CALVMX/100% Vintage Motocross Regional Series
Round 3: Perris Raceway
Story and Photography by Tom Corleyemail@example.com
PERRIS, CA, MAR. 19, 2017
Jackrabbits, Gripsters, Hilltoppers are names among those that are emblazoned on the rocks nearby, and they echo the past as they overlook the grounds of Perris Raceway. Legendary riders have carved the way around the terrain for others to follow. Some of those early pioneers of racing are still with us, such as Preston Petty – the racer and plastic-fenders innovator. This was the day that the CALVMX Vintage Motocross Club returned to this raceway, and it was a special event, being the second annual Brian Tracy Tribute Day.
Rockin’ the line-up and in our portfolio are Vintage racers including “Rock Star” Bob Tocco, “Rocket Rex” Staten, Scott “The Burner” Burnworth, Greg “Zeke” Landers, and Gary “The Sailor” Faxon. And yes, there are pictures of people with their dogs, too. Following the racing pictures is the awards presentation.
This portfolio is best enjoyed on a large-screen computer.
The CALVMX promotes Vintage Motocross at its very best. They have classes for modern bikes and minis, too.
The legendary Preston Petty, shown here racing scrambles in early days at Perris Raceway on a machine that is probably in some collector’s museum now. Preston has attended Vintage races and supports AHRMA events.
At the riders’ meeting, CALVMX promoter Frank Vrettas let the riders know that he is considering having races at different venues to keep things exciting. Frank also raced an XR in the Mini class, alongside the great Gary Faxon. In this picture, you might recognize the faces of racing greats Rex Staten and Scott Burnworth.
Brian Tracy’s family came out. They are racers, too. Matt Tracy (right) led the day’s riders around the track on a tribute lap to Brian…
Standing up on the pegs is Matt Tracy (V721), who leads the tribute lap to his brother Brian. After the race, Matt said that they were both avid trail riders and didn’t start racing until they were maybe 18 or 19 years old. Brian’s first races included the Adelanto Grand Prix and CALVMX at Milestone, on his Yamaha 175. Matt described this day’s event as “awesome” and was ecstatic about the turnout.
All were ecstatic to see the legendary “Rocket Rex” Staten come out to race with the CALVMX. Rex is not riding at full power due to a leg injury, but he is slowly working it out.
There’s a whole lot of action going on at the start of Race Three. To the left is promoter Frank Vrettas (77V), who is mixing it up with the riders and about to race Gary Faxon (right). In the center is little Tommy Luera, with Augustus Clark looking back toward him.
The race is on between Gary Faxon (25S) and Frank Vrettas (77V) in Race Three! “Frank just wanted me to race with him in the Mini class,” Faxon reported. “He thought it would be fun getting off the big bikes for a change.” These two were bumping and scraping plastic (or very close to it) the entire time. On the day, Faxon won the GP100 Pro class, while Vrettas garnered the GP85 Intermediate title.
Let us introduce you to a father-and-son racing team: little Tommy Luera Jr. (who races in Junior/ Beginner 65cc action) and big Tommy Luera Sr. (who contests the Over 50 GP Intermediate class). Both of them are smiling for the camera, but little Tommy forgot to take his helmet off.
The last time that we featured Tommy Luera Sr. (15) in one of these stories, he was on a blue Elsinore 125. Now he is on a newer bike, and he looked good as he won the Over 50 GP Intermediate class.
Wearing Yamaha yellow is Matt Tracy, who shot off the line on his Honda to take the Modern Support Four-Stroke Intermediate win. Go, Matt! Ride like Brian did – a winner.
Kitty Hoole is out of racing now, but Tim Hoole (40) is still going strong, and he raced in two classes on the day. Tim placed fourth in the Over 50 GP Expert class and third in the GP3 250cc Expert contest.
Over the first jump of the track with three riders at a time: Craig Furman (22), Steve Furman (5) and young Peter Tolmasoff (318).
“I thought the track was pretty awesome,” enthused Steve Furman. “It was changed some from the last time we rode Perris a couple of years ago; it’s more technical. In the 100 class, I had no competition, and I was half a lap ahead of the second-place guy in the 125 class. I got edged out by the 19-year-old [Peter Tolmasoff] in the first race. In the second race, on the last corner, he couldn’t get around me, so he hit my leg and I got a big bruise. At the awards presentation, I told him that we’re just a bunch of old guys.”
With Steve Furman already gone, this is another view of that race, with Peter Tolmasoff (318) on the inside, Craig Furman (22, with no long sleeves) on the outside, and Ron Renzulli (81) moving up on them both.
Race Six action, with two guys who wear those florescent-orange helmets. Craig Walker (235) took his CZ to third in the Vintage Sportsman 250cc Intermediate class, while Danny Gonzales Sr. (171) was the runner-up in Vintage Sportsman 125cc Intermediate racing.
“Old-school racetrack – tight run-and-gun track, sloppy in the morning but nice traction for the race,” Danny Gonzalez Sr. reported afterward. “A tight track means rubbing in racing. Looking forward to going there again.”
“I live at the beach, race Vintage Motocross, and work in the motorcycle industry – not a bad life,” said Danny Gonzalez Sr. (171). Well, it looks like Danny has a good life; now all he needed was the right woman – and that’s Susan McPherson (left). “I enjoyed being there,” McPherson said. “The CALVMX gang are a great group. I hope to join them on the track soon.”
Mark Sandzimier (50) exhibits Pro footwork as he takes this turn. On the day, Sandzimier won the Modern Support Vet Expert class and placed second, behind Ty Nexsen, in the Over 50 GP Expert event.
Time for Mark Sandzimier to take the checkered flag from Mark Aquino, who does this consistently for the CALVMX.
Scott “The Burner” Burnworth is having so much fun racing his Project 87 Suzuki that he is giving the Ossa a good break. Look at the way he kicks up the dust through this berm! On the day, Burnworth won the GP3 125cc Pro and Open Age GP Expert races.
Now Greg “Zeke” Landers takes this berm without kicking up a dust storm like “The Burner” did.
“That tabletop was a ball, especially after the start, when I had a better run at it,” Greg Landers said. “Perris was a nice change of pace, with a few minor changes and some additional berms. My CZ ran well all day, and I was happy with the jetting changes I made for the lower elevation. All in all, it was good times with good people, as usual! Can’t wait to do it in the dirt again soon.”
Jim Barker (59) became one of the pipe draggers at the last race, but on this day his Elsinore’s pipe stayed on just right. Barker placed third in the Vintage Sportsman 250cc Intermediates. Meanwhile, Hodaka ace Kelly McKiernan (300) took the Vintage Sportsman 125cc Novice title.
Between Carmen and Riley, moto dog Gizo is in good hands. Guess the noise doesn’t bother the little guy.
“It was a tight track, but the dirt was good and the weather was perfect. New blood in the Ladies’ class made for challenging motos,” explained Kerri Kress (925), who raced to win in the Women’s Open Intermediate class. Behind her was Lisa Tracy (77).
Powered by the classic tunes, Bob Tocco is a rock-and-roll animal and a motorcycle enthusiast with an endless collection of bikes to ride. On this day, he took a 1-DNS in the Modern Support Two-Stroke Expert class but a perfecto 1-1 tally in the GP 200cc Experts.
“I loved the cool track layout and had a blast racing a full-sized bike for once!” Bob Tocco exclaimed. “The 200 Air-Cooled class was great, with a first-moto win. I got caught in the gate in the second moto and worked myself back to first, only to get stuck in a rut!” Remember, Bob, it was Meatloaf who sang, “One Out of Two Ain’t Bad” …er… wasn’t it? (Make that “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad”…)
While Tocco was airborne and getting stuck in ruts, Alison Barnes (Bob’s lady and photographer) was walking about with moto canines Bengie and Quinn, who grew up to the sound of bikes.
The CALVMX awards its riders with the coolest designed medals. Time to hand these out to the winners…
This background, which depicts the racing career of Brian Tracy, was perfect to stage the winners on. First we had to get a full shot of this art with Timothy Vasquez and the notorious Norman.
Kerri Kress steps up to take an award for winning the Women’s Open Intermediate class. She also took second place in the GP1 125cc Novice race. “Even though my GP bike was barely running, I still had a blast,” she reported.
Steve Furman has a cold one in one hand and a medal around his neck for winning the GP 100cc Intermediate class. His brother Craig was a winner, too, and we’ve got him coming up next…
Craig Furman was all excited about his GP1 125cc Intermediate win. You can tell him apart from Steve by that hair on his chin.
Thomas Engelhardt was a two-time winner: He topped the Over 60 GP Intermediate and Modern Support Vet Intermediate classes.
“What a great day of racing! Awesome to see all the support for Brian Tracy and his family. CALVMX rocks!” enthused John Souza, who won a first-place medal in the GP3 500cc Novice race.
Now that’s a group shot! Join the CALVMX for the next race as they take a road trip to Arizona Cycle Park in Buckeye, Arizona, on April 23!
A throwback to the SoCal Vintage MX Classic 6: Brian Tracy, with a big smile as he proudly accepts an award. What a great tribute race this was today.
“What to do? If only this helmet would fit over my new ’do!” says a perplexed Nathan to himself.
[For more from this event, including race coverage, results and more photos, please see “VMX Returns to Perris!” by Steve Caro and Kathryn Caro… Editor]