Race Recap - Spring Series #3 - Canyon
Canyon on Sunday, February 22:
First, a big “Thank You” to Linda Neil for taking some photos for our website – great job, Linda!!! Got a couple of good ones of Jeff and his favorite competitor, Darren, didn’t you! Even our Photographer Bonnie gets a day off now and then.
The third Spring Series race at Canyon was a highly-charged practice event a week before the AZOT International where everyone gets unknown competition from across the Western US and Canada. A lot of evenly paired racers, in all classes, made for some very tight motos!
First up in Race 4 were 13 Intermediate’s bursting out of the gate, led by Kurk Quinn 52 and Brian Walsh 929 in an immediate wheel to wheel battle. Travis Nelson 111v and Brian Perry Sr. were right behind them, with David Donlon 333 and Jasmine Phillips 28 eyeing Nelson and Perry for the downhill right-hander. No one was giving up any space! The tight pairings stuck, with every Intermediate having at least one close unwanted ”partner”. There’s a couple of photos showing how close Nelson and Perry remained. The spectacular competition between Quinn and Walsh led to a 4th lap full-speed on the back straight, where the determined Walsh finally got ahead of Quinn, but it was a short-lived pleasure. The corner held an ugly challenge for Walsh, and Quinn grabbed the lead again for the checkered.
The seven eager Novice in Race 4 had their heated and tight challenges, especially enjoyed by new member Tim Rollins 222 as he chased Mike Faso 514 and Ron Ryer 357. Rollins stayed with them and saw Faso achieve his pressing goal – getting past Ryer for a 1st place! Mission accomplished and Faso held it to the finish, with a big grin and high-fives waiting.
In Race 7 it was the three amazing Masters of Rick Arnold 97, David O’riordan 310 and Iron-Man Brian Sharp 54. No surprise, Brian got the hole shot (got a couple of photos from the video capture) with Rick and David within striking distance all the way down hill. They were all nailing the jumps with visions of the upcoming 5 moto weekend – Arnold coming out ahead in the trio.
With a full field of 12 Experts, their first race was another head-spinning experience for spectators. Shane Criswell 382 was in the front pack going down the hill, but it didn’t take Brian Perry Jr. 14 long to hone in on Shane for his toughest competition. They made it a two-man leading show, with Austin Stewart 78, Darren Sebastiani 526 and Daniel Fleming 73 pushing hard to stay within viewing distance. Matt Martin 9 and Rick Nagle 4 were in their own battle to stay ahead of the rest of the huge Expert field. Great to see some guys back on the track after a long absence – welcome back Donny Beavin 714, Glen “Cowboy” Swecker 13c, Rick Nagle 4 and Bill Meyer 11x … hmmm, must be International Race time!! It was impossible to watch all the action that was on the long track. The excitement of last turn and all-out race to the checkered between Criswell and Perry had another victory for Criswell. Stewart, Sebastiani and Fleming showed us another close finish, with Matt Martin and Nagle the next wheel to wheel finish.
Race 4’s second moto again had close sets of competitors, some exact same racers. It was Walsh and Quinn again, right out of the gate, hounded by Perry Sr., then along came the Nelson, Jasmine Phillips 28, Donlon trio. Not far behind was the grouping of Jim Somerville 51j, Larry Thurman 130, Darren Kennon 22 and Pam Edgerton 129 . Mid-race Quinn got past Walsh and held him off for the finish, followed by the familiar numbers of Nelson, Perry, Donlon and Somerville. More big grins and high-five’s.
An off track experience was added for a couple of Novice, but it was intense determination for the 1st moto top three. Ryer was not about to settle as he flew down the hill, closely followed by Faso looking for another first place finish with Rollins again joining the front runners. Ryer held onto his favorite spot and Faso was happy to have the points advantage of Moto 1 to give him a First Place overall and a trophy to go!
Race 7 saw Arnold launch out for the holeshot just ahead of O’riordan and Sharp, intent on keeping that first place spot to the checkered. Success for that one.
The mob of Experts were also ready for the max push in Moto 2. Criswell and Perry jumped into their tight race, wheel to wheel, wild cornering and high speed, wild jumping straights. On the last lap, last corner going into the finish line,
they both pushed to the max, open throttled and wheel to wheel over the finish line. Only the scorer could see who got it first – Perry got a few inches in front for the much-coveted Moto 2 and overall win. Quite the show guys – what’s next!! At the same time, Stewart, Fleming, Neil, Martin, Beavin and Swecker set up battles that made it impossible to see who was going to be in front until right up to the end. Makes racing so fun to have each class growing in numbers and racing abilities.
Another round of kudos to the people who double class on the long Canyon track – probably max push for endurance a week before the AZOT International. The Iron-Man List for this week is:
- Vet Novice – Darren Kennon 22
- Vet Amateur – Brian Walsh 929
- Vet Intermediate – Austin Stewart 78 and Tim Kennedy 251
- Vet Master – Brian Sharp 54 , oh, and also
- Vet Open – Brian Sharp, again, and Rick Arnold 97