Faces at the Races | Many Days in the Dirt Down South

By Billy Rainford

It took me a while to find some time to sit down and work on this, but here’s our ‘Faces at the Races‘ column that will cover my busy trip south in what I’m calling my ‘Many Days in the Dirt Down South‘ (Don’t @ me!) edition. It’s my often sarcastic look at the people at the races off the track. Thanks for looking.

I have to start this one with a big thank you to Alex and Brendan for letting me crash at their place in Palm Coast, Florida, again this winter. It’s always such a great visit with these two. And it really helps the comedy level that he sounds like the Jerky Boys without even trying.
It was cool to see Mitch Cooke at the Money Moto Showdown at Pax Trax not far from the house. Even though his day didn’t go the way he wanted, he was still all smiles.
Of course he was smiling, he had his family down south with him.
The numbers for the race weren’t what the gang had hoped for, but now that people see how legit and lucrative it was for riders, I think it should continue to grow in years to come.
There’s a good story in here somewhere but I can’t really remember what it is. I know Mitchell Harrison is involved somehow though!
Next up was Amateur Arenacross at the Ocean Centre in Daytona Beach. We only had 2 Canadians riding, but these 3 kids were ripping and you should probably remember their names.
The following night it was Pro Arenacross time. Kyle ‘Slingblade’ Peters was leading the points. (I’m sorry, Kyle, it was dark in there and I just saw the face I caught as I was posting this.
#148 Justin Rodbell was giving AX a go too.
And you just never know where Mike Alessi will pop up these days. He’s hitting different racing series and seems to be really happy.
I like this kid. #4 Izaiah Clark is his name and he got his first Main win while I was there.
We’re going to see one of these Mikes in Canada this summer. It’s the one who is an engineer in his real life.
I was walking down the stairs and could have sworn I saw Mitch Amyotte walking up. Then I saw Bennet. They were in town for a buddy’s stag. Oh, to be a fly on those walls!
The Tin Man, Wes Kain, introducing some riders to the crowd.
Our old friend Chase Marquier got himself on the podium that night.
He had Canadian Craig Randell helping him out for the night.
And Crockett Myers got his first win. It was a very popular win, too. People love this kid. I remember watching him come up through the amateur ranks.
Because of Izaiah’s win, he had to wrestle his mechanic on the start straight. It was some sort of wager.
And Kevin Tyler was in town still looking for a 450 rider. I have a LOT of photos of KT shaking hands with riders, dating back to around 2012. That’s him with #200 Ryan Breece. No, you can’t draw any conclusions here.
I have to throw another one of Wes in here.
It was great to see Kourtney Lloyd in Florida hanging out with Kevin Tyler and a few others.
Some of the FXR brass. That’s Brad, Milt, and Andy taking in some AX action.
The following day it was the Daytona Supercross. I think that’s Josh Hill showing his brother Justin Hill Tyler Villopoto’s whip video from River Glade…
I kept running into Mike Haist from Factory Connection every time I turned around, too.
These 2 youngsters still need to work on their gun-slinger look but Ben Graves from Club MX has it dialled.
It’s been a while since I’ve seen this many Jefferys in one place!
And look at these two guys hanging out! Alec “Hell Ya” Belyea and Brad Nemeth are a couple Canadian beauties.
That’s Kyle Snelgrove with Wyatt Kerr who is back on a bike and looking good. He got hurt in Calgary last year and is looking for some redemption.
The PRMX guys walking the track. That’s Canadian #138 Dylan Rempel on the right racing Futures.
That’s Jeff ‘Kardy’ Kardas doing his best ‘Merica stance.
It was my first look at at Canadian CREO KTM rider #221 Tyler Gibbs.
Oops, photos out of order…
Is #2 Cooper Webb the only rider left who can touch Jett this winter?
“So this is what it looks like from up here, eh #67 Benny Bloss?”
Look at that wingspan! He slapped hands with riders over in the stands with his right hand when he let go of the throttle. I just didn’t get a shot. 😉
Hunter Yoder working the social media video duties.

If you think you’re going to impress either of these guys with your racing or training knowledge, you have another thing coming.
It was good to see Marvin Musquin back at the races (not racing). I remember taking the photos of his SX training crash at Hemet last winter. As he left the track I remember thinking, “Is that the last we’re going to see of Marv?”
I’m also bumping into Jimmy Decotis a lot lately. I dare you to go up to him and tell him to watch out for the motorcyles coming up from behind him… (private joke, but do it!)
That’s Brennan Schofield helping out #62 Klark Robbins who took home the 250 B title.
That face should also be familiar to you. He raced up in a Canada a few years back. That’s #296 Ryder Floyd.
And other than being a dad, I don’t think #981 Austin Politelli has aged a day in years!
Nice pit presence by the Partzilla PRMX team.
And that’s Mike Parliament from MP1 Suspension helping #964 Nick Thury. Mike has since returned to Ontario to get going with his upcoming busy season.
#208 is Logan Leitzel. He made his first-ever night show the following week in Birmingham.
Classic shot of Gibby and his guy, Sean Banman.
The Lawrence brothers ready to hit the track.
Canadian #800 Preston Masciangelo was on the track in Supercross Futures.
As was our California buddy, #12 Parker Ross.
That’s #166 Casey Cochran ready for SX Futures.
Craig kept showing up ready to turn some T handles. Here he is helping out #824 Carter Stephenson.
Cade Clason on stage telling stories with Kevin Kelley during a break in the action.
Yep, I think I’d double check his ticket to make sure he wasn’t trying to pull a fast one. Haha. I’ve got a new Scott Foil for you to take a look at when you’re ready, #557 Chris Bruno.
It was a who’s who of Canadian Moto as I stood just outside the PRMX pits Saturday evening. That’s Marco Dube hanging out with the guys from RP Race Performance.
Alex and Brendan again! And that’s actually Ashley Fiolek’s little bro on the left. Nice.
Mike with Chris and Bernadette Pomeroy also hanging out in the Hot Corner.
#573 Chris Blackmer kept showing up at the races down there too.
Brendan with sloppy Captain America.
Look who else showed up at the corner! That’s Dylan and Jade Wright, obviously.
And I’m not one to gossip, but that looks an awful lot like #18 Hannah Cole hanging out with #33 Tanner Scott and Jim Scott. Hmm…

I never seem to use these opening ceremony photos, so here are a few.

It has to be a little unnerving knowing the fans just aren’t going to cheer for you all that loudly when you get introduced.
#94 Kenny Roczen always gets a top 3 ovation from the crowd.
It’ll be interesting to see if/what changes are made for 2025 after the fans rushed the track before #21 Jason Anderson had even crossed the line. It screams insurance situation.
#7 Aaron Plessinger gets huge cheers whenever he comes out.
But I would say #3 Eli Tomac consistently gets the biggest cheers from the fans.
#300 Drew Adams getting it done in Daytona.
Only 1 Monster Girl seemed to know which was the most important camera…
There’s Jimmy again, but this time he’s got his Canadian wife, Jamie Routley, with him.
Tender moment between #63 Cameron McAdoo and Maddie.
I didn’t know Logan and #43 Seth Hammaker were “boys,” but I guess they are.
This one is for Rick Bradshaw and Andy Bokma.
I wouldn’t be against having Denny Stephenson in a booth doing some announcing again.
Then on Sunday it was time to head over to Palatka, Florida, for some GNCC Racing action.
Canadian #550 Shelby Turner didn’t win this week but she did at the next round!
Shelby with long-time supporter Andy WHite from FXR.
#801 Guy Giroux raced in the morning and gave #5 Tyler Medaglia a few tips heading into his afternoon race.
And #586 is Benjamin Blouin from Kimpex also getting some pointers from Guy.
The Girouxs posing in their pits before the Pro races started.
That’s my old buddy Brian Tipton. He’s a mechanic and used to actually rent a room off Brendan in Palm Coast.
T-Dags getting ready to go out and get 3rd in the XC2 Pro class.
Tyler’s mechanic Jeff and his lovely wife enjoying some dry time before the torrential rain started.
That’s Mikey Waynes thanking the land owner and giving him a plaque as a token.
I’m sorry, guy on the right, I’m just trying to do my job!
Someone has been hitting the gym…hard!
Did it rain? Yes, yes it did…
Hey, Talon Medaglia, why don’t you walk over to that huge puddle and…what the heck ARE you doing???
Canadians Kevin Dupuis and Tyler comparing notes after the checkered flag. That reminds me, I have a photo of Kevin pulling a huge holeshot at this race I haven’t posted yet!
Tyler and Jeff saying, “Hey, Derek Schuster, we’re gonna need another bike…” without moving their lips.
That’s Gabriele Mazzarolo. He like OWNS Alpinestars! Somehow, he managed to wear white and not get a spec of dirt on him. How did he do that?!
Then on Monday it was the RCSX back at Daytona. Remember the name Shanon Tarnow. This little guy rips.
#27 Alek Guadagno didn’t have the races he wanted but he’s got the speed to compete with these kids. His older brother, #312 Izack Guadagno crashed and hurt his shoulder.
The OGs Moto origin story is a good one. That’s Canadian owner Kyle Snelgrove prepping the gate for Nathan Snelgrove who didn’t pick better that 31 for gate choice and had to try from the outside every time. That’s the first turn way over there on the left! Good luck.
#48 Jayden Riley is another Canadian amateur rider on the rise. Keep an eye on his results as he moves up to the big bike this year.
I bumped into Char Munro from BC in Florida for holidays and some racing.
Wow, how corny would it be of me to try for a “Walk Like an Egyptian” joke with Daniel Blair here. That’s as close to that as I’m going.
Kyle and Nate yucking it up on the outside.
All business.
I really enjoy watching Mason Murdy ride, too.

Some people just can’t handle Bike Week:

That’s my buddy, Greg Brotman, from RadMX doing his thing. Gnarly…

From there I headed over to WW Ranch, Dreamland, and then GPF.

Another day in the office for WLTN Kawasaki Team Manager Steve Simms.
#84 Tanner Ward getting the 450 where he wants it for the season. I shot a lot of video while I was there and you can find all those over on our YouTube channel.
#975 Corentin Dietz is back in action. Watch for him this season.
Getting #14 Quinn Amyotte ready for the rest of winter.
The two Tanners hitting the Zwift after a day of riding.
#520 Ryker Kaye’s pits. I didn’t see him on the bike but I did play him and the other youngsters on the basketball court. #oldguysrule
Tanner’s pits.
RP Race Performance is making a push in moto and actually sponsor our weekly Frid’EH Update column. They’re based out of Quebec.
Steve was heading home and then coming back for some suspension testing with the team.
Josh Woods putting a group through their paces on the MX track.
The Natzkes are back. Josiah should add some spice to the 450 class this summer.

Then it was northwest to the next round of Supercross in Birmingham, Alabama. I had my wipers on high for at least 2 hours of the drive. I was thinking it may be cancelled but then it was perfect!

That’s Canadian Scott Yargeau. He runs the Moto Now blog and Instagram page.
Joe Kremkow happily doing what he loves.
Mike Parliamant with #109 Aaron Tanti’s bike for his first appearance.
I joked with CREO KTM owner Jeff Crutcher that someone should get Tyler a straw. Then he told me a story about how Gibby likes to take little splashes of water before he races. Like many riders, Tyler has a long list of oddities. I can laugh because my list was long and weird until one day I decided to stop doing any of them, cold turkey. It felt great!
Who has more 250 races under their belts, Jeremy Martin or Martin Davalos?
Anyone watch gravel event vlogs? Is it just me or does Seth look like he could be Jeremiah Bishop’s kid?
Maddie live streaming the podium for Cameron’s mom.
I saw a funny comment on the IG post about Chase Sexton having issues getting used to the steel frame of the KTM. It just said, “Kenny is doing fine and he’s on a Suzuki… from 2014!” Or something like that. Not bad.
The question is, will we see the PRMX guys up here in Canada this summer? It seems to depend on who you ask.
“Just when I thought you couldn’t be any dumber…”
Kevin Moranz was back at the track but not on the gate just yet.
“Hey, what about me?!” OK…CLICK!
Oh, Gibby…
Sorry, Chase, I didn’t mean to make this weird.
You always need to keep one eye on #90 Hardy Munoz out there.
Anyone else get the feeling we’re going to see an awful lot more of this?
We snuck in a breakfast over in Flagler Beach before I went for a mountain bike ride with Jeff Hines at Graham Swamp. It was my first ride on the new Scott Spark…and it was glorious!
OK, everyone, break’s over, back to work. You too, Caden Lee. Thanks for taking a look and we’ll “See you at the races...”