Trials Inc. Series
By Chase Harker
Photos by Marie Harker
OCT. 22, 2011
With the 2011 Trials Inc. Series concluded, many great championship battles have come to a dramatic end. The 19-event series saw riders competing in some very tough conditions across four different states. Rain, gale-force winds, and blistering heat were just some of the factors riders encountered. Riders were able to improve their mud-riding and/or bike-washing skills at the last three events, as they were all “mudders.”
Trials Inc. shared an event early in the year with the MOTA trials club at New Paris, Indiana. New to the schedule this year were Wildwood, Ohio, and Morgantown, West Virginia. Both locations were very well suited to trials and will surely be on the schedule again next year. The winners of each class can truly call themselves champions after such a season.
The Champ class was close, with Chase Harker edging out Ryan Young for the year. However, it was hard to match the intensity of the Expert class. It is rare that out of the 560 sections that Quinn Wentzel rode this year, one section was the deciding factor in the championship: A missed gate propelled Chris Zuroske to the win and, henceforth, the championship at the Wildwood event. Zuroske, one of the Expert-class veterans, had a superb year, withstanding the hard-fought fight with rookie Expert Wentzel. Zuroske added a fourth Expert-class championship to his résumé. Travis Daniels had a consistent year and was rewarded with a third-place finish. Daniels put on a late-season charge and turned in several strong finishes to secure the spot.
Gilbert Reed finished on top in the Advanced class. This class was very unpredictable throughout the season, with six different riders sharing the wins. Reed was consistently in the top three all year, only missing the podium once; this gave him a big advantage in the points standings. Reed had to fend off a massive charge from newcomer Andrew Putt to win the year. Putt, whose first trials was this same year, moved up to the Advanced class halfway though the season and was still able to secure second place. Steve Berry had a solid year and earned third place after several hard-fought events.
Two riders, Eric Mills and Markie Spring, battled it out for the Sportsman title. Spring had a good run late in the season, but it wasn’t enough to surpass Mills. Maybe if we had rounds 20 and 21, Spring could have kept the momentum going and taken the win.
Anthony Williams started his season in the Novice class, but at the eighth round he moved up to the Intermediate class. From that point on, he was the dominant force in the class, winning five of the last 10 rounds in which he competed. C.J. Blair turned in some good midseason rides; the four midseason wins gave him a solid spot in second for the season, behind Williams.
The Senior trials riders never disappoint. They are dedicated, hardworking and salty veterans who really get a kick out of riding. Brad Baumert had a dominant year in the Senior A division, as did Daniel Smith in the Senior B class. “B-Rad” (Baumert) was on the first or second step of the podium at each event, with eight wins and five seconds.
Longtime motorcycle rider Clyde Harrison earned the Novice-class championship.
Vintage rider Robert Wentzel eased his way to the class win this year. Wentzel also won a National Championship at the Mid-Ohio Vintage Days competition.
It is not surprising to see the Herrel brothers atop the class rankings in the Youth A class. Jared and Seth swapped wins all year long, with older brother Jared coming out on top. Kayleigh Turovsky had a fine showing in the Youth B division this year, winning almost every event she entered.
Trials Inc. will celebrate the class awards at the annual TI banquet on Saturday, November 5, at RYP in Shelbyville, Kentucky, followed by the first round of the 2012 season, which will be held in Taylorsville, Kentucky, on Sunday.
2011 Year-End Standings
CHAMP: 1. Chase Harker (300); 2. Ryan Young (290).
EX: 1. Chris Zuroske (295); 2. Quinn Wentzel (290); 3. Travis Daniels (230).
ADVANCED: 1. Gilbert Reed (267); 2. Andrew Putt (234); 3. Steve Berry (218).
SPORTSMAN: 1. Eric Mills (257); 2. Markie Spring (251); 3. Dale Ziolkowski (101).
INT: 1. Anthony Williams (267); 2. C.J. Blair (248); 3. Peggy Harrison (180).
SR A: 1. Brad Baumert (290); 2. Steve Williams (257); 3. William Klein (222).
SR B: 1. Daniel Smith (281); 2. Richard Lanterman (210); 3. Bryan Putt (188).
NOV: 1. Clyde Harrison (262); 2. Kori Blair (166); 3. Anthony Williams (60).
VINTAGE: 1. Robert Wentzel (300); 2. Rob Paxton (75).