.com.

“SATURDAY AT THE GLEN” MOTOCROSS COMING TO GLEN HELEN ON JULY 9

For more info and to pre-register go to www.glenhelen.com

PASHA 125 OPEN TWO-STROKE RACE ON THE NATIONAL TRACK ON AUGUST 13

There will be three 125 classes held in conjunction with “Saturday at the Glen” on August 13. The first class is the 125 Pro class for all ages. It will have a 100% payback purse. The other two classes will be for riders over-30 years old and riders over 50 years old (they will not have any purse money, but are warm-up races for the two Vet 125 Open classes that will be held at the World Vet in November). For more info go to www.glenhelen.com

 

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