Fox Valley Off Road: Round 4

 Keeping Off Road Motorsports in a Good Light

 Wedron , Illinois August 27th 2006 

By Joe Lanute 

Photo's by Mandy Lanute

Photo Page ,         Results



o skull and cross bones. No blood dripping logos. No high decibel heavy metal music.

Just good dirty fun. Where horsepower on this day was optional, traction was manditory.With an inch of rain on Saturday morning and sustained drizzles through out the afternoon the terrain at Fox Valley Off Road saw to it that there would be plenty of dirty fun. The crew at Fox Valley and Team Megacross made some last minute adjustments to the course to help keep the tract safe and to prevent any excessive “log jams” at the bottom of the hills. A vigilant Course Marshall and crews on utility quads kept the competitors moving but the power washers were going to be working overtime all week.

  In keeping with a formula that works well, the quads started the fun on Sunday morning. It takes a tough person to wrestle a quad through the woods for an hour, but throw about ten to twenty pounds of mud on top of one and it can be a bit like wrestling a bear on wheels. The two big guns of four wheeling left first, Ian Pavelonis and Kevin Johnson wrestled not only their rolling bears but Forest Burkitt from 4 Wheel B class, Forest stayed in the hunt with Ian and Kevin for first place overall, often times with just seconds separating them. Ian clinched the overall, Kevin grabbed second and Forest took third on the day.

John McCarrens took home second in 4 Wheel B with Dave Brooks right behind him. Shane Gaunt was the lone bear in the 200 class and he settled in for a fourth overall. 4 Wheel 35 saw seven competitors, Dan Birkit brought them home and Jim Groehof added a second place to his resume. 4 Wheel C had a sizeable line up and Zach Haggert turned in some impressive lap times on his way to the podium. If we had a podium, Bill Lewallen and Brad Whitfield would have joined him.

  There was the local GNCC racer Jeff Brest sighting. Was he wearing camouflage or was that mud all over him? His “Grizzly” must have got the better of him? His roll changed this weekend, putting UP caution tape and keeping the course going smooth on the  west side. We did hear a mumble about "it sucks to watch". 

  Watching Thumpers in the mud can make your sides hurt. Watching a guy dressed like the devil, on a Thumper, in the mud, can cause you to wonder,  did the devil really make him do that?  That, being big guys on little bikes, and they had quite a day. The trio of Caleb Russell, Jeremy Petoskey, and John Conely did battle again, which, if this persists, we will have to do a new form of starts.., know by age, with the oldest leaving first and the next in age 15 seconds behind, etc......hmmmmm.????  Fox Valley Cycles, Conely (pictured) finished seconds behind Petoskey, with Russell winning by over a minute. 4th place went to the ever durable Doug Johnson, and 5th to Bret Wilkinson. Ken Loews finally came back and kept Brett, and Doug honest. Mark Sketetee finish 7th and all of 3-7th place were on the same minute. Thumper class has become a phenomenom that can not be explained, but when asked, everyone in the class is smiling and having a great day, rain or shine!

  About an hour of "wheel packing" on the 50cc course made it more passable and fun, a couple quads did the duty which made the course much better for the parents!  15 young lions attacked the course with Cody Kennedey taking the lead, Kinklear, Graham,  and Hall's cycles Jarred Hall in hot pursuit. As these oung guns raced the smaller circuit, the intensity was at a high level. Hall went down hard, but got up and regained the race. Kennedy wins, Hall second, Kinklear third. Dylan Boyd and Nick Christman rounded out the top 5.

  As the little ones were giving the new and improved kiddies track a work out, the 85’s, 65 seniors, and Woman were lined up on the East side. With the drop of a hat (some guys still fall for that) the 85’s were off.

The boys pounded out nine laps with Jacob Kelsey (who is just back from Loretta Lynn's MX championship and tried some HS racing.)  slinging mud, grass and wood chips at any one who got close to him, he and Ben Schmidt made the log look like a speed bump. When it was over, Jacob had the first, Ben second and Dave Brackney brought in third.

  65 Senior was a nail biter for Team Ward, Travis got off to a slow start, when asked what happened, “they were all stuck on that hill, so I shut my off my bike, took my goggles off and waited until it was clear, after that is was a good race.” Following a hard riding and seasoned Blake Bradford who had the hole shot and held the lead for 6 of 7 laps, Travis made up his less then stellar first lap by methodically working his way through the check points, picking up time and speed as he chewed his way into second place and finally making a last lap pass to bring home top honors. Blake can hold his head high; he too charged the course with no fear and put out one of the best races I have seen him run at FVOR. Today, four-stroke lack of power was evened out by slick and wet conditions. Jake Seibert and Randi Bailey put out a good show for third and fourth. While Paige Garecht and Jonathon Searl shored up the rest of the class, one guy we know crashed at the first down hill, bent everything that would bend, spilled three more times on his way to the Supercross track and called it quits after taking a long ride over some short handle bars. He will be back.

   The Woman’s class may have been small but it almost spanned three generations. Cindi Seibert was the matriarch, Theresa Lanute played the part of the teenager and Jordin Eustace was the crafty kid. Jordin proved just how crafty she could be, she kept moving through the course at a even pace and never let herself be bogged down, a well deserved win. Cindi made her way through for a third place and Theresa, (the teenager) who rarely listens to her father’s advise “Don’t race at Joliet on Saturday night, you will be tired on Sunday” Proved her father right.  Again.

  One guy who did race on Saturday night and wasn’t showing signs of being tired Sunday morning was Jessie Keith in the 86-Open A Class. He, Trye Verado and Derek Toberman, mixed it up with the AA team of Rick Kinnelaar and Jeremy Smith. These five veterans made it look easy, and made it exciting to watch. Jay Hall had a class stopping crash in the first corner, taking out all but 2 of the AA and A riders, Hall stated, “I went into that corner hard,  had a good drive, then boom it was like someone just yanked the front end out from under me”. After Jay's exiting start we had multiple lead changes, swift laps and near flawless execution under less the perfect conditions. At the end of the hour and a half, it was Trye for the overall and first in 86-Open, Rick for first in AA and second overall followed by Jessie’s second in 86-Open and third overall.

Jeremy Smith secured second in AA and he always gives a good show.

  Jeff Snedecor on his mud colored Yamaha topped John Stichnoth and Bill Heitman for + 30 A.

  Working the home check point is usually an uneventful job. It does offer a chance to ingest non-fatal doses of pre-mix,  some dust and exhaust, besides, pulling out wood chips from my legs caused by the roost of two hundred riders gives me something to do the rest of the week. My apologies to the rider I barked at when he sent my right arm into the cornfield, really, it only took a few moments to put it back into the socket. I would have been more forgiving for it not been a quad wrestler who earlier had applied full front brakes at the exact moment he stopped on my foot. Of course being the fool I am, was wearing street shoes in an effort to be comfortable, yet stylish.

  Rounding out the rest of the big bikes, Josh Rhodes averaged near 15 miles per hour with his assault in 86-200 B. We may be looking out for him in A next year. Paul Mitzelfelt and Bob Koscielski one and two for + 30 B.

Tom Burtle was tops in + 40 A, Casey Carroll engineered a first in 201- Open B.

  Plus 50, the old folks home of hare scrambles was led by Bob Schnathorst and Rodger Carroll. Of course I have to say something nice about Bob Mitchell (he slips me a few bucks). 86-200 C is always a good time and no one enjoyed it more then Bob Johnson. He enjoyed it because he won. Luke Loitz and Danny Brachney enjoyed keeping him honest and Theresa Lanute didn’t enjoy any of it from where she was stuck. But take heart dear; imagine how the guy you beat feels.  

Overall the day went well, rain held off long enough for the course to tack up and work in well.  Next up will be Megacross in September, then the final round of the FVOR Hare Scramble Series is October 8th.  Watch the web site for special things to happen.  Play day and awards banquet planned for November 12th.  Have a great Labor day weekend.