August 5, 2016, Perris California, Perris Raceway,
Southern California Flat Track Association's
Championship Series, Round 8
Photos and text by Rodney Rutherford
Southern California Flat Track Association's "douze sÚries de Championnat", is now on towards round
nine after a summery Southern California Saturday round eight, and with four rounds remaining on
the roster, still plenty of racing left. Round nine will be held on September tenth as we enter
into the Fall portion of Southern California's premiere sliding series. Before we get on with
racing coverage, we will cover some of the people that make SCFTA tick, as well as the racers of
tomorrow, and that wonderful 96 decibel sound level that will be required for 2017.
Elliott Iverson (left) and Rudy Gil (right), exemplify the focus, professionalism, fairness, and
solidarity of the finely tuned SCFTA track officials, because there is no "I" in team. The two are
seen here collaborating and ensuring the races are ran as safely, fair, smooth, and punctual as
Emde Performance racer Danny Perkins, was sidelined the majority of this season with an elbow
injury, but was ready to race at round seven. Unfortunately his bike was not, after failing the
current SCFTA maximum of 100 decibels and he was unable to keep the bike running after making some
adjustments. Returning for round eight after installing a 38 millimeter carburetor on his Cycle
Logic 1978 Yamaha TT500, Perkins was fast as ever which we will delve into later in the article and tested at 95.7 decibels.
As a reminder, SCFTA is currently allowing a grace period for sound testing, all
bikes must be 100 decibels with the optimum being 96 decibels or lower, but for 2017 there will be
a limit of 96 decibels that everyone must meet in order to keep the track open and neighbors happy.
Alarmco racer Travis "Corner Speed" Horn, continues to proceed up the racing food chain with his winning ways, aided by his support structure and relentlessly dedicated parents Jeremy and Gina. With their unlimited love and encouragement, the third grader conquers multiple disciplines on a routine basis including Speedway, Flat Track, Supermoto, and Road Racing. The Team Motorsports Junkie slider is decorated in several racing series, winning the 2015 Gumball Pee Wee (PW) Modified (Mod), then returning in 2016 for a double dip repeating for his second consecutive Gumball PW Mod Championship, and hoisting the number one plate in the Gumball 2016 PW Stock title as well. He also holds class titles in the IV League Flat Track series, and has four SCFTA number one plates
from 2014 to 2015. In the 2016 Speedway series he has over five and Division 2 main wins in the Mini 150 class. Horn recently finished third in the 2016 FIM/AMA Silver Cup Mini 150 Division 2 and has since moved up to Division 1, reportedly finishing the season with multiple Division 1 top three finishes . With the SCFTA he currently stands first in the SCFTA 65cc Open, with an undefeated mark in all seven rounds he has raced. Horn would like to thank K & N Filters, Pit Strap, De Mario Racing, Pistonbones, Gina Horn Designs and all his supporters.
The Mitchell Family, are one of several Families that support and a pillar of the racing experience
that is the SCFTA. Jake Mitchell found himself getting into racing with encouragement from his
sister, Isabella "Izzy" Mitchell. Racing for three years and winning a 2014 SCFTA title, he is
hungry for more. Related to long time Flat Track racer, Danny Perkins, he has an encyclopedia of
knowledge at this door step when needed. Looking forward to moving up to the 250 Youth Open, he is
currently racing in the Youth 85cc Open, and leads the points in the 85cc 2-Stroke Beginner on his
Kawasaki KX85. He would like to thank his Aunt Kathie, Aunt Carrie, Christian, Garrett, Danny
Perkins, Mom and Dad, Leatt, C2O Coconut Water, Ryno Power, O'Neal, Dragon Alliance and everyone that supports him..
Frank Flores, part of SCFTA's illustrious Flores Family, with mom Patty and Dad Jess manning the
helm of the Family team, consisting of Frank and Sister Alyssa. Frank will be moving on soon to the
250 Youth Open, after being a foundation of the SCFTA 85cc program. He would like to thank Ron's Rear
Ends, Flores Automotive and his entire Family. Let's race.
Colin Petton (46), has an itty-bitty lead over Horn in their 65-70cc Open main melee. No problem
for the scrapper Horn sporting the duece-cinco, as he gives the throttle cable a serious tension test
ripping by Petton in the early going and the main win is his, Petton for second. Petton went on to
win in the 65-70cc 2-Stroke Amateur. Horn also racing in the class against Petton, tested the
waters in his first ever ride with slitted Flat Track tires on a Kawasaki KX65, completing his
inaugural race on the set up in second.
Sierra Hickerson (3) and Jasper Heathfield (713), getting into a sliding scrap as they do almost
every time they race together. This time it was Heathfield with the best spot at the end taking
third, and Hickerson fourth.
Always the jester, Isabella "Izzy" Mitchell, brings home the fifth spot in the 65-70cc Open.
The 85cc Open main restart and let's get it on, seen here are Jadon Schroeder (27), Jake Mitchell (3),
Conner Hickerson (45), Tanner Richey (13), and Travis Petton IV (82) at the pole position.
The 85cc Open main is off the line and Tanner Richey gets the fresh air with Zaden Florez in tow,
but no sooner we get up to speed the red light is out and a restart in on the menu, reportedly
Richey took off too early. Early on after the restart Florez at the front, Petton IV in second,
Frank Flores several bike lengths back in third and Conner Hickerson fourth.
Zaden Florez (55) and Tanner Richey (13), grapple out of turn two into the back-stretch of the 85
Open heat race. Petton IV slithers inside of turn one and bullies his way into the lead, Florez now second. We go
past lap four and Petton jostling away for the win, Florez with a very strong ride after reportedly just
returning from an injury puts it down for second, and Frank Flores third. Hickerson fourth, and
Mitchell fifth at the wrap up of the 85cc Open.
Hickerson (45) leading Mitchell (3), and Tanner Richey in the 85cc Open. Hickerson hit the beach
with fourth, Mitchell fifth, and Richey having a rough main in sixth at the wrap up of the 85cc
Shine on, shine on, and Petton IV continues to do just that, winning the 85-100cc 2-Stroke Amateur.
Petton IV has won every round in the 85cc Amateur and leads the points by thirty-two over Richey
who sits at the brides maid position. Petton IV has won seven of eight rounds in the 85cc Open with Richey
once again in second for the points, but way behind at a forty-nine point deficit. More on Petton IV in the 250 Youth Open.
Flores Automotive Alyssa Flores, was on fire winning the Woman's (Powder Puff) heat, and following
through with a lap five pass in turn one over the front runner Jaycee Jones in the main. Once in front
she put on the blinders racing to a ten bike length lead for the win with Jones in second.
Woman's (Powder Puff) racer Monica Gil (00), locking the inside door tight while racing against
Open Beginner Barney Stern, in their inter-class heat. Gil came into the main with the series
lead, after racing to a third in which she made a late race charge on Jones. she still sits in
the series top spot. Gil has it in her to keep the points lead, but needs to ramp her game as the
2015 Champion in Jones is just five points behind and has the eye of the tiger. Four more rounds to
go and we have ourselves a battle for the 2016 Woman's title.
RM Parks racer Grant Holmes (7X), gripping tenuously to his lead over Travis Petton
IV, in the 250 Youth Open main. As they have had for several seasons, the two fearless fliers
battled hook and claw for the entire duration of the eight lap main. Holmes stuck the face of the
battle and was not going to allow Petton to blemish his looks, though Petton raced in second at one
to three lengths back for most of the main, Holmes hammered towards the end and pulled away
slightly for his third 250 Youth Open win of the season. Petton comes in at second and holds four
wins in the class as the series points chase tightens, with a ten point lead held by Petton IV over
Holmes, and four rounds to go. Jacon Cascio slashes the checkers at third and Alyssa Flores fourth.
With Clayton Williams moving on to the SCFTA Pro class, Petton opened up a nine bike lead over
second place to take the Open Expert win, another three win night for the dazzling speedster.
Zack Earwood (99), in front of Marc Heathfield (not shown), James Rust (6), and Brad Rudy (19R) in
the 4-Stroke heat contest. Rudy controlled the main through most of the loops, but young Earwood
still keeps Rudy on his toes as they file in one-two at the finish. Rust raced strong with a
third and Heathfield in fourth.
Bomber Experts, Joe Steffen (6) and Perkins (89), torch the start as they dial up the speed in the
kickoff of the main. Finally getting back into SCFTA action after missing the first seven rounds,
Perkins looked better than ever, putting some room between him and Steffen in the main, but Steffen
gave him a test and closed substantially on the final lap. Perking Perkins up, as he found an extra
push despite the racing layoff, holding the gritty Steffen at bay for the win. Perkins would like to thank
Skip Van Leeuwen, his wonderful Wife Keady, and Steele Friedrich.
Joel Kath (19V) and Robert Stettler (57) speed out of turn two in the mixed class Vet Over 35 main.
As Vet Over 35 Expert Kevin Jordan, posted the holeshot and flew away in the inter-class main for
the class and race win. Vet Over 35 Amateur Robert Stettler, had the aces against Vet Over 35
Expert, Joel Kath. Kath abruptly called his bluff and made the pass on him by lap three for second
in class and race, Stettler places third in the race but takes the Amateur victory.
Heat underway for the Senior Novice Over 50 and Senior Novice Over 35. D. Locke (3), the lone Over
35 racer Andrew Myers (37), Jim Bandelin (71), Barney Stern (13) and Chris Osborn (12N). In the
main on lap three it is Osborn cultivating the front air, Bandelin in second, and Stern in third but Locke isn't digging
that as he is beats on Stern's buffer, let me by now, but Stern isn't having it.
Stern (13), Locke (3), Myers (37) are racing like sugar laden kindergartners beating
on a pinata full of Hershey Kisses. Osborn puts on another one of his many superb rides as he walls up
a threatening Bandelin with them cashing in on the last lap in first and second. Locke just kept
haunting the inside out of turn four relentlessly, finally getting under Stern at that spot on lap
five for third and the money is his. Stern rode well all night but no one had much mercy as the
youngster of the group in Myers, beat him down for the fourth in the main. Stern had nothing
to be ashamed of, representing his club "The Lost Angels Motorcycle Club" with heart that few
Ken Shilling (26B), Arnie Fry (45E), Corey Bauman (53), and Robert Stettler (57) hidden on the
outside of Fry as the Senior Amateur Over 50 gets the ball rolling. Shilling breaking the air but
Fry wanted that spot and went inside, and had the lead all tight by the end of lap three. Fry
just kept the pace high enough to stick a buffer of about three bike lengths by the end of the main
for the win. Shilling was able to keep second but Stettler kept him alert through the race with no
room for a mistake, and they finished second and third respectively, and Bauman fourth.
The "Circle of Concern", these men race hard, fast and for the win, but when one of their own go
down hard it is all about caring for your fellow racer. We see Senior Vet Over 50 Experts Jim
Medlin (11), Jim Wood (47), Brad Rudy (19R), and on the outside of Medlin is Kevin Jordan,
anxiously waiting to see how their fellow racer, Joe Steffen is doing. Steffen took a terrifying fall out
of turn two, with his front wheel reportedly folding in to the left then right as his left foot
went underneath his rear wheel knocking his chain off, and sending him headfirst at high speed into
the wall. He did respond well and was able to get up, and seemed to be okay after the races. Jordan
won the main, Wood second, Rudy third, Medlin fourth, and Steffen was credited with a fifth. Steffen
is a symbol of how tough and dedicated these sliders are to their sport, after suffering a heart
attack at the track a few years ago, he returned, almost no doubt he will also return from this
spill as well.
Gary Lane (68), Bill Wright (146), and Mike Brooks (672) put on the after burners in the Over 60
Super Senior Amateur/Novice main. Wright floored his KTM from the onset maintaining the lead for
the entire eight laps, blowing through the checkers with a fifteen bike length win. This was
Wright's fifth win in eight rounds of gating, leading the series with a forty point margin lead.
Paul Claybaugh, continues to have a good year with a second in the main and the closest to
Wright's series lead. Lane finished in third at the curtain call.
Always good to see Mike Brooks around and never giving up in his events, seen here finishing
fourth in the Over 60 main, he also ran for a second in the Premier Over 70, which was won by Lane.
Turn one and the Centrum Silver gang is hard at it with Super Senior Over 60 Experts Steve Kukla
(16), Dan Kane (1), Jim Wood (47), and Jim Medlin (11) in the last spot but not for long. Wood
carved out the front spot while Medlin smoked the chasers and tucked in behind Wood, as the two
hammer-men occupy first and second respectively. Medlin stoked the flames and got hotter as the
midway mark came and went, finally hitting the passing payday with the lead at lap five, Wood
second. The battle of the K's in Kukla and Kane was a stormer, with Kukla finally taking third
around lap six after sitting behind Kane most of the main. Gil vigorously waves the checkers at
medlin for the win, Wood, Kukla third and Kane fourth.
Twenty-eight year old racer, Nick Garcia, decided to get his slide on in the 2015 SCFTA season, but
was injured in the Open Beginner class. Putting a new emphasis on improving for 2016 after
progressing to the Open Novice class, he started practicing regularly, making gearing and
suspension changes. Focusing on his cornering strategies, basically just dialing his racing and
bike in to a faster comfort zone. Apparently it is working, he entered into round eight on a three
round win streak, placing no better than fourth prior to round five. He would like to thank
his Family members John and Phyllis, John and Stephanie, Chelsea and all his Children. Now let's
see how he does for round eight.
In the Open Novice Garcia was on the prowl for his fourth win in the row, but Arnie Fry was going
to have something to say about that. Fry tears into turn one of the Open Novice main, Garcia on his
tracks, John Garcia third, and Chris Osborn fourth. Garcia just searching for lines and he has it around lap four,
backstopping the inside in turn four the lead is his and he quickly pulls ahead to an eight bike
length lead over Fry. We have Garcia, Fry second, but third place John Garcia is under attack by
Woman's class winner, Alyssa Flores, and she gets him near the end of the race for third. Garcia
takes his fourth Novice main in a row, Fry second, Flores third, Justin Simons also making a late
race pass on John Garcia for fourth, and John Garcia wrapping up the fifth in the ten racer class.
Alyssa Flores and John Garcia squaring up in an Open Novice heat.
Not much more to say, Ryan Reed, was ridding flat out at round eight. He was making a highly
skilled racer, and a seasoned SCFTA Pro like Colt Foster, earn his way in the Open Unclassified.
Reed was continually up front all night long, racing in the Open Amateur he scored the holeshot,
and just went on to blitz the field for the win, outstanding night for the SCFTA racer.
The start of the eight racer Open Unclassified was a wild one, featuring a very competitive field.
Justin Simons (51), Ryan Reed (5), Colt Foster (84E), Clayton Williams (95), Byron Kukla (92) and
Travis Friedrich (26). The race was forced into a restart after yet another bad crash. This time it
was LJ Gronek at the receiving end after going down hard at the apex of turn one and turn two. Half
of his body appeared to be in front of his bike, and the other half to the side and totally
exposed. Friedrich was unable to stop and basically scissored Gronek in a very bad looking hit.
Gronek and Friedrich were both able to get up, but these are type of crashes that this reporter does not want to see.
IMAGE Reed 5 Foster 84
Ryan Reed (5) and Mission Motorsports/6D Helmets/Foster Brother's Racing's Colt Foster (84E), in the
heat two of the Open Unclassified. Back to the restart, it was Foster and Williams first and second, Reed having what seemed to be one
of the best nights of his SCFTA racing in third, Simons in fourth. The experienced Foster rides a
very clean and if you will, an articulate race for the win. Williams preparing to race in his first
SCFTA Pro main sits it in for second, and Reed just riding his jersey off and then some for a comet
Seventeen year old Christian Payne (123), and LJ Gronek (12) launch their horses into the back
stretch of their Open Unclassified heat. Payne comes from an historic family of racers such as
Grandpa Sid Payne, a storied TT and Flat Track racer sporting National number 32 in the early
1960's, who had many big wins under his belt during his heyday. Back to Payne, he was racing in
his second Flat Track contest ever, and showed his heritage speeding with some of the best SCFTA
racers on the dirt for an impressive fourth as Simons comes in for a fifth.
The Pro heat stirs up the chalk as the green beckons with Nick Gil (2D), Drew Massa Trucking's John
Vanderlaan (12Y), Clayton Williams (95), Foster Brother's Racing's Colt Foster (84E), and seasoned
SCFTA racer Ian Foulds.
Southland Racing/Amaro Farms/Mitas Tires racer Vanderlaan, came down from his home town of Salinas
in search of his seventh 2016 Pro win in seven attempts. In cookbook fashion he did exactly that in the main, plowing into turn one with the lead, then powering out of turn two with his sliding foot up in a counter balance he rocketed into the back stretch and proceeded to check out for his seventh 2016 Pro main win.
Clay Williams, went to the upper zone for his SCFTA racing career, leaving all his Amateur races behind
in what is nothing but an epic SCFTA run racing on the small bikes, going on to dominate the 2016
SCFTA Open Expert class winning every round he raced from round two to round seven, his camp
decided it was time to move up. After racing to a second in the Open Unclassified, the teen was
ready to romp with the SCFTA Pros. Romp he did, moving into second early in the twenty lap Pro
main, he proceeded to hammer the laps running free of any challengers for second, gluing up the
spot for an impressive second step finish in his first ever SCFTA Pro contest. Flowing with
confidence, he definitely feels he belongs with top echelon racers craving the aggression, speed,
and skillful competition that goes along with it. He would like to thank Ole Pop, Southland Racing,
Digger Helm, Rod Lake, Gail Cummings, and of course Mom & Dad.
Race Tech's Nick Gil, had his gloves full of two highly seasoned SCFTA Pro brawlers in Ian Foulds
and Foster. Foulds was locked in third most of the first ten laps, but Gil went inside of him on
turn four for third near the midway mark and never wavered from there, placing third at the end of the twenty laps.
Vanderlaan on his seventh victory lap of the 2016 SCFTA Pro season. If the 2015 SCFTA Pro Champion
gets one more, he will have ridden the standard SCFTA Amateur eight lap count in victory laps.