2019 Mini O’s | Tuesday | SX Day 2
By Billy Rainford
Day 2 of competition started out like Day 1, the fog was still sitting in the hills but the sun was working hard to burn it off. They made it through all 63 races on Monday, so Tuesday started off with a bunch of LCQ races to determine the finals for the Supercross portion of the week.
We don’t have a huge number of Canadians racing this year, and that’s unfortunate. Also, top amateur prospect Jeremy McKie was supposed to be here, representing his new Fox Racing Canada sponsorship, but they had some troubles with their motorhome and weren’t able to make it here for the racing.
Also, #409 Brendan Schofield from out east crashed pretty hard on the first lap of one of his races yesterday and the result is a broken humerus. They went to get checked out and it was determined he would need surgery to repair it properly. The family decided to wait until the get back home to get that done. Brendan actually wants to stay here and watch the rest of the week’s racing, anyway.
#161 Justin Burge, also from out east, was in the Supermini 1 LCQ this morning and got out to a good start and sat in 3rd place. The top 4 move on to the final and he had 4th and 5th breathing down his neck for the entire moto.
He looked over his shoulder a few times, but kept his cool and punched his ticket to the main, taking 3rd place.
I missed #19 Brett Higdon’s LCQ this morning but he was way on the outside of the gate and wasn’t able to make it to the main. He’s coming off a wrist injury and was just happy to be at the races again.
The PEI rider decide whether or not to sign up for the MX portion of the week that starts with practice on Wednesday.
I had some great conversations with some people who were fascinated to watch some of the moto parents’ “performances.” If you want to take the fun out of riding dirt bikes (that doesn’t even sound possible) go ahead and keep screaming at your child when they don’t do what you think you would have done if you were behind the bars. *Eye roll
#157 Ryder Snelgrove was out in his 50cc LCQ. The gate was absolutely full for this one. It’s always a great sign for the health of our sport when the youngerst classes have a lot of riders, so this was good to see.
He lined up halfway on the inside of the gate and came around the first turn in around 9th place. He held it pinned and had his feet flying off the pegs, but he didn’t care!
He was 10th on lap 2 but then hit a downed rider on the next lap and went flying over the bars.
He sat pretty still for a while as we all waited for him to hop to his feet. Eventually, the medics checked him over and he got back on his bike and headed for the checkered flag. I got the whole thing with my video camera. He didn’t qualify for that main, but it was great to see him get up and keep going.
#494 Thomas Rendall headed out for his Schoolboy 1 LQC and lined up next to the dog house on the inside. He rounded the first turn in a fight for the holeshot and took 2nd place heading out of turn 2.
He looked good and took a nice 2nd place to move to that main.
When he crossed the line, he had to head directly to the starting gate for his 125 B/C LCQ which only had one moto between them.
He headed for that same gate inside the doghouse and rounded the first turn up in 2nd place and was looking good to move on.
Unfortunately, he had some troubles later in the lap because he came by for the 2nd lap back in 6th, with only the top 4 moving on.
He moved his way back up toward a transfer spot but ran out of time and crossed the checkered flag in 5th place, right on the rear wheel of the rider in 4th.
Youngest of the Canadians riders, #22 Weston Snelgrove, headed out to a full gate in the Pee Wee LCQ. There was a big pile up in the first turn that he navigated around beautifully.
He made a few passes, then cruised his way to the checkered flag, but not in a position high enough to make the full gate for the main.
Like I said, it’s a really good sign for our sport that this class had so many riders.
At this point, it was just after 10am and the sun had done its job. Jackets and track pants were removed and we headed into the rest of the week that was supposed to keep getting warmer.
As I type this, #31 Barry Carsten just cycled past, getting set to go to battle with #70 John Grewe…again! He seems to be just a bit off John’s pace these past couple seasons so I’ll watch for that in their mains today.
Now it was time to head to the Supercross main events.
The first final of the week was the 250 Pro Sport class. #67 Jesse Flock has been the guy to beat in the top amateur classes. He grabbed the holeshot and led from gate to flag.
250 B it was #147 Stuckey leading from this amazing first turn to the checkered flag.
#2 Sebastien Racine was up next in the 85 (12-13) Ltd. Main. He was 10th around the first turn while #27 Krystian Janik and #38 Haiden Deegan were out front.
When they came around on lap 2, Sebastien was up a couple places to 8th and then got himself into an amazing battle with #90 for a few laps before passing him to take 7th.
He made another pass on the last lap to get to 6th place and gave #90 the thumbs up after they both crossed the line. It was a great race and some nice sportsmanship was shown.
#25 Tristan Dares was up in 250 C. He got off to a terrible start and was way back early. You cannot claw your way through the C class down here. He rode hard and was always in a battle throughout the race.
The 85 (9-11) Ltd. Main may not have had any Canadians in it, but it’s definitely worth mentioning. #10 Alvin Hilian and #300 Drew Adams had an amazing battle, going wheel to wheel.
The Women’s main holeshot actually went to #172 Hannah Hodges on her 125 2-stroke, so that was pretty cool.
#30 Jordan Jarvis, just back from injury, made the pass on lap 1 and held on for the win ahead of #34 Tayler Allred.
On the 2nd lap, Hodges’s bike quit on her right as she passed the mechanics area. Her mechanic yelled out to someone that the gas was turned off. They tried to get it going again but couldn’t and so her race was finished. Too bad.
#22 Richard Krzemien and #557 Chris Bruno were up next in the 55+ class.
Richard was in 9th early and Chris was in 14th. These guys have been here every year for the past few.
As I was typing this at the van, I just missed another crazy finish between #43 Cullen Park and #411 Nick Romano. These guys have really gotten to know each other and I can’t wait to watch them on the MX track the rest of the week.
Park took the win and Romano went down at the end again and finished 4th.
The Supermini 1 main had Ness and Burge in it. Both riders were near the back of the pack early and were in great battles throughout the entire race. Like I said, there’s never anywhere to breathe, no matter what position you’re at here at the Min iO’s!
The battle at the front between #15 Gavin Towers and #75 Evan Ferry was amazing until Ferry messed up and Towers went on to the win.
Let’s just have a look at #3 and #24 in the 51 (4-6) main. These kids were absolutely hauling and soaring! Unfortunately, #24 messed up and dropped back, handing the win to #4.
#157 Ryder Snelgrove was up after that in the 51 (7-8) main. He didn’t get off to a good start and ended up way back in 35th on lap 2. Again, he was never alone out there and fought hard to the flag.
Schoolboy 2 main was the other race I mentioned a few paragraphs ago. Park and Romano traded the lead several times and had the crowd screaming from the fences.
Romano went off the track with a couple corners to go and came back onto the track in the lead. It wouldn’t matter because he slid out in the next corner and Park took the win. What a race!
Justin Burge headed out for the Mini Sr. Main but didn’t get the start he wanted and was back in 28th when they came around again for lap 2. Of course, he always had another rider to battle with.
In the 65 (7-9) Ltd. Main, #158 Nathan Snelgrove lined up halfway on the inside of the doghouse. He got out to a mid-pack start and then found himself battling up in 16th in this one. #40 and #960 Seth Dennis had a great battle at the front.
#421 Nick Zoratti was up after that in the 450 C Ltd. Main. He got there late and had last gate pick and so was on the far outside. They also put in a track maintenance break that left him sitting in the sun for almost an hour. I offered to hold his bike so he could go sit down in the shade, but he said he was fine.
When they finally dropped the gate on the fresh track, he swept around the outside in turn 1 but was well near the back of the pack.
He came around on lap 2 in around 20th place and then had a great 3-way battle to the flag.
Check out the first turn moves by #147 Stuckey in the 450 B Ltd. Main! He took the win.
Racine was out next in the 85 (12-13) class. He was mid-pack as they all rounded the first turn but made moves quickly.
When they came around for lap 2, he was already up into the top 7 as Deegan was out front with #66 Casey Cochran and #27 chasing.
Sebastien found himself in a 7-person fight for that 6th position! It was intense out there.
He rode well, and it would have been great to see him a get a good start in this one.
250 C Jr. (12-17) had #25 Tristan Dares in it. He didn’t get a great jup on his 2-stroke and came around in 16th place on lap 2. It was another intense race that saw him get shuffled back to 21st place in a huge battle.
The 250 A main was a really good one between #93 Gonzales, #67 Jesse Flock, and #73 Hardy Munos. Gonzales held on for the win.
Burge was back on the track for the Mini Sr. 2 (13-15) main. He got off to a mid-pack start and headed out onto lap 2 in 18th place.
With 2 laps to go, he in 17th place and then I lost track of him. He either fell and dropped back or made a couple passes to finish 15th.
Schoolboy 1 ended up being the final race of the day…almost.
#494 Thomas Rendall was in this one and got there through the LCQ earlier in the day. That route meant he got very late gate pick and ended up almost on the outside gate. He pushed it through the pack in the first turn as he swept around the outside and made a few passes.
It was after 5pm and the sun was starting to set. Rider #901 went down had as he completed the first lap. He was getting attended to and they decided to red flag the race. I overheard on an official’s walkie talkie that they were starting to get concerned about visibility as the sun shone directly into the riders’ eyes in certain sections.
It was decided that they would reset the gate and they’ll start with this main first thing Wednesday morning.
Thomas was back in around 30th place when this happened, so he’s probably OK with this decision.
As I was sitting on the tailgate with Reece Rendall at the end of the day, Tina Mistelbacher walked past and we got talking about how young #161 Ben Mistelbacher is doing.
He landed hard and did some damage to his wrist. It meant he sat out the SX portion of the week and they’re going to decide whether he lines up for the MX racing that will start with practice after the last few SX mains take place in the morning.
I think the plan is to ride the morning SX sight lap to see how he feels. They’ll give them a rain check for the MX portion of the racing if they decide he shouldn’t race. We’ll see what happens in the morning.
Reece, Thomas, and Sebastien are on their way over to this Starbucks in Tioga Village halfway between the track and Gainesville. It’s sort of become our official meeting place/office while we’re here for this event.
Right beside where I’m typing is the table where Jeff McConkey interviewed Jacqueline Ross for an episode of Tailgating a couple years ago.
Jacqueline and her dad, Joe Ross, made it out to the races today, and it was nice to see them and watch a few races together. Great to see you, guys. Oh, and thanks for the specialty donuts, Jacqueline. They were gone pretty quickly.