Saddlemen

Portfolio from CALVMX Vintage MX, Round Seven

| 28 August 2017 5:48 pm

CALVMX/ 100% Vintage Motocross Regional Series
Round 7: Pala Raceway

Story and Photography by Tom Corley/tcestudios@netzero.net
PALA, CA, AUG. 6, 2017

This was also “Media Appreciation Day,” as the CALVMX recognized those who document these fine Vintage Motocross races.

This was also “Media Appreciation Day,” as the CALVMX recognized those who document these fine Vintage Motocross races.

The “Pied Piper of Hamelin” is a German legend that dates back to the middle ages, about a piper in multicolored clothing. Well, on this day, CALVMX promoter Frank Vrettas (though not clad in multicolored clothing) played the Pied Piper, as he led faithful club members to Pala Raceway, a whole new venue – and they most surely followed him. What was their reaction to this move? Let’s hear from several who responded…

Hot-rod Honda mini racer John Forsythe reported: “I couldn’t have asked for better conditions. I loved all the hills and jumps. It was a lot of fun on a little bike. Looking forward to going back!”

Hot-shot Expert rider David MacDonald said: “Pala is a great place for our Vintage events. One of the best features of the track was the elevation changes; I really enjoy that type of terrain. I also really enjoyed the long triple jump on the front straight.”

Consistent CZ ace Tim Vasquez agreed with MacDonald: “That track is really fun and fast, and I love the elevation changes.”

Honda Elsinore rider Marty Eisen gave his take about his racing and the track: “That was my first time ever racing at Pala. I reset the timing and tuned up my 1974 CR125, and boy, did it run great [in] both motos, and my starts were better than ever. The track was unreal, except for some hairy launches. I can’t wait to go back!”

As always, this portfolio is best enjoyed on a large-screen computer…

For the first time, CALVMX’s vintage bikes took to this challenging track at Pala Raceway. This picture looks like something right out of the early days of motocross racing.

For the first time, CALVMX’s vintage bikes took to this challenging track at Pala Raceway. This picture looks like something right out of the early days of motocross racing.

Sitting on a 1976 Hodaka Thunderdog 250 is “Big Mike” Rozier (right) who is talking to Nick LaPaglia (left) about racing – and who better to talk to, as Nick was the fastest rider on the track.

Sitting on a 1976 Hodaka Thunderdog 250 is “Big Mike” Rozier (right) who is talking to Nick LaPaglia (left) about racing – and who better to talk to, as Nick was the fastest rider on the track.

“Big Mike” Rozier’s bike came from his dad’s shop, Hodaka Dave’s in Missouri.

“This is its maiden voyage,” Rozier said about his bike, “and I’m just working out all the bugs.”

Rozier is a Checkers member and has raced in District 37, Hare ’n’ Hounds and Big 6 races.

A ground-level shot of the two Hodaka aces for the day: Mike Rozier (left) and Kelly McKeirman (right).

A ground-level shot of the two Hodaka aces for the day: Mike Rozier (left) and Kelly McKiernan (right).

The two Hodaka aces on the day were Mike Rozier and Kelly McKiernan… but where was their fellow Hodaka rider Jim Stein? Apparently, Stein was getting ready to come out to the event when he felt sick.

On the day, Rozier won the GP 1 250cc Intermediate class, and McKiernan took second in the Vintage Sportsman 125cc Intermediate contest.

McKiernan presented yet another positive outlook on the track: “I loved racing at Pala, and the track was great. [Promoter] Frank [Vrettas] and the CALVMX always put on a smooth-running event.”

A mighty trio of racers in race six take this turn. CZ-mounted Jeff Snyder (22) has the lead, ahead of Danny Gonzalez (171) and Kelly McKiernan (300).

A mighty trio of racers in race six take this turn. CZ-mounted Jeff Snyder (22) has the lead, ahead of Danny Gonzalez (171) and Kelly McKiernan (300).

Danny Gonzalez shed some light on the racing.

“The track was awesome, and this was the first time we have raced there,” Gonzalez said. “Multilevel uphills and downhills – a lot of variety. Jeff Snyder, Kelly McKiernan and myself had a great battle in both motos. We actually traded paint, all three of us. The race leader, John Forsythe, checked out in both motos, but both races all three of us passed and repassed each other in a battle for second. Jeff Snyder got it and deserved it. It was also cool to honor our friends in the media who make us look [good at] every race.”

On the day, Jeff Snyder won the Vintage Sportsman 125cc Expert class. John Forsythe won the Vintage Sportsman 125cc Intermediate contest, over Kelly McKiernan and Danny Gonzalez.

Nick LaPaglia (17) takes this jump with his foot off the pegs.

Nick LaPaglia (17) takes this jump with his foot off the pegs.

“I finally got the weekend off, and I’m happy to be out here!” exclaimed Nick LaPaglia.

During the weekdays, Nick has a job where he turns gravel into sand. And on this day, he was excavating dirt with the rear wheel of his CZ, having had fun on the way to winning the Open Age Vintage Expert class.

A back view of Nick LaPaglia, who styled for the camera and enjoyed getting to know this Pala track.

A back view of Nick LaPaglia, who styled for the camera and enjoyed getting to know this Pala track.

2017 Industry Racing 590 0001

Who is this cool guy riding a Yamaha twin in the pits? That happens to be Micah Davis, who does have another bike on which he would be competing, and that is a very fast Honda mini.

Who is this cool guy riding a Yamaha twin in the pits? That happens to be Micah Davis, who does have another bike on which he would be competing, and that is a very fast Honda mini.

With mouth wide open and having a blast, Micah Davis takes his Honda off this jump. Davis won the GP 85cc Expert class.

With his mouth wide open, and having a blast, Micah Davis takes his Honda off this jump. Davis won the GP 85cc Expert class.

Race eight finds some riders cramming into this turn, with Sterling Rigsby (27) and David MacDonald (12) going at it.

Race eight finds some riders cramming into this turn, with Sterling Rigsby (27) and David MacDonald (12) going at it.

Sterling Rigsby had lots to say about this event.

“I thought the track was good, considering I don’t ride that track much,” Rigsby reported. “I usually ride the Vet track, but I was surprised at how fun that was, with the uphill and downhill. I love to jump, so it was fun getting back on the motocross track, which I haven’t done in about six months; it’s been mostly off-road and Baja racing. I won a few championships down there but decided to start racing more motocross, and it was a great day, bumping bars with a lot of old friends. It was great seeing everyone, and the racing was even better. A huge thanks to Frank and CALVMX for putting everything together.”

Overall, Rigsby took second place in this GP 3 250cc Expert contest, in which David MacDonald was the victor.

Taking a downhill and rounding it off at the bottom with this berm was David MacDonald (12).

Taking a downhill and rounding it off at the bottom with this berm was David MacDonald (12).

“I felt good, especially after being off the bike for five months due to a knee injury,” MacDonald said. “I enjoyed racing with Sterling Rigsby, as we had some close racing, and I was able to make up a lot of ground by clearing the triple jumps.”

Michael Bierman (58) has shown that he is capable of leading modern 450cc bikes on his hot-rod Honda mini.

Michael Bierman (58) has shown that he is capable of leading modern 450cc bikes on his hot-rod Honda mini.

“This was perhaps my worst race in years,” lamented Michael Bierman, as this day wasn’t a good one for him. “I simply couldn’t flow. I started up front and got passed by most, as I couldn’t turn. After racing, I noticed I had zero fork oil in my right fork tube, and it was a blown fork seal. That’s racing; we must endure the bitter to enjoy the sweet.”

How true that is, Michael.

2017 Evans Story Ad 590 0001

Here come the Modern Support Veteran Novice and Intermediate riders in race seven, after a start that led them downhill and to this berm, where they attempt to funnel on through. Leading the stampede is Doug Lott (4), with Jeff Cooper (731) behind him.

Here come the Modern Support Veteran Novice and Intermediate riders in race seven, after a start that led them downhill and to this berm, where they attempt to funnel on through. Leading the stampede is Doug Lott (4), with Jeff Cooper (731) behind him.

In Modern Support Veteran action, overall for the day it was Jeff Cooper with the Novice win. Doug Lott placed fourth in the Intermediates, behind Toby Taki, Dan Paulson and Kent Musgrave.

“We raced to the checkered flag in both motos,” Cooper recalled. “It was one of the most exciting races ever!”

Cooper had another bout in race nine, in which he won the Modern Support Four-Stroke Novice class.

“I won all four motos,” Cooper continued, “and it was a great day for me. I never raced two races and didn’t realize my fitness was good enough to race back to back; I surprised myself! I loved the track, as it had a mixture of everything – elevation changes, old-school motocross and modern jumps.”

Next, let’s take a look at those modern jumps that Jeff Cooper mentioned…

Looks like these two riders have different methods of clearing the jumps. Finishing one jump at ground level and getting ready for the next is Doug Lott (4), while Kent Musgrave (419) has his front end pointed downward and not in good shape to take the upcoming jump.

Looks like these two riders have different methods of clearing the jumps. Finishing one jump at ground level and getting ready for the next is Doug Lott (4), while Kent Musgrave (419) has his front end pointed downward and not in good shape to take the upcoming jump.

In race seven, through a cloud of dust, Kent Musgrave (419) takes this jump in good style, with Dan Paulson (236) right behind.

In race seven, through a cloud of dust, Kent Musgrave (419) takes this jump in good style, with Dan Paulson (236) right behind.

“In my opinion, the Pala race was a good addition to the CALVMX schedule,” said Kent Musgrave. “The track was a lot of fun but still had some challenges, which led to great racing all day. It was a very enjoyable day overall, and I look forward to racing there again soon.”

A window through the dust lets us focus on Jerry Wageman (232), the eventual fourth-place finisher in the Modern Support Vet Novice class. Wageman is just slightly ahead of eventual class winner Jeff Cooper (731) and Dan Paulson (236), the runner-up in the Intermediates.

A window through the dust lets us focus on Jerry Wageman (232), the eventual fourth-place finisher in the Modern Support Vet Novice class. Wageman is just slightly ahead of eventual class winner Jeff Cooper (731) and Dan Paulson (236), the runner-up in the Intermediates.

Dan Paulson (236) smacks this berm before heading uphill, but no worries – the roost didn’t spray the camera!

Dan Paulson (236) smacks this berm before heading uphill, but no worries – the roost didn’t spray the camera!

Big Time Speedway Story Ad 2015 590 0002

Race-two action, with Husky-mounted Chris Moeller (87) taking this jump alongside the pits. (Let’s see – who used to race a number-87 Husky at Saddleback Park? Yes, I can still picture Bruce McDougal on one…)

Race-two action, with Husky-mounted Chris Moeller (87) taking this jump alongside the pits. (Let’s see – who used to race a number-87 Husky at Saddleback Park? Yes, I can still picture Bruce McDougal on one…)

Race two included the fastest riders of the day. Here, Chris Moeller (87) has a slight lead over Mike LaPaglia (14) and a rider new to the club, Ayrton Sieja (241), who just made the big leap into Vintage racing.

Race two included the fastest riders of the day. Here, Chris Moeller (87) has a slight lead over Mike LaPaglia (14) and a rider new to the club, Ayrton Sieja (241), who just made the big leap into Vintage racing.

On the day, Nick LaPaglia won the Open Age Vintage Expert class, but Ayrton Sieja was sure after him in second, both CZ-mounted. Chris Moeller placed third.

Winning the Over 50 Vintage Expert class was Mike LaPaglia, ahead of Tim McIntyre and Doc Alexander.

Many were wondering who this rider is and now they know it’s Ayrton Sieja. This rider is good competition for Nick LaPaglia, Greg “Zeke” Landers and Scott Burnworth. (And speaking of Burnworth, where was he on this day? We’ll answer that question in the last photo of this portfolio…)

Many were wondering who this rider is and now they know it’s Ayrton Sieja. This rider is good competition for Nick LaPaglia, Greg “Zeke” Landers and Scott Burnworth. (And speaking of Burnworth, where was he on this day? We’ll answer that question in the last photo of this portfolio…)

Man, was that fun!” Ayrton Sieja exclaimed. “Personally, I was a huge fan of the track layout, with all the hills and jumps; plus, that dirt was money. Unfortunately, I missed the start in both of my second motos, but all in all [it was] a great day. I’m really looking forward to the remaining rounds of CALVMX, with all the new friends I’m making. I’d like to thank Matrix Concepts, Atlas, 1.7 Cleaning Solutions, Next Components, and my dad for making all this possible.”

Coming downhill and into this turn is Mark Sandzimier (50), one of the fastest riders on the day.

Coming downhill and into this turn is Mark Sandzimier (50), one of the fastest riders on the day.

“The track was sweet, flowed well, and kept you pushing for more,” Suzuki pilot Mark Sandzimier said about the course. “Next time I’m doing the triple!”

Overall in the Modern Support Two-Stroke Expert class, it was Sandzimier in first place and Matt Itamura finishing second.

Getting big air are Matt Itamura (X) and Mark Sandzimier (50).

Getting big air are Matt Itamura (X) and Mark Sandzimier (50).

Kawasaki of Simi Valley Logo 500 BLACK

This was a popular jump. Here, Tim Vasquez (78) goes over at the same time as Craig Walker (295). Walker placed third in the Over 60 Vintage Intermediates and Vasquez was first in the Over 50 Vintage Novice race.

This was a popular jump. Here, Tim Vasquez (78) goes over at the same time as Craig Walker (295). Walker placed third in the Over 60 Vintage Intermediates and Vasquez was first in the Over 50 Vintage Novice race.

Tim Vasquez (78) was enjoying this track. Dana Yenawine (Z75, in yellow leathers) is some distance ahead.

Tim Vasquez (78) was enjoying this track. Dana Yenawine (Z75, in yellow leathers) is some distance ahead.

“I got first place in my class,” Tim Vasquez said. “I’d like to thank my dad and sister for their support and the Good Lord for keeping me safe and, of course, Norman [Tim’s moto dog] for his pit duties.”

In race six, CZ pilot Dana Yenawine (Z75) fell. Swerving past him with his boot up is John Forsythe. Dana still placed second in the Vintage Sportsman 250cc Intermediate class.

In race six, CZ pilot Dana Yenawine (Z75) fell. Swerving past him with his boot up is John Forsythe. Dana still placed second in the Vintage Sportsman 250cc Intermediate class.

Rich Truchinski (58) takes flight at Pala. Look how he takes this jump so much higher than the rest.

Rich Truchinski (58) takes flight at Pala. Look how he takes this jump so much higher than the rest.

Rich Truchinski was one of the fastest riders who rode out of Indian Dunes back in the day. On this day, he came out to Pala, and he as riding Lori Payne’s Honda on his way to winning the Modern Support Vet Expert class.

“For me, I’ve been off the bikes for a while,” Truchinski admitted, “so the track was challenging enough, and at the same time do-able by everyone, to make for some great racing. In other words – I had a blast!”

Tight corner racing at the far end of the track in race eight, as Don Hansing (88) leads Mike Fry (119). Hansing won his first moto in the GP 2 500cc Intermediate class but didn’t finish the second stanza. Fry placed second in the Over 60 GP Expert race.

Tight corner racing at the far end of the track in race eight, as Don Hansing (88) leads Mike Fry (119). Hansing won his first moto in the GP 2 500cc Intermediate class but didn’t finish the second stanza. Fry placed second in the Over 60 GP Expert race.

Looks like there was only one number for everyone in the race three, and that was number Seven. It was on the number plate of Karen Gariepy (7), Tami Helms (77) and Gus Clark (77X)!

Looks like there was only one number for everyone in the race three, and that was number Seven. It was on the number plate of Karen Gariepy (7), Tami Helms (77) and Gus Clark (77X)!

Our last action picture before the awards presentation, and it’s a good one! Meet Jake Sodeman, who took third in the Three-Wheel Open Expert class. Something about him caught the camera’s attention.

Our last action picture before the awards presentation, and it’s a good one! Meet Jake Sodeman, who took third in the Three-Wheel Open Expert class. Something about him caught the camera’s attention.

“It was my first time with the CALVMX,” said Jake Sodeman, a rider from Chino, California. “It was awesome, but I gotta get better boots so I can take the jumps. I’ve had this bike since I was 14, and I’m 31 now.”

BassettBnnr

Congratulations to CALVMX promoters Frank and Debbi Vrettas on their anniversary. Some of us who were here today were there in San Diego for your beautiful wedding.

Congratulations to CALVMX promoters Frank and Debbi Vrettas on their anniversary. Some of us who were here today were there in San Diego for your beautiful wedding.

Two of the winningest riders, Micah Davis and Nick LaPaglia, proudly claimed their medals.

Two of the winningest riders, Micah Davis and Nick LaPaglia, proudly claimed their medals.

Rich Truchinski had a blast and won a medal for first place in the Modern Support Expert class.

Rich Truchinski had a blast and won a medal for first place in the Modern Support Expert class.

Ed Hicks is another burly-looking Three-Wheel racer. He won the Open Expert class. He had a hard time of it – literally, as he had no seat yet rode for four laps. Ouch! He loved the track, though, and went back home to Arizona with a nice medal.

Ed Hicks is another burly-looking Three-Wheel racer. He won the Open Expert class. He had a hard time of it – literally, as he had no seat yet rode for four laps. Ouch! He loved the track, though, and went back home to Arizona with a nice medal.

In one of the best races of the day, David Riley took a second place, behind Jeff Cooper, in the Modern Support Vet Novice class.

In one of the best races of the day, David Riley took a second place, behind Jeff Cooper, in the Modern Support Vet Novice class.

“Tough start, but overall [it was a] fun track,” said David Riley, who thanked Slick Products, TBT Racing, and Deor Graphics for all their help.

Ironman Vincent Laker stands next to his bikes, which are all loaded up in his truck and ready to go home.

Ironman Vincent Laker stands next to his bikes, which are all loaded up in his truck and ready to go home.

“I’m always known for pitting close to the start gate,” said Vincent Laker. “It showed at Pala, with a few missed gates. I was really impressed, as we raced the main track and was expecting the Vet track.”

The CALVMX recognizes the media crew that captures those special racing memories with stories and photographic images: (from left to right) Steve Caro, Norm Himaka, Kathy Caro, Tom Corley and Roni Limon Faxon. Photo by Debbi Vrettas

The CALVMX recognizes the media crew that captures those special racing memories with stories and photographic images: (from left to right) Steve Caro, Norm Himaka, Kathy Caro, Tom Corley and Roni Limon Faxon. Photo by Debbi Vrettas

Ride safe on your dirt bikes and don’t fall, like these characters sure did. Hey, is that Scott Burnworth on that number-eight bike?! No, it couldn’t be him, as he and his wife, Debbie, took the weekend off to go see Metallica. Rock on, Scott!

Ride safe on your dirt bikes and don’t fall, like these characters sure did. Hey, is that Scott Burnworth on that number-eight bike?! No, it couldn’t be him, as he and his wife, Debbie, took the weekend off to go see Metallica. Rock on, Scott!

And that concludes our rockin’ coverage of round seven of the CALVMX/ 100% Vintage Motocross Regional Series. See everyone on Sunday, September 10, at Perris Raceway for round eight of the CALVMX Series. It’s going to be “Sayonara Sayaki Day”…!

[For more from this event, including race coverage, photos and results, please see “Pala Goes Vintage!” by Steve Caro and Kathryn Caro… Editor]

TCE Studios Story Ad 590

Print Friendly
Print

Category: Motocross, Regional, Vintage, Vintage Motocross

Comments are closed.

K&N Motorcycle and ATV Replacement Oil Filters
Content Protected Using Blog Protector By: PcDrome.