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Living It Up Down at Diamond Don’s!

| 20 May 2015 10:39 am

Diamond Don’s 13th Annual Riverport National
AHRMA Northwest Maico CZ Vintage MX National
AHRMA Race Tech Post Vintage MX National
Diamond Don’s Racetrack

Story by Roy Jenkins
Photos by Dawn and Dale Winczewski/MX Photography
JEFFERSON, TX, APR. 16-19, 2015

“Diamond Don” Rainey and AHRMA teamed up again to present the greatest Vintage Motocross race weekend in America. Despite the rain and the wet forecast, more than 800 patrons came through the gate – and they came early! The pits were almost filled by Thursday. There were more than 400 pre-entries, although not all racers elected to put their babies in the mud. Throw in the Marty Tripes “Works Revenge 100cc Challenge” race, Vintage and Post-Vintage Motocross, Trials, Cross Country, outstanding music, cooking, and a real old-school track, and you have a veritable gumbo of off-road racing fun!

Elbert Simon navigates the course on Saturday at Diamond Don’s 13th annual Riverport National.

Elbert Simon navigates the course on Saturday at Diamond Don’s 13th annual Riverport National.

Many legendary racers from the 1970s and ’80s were there, too: World champs Trampas Parker and Brad Lackey, National champs and legendary riders Gary Jones (with his son Clark), Guy Cooper, Jim Gibson, Trey Jorski, Steve Wise, Warren Reid, and this year’s newcomer, Shaun Kalos.

Guy Cooper (14) was just one of the many legendary riders in attendance.

Guy Cooper (14) was just one of the many legendary riders in attendance.

Oklahoma’s Trey Jorski, the namesake of Trey Canard, was this year’s honoree. There were hundreds of racers from back in the day aboard their favorite bikes, doing battle like they were teenagers and going almost as fast as they remembered, and they brought along their friends and families.

Mother Nature decided to throw us a curveball with lots of rain at night, so the theme for the weekend was… “MUD!” Despite the best efforts of Don Rainey and crew, with Wes Willis and Chicago Jerry working the cross-country track and then the motocross track, it rained each night. Except for maybe Francene Rainey, no one worked harder, especially pulling bikes out of the mud during the races. Speaking of which, John McLemore missed a turn at the end of a straight during the cross-country event and plunged into the water. He explained it this way: “I got pinned under my bike at first. When I finally got out, I had to kick up to the surface, but my boots and gear were dragging me back down. I’d never been so scared in my life. I thought I was gonna drown! I finally grabbed a limb and made it out alive.”

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Did I mention that Don had alligators this year? Yes, they were in a pen, but still, it’s the thought that counts, right? What does he use the alligators for? The Raineys host tourists throughout the year for the Steam Engine and Wetlands Foundation. Francene spent $600 last month so that more than 1,200 school children could ride the train in to learn about wetlands, have snacks, see the wildlife and hear about Civil War history, including seeing the Napoleon cannons. This 501C corporation is funded in part by the raffle tickets and auctions that were held at the event. Some riders joined the fishing tournament and went to a well-stocked lake on Thursday. With that, and the shopping competition throughout the weekend, even the ladies got in on the action. A big chunk of change was donated by Trampas Parker, who outbid Dr. Terry Gerber and others for the Steve Voita painting of major racers. Francene had prints for sale that were autographed on site by the legends who were present: Brad Lackey, Steve Wise, Warren Reid, Buck Murphy, Gary Jones, Shaun Kalos, Guy Cooper, Trampas Parker, Marty Tripes, and honoree Trey Jorski. If you would like to purchase one, contact her at diamonddon.com. If you would like to purchase some of the T-shirts that were available at the event, please go to bradlackey.com.

Oh, I almost forgot: There was motocross racing, too. Arguably two couples had the most fun, starting with Mike George and his wife. Mike brought his CZ from London. He scored a sixth in the Over 60 Expert class, and later he and his wife attended the Kentucky Derby.

Then there was Duane and Beck Hutley, who won a trip to Diamond Don’s race from the Whitsunday Vintage Motocross Club in Bushland Beach, Australia. Don rolled out the red carpet for both, including the use of an RV. When Beck was ushered out to the announcing stand, I was able to trade some language lessons with her on the mic. She taught me Aussie slang like “G’day, mate!” and I gave her some Nawlins’ slang such as “Where ya at?” and “Haz’ ya mom an’ dem?” Then she got the thrill of her life, getting close-up shots of her husband getting the holeshot in the Over 40 Novice class on Don’s Suzuki! There’s no doubt there will be images of him in VMX Magazine, as Alistair was on top of that race trackside with his camera.

Speaking of cameras, how about Lyle Lovett coming out and being the official photographer of the H&H Music Team? Diamond Don proudly donned his old blue H&H race jersey in memory of his teammates and the founder, Clint Hackney, a former World War II tank commander who gave Rainey his first brand-new Husqvarna to race because he was also a war vet. His son Steve was racing, as was Kevin Brown. For more info on Texas motocross history, get Shand Garcia’s great book Berm: The Texas Motocross Chronicles.

Speaking of which, this race was and always will be about the people who grew the sport into what it is today. Those riders who posted on Facebook that they weren’t coming this year so they wouldn’t get their bikes muddy missed the whole point: This event is not just a race; it’s a reunion!

Elbert Simon (67T) contested no fewer than five classes over the course of the weekend.

Elbert Simon (67T) contested no fewer than five classes over the course of the weekend.

Saturday’s Vintage racing kicked off with a bang in the Sportsman 500cc Expert class, with Trampas Parker taking his Husky to the front in both motos, over Elbert Simon’s Bultaco and Brad Cannon’s Kawasaki.

Gary Jones thundered around the track to victory on his Triumph, over Mike Parker, in the Sportsman Open Twin Expert class.

Gary Jones (88) topped the Sportsman Open Twin Expert class on Saturday.

Gary Jones (88) topped the Sportsman Open Twin Expert class on Saturday.

Randy Richards took double moto wins in the Sportsman 250cc Expert event, over Kevin O’Brien and Mike “Doc” Tollett.

Tim Borgfield pushed his little Hodaka to double moto wins in the 100cc Expert class, over Steven Fischer, Tony Devino, and the indomitable Corky Root.

Guy Cooper and Trampas Parker finally squared off in the Over 40 Expert class. They split moto victories, but Cooper won the overall with a 1-2 tally, over Parker’s 3-1 score and Jeff Hards’ 2-3 finishes.

Cooper then beat up on the Over 50 Expert class with double moto victories, over Clark Jones, Kevin O’Brien, Ron Crane and Jeff Hards.

Gary Jones tore the Over 60 Expert win away from Mark Moore, Skip Kennedy and Glenn Morris.

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Some of the best racing on Sunday was between up-and-comer Tommy Cannon Jr. and Ricky Parker, who swapped leads a couple of times in different races. Cannon took his 250cc Husky to a double-moto victory over Derek Borg and Dennis Goodson in, while Ricky Parker was on the track, besting Elbert Simon and Zach Rambin in the Ultima 250cc Expert outing.

Tommy Cannon Jr. (718) scored the win in both motos of Sunday’s GP250 Expert class.

Tommy Cannon Jr. (718) scored the win in both motos of Sunday’s GP250 Expert class.

Kaitlyn Morrow was easily the fastest girl at the event – again – edging out the hard-charging Maranda Anderson and Laurie Shelton in the Post-Vintage Women’s classes.

Kaitlyn Morrow (65) won the Women’s Expert class on both days, as well as Sunday’s Post-Vintage Historic 250cc Intermediate contest.

Kaitlyn Morrow (65) won the Women’s Expert class on both days, as well as Sunday’s Post-Vintage Historic 250cc Intermediate contest.

Bob Bean was able to put his Honda in front of Gary Jones’ Husky and John Gott’s Yamaha in the Post-Vintage Over 60 Experts event.

Another growing tradition at Diamond Don’s is the Marty Tripes 100cc Works Revenge challenge race, which features some fast riders of yesteryear going at it on finely tuned 100s on both days of competition. On Saturday, Patrick Marchbank,Trevor Randell and Nick Jones were in a three-way points tie for the win. Marchbank pulled the overall by winning the last moto on his Suzuki, followed by Sabatini Racing’s Nick Jones on a Honda and then Randell in third.

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In Saturday’s Pro race, Shaun Kalos piloted his AAR bike into the lead over last year’s winner, Guy Cooper. Trampas Parker did not start due to bike problems. Warren Reid took third, with Trey Jorski finishing in fourth.

The mud took its toll on the bikes and cut the class way down on Sunday. Kalos won the Pro class but blew the motor while crossing the finish line.

Mark McNulty won the Intermediate class.

Marty Tripes thanked Ron Lechien at Maxima Oils, Mary Sperber for the use of the truck, Paul Johnstone and Robert Sabatini.

To view more pictures from the event, check out MX Photography or Awesome Shots. For more information on the event, please go to diamonddon.com. For info on more Vintage racing, go to AHRMA.org.

Until next year, another AHRMA or Vintage race, especially Rio Bravo in November… “G’day, mates!”

Diamond Don’s Racetrack
Jefferson, Texas
Results: April 16-19, 2015

Saturday – Vintage

100 NOV: 1. Denis Jeffries (Hod); 2. Laurie Shelton (Hod); 3. Bruce Capps (Hod).

100 INT: 1. Todd Weaver (Hod); 2. Mark Eichhorn (Hod); 3. Brian Miller (Hod).

100 EX: 1. Tim Borgfield (Hod); 2. Steven Fischer (Hod); 3. Tony Devino (Suz); 4. Corky Root (Hod).

CLASSIC 125 NOV: 1. Pat Bailey (Hon); 2. Jason Lamar (Pen).

CLASSIC 125 INT: 1. Henry Gregorich (Hod); 2. Brian Miller (Hod); 3. Paul Schaffner (Hod); 4. Alex Jennings (Hon); 5. Dan Jennings (Hon).

CLASSIC 250 NOV: 1. Brian Belcher (BSA).

CLASSIC 250 INT: 1. Larry Teiter.

CLASSIC 500 NOV: 1. Bob Hovden (BSA).

CLASSIC 500 INT: 1. Kenneth Jeter (BSA); 2. Earl Puckett (AJS).

CLASSIC 500 EX: 1. James Smith (BSA).

PREMIER LIGHT INT: 1. Dan Beher (Duc).

PREMIER LIGHT EX: 1. Mike Parker (Hon).

PREMIER 350 EX: 1. Mike Parker (Hon); 2. Corky Root (BSA).

PREMIER 500 EX: 1. Dan Johns (AJS).

PREMIER OPEN TWIN EX: 1. Mark Seibert (Nor); 2. Beno Rodi (Nor).

SPORTSMAN 125 NOV: 1. Stephen Hetzel (C-A); 2. Bubba Chambers (Hon); 3. Laurie Shelton (Hod).

SPORTSMAN 125 INT: 1. Roy Thacker (Hod); 2. Brian Miller (Hod); 3. Jonathan Dunn (Yam); 4. Eddie Parks (Hon); 5. Steve Voita (Bul).

SPORTSMAN 125 EX: 1. Mark Stahlman (Bul); 2. Carl Mabrey (Hon); 3. James Smith (C-A); 4. Elbert Simon (Yam); 5. Paul Burnett (Hon).

SPORTSMAN 250 NOV: 1. Kevin Schackelford (Suz); 2. Brian Oakley (Bul); 3. Justin Holcomb (Hon); 4. William Hatcher (Bul); 5. Terry McPhillips (Bul).

SPORTSMAN 250 INT: 1. Kevin Cleveland (Kaw); 2. Richard Randle (Suz); 3. Robert Boyer (CZ); 4. Kaitlyn Morrow (Yam); 5. John Woolsey (Yam).

SPORTSMAN 250 EX: 1. Randy Richards (Hus); 2. Kevin O’Brien (Yam); 3. Mike Tollett (Hon); 4. Trevor Tollett (CZ); 5. Charles Oxford (Yam).

SPORTSMAN 500 NOV: 1. Mark Smithard (BSA).

SPORTSMAN 500 INT: 1. Donnie Wilson (CZ); 2. Mark Hosbach (Kaw); 3. Steve Lunch (CZ); 4. Tim Wallis (Mai); 5. Jeff Acklen (Kaw).

SPORTSMAN 500 EX: 1. Trampas Parker (Hus); 2. Elbert Simon (Bul); 3. Brad Cannon (Kaw); 4. Tab Estep (Kaw); 5. Rhett Smith (CZ).

SPORTSMAN STOCK 500 EX: 1. Dan Johns (AJS).

SPORTSMAN OPEN TWIN EX: 1. Gary Jones (Tri); 2. Mike Parker (Yam).

EARLY SPORTSMAN STOCK 250 INT: 1. Bill Orth (Oss).

EARLY SPORTSMAN STOCK 250 EX: 1. James Ealer Sr. (Bul).

EARLY SPORTSMAN STOCK 500 INT: 1. Larry Reiter (BSA); 2. Darel Parsons (Tri).

WOMEN INT: 1. Maranda Anderson (Hon); 2. Krista Nylander (Bul); 3. Laurie Shelton (CZ).

WOMEN EX: 1. Kaitlyn Morrow (Yam).

OPEN AGE NOV: 1. Brian Oakley (Bul); 2. Mark Smithard (BSA).

OPEN AGE INT: 1. Kevin Cleveland (Kaw); 2. John Owen (Yam).

OPEN AGE EX: 1. James Smith (C-A); 2. Louis Leblanc (Hon); 3. Chris Todd (CZ).

40+ NOV: 1. Brian Oakley (Bul); 2. Mark Smithard (BSA).

40+ INT: 1. Randy Howell (CZ); 2. Damon Ogan (Hus); 3. Rick Fisher (CZ).

40+ EX: 1. Guy Cooper (Suz); 2. Trampas Parker (Hus); 3. Jeff Hards (CZ).

50+ NOV: 1. Mike Elshout (Suz); 2. Rusty Reed (CZ); 3. Terry McPhillips (Bul); 4. William Hatcher (Bul); 5. Tim Todd (Yam).

50+ INT: 1. Mark Hosbach (Kaw); 2. Gary Davis (Mai); 3. Bill Walker (CZ); 4. William Fenner (Hus); 5. Greg Carney (CZ).

50+ EX: 1. Guy Cooper (Suz); 2. Clark Jones (CZ); 3. Kevin O’Brien (Yam); 4. Ron Crane (Hon); 5. Jeff Hards (CZ).

60+ NOV: 1. Denis Jeffries (Hus); 2. Christopher Wycislak (Hon); 3. Pat Buckley (Hus); 4. Bob Doty (Hus); 5. Pat Bailey (Hon).

60+ INT: 1. Kevin Brown (Hon); 2. Michael Pritchard (Hon); 3. David Hackett (C-A).

60+ EX: 1. Gary Jones (Yam); 2. Mark Moore (CZ); 3. Skip Kennedy (CZ); 4. Glenn Morris (CZ); 5. John Gott (Yam).

70+ INT: Gary Anderson (Hus).

70+ EX: 1. John Huegel (Yam); 2. Teddy Landers (Pen); 3. James Ealer Sr. (Bul); 4. Corky Root; 5. Gary Anderson (CZ).

Sunday – Post-Vintage

HISTORIC 125 NOV: 1. Christopher Wycislak (Hon); 2. Ryan Todd (Yam).

HISTORIC 125 INT: 1. Brian Miller (Hod).

HISTORIC 125 EX: 1. Louis Leblanc (Hon).

HISTORIC 250 NOV: 1. Brian Oakley (Bul); 2. Stephen Nemergut (Bul).

HISTORIC 250 INT: 1. Kaitlyn Morrow (Kaw); 2. Henry Gregorich (Hon); 3. Stephen Smith (Yam).

HISTORIC 500 NOV: 1. Greg Conn (CZ).

HISTORIC 500 INT: 1. Wesley Wallace (Suz).

HISTORIC 500 EX: 1. Shawn Culp (CZ).

HISTORIC 4-STROKE NOV: 1. Mark Smithard (BSA).

HISTORIC 4-STROKE INT: 1. Rick Owens (Hon); 2. Bill Orth (Hon).

HISTORIC 4-STROKE EX: 1. Louis Leblanc (Hon); 2. Mike Parker (Hon).

GP 125 NOV: 1. Laurie Shelton (Yam); 2. Tim Todd (Yam); 3. Rhett Melancon (Hsq); 4. Christopher Wycislak (Hon).

GP 125 INT: 1. Claude Cutshaw (Yam); 2. Patrick Marchbank (Yam); 3. Brian Miller (Hod); 4. Jonathan Dunn (Yam).

GP 125 EX: 1. Tommy Cannon Jr. (Hsq); 2. Sean Hackley Sr. (Hsq); 3. Parker Jones (Hon); 4. Elbert Simon (Suz).

GP 250 NOV: 1. Craig Ryan (Suz); 2. Brian Murphy (Yam).

GP 250 INT: 1. James Sharp (Hon); 2. Damon Ogan (Yam); 3. Mike Aymond (Hus); 4. Kevin Beale (Hon).

GP 250 EX: 1. Tommy Cannon Jr. (Hsq); 2. Derek Borg (Yam); 3. Dennis Goodson (Hon).

GP 500 NOV: 1. Tony Dunnam (Hus).

GP 500 INT: 1. Chris Ingram (Yam); 2. Mark Hosbach (Hus); 3. Wesley Wallace (Kaw); 4. Robert Shough Jr. (Yam); 5. Stephen Smith (Yam).

GP 500 EX: 1. Tommy Cannon Jr. (Hsq).

ULTIMA 125 NOV: 1. Justin Holcomb (Hon); 2. Ryan Todd (Yam).

ULTIMA 125 INT: 1. Tyler Mandino (Hon); 2. Cleb Swain (Yam); 3. Mark Hosbach (Hsq).

ULTIMA 250 NOV: 1. Rick Field (Suz).

ULTIMA 250 INT: 1. James Winn III (Yam); 2. Chris Ingram (Hon); 3. Kenneth Crawford (Yam).

ULTIMA 250 EX: 1. Ricky Parker (Yam); 2. Elbert Simon (Suz); 3. Zach Rambin (Suz).

ULTIMA 500 NOV: 1. Michael Welden (Suz).

ULTIMA 500 INT: 1. Michael Elshout (Hon); 2. John Owen (Hon); 3. Mitch McGinnis (Mai).

ULTIMA 500 EX: 1. Bob Bean (Hon).

ULTIMA 4-STROKE EX: 1. Mike Parker (Hon); 2. Shawn Culp (Yam).

WOMEN NOV: 1. Ashley Doyle (Hon).

WOMEN INT: 1. Maranda Anderson (Kaw); 2. Laurie Shelton (CZ); 3. Terry Gerber (Hus).

WOMEN EX: 1. Kaitlyn Morrow (Kaw).

40+ NOV: 1. Duane Hutley (Yam); 2. Brian Oakley (Bul); 3. Michael Welden (Suz).

40+ INT: 1. Mirko Lucchi (Hus); 2. Randy Howell (Suz).

50+ NOV: 1. Craig Ryan (Suz); 2. Tim Todd (Yam); 3. Chris Lenahan (C-A); 4. Mark Smithard (BSA).

50+ INT: 1. Dean Haight (Hon); 2. Jere Kellough (Yam); 3. Pete Vetraino (Suz); 4. Mark McNulty (Mai); 5. Kenneth Ely (Yam).

50+ EX: 1. Chris Todd (Yam); 2. Derek Borg (Yam); 3. Buck Murphy (Hon).

60+ NOV: 1. Rick Field (Hus); 2. Glenn McGovern (Yam).

60+ INT: 1. Mike Herron (Suz); 2. Bill Walker (Hon).

60+ EX: 1. Bob Bean (Hon); 2. Gary Jones (Hsq); 3. John Gott (Yam).

70+ INT: 1. Paul Busick (Suz).

70+ EX: 1. Teddy Landers (KTM).

OPEN AGE NOV: 1. Brian Oakley (Bul); 2. Mark Smithard (BSA).

OPEN AGE INT: 1. Kenneth Ely (Yam); 2. Tyler Mandino (Hon); 3. Patrick Marchbank (Mai).

OPEN AGE EX: 1. Zach Rambin (Suz); 2. Elbert Simon (Suz); 3. Chris Todd (Yam).

PRE-MODERN INT: 1. John Owen (Hon); 2. Mike Comfort (Hon).

PRE-MODERN EX: 1. Danny Holden (Hon).

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