Randy Skinner (383) and Cary Brown (93) are among the many two-stroke faithful at Glen Helen. Cary Brown won the 125 Adult "A" class.
Glen Helen is not in the SoCal desert, but you can see it from there. However, you can also see ski resorts, 10,000 foot mountains and Lake Arrowhead from the racetrack, which is located just north of San Bernardino, California (on the road to Las Vegas).
With doom and gloom weather reporting from TV weathermen and temperatures that have been above 100 degrees for seven straight days, it was hard to imagine how many racers would show up to don socks, knee braces, nylon pants, helmets and goggles to race in sweltering heat. Amazingly, SoCal racers don’t let hot weather bother them. It should be noted that they don’t like rain, wind or cold, but high temps are all part of the Southern California lifestyle. So, when the racetrack's gates opened, all of the regular players were in their normal spots in the pits.
With another new track layout, that included a unique uphill, right-hand, off-camber finish line turn, the first riders to hit the track were the Over-40 Novices and Over-50 Novices. No one ever wants to be in race one. Why? Because on a 107-degree day, while the riders meeting was going on, the track workers were busy watering the track. That means that the first riders into the first turn are in for a totally new experience...a mud race on a broiling, sunny and bright day.
MXA's Jody Weisel (51) finesses his RM-Z450 over one of REM's rises on his way to third in the Over-60 Expert class.
Robin Hall went 1-1 in front of top five of Joe Sutter, Mike Borowski, Jason Aeck and Anders Viaiander in the Four-Oh class, while Mike Hillion swept the Over-50 Novices with a 1-1 to Jeff Scott’s 2-2, Michael Mosca’s 3-3, Brian Underdahl’s 5-4 and Jeff Mason’s 4-5.
Mike Hillion (413) roosts his way to the top step of the Over-50 Novice podium ahead of Jeff Scott and Michael Mosca.
The Pros and Intermediates are normally the first race, so they were thrilled to be slotted in at race two–after the Over-40 and Over-50 Novices soaked up the worst of the fresh water. Preston Tilford was the class of the Pro field as he took his Fifty-51 Honda CRF250 to the front of the combined field to win the first moto outright and come from dead last to second in the second moto.
Jeff Mason's 4-5 tied for fourth overall with Brian Underdahl's 5-4 in the Over-50 Novice class. The starting line is visible in the background.
Northern Californian Lee Witt won the 450 Pro class after long hard battles with Shane Post, Garrett Potter, Kyle Wolack and Vet Pro winner Dennis Stapleton. Billy Mercier and Willy Musgrave went one-two in the Over-40 Pro class.
In the Intermediates, Kordel Caro (250), John Minert (450), Rick Richards (Vet) and Bryan Friday (Over-40) all won their classes.
Greg Groom (12) and Mark Testa (47) had a good race in the Over-50 Intermediates, but finished 8th (Testa) and 10th (Groom).
THE BIGGEST CLASSES OF THE DAY
The biggest class of the day was the Over-50 Intermediates. It featured good battles between the fast starting Randy Skinner and George Kohler. Kohler would win both motos by making late motos passes when the wilting heat sapped the strength of his competition. Skinner used a 4-2 to get second overall (and he led the majority of the laps in both motos). Steve Watson was third (3-3), Joe Sutter fourth (2-4), Massimo Marescalchi fifth (6-5), Pete Vetrano sixth (7-7), Mike Phillips seventh (9-8), Mark Testa eighth (8-9), Jeff Fahy ninth (13-6) and Greg Groom tenth (10-13).
Steve Lawler (4) and Willie Amaradio (7) were the front runners in the Over-50 Expert class.
The Over-50 Expert class was really a two-man race for the victory as Steve Lawler led and Willie Amaradio chased. In the end, the LightSpeed owner, Amaradio, couldn’t make the pass and settle on a 2-2 day. One of the best races of the day was between Dave Eropkin (CRF450) and Mike Monaghan (KTM 125SX). Monaghan harassed Eropkin every lap for both motos. Monaghan would often pass Eropkin in the tight and twisty stuff, only to get passed back on the steep uphills. In the end, Mike Monaghan made the final pass stick in moto one, but couldn’t seal the deal in moto two. Eropkin’s 4-3 beat Monaghan’s 3-4. Dennis Boulware was fourth and Greg Nelson fifth.
George Kohler (52) swept both motos of the Over-50 Intermediate class, but didn't lead either moto until late in each race.
Other winners: Kelley Gilman won the Vet Beginners. Teddy Guiliany won the 250 Beginners. Chris Gibeault won the 250 Novices. Mark Taylor won the 450 Novices. Zach Boskovich won the 85 class. Phil Dowell won the Over-40 Experts (not to be confused with the Over-40 Pro class). Ray Pisarski won the Over-60 Expert class.
Mike Monaghan had a four-stroke, but when it blew up he decided to switch back to a two-stroke. After winning six straight Over-50 Intermediates races on a KTM 125 Mike was moved up to the Over-50 Experts. He hasn't won yet, but he makes his 125 sing.
REM races again next Saturday, August 18. For more info go to www.remsatmx.com