Fox Off Road Hare Scramble AMA District 17 Championships
DeMay cruises Fox Valley HS Championships
Weldon, Illinois August 22, 2004
By Merle Acord
he Fox Valley Off Road 4/Wheel Championships course was approximately 1.7 miles long, and ran for one hour and forty-five minutes. The start was dead engine, with the A class, the first of the four wave start, the first into the woods. The course’s high speed straights let the big bores breath, and the trail layout thru the pine trees with switchbacks, deadfalls and whatever was just a little tricky and slowed them down. But they picked the pace up again on the outback motocross track with its gravity bowl-turns, whoops and double, double jumps. Rain mid-week was just right to let the quads find traction for the steep up hills yet kept dust to a minimum. Steep up hills are no problem for quads on a dry course, the same is not true for the steep down hills and more than one racer knew the dubious thrill of going over the bars and scrambling away from a revenge seeking four wheeler in hot pursuit. And to add to the above attractions there was the creek bed filled with pea gravel and boulders and everything in-between.
The Illinois, District 17, AMA 4/Wheel Championships hosted by Fox Valley Off Road began with the minis on their own course and ran for 45 minutes where Eric Sutcliffe in his first mini quad race, and typical of any ten year old, found some mud. But that didn’t stop him, it just added to the fun, as he charged around the mini course for his Championship run. “He likes the quads,” said his Dad, who is also named, Eric. “He also races go-karts and we come out here every weekend we are not racing go-karts at Dousman, Wisconsin. We are going to run the drag races and skip the mud-bog."
Patty Block second in the minis said, “It was pretty muddy out there. There were two mud holes and I got into both of them. My brother was running in second place until he hit a tree and had to quit.”
Yamaha rider Curt DeMay didn’t show any signs of fatigue winning the 4/wheel A class championship despite having just returned from running the Pro Races at Millville, Minnesota Saturday where he placed third. “This track is good; Wide open in some spots and tight in others. That creek bed was a bit of a challenge you had to move your line around to get through the rocks. Some of them were pretty good size. I’m getting a little bit of help from Gieson’s Motorsports.”
Kim Muzzarelli from Washington, Illinois ignored the gender thing and placed sixth in the 4/wheel B and said, “I enjoyed the course today, not too hard and not too easy. It was a lot of fun. I passed a couple of guys that got hung up on a hillside, other than that I stayed consistent, and held my pace. I getting some help from the World of Power Sports and the Quad shop.’
“I got a flat about three laps in, and rode all day on a flat left front tire,” said 4/wheel B rider Paul Noel. “I finished twelfth but I finished. Wardy does a good job out here and we appreciate his hard work. I’m getting some help from Gary Borelli of Meridian Street Motor Sports.”
Daniel Burkitt won the +40 class and said, “I think I got the holeshot. I didn’t see anyone else in front of me.” Alan Block and Robert Tate rounded out the top three in the above order.
Garry Borelli, the man to see for suspension set-ups, either bikes or quads at his Meridian Street Motor Sport shop in Mendota, Illinois put his wrench where his mouth is, so to speak, and rode to a fourth place in the +40 4/wheel class and said. “It was a lot of fun, but a quad is a lot more work to ride than a bike. You seem to be going four direction at the same time. But it’s still fun.”
Suzuki mounted Jim Stevens from Belvedere, Illinois put it all together to win the +30 class and said, “I loved the track out here, only spent an hour and half out here and it was great. That creek bottom with all the rocks, I kind of have a feeling that there were a few popped tires down there: Luckily, none of them were mine. When you ride in rocks that size you go where the rocks tell you to go. I don’t have any sponsors but they are welcome.” Jim Groenhof was second followed by Daniel Siener to fill out the top three spots.
Michael Blaydes 4/wheel C class winner said, “The rocks weren’t too bad, but when the runs are this long it gets miserable sitting on one of these things. The only one I’m getting any help from is my Dad. Thanks Dad.” Jason Claypool finished second in the C class.
“I got hung up a couple of times,” said Craig Glogowski of Bradley, Illinois sixth place finish in the 4/wheel C class. “I didn’t have any problems with the creek bed but I did take it easy thru there. I always enjoy Ward’s races, he does a great job.”
“I was up there pretty good,” said third place 4/wheel B winner Ryan Crouch. “The track was laid out a little tricky through the pine trees but it was a great track; Wasn’t dusty, the motocross track was a lot of fun. I buzzed right through the creek bed and didn’t worry about tie-rods, they’re coming off when I set up next year for motocross anyway. I’m getting some help from Gary Borelli at Meridian Street Motor Sports.” Brian Edwards and Mark Knox were first and second place finishers in the 4/wheel B class.
Flat tires were common and most of them were attributed to the rocks in the creek bed. The nurseries call them “river rock”, “What is in a name”, they are smooth with rounded corners and varied in size from huge to pea gravel. The problem is the pattern that they are distributed in the creek bed, not enough room to ride around or go between, and that means at excessive speeds you can a pop a tire or dent a rim, or both, and of course, there are the tie-rods; They too are adverse to bouncing off boulders at racing speeds.
Kenneth Herring from Englewood, Illinois finished eighth in the 4/wheel B class and said, “The track was brutal. I ended up with a totally flat tire that I rode for the last three laps. Makes it much harder to steer and slower of course, I had a lot of people pass me. I don’t know if it’s sliced or just came off the bead, either way there’s no air in it.”
Jeff Brest supplied a little background on nineteen year old Curt DeMay overall A winner: Curt is from the Geneseo, area he ran a couple of District races last year and decided to get serious this year. He is going to be a strong HS contender. He’s running all of the OMA series races and doing real well. He runs good and he’s fast.
Don Schroyer from Rosco, Illinois in the +30 class said, “I was going downhill and hit a tree and over I went. I bent the bars and crunched the instrument panel. I’ll be sore tomorrow, thank goodness I don’t have to go to work. But actually that wasn’t too bad, it was the second time I flipped that I lost all my places. I was under it and had a devil of a time getting the thing off of me. I am getting some help from Pro Grip and Blackhawk Motorsports out of Wisconsin.”
“The track was laid out nice, and the dust wasn’t bad, but I didn’t like that creek bed,” said Kevin Johnson tenth place 4/wheel B rider. “Those rocks were scary. I think some of the spectators were moving those rocks around a lot just to make it more interesting. There were a couple of real tight trees just before the motocross track that seemed to bite me each lap. I’m getting a little help from World of Power Sports, and Suzuki of Northern Illinois.”
“Whoever laid this track out did a great job,” said second place +30 4/wheel rider Jim Groenhof. “It was wide open enough in places that you could rest your arms from the arm pump, but technical enough to slow you down some. I had a lot of fun in that creek bottom, and usually in that kind of riding situation I don’t enjoy myself that much. I guess I liked it because I didn’t have any flats. I would like to thank Schaumberg Suzuki and Gee boys Racing.”
“That little beauty in the buggy is my nine months old daughter Jessica,” said Jim.
Thirty minutes or so after the championship 4/wheel Hare Scrambles it was time for a little fun with the mud-bog. The classes were laboring down the center of the forty foot long, and undetermined depth, bog and a couple of spots were starting to get dug out pretty deep from the quads spinning wheels making each pass a little more treacherous.
Then along came Randy Schroyer on a 4X4 Suzuki. Randy loves mud-bogs and has a knack for finding the quick-way through one. Randy went hard to the right staying just inside of the boundary markers zipping thru with hardly a wake. “I wished I had waited until the last pass before I showed all these guys that fast line,” said Randy. “Now they are doing it better than I am. At least they got better times.” Randy won the 400 4X4 class with a time of 7.41.
Fast “slime time”, went to Boe Fancher at 5.44 followed by Jason Claypool with a 5.75. ATV Congressman Jeff Brest, who was instrumental in laying out the Championship Hare Scramble course, choose to compete only in the mud bog today and scored a 5.91 using Randy’s super fast line.
And while the mud-boggers were competing the drag race got underway.
Cassie Pohlhammer from Burlington, Wisconsin, with her golden tress streaming from under her white helmet, ran rough shod over her male counterparts in the 400-500 4/stroke class on a one off special.
Gary Gauger hammered out a win in the 500-700 4/stroke class with Kevin Heap second. Cassie could finish no better than fourth.
Mike Wozniak from the Peoria area said, “I’m running six classes today. I’ve got a 250 that I bump up to the 400 Polaris which I run in the automatic, mod’s and open class. I used to ride someplace every week end but now I only ride the ones close to home, we have backed off a lot. I have about ten quads at home but it’s still just a hobby. My little boy is five and he has a little Kaw but we have to build him one for next year, he wants a faster one. I don’t know if I’m going to do much good today. Tom Helt has a 100 pound girl running a mod machine on an aluminum chassis. The machine is about a 100 hp which is about the same as mine but I’m a fat old guy and the horse power to power ratio is out of sight. She’s got me by a hundred pounds and the machine has got me by a hundred pounds.”
The nitro machines with their anti-wheelie devise and unbelievable decibel level made their pass down the 300 ft drag strip, then came back to be hooked up to a machine that pumps antifreeze through the bike’s motor too rapidly cool it down. “We could make two passes before we have to cool them back down,” said one of the mechanics but it’s not a good idea.”