Saddlemen

Henderson Hammers Timonium Indoor Opener!

| 19 December 2014 3:18 pm

Maryland Indoor Short Track
Rodney Farris Memorial Indoor Short Track
Round 1: Maryland State Fairgrounds

Story and Photos by Len and Ben Breech
TIMONIUM, MD, DEC. 13, 2014

Nick Henderson swept all four classes he entered as the Baltimore County Trail Riders and Cockeysville Optimist Club held the first round of the 38th annual Rodney Farris Memorial Indoor Short Track on the grounds of the Maryland State Fairgrounds. Henderson topped the 125cc, 150cc Adult, 250cc and 450cc finals, setting fast qualifying time in all four. Donnie Mullen scored a pair of wins in the Open Sportsman and Pro finals and was the only rider to turn a six-second qualifying time.

Nick Henderson (29) and Cory Texter (44) finished first and second, respectively, in the 150cc Adult final at the opening round of the 38th annual Rodney Farris Memorial Indoor Short Track series.

Nick Henderson (29) and Cory Texter (44) finished first and second, respectively, in the 150cc Adult final at the opening round of the 38th annual Rodney Farris Memorial Indoor Short Track series.

This series is slightly different from most semi-pro races in that the Adult classes run time trials to determine starting position for the heat races. If more than nine riders enter a class, then they run a pair of semis to determine the eight riders for the final. With most riders qualifying in the low-seven-second range, things happen fast.

The 150cc Adult contest was probably his closest of the night, as Henderson took the lead ahead of a tightly bunched group consisting of Jason Cole, Colin Cunningham and Cory Texter. By the end of the first lap, Texter had gotten past the other two, but by then Henderson had built up a several-bikelength lead. Texter started cutting into that cushion, but Henderson stayed just enough in front to avoid the “pardon me” pass and took the win.

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Henderson’s 125cc-class win was rather easy. He jumped out in front of Joe Schuler, Kyle McGrane and Justin Haag and then maintained his safe margin.

Henderson again jumped in front in the 250cc class, with Matt Langrehr, Schuler and Colin Cunningham fighting for second. Schuler and Cunningham got by Langrehr on the third lap, and the order stayed the same to the end.

Henderson’s quick starts continued in the 450cc class, jumping in front of Frankie Valentin, Jason Cunningham, Joey Alexander and Dillon Cava. Cunningham tapped Valentin in turn two on the third lap, and Valentin fell. Alexander tried to nudge his way by Cunningham on the final lap but failed, letting Cava by for third before he recovered.

Nick Henderson (29) was also victorious in the 450cc final. Joey Alexander (14) finished fourth.

Nick Henderson (29) was also victorious in the 450cc final. Joey Alexander (14) finished fourth.

The only event Henderson did not win was the High’s Dairy Stores Dash For Cash, which pitted the top qualifiers from the 125cc, 150cc Adult, 250cc, 450cc, Sportsman and Pro classes, but since Henderson and Mullen were the only top ones in those classes, the next-fastest riders in those classes also earned the ticket. Cory Strickler used an unreal holeshot from the middle of the front row to grab the lead, ahead of Mullen and Henderson, and held it for the five-lap duration.

Mullen didn’t let Strickler surprise him in the finals. In the Open Sportsman outing, he put the Triple J Racing Honda in front of Strickler, Dillon Cava and Austin Greenland, with Greenland taking third on the fourth lap.

Donnie Mullen (71) topped the Open Sportsman final. Cory Strickler (37A) was runner-up.

Donnie Mullen (71) topped the Open Sportsman final. Cory Strickler (37A) was runner-up.

The Pro final had Mullen jumping in front of Joey Alexander, Strickler and Colin Cunningham. Stickler got under Alexander going into turn three on the second lap. Then Alexander fell in turn one on the following lap.

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Many times at this venue, the best rider in the class doesn’t win, as they encounter lapped traffic rather quickly. Taylor White has competed in this series since the beginning, as he has won many races, but lately he’s had trouble getting out of the opening turn.

On this night, White put Jason Isennock’s High Dairy Stores Honda in the front of the Over 40 class, leading Jim Blair, Rich Mellinger and Bill Kraft. After a few laps of trying, Mellinger slipped under Blair off turn two at about the halfway point. With about two laps left, Mellinger tried to get under White in turn two, but fell. Then Blair came by and got caught up in it, handing second to Damian Kocovinos.

Taylor White (30S) won the Over 40 class. Rich Mellinger (86) crashed late in the race and ended up eighth.

Taylor White (30S) won the Over 40 class. Rich Mellinger (86) crashed late in the race and ended up eighth.

After getting holeshotted – (Is that a word?) [No, it isn’t… Editor] – by Mark Burkholder in their heat race, but then catching him three laps later, Rob Smith upped his game in the final, putting his Bultaco in front of Dave Smith, Bill Kraft and Burkholder at the start of the Vintage-class final. Burkholder moved into third going into turn three on the second lap. Kris Weiss then dropped Kraft another spot on the following lap. When Smith fell on the fifth lap, everyone moved up a spot.

In the Vintage class, Rob Smith (69) was the top dog and Mark Burkholder (62) came in second.

In the Vintage class, Rob Smith (69) was the top dog and Mark Burkholder (62) came in second.

Two Youth riders scored a pair of back-to-back wins: Melanie Siegel took the Women’s victory and then won the following 150cc Youth class, while Tyler Cunningham topped the 50cc Chain Drive (7-8) group and then came right back to win the 65cc class.

In the Women’s contest, Siegel took the lead from Lisa Niner and Nicole Henderson and let them fight over second.

Melanie Siegel (38) won the Women’s contest, and the runner-up was Lisa Niner (9R – get the play on her name and number?).

Melanie Siegel (38) won the Women’s contest, and the runner-up was Lisa Niner (9R – get the play on her name and number?).

In the following final, for the 150cc Youth class, she again left the others to fight for second. This time it was Ryan Carter and Kyle Fitzmaurice following her home.

Cunningham had to work for his 50cc win, as he started in third, behind Tyler Hinson and Riley West, with his twin brother, Dylan Cunningham, behind him. West quickly dropped back, while Tyler put his Honda in first off turn four on the third lap and then held on to the finish.

Ethan Strickler (69), Dylan Cunningham (5A) and Tyler Cunningham (2A) launch off the line at the start of the 65cc final.

Ethan Strickler (69), Dylan Cunningham (5A) and Tyler Cunningham (2A) launch off the line at the start of the 65cc final.

The 65cc final saw Tyler him in front of Ethan Strickler, Dylan, and Cameron Schlough from beginning to end.

Maryland State Fairgrounds
Timonium, Maryland
Results: December 13, 2014 (Round 1)

50 CHAIN DRIVE (4-6): 1. Dylan Dancy (KTM); 2. Jack Rutledge (Hon); 3. Cameron Hastings (Suz).

50 CHAIN DRIVE (7-8): 1. Tyler Cunningham (Hon); 2. Tyler Hinson (KTM); 3. Dylan Cunningham (Hon); 4. Riley West (Suz); 5. Alden Hawthorne (Lem).

50 SHAFT DRIVE: 1. Jack Rutledge (Yam); 2. Dylan Dancy (Yam); 3. Alden Hawthorne (Yam); 4. Lillian King (Yam); 5. Kyle Donmoyer (Yam); 6. Jaden Cravis (Yam); 7. Corey Bates (Yam).

50 ADULT: 1. Rush Branson (Hon); 2. Lou Smith (Hon).

65: 1. Tyler Cunningham (Kaw); 2. Ethan Strickler (Kaw); 3. Dylan Cunningham (Kaw); 4. Cameron Schlough (KTM).

85: 1. Kyle Fitzmaurice (Yam); 2. Austin Kellett (Yam); 3. Keegan Greer (Yam); 4. Jared Florian (Suz); 5. Mason Farro (Hon).

125: 1. Nick Henderson (Hon); 2. Joe Schuler (Yam); 3. Kyle McGrane (Kaw); 4. Justin Haag (Hon); 5. Matt Langrehr (Kaw); 6. John Henderson (Hon); 7. Chris Thomas (KTM); 8. Jerry Alexander (Hon).

150 YOUTH: 1. Melanie Siegel (Hon); 2. Ryan Carter (Hon); 3. Kyle Fitzmaurice (Hon); 4. Ethan Lewter (Hon).

150 ADULT: 1. Nick Henderson (Hon); 2. Cory Texter (Hon); 3. Colin Cunningham (Hon); 4. Jason Cole (Kaw); 5. Jamison Minor (Hon); 6. Ryan Varnes (Suz); 7. Stuart Rodgers (Hon); 8. Arnold Hastings (Hon).

250/OPEN B: 1. Matt Langrehr (Kaw); 2. Earl Luhn III (Hon); 3. Jedidiah Haines (Kaw); 4. Zach Mullen (Hon); 5. Rodney Shifflett (Yam); 6. Trevin Caruccio (Hon); 7. Tyler Mullen (Hon); 8. John Schwatka (Hon).

250: 1. Nick Henderson (Hon); 2. Joe Schuler (Yam); 3. Colin Cunningham (Suz); 4. Matt Langrehr (Kaw); 5. Austin Wherley (Kaw); 6. Albert Cook (Suz); 7. Austin Kellett (Hon); 8. T.J. Spampinato (Suz).

450: 1. Nick Henderson (Hon); 2. Jason Cunningham (Suz); 3. Dillon Cava (Hon); 4. Joey Alexander (Hon); 5. Damian Kocovinos (Hon); 6. Justin Bender (Kaw); 7. Jedidiah Haines (Kaw); 8. Frankie Valentin (Suz).

OPEN SPORTSMAN: 1. Donnie Mullen (Hon); 2. Cory Strickler (Hon); 3. Austin Greenland (Hon.); 4. Dillon Cava (Yam); 5. Joey Alexander (Hon); 6. Jerry Alexander (Hon); 7. Frankie Valentin (Suz).

PRO: 1. Donnie Mullen (Hon); 2. Cory Strickler (Hon); 3. Colin Cunningham (Suz); 4. Austin Greenland (Hon); 5. Henry Mangels (Hon); 6. Joey Alexander (Hon).

WOMEN: 1. Melanie Siegel (Hon); 2. Lisa Niner (Hon); 3. Nicole Henderson (Hon); 4. Molly Carbon (Hon); 5. Elizabeth Fitch (Suz).

40+: 1. Taylor White (Hon); 2. Damian Kocovinos (Hon); 3. John Henderson (Hon); 4. Lowell Wherley (Suz); 5. Bill Kraft (Hon); 6. Chris Hathaway (Yam); 7. Jim Blair (Suz); 8. Rich Mellinger (Yam).

VINTAGE: 1. Rob Smith (Bul); 2. Mark Burkholder (Bul); 3. Kris Weiss (Hon); 4. Bill Kraft (Hon); 5. Tom Anania (Hon); 6. Dave Smith (Kaw); 7. Todd Batts (Yam); 8. Patrick Duffy (Hon).

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Category: Flat Track, Regional, Short Track, Vintage, Vintage Flat Track

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