The Snake Picks Up Where He Left Off

| 3 February 2013 2:44 pm

World Championship ICE Racing Series
Round 6: Hampton Coliseum

Ready for some action on the ice? Photo by

Story by Woody Doogan
Photos by Michael Fahy and
HAMPTON, VA, JAN. 19, 2013

An awesome crowd greeted all the World Championship ICE racers at the Hampton Coliseum, site of round six of the 37th annual World Championship ICE Racing Series. They love their ice racing in Hampton; the biggest crowd ever turned out to cheer on their favorites.

The big winner of this night’s Pro World Cup Bike heat races was Jake “The Snake” Mataya from Blaine, Minnesota. He won both of his heats and set fast time, landing him on the pole for the main. The only other rider with a perfect heat-race performance was Jay Maloney from Oakland, New Jersey.

The Cup Bike LCQ was a six-lap affair. Official ICE referee and all-around good guy Robert Arms released the starting gate, and “Sideways Sammy” Wiggins from Coatesville, Pennsylvania, rocketed out into the lead, followed closely by “Captain Kirk” Cheney from Hastings, Michigan. By lap three, hard-charging Austin Greenland from Spring Mills, Pennsylvania, had worked his way by Cheney on the bottom and, in doing so, opened the door for “Freight Train” Tom McGrane from Gap, Pennsylvania, to follow him through and into third  place. That’s how it stayed to the checkered flag.

Up next, the Cup Bike eight-lap main event was all Mataya’s. Taking a week off to go to Las Vegas must have been just what the doctor ordered, as The Snake has never looked better on the ice. The fans were also treated to incredible battles throughout the pack for valuable positions.

Austin Greenland (31) and Jake Mataya (29) battle in the Manufacturers World Cup Bikes main event. Photo by Michael Fahy

Fourth-place starter Greenland fought his way to second place and was actually breathing down Mataya’s neck at the checkered flag. The Freight Train also had a great run, battling his way from sixth into the third and final podium spot! He was followed to the finish line by Cheney; “Flyin’ Brian” McKenna from Boston, Massachusetts; Maloney; Wiggins; and McGrane’s little brother Kyle, also from Gap. Fourteen-year-old Kyle did a great job for his first time on the ice.

The podium for round six was comprised of (from left to right) runner-up Austin Greenland (31), third-place finisher Tom McGrane (99) and winner Jake Mataya (29). Photo by Michael Fahy

Amilia Cervantes (Mandy Brodil’s daughter), aboard her monster quad. Photo by Michael Fahy

The ICE Pro Unlimited Outlaw Quad program was wild, to say the least. The heat-race winners on the night were Mandy “Wild Child” Brodil from Poplar Branch, North Carolina, racing in front of her hometown fans, as she lives a short distance from the Coliseum; Kevin “Cool Hand” Smith from Topeka, Kansas; Wiggins; Eric Jennings from Otisville, New York; Dusty “Time Bomb” Crouch from Topeka, Kansas; and Jeff “Mandy’s Dad” Brodil from Grandy, North Carolina.

Anthony Demeo (50) in heat-race action. Photo by Michael Fahy

The Pro Quad LCQ was a thriller that wasn’t decided until the last lap. When the tape went up, Wiggins, aboard the Harley-powered “Thunder Quad,” took the first-lap lead, followed by Anthony Demeo from Woodland Park, New Jersey; Jeff Brodil; Chuck “The Ice Man” Calvert from Madison, Wisconsin; Ken “Stunt Man” Remer from Burlington, Wisconsin; and 18-year-old Jordan Miller from Stoystown, Pennsylvania. A giant log-jam fender- bender stud-puller mess followed on lap two, changing everything by lap three.

The main benefactors of that mess were the new first- and second-place racers, Calvert and Remer, but that quickly changed when Jeff Brodil shot up from third to first place with a brilliant move. With all this craziness going on up front, cool-headed rookie Miller suddenly found himself in the fourth and final transfer spot to the main event.

Chuck Calvert (61) took over the lead – briefly – in the LCQ. Photo by Michael Fahy

One wouldn’t think the six-lap main event could get much crazier than the LCQ, but with all the marbles on the line, it actually did! When the tape went up, Smith shot off the line on a mission. Right behind ol’ “Cool Hand” was first-timer ice-racing sensation Jennings, with Mandy Brodil right in the mix. As those three were racing for the win and a big payday, Crouch was moving in closer, with his sights set on some of that podium action.

Then, in an instant, on lap five, the “Time Bomb” went off!! Boom! You could feel it even up in the nosebleed seats when Crouch nailed Mandy so hard that she went straight to the crash wall, taking the Wild Child completely out of contention. Smith (Crouch’s Kansas Tornado teammate) went on to win, followed in second by a very strong Jennings. Crouch rounded out the podium, followed by Jeff Brodil, Calvert, Remer, Mandy Brodil (who was able to recover one spot before the checkers flew), and Miller.

Ken Remer (476) leads Eric Jennings (41) and the rest of the pack. Photo by

Throughout the Coliseum, you could have cut the tension with a knife after this main. Cooler heads prevailed – for now – but there were some heated discussions in the pits afterward, with promises for “big trouble” in Trenton, New Jersey, site of round seven on Friday night, February 15. Every lap and every WC point matters at this point in the season as racers head toward the World Championship Grand Finale at the beautiful new Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana, on February 23. The racing has been more and more intense and exciting every week! Stay tuned!

Hampton Coliseum
Hampton, Virginia
Results: January 19, 2013 (Round 6)

Manufacturers World Cup Bikes

HEAT 1: 1. Jay Maloney; 2. Sammy Wiggins; 3. Tom McGrane; 4. Bryan McKenna.

HEAT 2: 1. Jake Mataya; 2. Austin Greenland; 3. Kirk Cheney; 4. Kyle McGrane.

HEAT 3: 1. Jake Mataya; 2. Tom McGrane; 3. Sammy Wiggins; 4. Kyle McGrane.

HEAT 4: 1. Jay Maloney; 2. Kirk Cheney; 3. Austin Greenland; 4. Bryan McKenna.

LCQ: 1. Sammy Wiggins; 2. Austin Greenland; 3. Tom McGrane; 4. Kirk Cheney; 5. Kyle McGrane; 6. Bryan McKenna.

MAIN: 1. Jake Mataya; 2. Austin Greenland; 3. Tom McGrane; 4. Kirk Cheney; 5. Bryan McKenna; 6. Jay Maloney; 7. Sammy Wiggins; 8. Kyle McGrane.

Unlimited Outlaw Quads

HEAT 1: 1. Mandy Brodil; 2. Chuck Calvert; 3. Dusty Crouch; 4. Jordan Miller.

HEAT 2: 1. Kevin Smith; 2. Eric Jennings; 3. Ken Remer.

HEAT 3: 1. Sammy Wiggins; 2. Anthony Demeo; 3. Jeff Brodil.

HEAT 4: 1. Eric Jennings; 2. Mandy Brodil; 3. Ken Remer; 4. Sammy Wiggins.

HEAT 5: 1. Dusty Crouch; 2. Kevin Smith; 3. Jordan Miller.

HEAT 6: 1. Jeff Brodil; 2. Anthony Demeo; 3. Chuck Calvert.

LCQ: 1. Jeff Brodil; 2. Chuck Calvert; 3. Ken Remer; 4. Jordan Miller; 5. Anthony Demeo; 6. Sammy Wiggins.

MAIN: 1. Kevin Smith; 2. Eric Jennings; 3. Dusty Crouch; 4. Jeff Brodil; 5. Chuck Calvert; 6. Ken Remer; 7. Mandy Brodil; 8. Jordan Miller.

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