Round 1 is officially in the books as the FTR Hare Scramble season kicked off just outside of Jacksonville two weeks ago. This was the first time in a couple seasons that FTR was able to get a race off in August and man was it hot! Temperatures were in the triple digits and were up to 115 degrees with the heat index! Luckily for the majority of the weekend there was at least a little breeze so it could have been much worse. The track received mixed reviews and I personally was a little disappointed with it. Last years course was one of the better courses of the series and this year it just lacked the flow it had in 2013. Now, I am in no way bashing the club but when you box-blade over the same track it doesn’t make it a new trail. Sure it was smooth at the beginning but over a couple laps time those old bumps and whoops come back from underneath the fresh layer. I understand that box-blading a track is no easy task and that the club may or may not of had any land to work with so to put the blame on a bunch of hard-working volunteers is just not right. Overall, I give this track a 5 which easily could have been a 7 if they had some rain prior to the event, again not the clubs fault.
Speaking of rain, the Sunday 1pm race was cut short due to rain and lightning. I was out there when it started coming down and it reminded me a lot of the “Dade City Twister” two seasons ago. Now the wind never got that bad but it sure did feel good to being hot and sweaty in the 100 degree heat to being cooled off by some cold rain. I was surprised the track went to mush so quickly as it was fairly dry at the beginning. The A riders were able to get in three solid laps while everyone else was able to get in two. With the distance and weather being so hot I was surprised to see the amount of riders that showed up, the Sunday 1pm race had 103 riders which was more than most of the races last season.
Lets take a look at some results worth mentioning.
The Peewee A class was relatively big with six riders. Raymond Coburn took home the win with Dawson Baker and Camren Mason rounded out the top three. The Peewee B victory went to Gunner Williams with Trace Kopka, Jack Sessions,Mika Lonsdale, and Caden Johnston filling up the top five. Who would of thought that the Peewee C class would be the smallest out of the peewee classes? With only three riders Marco Mayorga would take the win with Ryder Willis just edging out Navaeh Grzech for second. As for the PW Quads Dylan Terango would take the Super PW Quad A victory followed by a close battle for second between Ryan Cain and Cole Tucker. Sebastian Salgado took home the win in Super PW Quad B with yet another close race happening behind him for second between Patrick Rank and Dylan Doyle with Rank edging out Doyle by just one second. The Quad PW A class victory would go to Mika Lonsdale, who actually placed fourth in Peewee B about an hour before, followed by Austin Bartlett, Talon Hunter, and Adam Rumisek. Lastly, Maddix Cody would win the Quad PW B class followed by Callie Kessler and Avery Collins
12:15 Mini (39 Riders)
- With Jesse Ansley moving up to the Junior Class the door was left wide open for the Mini A class championship. Jack Chambers, the new title favorite, was able to take home the first win of the year by almost five minutes! Jonathan Fitzgerald finished second overall and Bobby Munro finished third overall from the Mini B class.
- Heart break for Julia Cone as she was leading the entire Mini B race and was well on her way to her first Mini B victory when there was a little miscommunication in the pits as to how big her lead was. A more relaxed pit stop by Julia allowed for a hard charging Bobby Munro to close the gap and make the pass, Bobby was moving as he had the second fastest fourth lap out of everybody and ended up finishing third overall.
- Logan Stewart was the top C rider finishing up seventh overall.
- The top 65 rider was Dennis Riggs from the 65 B class, he finished 15th overall.
- The top girl rider was Julia Cone. Julia finished up fifth overall!
- I have to give huge props to Lexi Cone who finished her first race on the big track! She completed two laps and finished 32nd overall!
2:00 Evo/Junior (74 Riders)
- Jesse Ansley would take his winning ways up to the Junior class, he finished three minutes ahead of second overall and almost four minutes ahead of second place in Junior A. Clay Lyons would claim second overall coming from the Pre-modern line and Jordan Leftwich would finish just behind Lyons for third overall.
-Former AA rider Daniel Ingraham was holding down the overall lead up until lap three when he pulled off.
- The top B rider would go to Junior B’s Jake Alsup, Jake finished over five minutes ahead of a three rider battle for third consisting of Beau Smith, Anthony DePietto, and Jack Langford. Jake would also finish fifth overall.
- The local boy Cameron Beebe had an excellent ride finishing up sixth overall from the C class!
- Jerry Curtis was the fastest man on an Evo bike as he finished 9th overall.
- The top girl rider was Emma Chambers aboard her KTM 105. Emma would finish 19th overall.
- I just want to add that Evo B rider Walt DePietto made his comeback race in Maxville. Walt told me before the race that this was a make or break race for him as he was toying with the idea of retiring. Although Walt finished 2 out of 2 and 46th overall he had this to say after his race “I cant quit, I’m addicted even though I suck I just love it.”
Quads (77 Riders)
Unfortunately with the rain coming down i didn’t get to really watch the quads so I will just go off of results here.
- Cody Ellison grabbed yet another overall and he is starting to become the Garret Edmisten of the quads. With some support and a more reliable quad Cody could very well be mixing it up in the Xc2 ranks in the GNCC series. Quad A riders Domingo Fuentes and Jacob Catterton would finish up second and third overall.
- Quad Super Senior rider Brian Green had an excellent ride finishing up sixth overall! Pretty good for a guy who is quite a bit older than the riders who finished around him.
- Your new FTR referee Dan Aitken finished up eighth overall from the Quad Vet line and Kenneth Brening would finish up right behind Dan from the Quad Senior line.
- Kayla Vawter was the top Women’s rider, she finished up 29th overall.
Sunday AM (176 Riders)
- Scott Palmieri was the Sun AM overall winner, this was Scott’s first race back in over a year! Eric Berard and Craig Wilder rounded out the top three overall.
- Robin Frey made his comeback to racing and no better way to do it than to absolutely crush the new Silver Master A class (55+) and finish up fourth overall!
- Deborah Broderick was the top women’s rider as she finished up 27th overall! It wasn’t easy however, Ashlee Applewhite put up a strong fight finishing less than a minute behind.
- Gates Pelletier would win the Class of 66 but what is even more impressive is that Gates finished in the top 1/4 of the field with a 43rd overall! Way to go Gates!
- The top B rider was Darin Golden finishing up 18th overall. Chad Holman and Brandon Sharff were the next two B riders finishing 24th and 25th overall.
- The top C rider was Vet C rider Bryan Riley in 42nd overall. he was closely followed by Daniel Wallace(44th) and Robin Fiore(45th).
Sunday PM (103 Riders)
Well Garrett Edmisten’s hopes for another undefeated season ended quickly on Sunday. Matt Boni was able to dethrone the eight time AA champ for a race. I can’t remember the last time Garrett lost to an FTR regular but I know it has been quite awhile. I talked to Garrett after the race and all he told me was how much he hates to lose. Now GE217 was aboard his KX 250 so that is an excuse for people to make on to why he lost, but here is why you can’t buy into that. Garrett finished eighth place at the Mud Muckers GNCC on that thing and it wasn’t even running good. Matt was pumped on his win and he shared a few words with me after the race, “I’m pumped to not only get a KOW win but to also beat Garrett… he is an extremely good rider and has been racing the woods his whole life.” Matt also stated “He is a bad dude and I’ve learned a lot by following him last year, it’s a long series and hopefully we can both make each other work hard to get wins.”
- Travis Hullfish and Palmer Lynch both made their returns to racing this weekend and finished up third and fourth overall respectively.
- Top amateur was former AA rider Clay Lyons. Clay Lyons was racing the new 30+ class which consisted of five fast dudes. Expect this class to be one of the faster ones this year. Clay finished up fifth overall.
- Dylan Rash, Marty Hickey Jr. and Ben Parsons were next in line for top amateur.
- Landon Lynn made his A class debut and just missed out on the A 250 win by 30 seconds.
- Bryce Koster was the top B rider, he finished 21st overall. Behind him were two B Open rider Fernando Davila and Clark Myers, they finished 25th and 26th overall.
- Two girls raced the PM race, Lacey Nordle (B 250) and Alyssa Meisczcenski (C 200). Lacey finished up 10th in B 250 and 54th overall while Alyssa won her class and finished 58th overall.
- Charles Mann was the top C rider finishing up in 50th overall. He was followed by Ferando Ferrerya(56 OA) and Daniel Perez(57 OA).
That’s all I have for this week, I hope to see everyone at Gatorback. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org