Site Lap: POSTPONED

Site Lap: POSTPONED

by:
TimeWednesday, April 26, 2017 | 4:50 PM

If you haven’t heard or read the news yet, the High Point ATVMX National (The ATV Stampede), has been rescheduled for May 19-21, 2017. It seems a little early to pull the trigger and postpone such an event, but the one thing you have to remember is that these are the same people that make you wait till the last possible second to do such a thing under normal circumstances. So for them to call the event so early in the week there must be a doggone good reason.

As much as an inconvenience it may be, I feel it may be a good time for a number of folks in the racing community. I personally like the racing a little later in the season at High Point anyways. I mean I have heard stories of racing at High Point in April in 6 inches of snow at ATVMX events many years ago. There is no snow in the forecast or cold temperatures but there are some underlying reasons to the decision.

Guess we will have to wait and see how Hetrick will do at his hometown race...
Guess we will have to wait and see how Hetrick will do at his hometown race... Ken Hill

The most obvious reason is the wet forecast we have for this weekend in Mt. Morris. You may say we have raced in the rain before and all your cliché’s as to why you should but the bottom line is that it is the best decision to make. We all know how hard it is to navigate High Point once the rain starts to fall. If you need a reminder or proof then watch last years Racer TV live stream from the event and it will tell you all you need to know. However that is not the reason in reality. 

The real reason I’m sure you can guess is all the fresh new changes to High Point with a new track design and completely new sections that at this point are still drying out from the weeks previous rains. As soft as things already are and the rains forecasted it would be a total waste of time, money and effort for all the racers to make their way there. I suppose what I am trying to convey is that no matter the opinions and rumors floating around, the best decision for everyone involved was made and I feel a bit of gratitude is owed to the organizers and promoters to ensure that the race would be rescheduled to May. 

The “Silver Lining” to all this is that this is an opportunity to do a few things you have been putting off. If you are fortunate enough to have good weather where you are could present some unrealized opportunities. I for one do not like change but have found that it often times presents us with situations we never thought about and are surprisingly some of the best times I have ever had. 

Can Parker Wewerka get another Pro-Am overall win at Ironman!?
Can Parker Wewerka get another Pro-Am overall win at Ironman!? Ken Hill

The ideas of doing something off schedule may really trouble some of you but I do take this time to challenge you and your family to do something you have wanted to do for a long time but never have the time because of certain situations and plans. You have no plans this weekend now so go with it! Enjoy this time and make the best memories you can. Maybe you can visit a local and see old friends you have not in a while. Maybe you can go see a family member you haven’t is some time. Or maybe a fishing trip or outing to just relax. And maybe you can just stay home and enjoy some quality family time and not spend a dime extra.

I challenge everyone reading this to make the best out of the time afforded you by the postponement. It may be the blessing you have been waiting on. I also ask that if you read this and take my advice that you share your off race experience with all of us here in Site Lap. You can message me via email or on Facebook. I would really like to read about all the things we can get into given a chance. 

Personally I am not sure where my weekend will lead but I can see a lot of yard work and general spring cleanup around my place topped off with a couple of nights of nice campfires and cooking over them. If the weather is crappy at my place then I will play a game or two of Rummy with my neighbor that needs a good old-fashioned butt whipping in a game of cards. I do know I will do my best to make the best out of it. One thing is though, I am not making any real plans and going to just go with the flow and enjoy whatever comes my way.

That’s about all the words of wisdom this old cat can bestow upon you. So whether you understand why or not, the race is rescheduled. Get over it and move on. We will see you at Ironman in two more weeks. Let’s check in with Gloop's Loop and with Ken “chilling’ like a villain this weekend” Hill. Till next time, God Bless Your Heart and All Your Vital Organs.

In The Loop with Gloop:

Josh Upperman liked the big jumps at Monster Mountain.
Josh Upperman liked the big jumps at Monster Mountain.
Brandon Hoag heads home after a long training season down south. 
Brandon Hoag heads home after a long training season down south. 

Keeping up with Ken Hill:

Well, when I woke up at 2 am to the news that High Point had been postponed I was like why? I mean they are 2 hours north of me by road and we have been non stop rain here but I really had not paid attention to the conditions there as the weather showed hot and sunny for this weekend so I decided maybe I should go back to bed and see if things had changed come first light. Why no they haven’t, it is still postponed and a clearer picture is developing of the why. First, the folks who run High Point were really looking forward to this weekend and were very excited to see how the big changes they have made would be accepted by the ATVMX riders. Those changes are probably the biggest reason behind the cautiousness that is being applied because of so much fresh dirt being moved around that any amount of rain would turn the place into a royal mess. Just look at last year to see how bad that place got and the dirt was hammered down so I can only imagine what it would be like if the rain does fall as predicted prior to the race weekend. If the changes had not been made I fully would expect a different decision and then the shoe would be on the other foot as many would complain that we shouldn’t be racing, motors will be destroyed blah blah blah. It is a no win deal for anyone.

Now for me, I don’t care although shooting a mud event is a crapshoot. Sure you always get some images that are cool but seriously, a few moto’s worth of pics and I could be back in the pits drinking beer and call it a day, as everyone looks the same. So from a photographer stand point, I am kind of happy not to have to shoot a mess but whatever, I go where they tell me and push the button regardless of what conditions are present, but it kills me to open up social media and read the non stop complaining and bashing. The only rider I can think of on a pro level that this helps is Jeffrey Rastrelli who had already informed the world he would be forced to sit the event out due to an injury sustained during practice, but other than that you would think this race was the breaking point for virtually every one including those that haven’t turned a wheel in dirt this season! We have been graced by fairly decent weather so far and I am sure we will catch a mudder before the season is out so take the weekend and relax, catch up on some work, maintenance, spend time with those you state you miss while traveling, hug your dog, go fishing hell I don’t know do something with the free time you are given!

We can't wait to get back to ATVMX Racin' and see the high-flying action!
We can't wait to get back to ATVMX Racin' and see the high-flying action! Ken Hill

Now back to business and that is taking a look at what is a pretty stout team that is fielding riders in a ton of classes. When I spoke with Robin Ford preseason, she had stated they were cutting back, offering some assistance to a few riders and the goal was taking it easy and hopefully have a stress free season. I will let you read her race report from Monster Mountain and you be the judge if they seemed t have cut back!

“Monster Mountain was an appropriate name for the weekend. The competition was a real MONSTER. In a great way of course. The classes, that a few short years ago, were just pre-teens without a driver’s license, are now the driving force of power and pure entertainment to watch as they compete for the glorious position on the podium. 

The Ford Brothers Racing crew experienced yet another fantastic weekend. We’ve made it a point to not judge this year by the trophies we bring home, but more so by the experiences we have on and off the track. Monster Mountain brought us all the opportunity to learn more about each other and how to become better racers and a better group of supporters. Bringing in a new rider this weekend, and allowing him the opportunity to ride one of our practice quads was a pleasure. Providing Brandon O’Neil the opportunity to do what he loves was sheer joy. He and his family were all smiles leaving the track this weekend and that, my friend, is how racing should be left – with smiles and fond memories.

A quick update on some of our FBR riders this past weekend:

Ronnie Higgerson (Almost Evil) is gaining speed at each event. He finished a strong 4th in Moto 1 and with a lot of unfortunate changes in positions; in moto two he finished a 6th overall. Once the EVIL part arrives, we are sure he will make a trip to the podium. He seriously has risen to be competitive in a very fast group of Pros.

Ryan Korody (Send It) making his debut in Pro Am this year is doing his best to get a good start and lead the group. Maybe his kind heart needs to harden a little and turn that natural smile into a frown and scare those quads into moving out of his way. He has both speed and ability, the two will meet and he will accomplish his goals. Ryan earned a 9th in Pro Am and 10th in Pro Sport, but this is not indicative to his true talent. Keep pushing Ryan and just SEND IT.

Ford Brothers Racing has been keeping us up-to-date with their riders!
Ford Brothers Racing has been keeping us up-to-date with their riders! Ken Hill

Cody Ford (Foreman) tore through the track this weekend with a 2nd Overall in Production A and 6th in Pro Sport. Both classes are no easy task to win. We will encourage him to be more aggressive on the track and not let a two second lead be lost. Cody’s ability to get faster as the races progress will be important this season.

Jacob Stevens (777) knows how important the gate drop is, and once he gets rid of his nerves and learns to tune out the junk, he will be up front and on the podium. Jacob was close in College with a 2nd overall. 450A will be the test and Jacob is working on his homework for this class. Highpoint will not be the final exam, let’s just call it a quiz. Study up Jacob. You have come a long way in the season and are impressive with your riding.

Other Ford Brother Racing sponsored riders making statements this season are:

Nick Gennusa (Jersey Boy) who now can stop questioning his transition to a Honda. His 2nd place moto two finish should close that door. Pro Rookie and Pro Am racer Westley Wolfe was crazy fast in Pro Am. Once he gets a little more seat time on his MX quad, he’ll be on top of the box and was ever so close this weekend with a 2nd overall in Pro Am. Freshly released Brandon O’Neil proved that riding a quad is somewhat like riding your bicycle – you don’t forget how. His 2nd place finishes in Open B and 450 B are amazing. Brogan Guyer (the Mover) is fast and smooth. He was like butter on the track winning the 450 B race. Gage Scaletti (Gabe Spaghetti) gave his first podium speech of his career. Congrats on winning the Production C overall this weekend. You rocked it. The birthday boy, Cash Harsche ($$$), turned 8 this weekend and definitely turned up the power, clearing an entire table top jump on his 50 CVT. Watch out, Cash is jumping like a future Pro. And welcome back to the USA our Canadian family of the Smids. Damon rode like a champ while dusting off the cobwebs and snowflakes.

Thank you to all of our amazing sponsors that support our love of the sport, Baldwin, JB Racing, Fly, Maxxis, JSR Designs, PMP Sprockets, The Program, SSi, Amped, and all the other great people in the sport including the families that donate all their time and money to help the sport be what it is today.” 

Whose ready for the gate to drop at Ironman!?
Whose ready for the gate to drop at Ironman!? Ken Hill

Now I don’t know about you but that is a large group of talent and far from stress free! I did get tagged in a great batch of posts from all over the map as far as classes go and it seemed to me that Monster Mountain was a hit. The story seemed to be largely the same as riders faced struggles even when they found some success, which is the way the world, works for us mortals. Other than the repeated complaint that passing room was hard to find there was little to complain about as the weekend was on rails and over before we knew it. The passing room was out there you just had to be able to take advantage of it, which was indeed a huge task, as everyone seemed fast on that track. 

With High Point on hold, next up is Ironman, which is one of my favorite tracks to shoot at unless its wet and muddy or the skies are grey but hey, I know a group of folks I can rally to complain if needed! I am yanking your chains, have fun and enjoy things the best you can even if that means letting out some frustration or venting here and there! As always, God bless you all and be safe in your travels.