Faces at the Races | Canada AX Tour | Barrie Round 2
By Billy Rainford
Photos by Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford
We were 45 minutes north of Toronto at the Molson Centre for round 2 of the 2016 Canadian National Arenacross Championships this past Saturday. After some close racing the previous week in Sarnia, we were treated to more of the same in Barrie. However, ‘Faces at the Races’ isn’t about what happened on the track. No, this is about anything and everything that takes place before and after the riders hit the track.
Here’s a look at the people who make these events as much fun as they are. For this one, try reading the silly captions in the ‘Ozzie Man Reviews‘ voice (without the f-bombs, of course) and see it makes them funnier…
While I was up in the media booth getting set to do the Valvoline AX Tour LIVE broadcast, I shot a couple as the riders were getting introduced to the crowd. #2 Colton Facciotti actually did some goon riding for them and you KNOW that means he’s probably in for a good night.
#101 Chris Blose says hello to the crowd to get the night show rolling.
#5 Brock Leitner comes out through the smoke show.
Kyle Swanson tucks his hair into his Texas hat to look like it’s ‘business time.’
This little fella was pumped to get the chance to sit on the Pros’ bikes during the pit party, which went over really well.
That’s the elusive ‘MX Willy’ from retweet fame. Great to see you, Greg. Not joking, he retweeted something as I was typing this! Thanks for the support!
Jeff Ward checks to see if his Instagram page has hit double digits…
We aren’t sure what’s going on with Austin Watling’s lid these days.
That’s Julien from PRMX. He loves us, despite what his face says.
Pit Party time!
One thumb up from Brock.
The ‘Fab 3’ hanging out together.
Did you know both these guys competed in the Barrel Man Half Ironman in Niagara Falls in September? Marco actually finished 2nd in his age group. Don’t worry, he’s still way off my times…but for how long?!
Tanner Ward is unscrewing a bolt on Marco’s bike with his right knee.
If your name ends in ‘Thompson,’ grab a shovel! Don’t be fooled, Chris Morgan is just looking for Kyle to hand him his.
Chris Pomeroy could still top 10 a Pro AX…if it were 3 laps…
That’s Jake McKinney who came up to race this round.
He either just bit into a lemon or did a shot of Tequila.
#471 getting ready to go out and podium the Clash for Cash.
#396 Steven Anderson is loving his Pro racing, so far.
That’s John Roney from Xtreme Toys in London.
Kyle Swanson is not a crook (Google it, Bowler!)
#8 Kyle Keast showed up to race but said he was “on the ground 6 times!”
I counted 7…
Special treatment when you’re related to the head referee?
I think it’s Shania Twain’s ex, Mutt Lange (Google that too, Bowker!).
Thinking about how he can improve his T1 times. It’s a tri geek thing…
Stephen Watling paying close attention during the riders’ meeting.
Remember the movie ‘Falling Down?’ Same glasses so don’t upset this guy.
“Did he just say the board will go sideways and THEN there’s 1-5 seconds or…Who cares, as long as contact is allowed between me and #46 and 424!”
I wish names were spelled phonetically in the program when I’m announcing!
Marco has already headed south to get ready for the Mini O’s next month. See you there!
And I’ve heard Westen has gone with him.
Did anyone tell Wes he took his credit card?
#77 Justin Roney at riders’ meeting.
These meetings haven’t changed since I was racing! I just had to be clear what the blue flag meant, something Colton really doesn’t need to worry about.
Justin Petker keeps Colton’s second bike ready for practice.
Karl Normand’s night started out well, but his start straight crash with Colton caused a red flag and took him out of the restart.
“No, you can’t line up for the restart, Karl.”
“Did I put the throttle on the wrong side?”
Donk is all smiles when he’s got a bike to work on.
I bet neither of these two know that I used to race Lino Zecca on a weekly basis, back in the day.
Ready for little bike action.
Getting himself psyched up before the gate drops. Kids at school have no idea how cool his Saturday was!
Jim Scott watching one or both of his kids on the track.
These three are pretty much staples on the podium so far this year.
Cale Foster never seems to like getting his photo taken. Now I get it…
Are these two married or something?!
Steven Mages gets his time in front of the crowd with Ryan Gauld on the podium as Julia…helps?
Which rider is going to hit every round and take this title, is the question.
Yes, it’s out of focus, but it’s funny so here it is.
Smile, Chloe, people are looking!
OK, you don’t have to smile THIS hard.
Soft focus on this extreme close-up of Westen Wrozyna.
“I’ve had it up to about here with you!”
Removing a rock or adding one?
I got nothing! Anyone?
Colton always looks like he’s one breath away from saying something sarcastic, no?
“OK, can I just get a relaxed, candid shot of you guys?”
If all goes according to plan, you’ll be seeing an awful lot more of these two guys!
Rockstar Gals posing for the crowd.
Money being raised to help Liam Parsons keep riding as he battles type B leukemia.
Taylor Ciampichini is a local and had lots of friends in the Barrie crowd.
The namesake himself, Chris Bondi.
We now know where the new dents in Jeff’s truck came from.
People are told at an early age not to make eye contact with McConkey…
Don’t go acting like it’s cold in Canada. You’re from OHIO!
Practicing his podium pose.
That’s why Kyle didn’t have a shovel in his hands, he was in the little dozer.
Zack Zager was feeling a little ‘punchy’ as he left the track.
Wanna know who’s got a nice Scott bicycle? This guy!
The Leitners probably just slept in their own beds for the first time in a while last night.
Jetwerx head honcho, Justin Thompson, chatting with Colton before he hits the track.
Marco Cannella set to grab 5th in the Clash.
Riders aren’t the only ones who feel the pre-race nerves.
Hey, Duncan MacLeod, nobody goes to Starbucks for water!
Were you racing arenacross in front of a crowd when you were this age?
The Andersons ready to hit the track.
New Facebook profile photo?
Kelcey Jones had a scary moment with the boards on Saturday. Luckily, she was OK.
It was impossible to walk past Maggie without saying hello.
No racing yet for young Ayrton Pomeroy.
Lemme dig out an old photo of Lino Zecca…
That’s him, #221, on the inside of #128 Al Strickert at Hully Gully in 1983. You heard me… Haha The guy on the #145 looks like the Halloween skeleton helmet rider set up in Mad Skills MX! Yes, it’s me.
#79 Cameron Wrozyna hanging out in the pits.
Marco trying to avoid Jeff’s lens.
What did he say in that ‘Tailgating’ video?!
Ohhhh, it was “Flocka.” That was a close one! That’s Mikey Walker from New Era hats.
I couldn’t have been the only one who thought it was funny when they yelled out who was in what practice session and said, “Facciotti…Blose…”
Get it, Donk?
Rockstar…rockstars. Thanks for reading and we’ll see you all at the next round of racing in Penticton, BC!