July 16th, 2016, Perris
California, Perris Raceway,
California Flat Track Association's
Series, Round 7
and text by Rodney Rutherford
Southern California Flat Track Association's (SCFTA) crew
were tested after the water truck spray pump went awry, at the midway
point of the round seven heat races, bringing the skillful Jim Carr
into the mix. With the dry arid conditions of a July summer, one of the
last issues Perris Raceway flat track wants is a dry track, bringing
fears of a dry dusty track to the heart of the most hardened sliders .
Alas round seven of the twelve round SCFTA Championship series was not
to be denied the mechanical rain, as the 911 flat track crew
spearheaded witnessed by Carr went to work.
The temporary problem was solved before the main in record time,
moisture for the SCFTA groove was back on track. By Carr, the man
behind the scenes for SCFTA, repairing all the heavy equipment,
installing floors in the office, maintaining the generator, fixing side
boards and one of the best corner man in the business. When the
situation became apparent, Carr was immediately relieved of his turn
one duties and called to arms for the repairs, after his miracle
mechanical pinch hit, Carr was witnessed humming "Baby the Rain Must
Fall". In actuality, he was taking a breather, one of the best
corner-man in the business, he was soon back in the infield of turn
one, and returning to his panoramic plurality of protective grace for
all those that enjoy the slide at Perris, Mr. Carr, SCFTA Thanks You
for All You Do!
One Hundred and thirty-four entries, thirty classes, and
twenty-four main events, so we have whole lot of racing, on track that
was perfection according to many racers after the dryness in the heats,
Two wheeling, Nick Armstrong (44E) leading John Vanderlaan (12Y), and
Paul Ott (12) in the Pro's heat one. Armstrong took the heat one win.
Ventura racer Kayl Kolkman, was the heat two winner in preparation for
starting positions in the twenty lap Pro main, more on the Pro main as
Vanderlaan attempts to win his sixth Pro main of the event.
Owen Williams, racing to a second in 50cc 4-Stroke Beginner, third in the 65-70cc 4-Stroke Beginner.
Kristain Daniel Jr (46) squaring into turn one, Rachel
Schnakenberg (5), and Colin Petton (46 white) in a mixed class heat.
Daniel continues to be on fire, winning the 50cc 4-Stroke Beginner and
the 65-70cc 4-Stroke beginner. Petton won the 65-70cc 2-Stroke Amateur,
and Rachel Schnakenbergfor the victory in the 65-70cc 2-Stroke Beginner.
Ryder DiFRancesco (199), Jasper Heathfield (713), and Colin Petton (46) motor into turn one of the 65cc Open heat race.
IMAGE Difrancesco 199Ryder DiFrancesco, a three time American
Motorcyclist Association (AMA) Amateur Motocross National Champion,
looked mighty fast on his 65cc Kawasaki. A major hotshot on the Amateur
circuit in motocross, DiFrancesco was able to come out of nowhere, in
presumably his first race with SCFTA, and manufactured a several second
lead for a the main win in the 65cc Open. Always a great sport,
DiFrancesco waited to acknowledge his fellow competitors as the exited
the track. The top four in the 65cc Open are DiFrancesco first, Travis
Horn second, Jasper Heathfield third, and Colin Petton fifth. At the
AMA Amateur Nationals, DiFrancesco currently stands at first in the
65cc (10-11) Limited, and second in the 65cc (7-11) at press time,
bring it home Ryder!
Travis Petton IV (82), Tanner Richey (13), and Conner Hickerson (45)
race through turn two into the back stretch, in an 85cc Open heat race.
Hickerson led off at the start of the main. Staying the spot through
lap one, Petton IV over powered him with a back-stretch outside pass on
lap two. Petton running away into another zip code with the lead
and eventual win, but it was Hickerson who was the light of the show
with a daring fast run.
Hickerson (45) with the edge over Horn (25), in the 85cc
4-Stroke Novice heat race. Hickerson went to work blocking and
speeding, in protection of his second spot. Protect he did, racing one
of his best mains of the year in this reporter's view, he plied the
second spot to the checkers. The top four in the 85 Open are Petton IV
first, Hickerson, Frank Flores third and Tanner Richey fourth.
Jacob Cascio (21) and Zach Earwood (99) plow through the clean air in
the 4-Stroke Novice heat.Doing it grip to grip here, the two gave the
ardent fans their money's worth in the main. Earwood takes the lead in
the slide for turn one, Cascio attaching to second, Hickerson, and Horn
fourth in tight order. Earhart unable to give Cascio the shake, as the
Cascio threat remains to a win. Cascio, a very experienced slider
buying time as the white flag nears in this eight lap main. The flag is
out Cascio in a last lap rush forcing the issue, but Earhart has the
passing lanes closed, and into the final turn Cascio flies on the
outside to make a winning pass, Earhart bars up the attempt, chiseling
turn four he paste the gas and holds for the main win, second runner
Cascio a split second behind him, Hickerson third and Horn fourth.
Two time AMA motocross Amateur National
Champion Carson Mumford (122), leads Tanner Richey (13), Travis Petton
IV (82), and Conner Hickerson (45) in the 85cc 2-Stroke Amateur heat.
Mumford came in hot on his knobbied Honda, securing a heat win over
Travis Petton IV and company. It was welcome to SCFTA flat track in the
main for Mumford, Petton IV turned on the blender, and minced the
competition for a over a half lap lead by the end of the eight lap main
for the win. Mumford had a good race as this is the first time this
reporter has seen him race in a SCFTA main, finishing up second in the
85cc 2-Stroke Amateur.
Jaycee Jones, literally going up over the past six years
racing with the SCFTA, she continues to improve but now has life
obligations forcing their way into her racing schedule. Unable to race
rounds four and five due to having to procure the almighty green
dollar, and after winning the first three rounds in the Women's (Powder
Puff) class, she did race round six but ran into a brick wall by the
name of Alyssa Flores. Flores won round six, but not to be at round
seven. Jones led through lap one as Flores maintained a close
challenge, but Jones pulled away for about a six bike length lead
maintaining that to the checkers for her fifth win of the series.
Flores races in at second, and the series points leader Monica Gil in
third, and holds a seven point lead over Jones as we enter round
After injuring her hand badly at the 2016 SCFTA opener, she has
displayed "racer tough", rebounding at round two for a third. Her next
race, round six, saw the pig tail wonder blitz to a first in the
Women's class. With her loving parents by her side, Jess and Patty,
Flores continues to show her unflinching tenacity in attacking the
track and the competition. She brings this same fierceness to her
education as well, fully aware there is life after racing. She will be
entering her Fall curriculum as a high school Sophomore in Advanced
Placement (AP) studies earning College credit. Thus preparing for the
arduous and intense educational path onward to the the Medical
profession, as a Medical Doctor. The determined and feisty flat track
flier will no doubt reach her goals. She would like to thank RC Bush
Roofing and Ron's Rear Ends for their continued support.
Brad Rudy (19R), stirs up the clean air and paste the gas for a wire to wire win in the 4-Stroke class, his fourth in a row.
After his 85cc 4-Stroke Novice win, Earwood put it to the older guys, soloing in second for a second in the 4-Stroke main.
Marc Heathfield, has good form into his second complete season of SCFTA
sliding. Making a mid race pass on James Rust in turn two, he went home
with a third in the 4-Stroke. Rust finished up fourth in the main and
John Girdler fifth.
5Ryan Reed brought the speed, for his first main win of the year in the Vet Over 35 Amateur.
Chris Anders (57C), leading Reed (5), in the Vet Over 35
Amateur heat. Anders did not fare so well against Reed in the main,
going back to the abode with a second, Robert "BBQ Bob" Stettler third.
Vet Over 35 Expert on the launch and all stations go as Rosa Plates
racer Jim Rosa (88), Kevin Jordan (137), Chris Campos (42), Robert Bush
(47E), and Paul Ott (12) steam into turn one of their heat race. Jordan
was moved up to the Expert after winning the first four rounds,
and immediately became a factor in the class winning rounds five and
six. Thus becoming a thorn in Rosa's multiple season dominance in the
class, Rosa had enough of that and lit it up at this round. Tearing
away from the pack at the start like Yogi the bear running away with a
picnic basket, he was on a mission to win and nothing was going to get
in the way. We have Rosa with a four bike length lead on lap three, but
trouble is near in the speedy Paul Ott in second, Jordan struggling to
keep pace as the two SCFTA Vets turn it on. On lap six it has become a
two bike contest, Rosa still maintaining the point but Paul Ott not
giving in on the attack about a second back, Jordan is out of the
picture. On the eighth and final lap, Paul Ott is on the roost of Rosa,
but Rosa a holds firm and the win is his, Paul Ott rails in at second.
Bush comes in at third, Jon Nunes fourth, and Jordan fifth in the seven
Nunes with the colors blossoming, racing out of turn two for a fifth in the Over 35 Expert.
There is whole lot of shuffling going on as the grizzled fifty
somethings get rolling with Arnie Fry (45E), Don Leib (9), Corey Bauman
(53), Robert Stettler (57), Ken Shilling (26), Barney Stern (13), and
Chris Osborn (12) in the inter-class heat of Senior Vets Over 50
Amateur and Novice.
Senior Vet Over 50 Novice, Osborn (12), sitting in second of the
inter-class main behind Over 50 Amateur Bauman on the start, but
fighting hard to get around him, in third is Amateur Shilling, and
another Over 50 Amateur in Stettler sitting in fourth overall. Osborn
pressuring Baum and racing past him by lap three with a two bike length
lead, Baum in second, Stettler third, Shilling and Stern in close
Osborn stretching out his lead to over nine bike lengths, Amateurs Baum
and Stettler scrambling for second. Baum has the slot but precariously
as Stettler strumming the inside turn after turn, eyeballing the pass.
Osborn glides in fast for the overall main win, but it is on for second
overall, Baum loses his grip as they enter into turn four and Stettler
squeezes inside and takes second at the checkers, Baum in third right
on Stettler's knickers, and Shilling runs in fourth at the finish. The
top three in Over 50 Amateur are Stettler first, Baum and Shilling
third in class. Osborn taking the Over 50 Novice class win and looking
like it may be time to move up, second to Dewayne Locke, and third goes
to an impressive ride by Rocket Exhaust racer Leib.
Bob Stettler, blazing to glory and the win in the Senior Vet Over 50 Amateur.
Shilling (26), Corey Baum (53), and Barney Stern (13) railing down
the front stretch in a Senior Vet Over 50 Amateur/Novice heat.
Shilling, a long time and proud member of the Boozefighters Motorcycle
Club (MC), was also the 2015 SCFTA Bomber Novice Champion. Now putting
it down in the Bomber Amateur, the main was on deck and we are ready to
green light on. Racing with Bomber Novice the race was forced to a
restart, and it was the fiery Paul Claybaugh pouncing on the post
position into turn one, Shilling in his turbulence second, Bomber
Novice racers John Farmer and Dwayne Locke third and
Gutsy racing by Shilling, as he increases the velocity trying to get
pass Claybaugh, whom continues to ratchet his game up round by round.
Claybaugh relents to the constant harrassing by Shilling and is pushed
back to second after Shilling speeds his way into the point. Shilling
sticks it to the checkers for the main win, Claybaugh fades back to
second. Locke passing by Farmer early in the race for third, and Farmer
fourth. Shilling takes the Bomber Amateur win and Claybaugh second.
Locke secures the Bomber Novice class win with Farmer second.
Mr. Ed's Racing's Joe Steffen (6), holding an advantage over the gritty
John Dupree (16) in the Bomber Expert heat. Fontana Radiators racer
Jeff Johnson won the heat, but did not start for the main. After
suffering a major heart attack at a SCFTA meeting a few years ago,
Steffen has slowly built back up his speed and stamina and is looking
fine these days. His Mr. Ed's prepped 1978 Yamaha TT500 bolted into a C
& J frame, had propelled him to a series best second at round four.
Steffen got the gag on Dupree for the holeshot, Dupree countered attack
and slipped under Steffen on lap two and took the point. Steffen repaid
Dupree by lap three with a pass, and kept the lead tight for the Bomber
Expert Main win with Dupree second.
Brad Rudy (19R) and Steffen (6), skillfully maneuvering around a fallen
Kevin Jordan in the Senior Vet Over 50 Expert heat. Racing in the
4-Stroke class, Rudy earned his fourth consecutive win of the season
after missing the first two rounds with injuries.
"Come Sail Away, Come Sail Away, Sail Away with Me" as the popular 1977
hit by the legendary band Styx proclaims, and along with his Mr. Ed's
scooter Steffen did just that. Hoisting the jib at a full heel he went
on speedy run solo style for his second win of the night and a happy
interview that saw nothing but a big toothy grin by the long time
slider. The followers were Dupree in second, and Rudy still feeling his
way around in the ultra fast class for third.
The Super Senior Over 60 Amateur/Novice heat pulls off the line with
Gary Lane (68), Greg Powell (420), Bill Wright (146), Paul Claybaugh
(83) and turn one beckons. When the green lit up for the main, Wright
grabbed the baton and flew to the front. A very confident Claybaugh has
raised his level substantially for 2016, shown here by his second off
the gate, Powell third, Mike Brooks fourth, and Lane fifth. As Wright
and Claybaugh assert themselves in the 1-2 spots respectively, Powell
slides out in turn three and we have a red.
On the restart Wright rattles his sabre and slashes the field, ala
touche`, assuming the top billet by the end of the first restart lap.
Wright's sliding mastery was on it and the win is his, but we have a
donnybrook for second. Claybaugh in second was on the defense as Brooks
bridged up to him on the last lap, we have Claybaugh now fighting back
and he rides in hot and smooth for second, Brooks third, Lane
fourth, and Powell fifth.
Ron Moore (37) leading Jim Wood (47), and Steve Kukla (16) in the Senior Over 60 Expert heat race.Southland
Racing's owner, Jim Wood, and Senior racer extraordinaire Ron Moore, go
back decades in their racing careers. At many times Moore was Wood's
mentor, educating and teaching him on the finer arts of sliding, dating
back to the Wildwood MC in the early 70's. Pupil meets teacher in epic
showdown between the two, as the 70 plus year old Moore threw his hot
plate against the kids in the Senior Over 60 Expert.
Racing in his second event of the year, Wood proceeded to
take the top honors in the Senior Over 60 Expert for the second time as
well. Moore stacks up the pursuers into turn one of the Senior Over 60
Expert, but his former mentoree in Wood cleaning the carbon out of the
furnace marrying up to him in second by lap two. Wood shadowing Moore
into lap three and gives the teacher a lesson, Moore goes a little wide
out of turn two and Wood cuts the horses loose taking the inside and
the lead as they speed into the back stretch. That is all she wrote,
Wood splinters the field into the clean air for the win. Moore has the
wheels turning past the checkers for second, Dan Kane third, and Kukla
riding a two event win streak gets a dose of reality racing in at
Open Novice racer Nick Garcia, led from lap one to the checker flag
ending eighth lap for the win, his third in a row. Chris Osborn raced
in at second, Matt Ott third, Arnie Fry and Justin Simons fifth.
Osborn's points lead is now six over Garcia as they slide into round
Jaycee Jones (33), Evan Markus (54) in the crunch, and G & G
Racings LJ Gronek (12) inside of the bunch of the Open Amateur heat.
Despite racing regular the elusive elite main win has escaped Gronek
for several seasons, was this is his night?
Gronek (12) and Markus (54) battling through turn two. Despite the Open
Amateur class size of three racers, there was mucho experience and
multiple SCFTA main wins between the 2015 Women's Champion Jones and
Markus. Markus won the Open Unclassfied in round one, and had three
consecutive Open Amateur wins in the first three rounds of the series,
Gronke had some work to do. At the tone of green Gronek got mean and
zipped to the front, sensing this was his night, but Markus was having
none of that and pinned it in second catching Gronek's draft. Markus
maintained the nuisance spot and kept the rumble of his scooter clear
and vibrant in Gronek's auditory span, but Gronek stayed the focus,
locking up the inside turn after turn frustrating any passing attempts
Gronek riding tight in the turns, Markus in his dirt spray waiting for
a mistake by Gronek. Sure enough Gronek exits turn two and bobbles, oh
no, is Gronek's first major victory about to evaporate. A resounding
NO, Gronek cleans up the bobble nicely and stays the course despite the
ominous presence of Markus, and brings home the Open Amateur main
victory, Gronek second and Jones third.
Open Unclassified heat one displays G & G Racing's LJ Gronek (12),
Byron Kukla (92), Ryan Reed (5), Clayton Williams (95), and Matthew
Zacher (15B). Williams raced on to take the heat win.
Open Unclassified heat two, Kayl Kolkman (98), James Ott (12E), Evan
Markus (54), Justin Simons (51) and company barrel around turn two as
they head into the back stretch. Kolkman led at the half way mark in
the main, as SCFTA new comer Matthew Zacher nails down second, Williams
third, Markus fourth, and James Ott fifth. By the eighth and final lap
we have Kolkman stretching out the lead for the win, Williams second,
and Zacher ambushing the regulars with an impressive third. James Ott
gave it best but could not find a path around Zacher and settles for
fourth, Markus rolling in at fifth as the eleven racer field finishes
Matthew Zacher, a seasoned east coast slider, with his racing roots
deep in the states of New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, has brought his
show to the west coast. Currently serving in the United States Navy at
San Diego, he is an Equipment Operator Second Class (EO2) with the
Amphibious Construction Battalion ONE (ACB 1), the "Seabees". As a
heavy equipment operator, Zacher sits on the controls of excavators,
scrapers, graders, and many other types of equipment. The Seabees were
instrumental in World War II in building roads, landing strips, and
forward operating bases often coming under fire, and continue to this
day to pave the way for military construction despite the environment.
He is also one heck of racer, holding 250 Amateur and Open Amateur
titles in his heyday with the Crusaders Racing TT Motorcycle Club in
Medina, New York.
Racing in the eight man Open Expert, it was Clayton "The
Gent" Williams, firmly in the lead by the end of lap two. As his
domination in the class continues for his sixth win in a row, with a
gap of over ten bike lengths.
Zacher (15) and Travis "The Ramona Raider" Petton IV (82)
Zacher proved his mettle with a second over the home boys, despite the
constant squeeze by Petton IV. Petton IV was tense in the pressure but
Zacher just stayed his own game all the way to the end. Petton finished
up third. Fourth went to Chris Campos and fifth to Byron Kukla.
Nick Armstrong (44E) lifting his front wheel on the Pro main start,
Kayl Kolkman (98), John Vanderlaan (12Y), Nick Gil (17E). Armstrong
commented in a post race interview that he lost momentum on the a start
due to the wheelie. Kolkman flies his Suzuki powered Wood framer into
turn one with the Pro main stampede behind him. Armstrong second and
frying the turf in second. Enerlon racer Vanderlaan riding with a bit
of an edge, reportedly makes contact with Armstrong while pushing his
way into second, Vanderlaan later apologized for the incident.
Kolkman (98) and Braap Shop Yamaha's Armstrong (44), into the back stretch around mid race of the Pro main. A
quarter way through the twenty lap main, Kolkman, Vanderlaan, and
Armstrong totally on the gas withsome of the best skillful and
excellent gamesmanship seen anywhere in Southern California racing, as
they barely have enough room to between them running first through
third respectively. Vanderlaan makes a bottom pass and a drag race is
on, and the lead is his as we move into lap seven. With five wins under
his hot plate, Vanderlaan knows the recipe for winning and zones out of
any threat as he starts to pull away. Kolkman in second and Armstrong
at full thrust in third.
NIck Gil (17E). has the advantage over James Ott (12E), in the quest for fourth, as he looks ahead to the battles up front.
Vanderlaan has built a ten bike length lead by the midway mark of the
Pro main. Kolkman and Armstrong remain battle strong, powering out of
each turn within two bike lengths of each other in second and third
Vanderlaan, with the after burners on for his sixth SCFTA Pro main win of the season.
James Ott (12E) and Gil (17E) exchange blows for the fourth spot, as
Vanderlaan rails it home for his sixth win of the season. Kolkman,
despite a constant barrage of attacks by Armstrong, is able to keep his
second intact and Armstrong still fighting to the end in third. Gil
finally secures the fourth position for good as the young James Ott
checks in at fifth.
Vanderlaan doing his sixth SCFTA Pro main victory lap of the year, stay
tuned, the 2015 SCFTA Pro winner still has more in store. Vanderlaan
would like to thank Southland Racing, Drew Massa Transportation, Amaro
Farms, Mitas Tires, SCFTA and Twin Racing.
Round eight, August 6, as we prepare to close out two-thirds of the
season. Please go to SCFTAracing.com for official results, schedule and
2016 SCFTA ROUND 7 RESULTS:
50cc 4-STRK BEG: 1. Kristian Daniel Jr.; 2. Owen Williams; 3. Kensei Matsudaira.
50cc 2-STRK BEG: 1. Drake Conner; 2. Kensei Matsudaira.
65-70cc 2-STRK BEG: 1. Rachel Schnakenberg.
65-70cc 2-STRK AMAT: 1. Colin Petton.
65-70cc 4-STRK BEG: 1. Kristian Daniel Jr.; 2. Jasper Heathfield; 3. Owen Williams.
65-70cc OPN: 1. Ryder DiFrancesco; 2. Travis Horn; 3. Jasper Heathfield; 4. Colin Petton.
85cc 2-STRK NOV: 1. Conner Hickerson.
85-100cc 4-STRK NOV: 1. Zack Earwood; 2. Jacob Cascio; 3. Conner Hickerson; 4. Travis Horn.
85cc 2-STRK AMAT: 1. Travis Petton IV; 2. Carson Mumford; 3. Tanner Richey; 4. Frank Flores.
85cc OPN: 1. Travis Petton IV: 2. Conner Hickerson; 3. Frank Flores; 4. Tanner Richey.
4-STRK: 1. Brad Rudy; 2. Zack Earwood; 3. Marc Heathfield; 4. James Rust; 5. John Girdler.
250cc YOUTH OPN: 1. Travis Petton IV; 2. Grant Holmes; 3. Jacob Cascio; 4. Alyssa Flores.
WMN PWDRPF: 1. Jaycee Jones; 2. Alyssa Flores; 3. Monica Gil; 4. Rebecca Drown.
OPN BEG: 1. Barney Stern.
OPN NOV: 1. Nick Garcia; 2. Chris Osborn; 3. Matt Ott; 4. Arnie Fry; 5. Justin Simons; 6. Alyssa Flores; 7. Monic Gil.
OPN UNCLAS: 1. Kayl Kolkman; 2. Clayton Williams; 3. Natthew Zacher; 4. James Ott; 5. Evan Markus;
6. LJ Gronek; 7. Byron Kukla; 8. Ryan Reed; 9. Matt Foster; 10. Justin Simons; 11. Jaycee Jones.
OPN AMAT: 1. LJ Gronek; 2. Evan Markus; 3. Jaycee Jones.
OPN EXP: 1. Clayton Williams; 2. Matthew Zacher; 3. Travis Petton IV; 4. Chris Campos; 5. Byron Kukla; 6. Jacob Cascio; 7. Grant Holmes; 8. Joel Kath.
PRO: 1. John Vanderlaan; 2. Kayl Kolkman; 3. Nick Armstrong; 4. Nick Gil; 5. James Ott; 6. Colt Foster; 7. Paul Ott.
VET +35 AMAT: 1. Ryan Reed; 2. Chris Anders; 3. Robert Stettler.
VET +35 EXP: 1. Jim Rosa; 2. Paul Ott; 3. Robert BUsh; 4. Jon Nunes; 5. Kevin Jordan; 6. Chris Campos; 7. Joel Kath.
SR VET +50 NOV: 1. Chris Osborn; 2. Dwayne Locke; 3. Don Leib; 4. Barney Stern; 5. John Farmer.
SR VET +50 AMAT: 1. Robert Stettler; 2. Corey Bauman; 3. Ken Shilling; 4. Arnie Fry.
SR VET +50 EXP: 1. Joe Steffen; 2. John Dupree; 3. Brad Rudy.
SUP SR +60 AMAT/NOV: 1. Bill Wright; 2. Paul Claybaugh; 3. Mike Brooks; 4. Gary Lane; 5. Greg Powell.
SUP SR +60 EXP: 1. Jim Wood; 2. Ron Moore; 3. Dan Kane; 4. Steve Kukla.
PREM SR +70: 1. Ron Moore; 2. Mike Brooks; 3. Gary Lane; 4. Allan Girdler.
BMBR NOV: 1.Dwayne Locke; 2. John Farmer.
BMBR AMAT: 1. Ken Shilling; 2. Paul Claybaugh.
BMBR EXP: 1. Joe Steffen; 2. John Dupree.