Rd 3 Ormonds Full Race Report
TD Photo Imaging Rd 3 Ormond Farms Millville NJ, April 20th & 21st. For obvious reason I struggled on how to start this race report. I won’t lie; this race took a toll on me. I think emotional strain is more exhausting then physical sometimes. When someone gets hurt I take it personal, we all take it personal I should say. Our course boys take their job very seriously. They lay out the courses strategically, put mile markers up, sweepers have radios that communicate with each other, home base and the ambulance, they have meetings prior to every event to go over what area everyone is going to be stationed or working and they make access ways for emergency vehicles. For years now they discuss all the injuries that have occurred and always talk about how it was handled and if there was anything they could improve upon to make it better for the next time and they go over what if scenarios……well at this race on Sunday, the C event to be exact, all hell broke loose right before the white flag. All the drills and repetition and constant communication of what to do paid off. Our entire course crew went instantly from running a race event to running on instincts. Every radio was buzzing with information and directions, every sweeper, course worker and EMT was immediately at attention and doing their part of the job before they were even directed to do so. No one dropped the ball. No one forgot what to do, No one thought of anything but the injured rider’s wellbeing. The stress level this past Sunday was the highest I have ever known. At the end of the day when it was all over and we could breathe again I watched many big, strong, tough men hang their heads and cry from the emotions that started to download from their hearts. I just wanted to let everyone reading this story to know that our NEOC course workers and Sweepers are my hero’s and not just because of what they do on a daily basis for this organization but also because they do it with their hearts on their sleeve and never too proud to wipe a tear from their cheek. There is a lot that goes into making an event happen, more than anyone could ever know. There are a lot of sacrifices that happen from everyone that gives their time and energy to these races. I personally sometimes forget, when I am caught up in my own worries, just how much everyone has invested in this organization. There is no monetary value that you can put on something like this. You can’t buy anything in this world that makes you feel as good inside as having someone next to you that truly cares, I happen to be surrounded by a whole organization of people that were drawn to each other because of that very reason. As I sat tonight with my youngest daughter, Anna, we talked about a lot of stuff that has happened over the last few months and she told me she resented the NEOC because of the stress it causes at home sometimes and that she was worried about me and her father. It hurt me to hear those words because that’s the last thing I want to hurt her is the NEOC. I forgot that my daughters have everything invested in this too and my worries are their worries so all I could think of to tell her were those wise words of Mr. Rogers……When tragedy or upsets happen you must always look to the side for the helpers, because where ever there are helpers there is hope and with hope you can get through anything.
To start my story and get my head back in the game I went through all of Debbie’s Tikes on bikes pictures that she captured on Saturday to help remind me why we are all here, why it is important to move forward and not dwell on what is behind you. To see the eyes under the goggles full of excitement and happiness and to see the smiles on stage holding their trophies in the air to show their parents how proud they are of what they accomplished on their own will take me back to the grass root reason every time of why we are here. Our biggest Tikes turnout this season of 44 little youngins got to practice sharp turns, straightaways, “hill climbing” and passing. When Todd drops that green flag and they take off after Scooter, it’s like a million dollar holeshot award is being given out. They are all 100% serious and ready to take on their event. Sneaking chocolate chip cookie dough isn’t even better than watching that right there!
1pm 50 plus Oil Injected moto heads took to the line for the first official event of Ormond Farms. Making it three for three in the 7-8 OI was #102 Eddy Colby with a consistently faster lap time to keep second place #339 Hot Sauce Wilford off of his tail pipe again. #289 Kyle Grenewicz took third place to tie for podium points with fourth place #991 Remington Platt. Second overall and first place 4-6 OI winner went to #984 Jaden Palmer right from Jump Street. A solid second place and points leader is #220 Cole Truster with third place and points going to #28 Ranger Emmons.
3pm almost 100 peewees filled the starting lines with young eager racers ready to engage in the points hunt and battle it out with their friends. Taking his first win and overall this season was #89 Wayne Cox which put him as 7-9 65 points leader. Taking another second in a row was #520 Joey Scotto just a head of #348 Bryce Shelly for third. Our Thumper class win went to #999 Sam Barry with a solid second going to #340 Jacob Roscoe but the battle for this class was between third & fourth place with #946 Daniel Cox coming in just ahead of #100 Dalton Hughes. For the second time this season #37 Joey Rainone took the win in our 4-8 50 class. Second place was taken on the last lap by #450 Tyler Baran from #640 Justin Adkins which puts them one point apart on the podium. Wow that was a great battle guys, awesome racing. #488 Jacob Sponsler had his greatest race to date with the win for 10-12 EL against points leader and second place #83 Dylan Leary. These two boys poured everything they had in them to the very end of that race, I bet when it was over they were wiped out from emotion exhaustion. #95 Jonnie Eccles secured third place and put himself in the hunt for yearend podium position. Taking his first win and best race this season in the 4-9 EL class was #103 Colton Hartobey over second place and points #18 Mark Cimino. Third place went to #977 Jordan Uhland on the last lap over points leader by two #333 Jimmy Lambert. These top two EL Girls I have watched since they first started racing. I have seen them go from being intimidated by the other riders on the course to being aggressive in the turns, not willing to give up their lines and what was uncertainty in their eyes has been replaced with hunger. It is beautiful transformations when you see this sort of thing happen. First place went to #601 Brenna Cabegin over #703 Shyann Phelps. Third place was taken by another hungry girl #809 Samantha Johnson. We are setting records with the amount of girls coming out to race and that are becoming so competitive so quickly. Half of the Tikes now are girls, we predicted this a couple years ago and I think sooner than later we will have to implement an advanced women’s class in the main event because once these young girls get to the age where they need to move into the adults some, if not most, will not want to be in the C event.
Once the course was cleared and given the go ahead we let the Pitbike herd loose on the course to do their thing they do best, make us scream and holla! Top two were from the Mega Buck class #910 Huff Daddy & #240 The Hornet. Third overall and first 12 Pointer Pro to bust through the pack was #72 Carmen Simonetti. Fourth and first Young Buck #90 The High Flyer with 12PP #40 Thumper bringing home the bacon. Sixth o/a was our first Big Slam Daddy to punch the clock #994 Eric Seelman followed up by two YBs #125 Blackburn and #614 Ben Miller. Closing out the top ten positions were from the BSD class #482 Nathan Lloyd and #72 Tony Folk. First place Ruttin Buck went to #43 Anthony Cileone with #63 Brandy Peterson taking the win for the Doe class. Our Spikes buck winner was #38 Brandon Gahm followed up by the Biggs Boys #714 & #507. The lone Button Buck rider was #55 Tyler Massie, he got the holeshot!
After the changes were made, the riders were back into their civilian clothes and everyone was able to relax by their camp fire and think about what tomorrow would bring there was a toast given to Big Chuck and Amy for their nuptials next weekend. They had to work around the race schedule just like we all do lol, even for a wedding there are no days off! Saturday’s events were almost perfect so we were going into Sunday with high hopes. It didn’t take long before they were snuffed out and reality came crashing down.
It was chilly Sunday morning and no dew or moisture had set on any of the work mules. I was rolling by 6:15am but I wasn’t the first one outside working. No matter how much I try I never beat Wendy to registration or Jay to scoring in the morning, it’s like an unspoken competition now (at least for me it is lol) I gave up, or never really tried actually, to get out before Todd, Big John, Big Phil and the rest of the boys, they have that infernal inner clock that says 4am is morning time. By 7am Jessica and the girls opened their line for registration and by 7:10 Wendy, Fran and the rest of the girls had a line running out the door. Big T had his sweepers gathered for their instructions of the day, Jen & Eric opened Tech inspection, Big Dog, Campy, Cropper and the rest of the boys went to man their stations, Chuckies voice went through the airwaves, Zach Westcott sang the National Anthem, Brian bellowed his 10 second count, Todd dropped the green flag and our day was officially started. The two fastest of the day came from the AA Youth and it was an epic battle from our elite AA Youth class. #215 Jacob Johnson took the win over #26 Kyle Tino. #125 Chris Blackburn closed out the final podium spot with a solid third place. Taking third overall and his third win in the 12-15 100 class was Neil Enman. After almost losing second place on the last lap to some trouble #197 Nick Layton came in just ahead of third #412 Tyler Pilcher. 14-15 85 win went to #50 Brandon Cronin over #165 Nico Marts who ran the lead on lap three. Third place #200 Wally Yaros was consistent and edged himself closer to a yearend podium spot. One of the greatest battles of the event was between the top two in this 12-13 85 class. #214 Cameron Pettit took the lead back on the last lap for the win by a hair over #507 Jacob Biggs who ran lead three out of the five laps. It was exciting and made you hold your breath when you heard them coming because you didn’t know who was going to be leading when they busted out of the woods. #848 Kyle Plummer ran his best race to finish third by being consistent on laps and riding smart. 10-11 85 win went to #185 Johnny Manera for three in a row but not without a fight from #84 Mark Brogen who ate his Wheaties for breakfast on this race day. Third place was won by #76 Alex Thomas after a battle with #41 Jason Tino that was a race to the flag. Staying strong on the throttle with his four stroke in the 13-15 150 class was #499 Bobby McCafferty. Second place #696 Sammy Oquendo had his best race to date and #47 Eric Kubicz took a solid third. Taking the win for two out of three in the 10-11 65 class was the mad jumper #21 Forrest McCarthney but if he made one small infraction #331 Brian Kubicz would have been there to seize the moment and take the win. A solid third place went to our northern boy #136 Colby Davis. This was the biggest 10-12 125 class we have ever had and it wonderful to see it grow. #66 Alec Cileone took the crown for the day with #922 Parker McMullen banking a solid second and #99 Michael Resch with another third after some bad luck at the last event. El Womens #111 Gillie Buck Nardelli had to drop the hammer to get the win over #811 Leah Raines who ran lead for two laps. #717 Lexi Donaghey was steady and strong to keep third place ahead of #187 Casey Manera. I want to give a shout out to Nicholas Garcia who broke his femur in this event. When I was talking to him after his crash he didn’t even have a tear in his eye, he is one tough kid.
I was upset going to the C lines at 11am after sending a youth rider in the air for a break but had I know that was going to be the easiest part of the day I would have been more ready for what lay only an hour ahead of us all…….#877 Mike Crum won the Ind & Mech Class on his KTM. B Super Senior #666 Joe Pluck pushed his way up through the pack and took the win on the last lap over #82 David Tucker. #231 Nicole Hiles won the womens on her best friend ol’ Yammi. #397 Josh Mest took the win on lap four over #497 Tyler Barker. C 4 Stroke win went to #113 Dylan Oliver with #119 Austin Rania taking second and his best race to date. For a solid win in the C Light #43 Anthony Cileone has helped himself to climb the point’s ladder. A bar bangin battle ensued for the top three Vet guys and this is how it played out #979 Scott Smith first then #451 Joe Gathercole followed by #376 Eric Gibson. A solid Senior class win went to #91 Mark Boileau and the battle was for second place between #48 Barry Tomas and #445 Chris Hunter. By the time this event ended just about every staff member was shot out but had to keep their game face on because you had no time to stop or do anything but get ready for the Main event……downloading would have to wait.
1:30 came and lines were filled with the fastest and most skilled racers of the weekend. Our AA fastest of the day was 2011 NEOC overall Champion, ISDE USA Junior Trophy member and Pro National Enduro top five competitor, #5 Jesse Groemm, came back to say hello while he has a break from the Enduros. I remember this boy when he would come and race in the youth 4 stroke class on a clapped out xr100 and just smoke the competition. Back in those days we called him the Powerhouse and he is so living up to that name. We are proud of your accomplishments Jesse. Second place and NEOC AA overall points leader is The Bomber #306 Kyle McDonal who is also in the top ten overall for the National Enduros but he had his work cut out for him because third overall #17 Ryder Lafferty ran second for three of the six laps. How cool is to see these kids go from youth bikes to AA lines, well I’m sorry to say but the Fonz isn’t even that cool. Our in house pilot #102 Michael Collins put his wings on to run the AA 35+ class. #906 Jeremy Williams took ninth overall and the win for A Heavy over #289 Jimmy Maul who ran the lead on lap five. A Light win and eighth overall went to #109 Thorn Devlin with second and tenth overall being taken by #40 Nick McCollough, hard to believe they were Just in the youth program not too long ago. #737 Super Sonic Sumpter busted out with another win. Glad to see you back in the game Joey! A Senior winner comes to town a few times a year but when he does #845 Glenn Scherer leaves his mark on the trail. #77 William Hess pushed through the pack and took the lead on lap three for the win in A Super Senior. #804 Mark Terpak took lead for B Heavy on the second lap and never looked back. #90 Malcolm Hill took another win for the B Light class on his made for Malcolm KTM. Taking his first win this season and having his best race to date was #496 Brad Barnes of the School Boy giving him a nice bump in points. B Vet win went to #192 Lou Bianchino putting him tie for second in points. #601 Michael Phillips grabbed a second place to put him back in the hunt against third place #744 William Gribbin. Drum Roll please………#803 Chris Maychak took his first win this season for B Senior against points leader and second place #613 John Manera.
The race was over, the field was emptying, we were entering breakdown mode when the men started to break down themselves……..Don’t ever think for a moment that they are just work horses that put on race events. Don’t ever think they are just yellow staff shirts directing traffic or kicking you off part of a course you don’t belong on, or that they are riding the course repeatedly for fun. They are fathers that have children riding alongside your child. When your child is hurt it hurts them because it could be their child they are responding too. They have hearts behind the yellow shirt so please respect them when you are asked to do something or they are trying to take care of an issue. Remember they are no different than you except they are on the other side of the rope. This story I dedicate to every yellow shirt that bleeds for the NEOC….you are the muscle and heart of the Northeast Off-road Championship Series!
Make sure you make your bike north bound ready! See everyone at the Hollenbeck, Bill Leonard and his posse has laid out a great course for you dirt bike junkies up on the farm.
So its 6:30am Monday morning and I have the normal post race things to do but I can’t seem to figure out how to do anything but stare at the computer screen. The wind has been taken out of my sails. Two races in a row for serious injuries has my head pretty messed up right now. I know anything can happen and there was nothing anyone could have done different to prevent it from happening. I know the logical side of things and the odds of the numbers we are having, I know all the wonderful things that happen for the kids and families at these races but it doesn’t change the way my heart is feeling. My head tells me one thing but my whole being is screaming another…..I’m sorry for going on about this and not writing positive things right now but I just can’t at this moment.
We will have everything posted shortly as normal but give us a few days to get everything done. Full Race Report, Pictures, Videos, etc…..
We are sending positive thoughts and prayers to the injured riders. Thank you to all the wonderful, hardworking and caring NEOC team that made sure every second counted for the injured. You treated them as your own….I truly love you guys and I am proud to say we are friends.
I will get my head together but for today I think I have checked out…downloading and processing the weekend events……