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TOPIC: Weekend at the Races

Weekend at the Races 22 Aug 2018 09:04 #61

  • mdscott
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KennyV wrote: My dream car is a white 426 hemi Challenger, just like the one in Vanishing Point!
Great pictures thanks much!


Going to work I used to walk by a show room and see a 71 Chalenger 426 hemi with the hood up. :OnFire

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Thanks Mark
Roseville, Ca.

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Weekend at the Races 15 Sep 2018 10:00 #62

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B.C. wrote: Hi Tom, That's an impressive win streak for Henry. What other bikes has he won this race with? Has he won any other races? TIA


This was only the second year in the modern period that the top class has run twin cylinder bikes at Peoria. Henry won both times on a Kawasaki. He has also won at Peoria on single cylinder Hondas and Kawasakis. He has won at other tracks in a pro career that dates to 2003. Most of his success has been on singles, but he is a frequent top five finisher on twins, and has had four other podium finishes this year besides his win at Peoria, all on twins. He is currently second in season points with two races left to go. That's the best outcome that he can hope for. The season championship was locked up by Jared Mees at the Springfield Mile on Labor Day weekend.
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Weekend at the Races 15 Sep 2018 10:12 #63

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Great stuff Tom, thanks for sharing

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Weekend at the Races 15 Sep 2018 19:49 #64

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This year was the 100th running of the Springfield Mile, an iconic event held at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. This is one of my favorite events. It's a homecoming of sorts, the one race each year that old racers and longtime fans make every effort to attend. There are parties, a charity golf tournament, racing on two different tracks at the fairgrounds, and a big campout on site.

The weekend starts on Friday with a golf outing that benefits the AMA Pro Rookies Class of '79 and Friends charity for injured riders. This group was started by several riders who had their pro dirt track rookie season back in 1979 and became lifelong friends. Some went on to great fame. Wayne Rainey is a three-time world road racing champion. Scott Parker is a nine-time pro dirt track champion. All are still involved in racing in different ways and a couple of them run the charity. It has helped many injured racers.

The golf outing raises money for the charity by pairing invited racers and paying fans in a just-for-fun scramble. I played with two hilarious racers from Wisconsin, Jesse Jannisch and Morgen Mischler. Both are race winners. Jesse's team owner, Jerry Stinchfield, filled out our foursome. Jerry owns a commercial roofing company in Dallas. He supports several riders. When it was over the whole group moved to a street party in downtown Springfield where prizes were awarded. We did not win, but it was still loads of fun.

In the first photo below, we are (L-R), Jesse, Morgen, Red (Jesse's fiancée), Jerry, and me. The second photo shows Morgen and Jesse as they consider trying a trick shot. They finally decided against doing it. The third photo shows those two again, plus (from center, L-R) racers Sam Halbert, Tanner Dean, and Oliver Brindley. Sam and Tanner are from Washington State and I've known them for a long time. Sam is an accomplished twins class racer. Tanner has won three pro races. Oliver came here from England a year ago to race the pro flat track series. He's been on the podium but is still looking for his first win. Those last two guys are only 18 and 19 years old, BTW.

The mile track at this fairground is big. The corners are really broad and you don't let off the gas much at all. The organizers decided a few years ago that the single cylinder bikes just can't take the stress, so their race is run on Saturday in a small arena next to the bigger track. The Springfield Short Track is one of my favorite places to take photos. I love the color of the soil and the backgrounds, and the racing surface is elevated a bit from the surrounding apron so the camera shots look very low. The race was won by Dan Bromley (62), a rider from Pennsylvania. He let his girlfriend take the driver's seat on his victory lap. Second place went to my golf partner, Jesse (132). My other golf partner, Morgen (69), finished sixth after a heat race crash made him start from the rear. Morgen was one of the top qualifiers. Oliver (24) finished fifth. Tanner (38) had a bad night and ended up in 13th place.

In the last pic, riders fly through turn one during a qualifying race.

















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Last Edit: by Tom S..

Weekend at the Races 15 Sep 2018 20:59 #65

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Sunday of Labor Day weekend means mile dirt track racing in Springfield, Illinois. As I mentioned above, this was the 100th running of the event. This race is the oldest in the series. It runs entirely in daylight hours, which is unusual. Most of these events start around 1:00pm and finish around 10, but this track has no lights. It's also unusual in that the shape of the track, with four distinct corners, makes it much faster than most other mile tracks. Riders barely let off the gas in the turns. It's no exaggeration when they say the bikes hit 130mph+ on the straights here.

This race was important because it was likely that current champ Jared Mees would clinch his fifth season championship, even if he didn't win. He only needed to place well. In a photo finish, Mees (1) crossed the finish line just 0.013 seconds (less than a bike length) behind Bryan Smith (4), his Indian factory team mate, to take second place in the race and lock up the championship. Springfield is famous for the draft passes enabled by the high speeds here. Smith, Mees and the other front runners ducked in and out of the draft, causing multiple lead changes each lap. It's really something to see. Jeffrey Carver Jr. (23) finished third. All three were on Indian Scout FTR 750s.

Because of the high speeds and the stress that places on equipment, the series' junior class for single cylinder bikes does not race on this track. Their race is held the day before on a smaller track located at the same fairgrounds. But because the organizers like to have two classes to fill out the day, at this venue they run a support class for singles riders on slightly de-tuned twin cylinder machines. This provides a younger rider the chance to try a big bike in a professional setting as he or she prepares to move up to the premier class. This year's race was won by Michael Inderbitzin (54), a young rider from California. Although other brands are allowed, everyone in the field was riding a Kawasaki.

My golfing partners from the day before, Morgen and Jesse, also rode in the support class. I think the shiny mag wheels on Morgen's bike (69) look cool in the photo below.

I spotted a vintage Yamaha Enduro in the Springfield pits. Notice how the front brake lever has been removed for that cool flat tracker look.









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Last Edit: by Tom S..

Weekend at the Races 16 Sep 2018 08:38 #66

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One week after the race in Illinois, the American Flat Track series moved to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, for the Williams Grove Half-Mile. This clay track mostly hosts car races, so there are lots of big fences and steel guard rails. The place has been in business for many years. Heavy rain the day before turned the place into a mud hole on race day. The organizers worked very hard to dry the track out, and cars and trucks ran what seemed like a thousand laps to pack down the surface. It worked, too. The rain stayed away all day and the event ran well and concluded minutes before another storm moved in.

Two brothers from California, Briar (14) and Bronson (37) Bauman, went 1-2 in the premier twin cylinder class, followed by new season champion Jared Mees (1). My friend Tanner Dean (38), from Tacoma, Wash., redeemed his poor showing at Springfield by winning the single cylinder class. Second place went to PA rider Shayna Texter (52), one of two female racers in the series, and the third spot was picked up by Morgen Mischler (69), my golfing partner from the prior weekend. Dan Bromley (62) another PA rider and last week's winner, finished seventh overall, which was good enough to claim the class season championship.

There is a break of two weekends before the circus moves to Minneapolis, Minn., and then on to Newark, N.J., for the final two races of the season.





















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Weekend at the Races 16 Sep 2018 08:52 #67

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Thanks once again for the great pics and stories Tom!
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1963 YG1-T, 1965 MG1-T, Allstate 250, 1970 CT1b, 1971 R5, 1973 AT3MX, 1974 TS400L, 1975 RD350, 1976 DT175C, 1976 Husqvarna 250CR, 1981 DT175G, 1988 DT50, 1990 "Super" DT50, 1991 RT180, 2017 XT250

Weekend at the Races 16 Sep 2018 09:26 #68

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I hadn't been to Pennsylvania since I was about eleven years old, so I added a couple of days to the trip to look around a little. Friday before the race I drove up to Philadelphia to see Independence Hall and other sights. I also explored the Antique Automobile Club of America's museum in Hershey, and the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing, in Mechanicsburg.

The AACA museum has wonderful dioramas of period settings where the cars are displayed. The current focus is on Ford Mustangs and there were many well prepared and unusual examples. There is also a nice Tucker exhibit. Great story, but really unattractive cars, IMO. The Ferrari replica from Ferris Bueller's Day Off was also neat to see.

The EMMR museum is close by the Willow Grove race track, where I attended the motorcycle race on Saturday. This museum focuses heavily on the history of that place, and more generally on racing all over the east coast. There are many deluxe cars. Most are in as-raced, and even as-crashed condition. There is stuff on every wall and in every corner. This is not a big museum, but it would take at least a couple of days to really see it all. No vintage Yamaha Enduros, but they do have a TZ750 with Daytona 200 history, and a championship-winning 1936 Indian hillclimber.



















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Last Edit: by Tom S..

Weekend at the Races 22 Sep 2018 21:04 #69

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Oh, snap! I accidentally deleted the Smug Mug gallery that held most of the photos shown here and there's no getting it back. Such are the challenges of the digital age, I suppose. The good news is that I still have the original images saved on multiple offline backups, so nothing was truly lost. Almost everything that was posted here is still visible on my FB racing page, Northwest Track Shots.

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Weekend at the Races 11 Oct 2018 09:13 #70

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Last week I attended the AFT season finale here in East Rutherford NJ at the Meadowlands Mile. The twins were great but the singles were even more competive.
If you get a chance to see these riders compete near you don't miss it!
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