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Portfolio from A Day In The Dirt 20 – Adult Mini Scrambles

| 22 January 2018 6:58 pm

A Day In The Dirt 20 – Adult Mini Scrambles
Glen Helen Raceway

Story and Photography by Tom Corley/tcestudios@netzero.net
SAN BERNARDINO, CA, NOV. 25, 2017

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A Day In The Dirt 20 had a massive turnout of modern motocross machines for three days of racing, which took off on the start in the photo above and rounded the visible Talladega start on the Glen Helen National track.

There are other tracks at this raceway for two-wheeled racers, such as the Lucas Oil Pavilion, for those who want to do some Old School TT Scrambles; the REM Motocross track; and one other, in which the focus of this presentation was all about. It’s coming up… No, it’s not a double-jumping motocross track or anything like the Pavilion. It’s simply called the Adult Mini Scrambles track.

I wish that I knew
what I know now
when I was younger.
I wish that I knew
what I know now
when I was stronger.

“Ooh La La” – the Faces

Though the above lyrics refer to dealing with a love relationship, we’re going to relate that to the sport of motorcycle racing, for which many have a deep love and could have, would have, done something different if they knew what they know now. Some of our Adult Mini competitors will not only report how the day’s racing went but will remember the past.

Speaking of the past, our Portfolio shows some people who haven’t raced in years and got back on a mini to have fun again. Take, for example, one of the best-ever in NMA minicycle racing: “Stray Cat” Mike Healey, who got a real kick out of racing on this day.

Let’s hear what some involved had to say about this race…

“The mini race was super fun!” enthused Scott Burnworth.

“All in all,” said Cory Tocco, “it’s just cool to still be able to go race with my old man [his father Bob Tocco] and smoke him!”

“My son Cory Tocco made the team proud by winning the class with dominant speed!” exclaimed Bob Tocco.

“Day In The Dirt was good this year,” Ray Hensley noted, adding, “The competition keeps getting better!”

“It was great to see so many people whom I haven’t seen in a while,” said Debbie Matthews, “and it really felt great to be back on a bike. I’m glad I did, because it gave me confidence that, even with my medical challenges, if I ride within myself, I can still have fun!”

Now, on with this rockin’ portfolio, and, as always, we recommend viewing this on a large-screen computer.

This Fasthouse moto dog is ready to hear the sounds of those hot rod minis... if only his owner will get up! Are they ready for practice yet? The riders go out on the track only when promoter Mike Bierman says so, so let’s check in with him.

This Fasthouse moto dog is ready to hear the sounds of those hot rod minis… if only his owner will get up! Are they ready for practice yet? The riders go out on the track only when promoter Mike Bierman says so, so let’s check in with him.

Michael Bierman is the man who made this race possible, as he promotes Adult Mini Scrambles.

Michael Bierman is the man who made this race possible, as he promotes Adult Mini Scrambles.

“We had 52 entries – great turnout!” Michael Bierman exclaimed; some of those riders raced in the Grand Prix on the big track as well.

Okay, the moto dog wanted to know if they were ready to roll yet, and Bierman declared that it was now time for practice to begin.

Team Swolen ladies Sandi Weidler and Lori Payne are practicing. (Yes, that’s Scott Burnworth trailing them.)

Team Swolen ladies Sandi Weidler and Lori Payne are practicing. (Yes, that’s Scott Burnworth trailing them.)

“It was my first race of the year,” said Sandi Weidler, “and I was running a borrowed 100cc stock bike against all the other modified bikes.”

Women’s class racing is on the line: (from left to right) Penny Bridges, Lori Payne and Sandi Weidler, who all ride for Team Swolen. Yeah, that’s our Lori with her arms raised in the air like a champion would do.

Women’s class racing is on the line: (from left to right) Penny Bridges, Lori Payne and Sandi Weidler, who all ride for Team Swolen. Yeah, that’s our Lori with her arms raised in the air like a champion would do.

Sandi Weidler in action.

Sandi Weidler in action.

“Off line of the first moto, I let everyone go ahead of me and was a little slow on the track,” Sandi Weidler recounted of the Women’s contest, “but I got the hang of it again by the end of the first moto. “Second moto – I’m feeling pretty good and I’m gonna try to get the holeshot. Well, that didn’t work out so well. I got tangled up with Lori Payne and I went down. I got my bike back up and passed a couple girls and finished the race screaming ‘woo-hoo!’ and was filled with excitement.”

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Holy Cow! Look at this! It’s not Halloween time, but why not wear a cow costume just for the udder... er, utter fun of it? Heather Matthews Majerek (seen here next to the bike of her mom, Debbie) was about to race in the Women’s class.

Holy Cow! Look at this! It’s not Halloween time, but why not wear a cow costume just for the udder… er, utter fun of it? Heather Matthews Majerek (seen here next to the bike of her mom, Debbie) was about to race in the Women’s class.

“I haven’t raced the early-’90s 80cc forever,” said Heather Matthews Majerek of her ride ono this day), “and the suspension was set up for a teenager.”

How about racing in that costume?

“During the race, my tail got sucked up in the drive train,” she recounted. “I think it was the third corner from the end. I noticed this when I went to stand for the step down and couldn’t stand up. I tried, but it didn’t move. I finished the race, so I’m happy with the racing that was done. It was a hot day, especially in that costume.”

Okay, maybe that wasn’t the best idea…

There was only one person in costume in the Women’s class, and that was Heather Matthews Majerek, who looks good in this picture.

There was only one person in costume in the Women’s class, and that was Heather Matthews Majerek, who looks good in this picture.

“The first moto went pretty well for me,” reported Majerek. “I got an okay start, was on the attack to try to get up to the leaders. There was a good time in a battle where I would get a wheel in and they would shut the door; this happened for most of the moto.

“The second moto was rough,” she continued. “I didn’t get on the line fast enough, so I was on the back row [and got a] last-place start. [There was] a crash in front of me with Lori and Sandi. I got around the crash and started charging hard! I battled up to fifth, on the tail of fourth. If I had one more lap… though I was happy with how much I put into the racing with friends.”

When asked what she wished she knew when she was younger, she replied: “Don’t let other people’s negative attitude and comments affect your goals, your plans and life. Stay positive and keep focused on you. If I had known that and believed that when I was younger, things would have been so different – in racing and life.”

Coming up next: the day’s racing according to Heather’s mom, Debbie Matthews…

Debbie Matthews (11) leads the Women’s contest.

Debbie Matthews (11) leads the Women’s contest.

Heather’s mom, Debbie Matthews, raced in the Women’s class too.

“My race went pretty much as planned,” Debbie reported. “I haven’t raced in 17 years and had no prep. It was a spur-of-the-moment thing. The bike I used I’ve only rode in the pits, teaching my granddaughter to ride, so to [get the] holeshot [in the second moto] and lead a lap and a half felt really good! I’ve had a lot of health issues, so that was pretty sweet for me. I gated third in the first moto and faded to sixth out of 15. I was having trouble with the heat and breathing, but I had fun.

“[By moto two] I knew the bike a bit better and gated perfectly,” she continued. “I holeshot and led for one and a half laps. My strategy was to get out front, avoid chaos, and hold on as long as possible. I was cramping badly, but I was able to finish sixth again.”

When asked what she wished she knew about racing when she was younger, she responded: “Early in my career, I always tried to be smooth and perfect – good ideas, but because of that I wasn’t as aggressive, and that cost me at times. As I grew older, I actually got more aggressive. I actually got faster with age. I know that’s weird, because most people do the opposite, but I learned as I became more aggressive and was willing to try things with more confidence and enjoyment I feel.”

Tami Slemko Creese (8) in action.

Tami Slemko Creese (8) in action.

Scott Burnworth wasn’t the only mini rider with the number-eight plate on this day. Tami Slemko Creese had that number in the Women’s class – and yes, she mentioned Burnworth.

“Well, my little chug-a-lug XR100 went better than expected,” Creese reported. “I was hip to jump that start. I went for it with a holeshot, only to be called back. Ha ha! I was all fired up! Best tip: Lining up behind Scott Burnworth with a matching number eight on my putter bike made me feel the need to represent and twist the throttle! I kept my lines solid.”

What does Tami wish she knew back in her early racing years that she knows now?

“I started racing in late 2005,” Tami answered, “and in my first race I was so nervous. I would say ‘Breathe! Relax more at the starting gate. Practice starts!’ Good starts are the key. Of all my bikes, I wish I’d have saved my ’97 Honda CR125R. That was a fun bike.”

Team Tocco’s Sarah Cords (47) has the edge over Desiree Bates (54) and Team Swolen’s Lori Payne (58X). There were some great riders in the Women’s class, so come on out and join them next year!

Team Tocco’s Sarah Cords (47) has the edge over Desiree Bates (54) and Team Swolen’s Lori Payne (58X). There were some great riders in the Women’s class, so come on out and join them next year!

One more good shot of Sarah Cords (47), and this time it’s another Team Swolen rider, Penny Bridges (16), following her. On the day in the competitive Women’s class, it was Desiree Bates with the win, ahead of Sarah Cords and Lori Payne.

One more good shot of Sarah Cords (47), and this time it’s another Team Swolen rider, Penny Bridges (16), following her. On the day in the competitive Women’s class, it was Desiree Bates with the win, ahead of Sarah Cords and Lori Payne.

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Time for the guys who go so fast that you’d think they were teenagers. We’re talking about the Open-class riders. Take a look here as “Rocket Ray” Hensley (1) attempts to pass Ralf Schmidt (72) – or vice versa.

Time for the guys who go so fast that you’d think they were teenagers. We’re talking about the Open-class riders. Take a look here as “Rocket Ray” Hensley (1) attempts to pass Ralf Schmidt (72) – or vice versa.

“In four years, I’ve won every single moto,” declared Ray Hensley, though he then humbly admitted, “I’m in terrible shape!

“In the first moto, I got the holeshot,” he continued, “and Mike Healey was behind me, but I knew that he was getting tired and Ralf [Schmidt] got by him.

“Mike Healey got the holeshot [in the second moto],” he added, “and Ralf bumped Healey and he went off the track. I rammed Ralf twice, and the second time his footpeg blew out a bunch of my spokes. Ralf crashed and Ray won.”

This is the trickiest part of the track, and as you can see here, Ray Hensley (1, behind Ralf Schmidt) has his front wheel going in one direction and the rear wheel in another. He straightened out and continued to pursue Ralf Schmidt (72).

This is the trickiest part of the track, and as you can see here, Ray Hensley (1, behind Ralf Schmidt) has his front wheel going in one direction and the rear wheel in another. He straightened out and continued to pursue Ralf Schmidt (72).

Overall, in the Open class, it was Hensley taking the win, over Schmidt and Ken Wilson.

When asked what he wished he knew about racing when he was younger, Hensley replied: “I would have trained. I was one of those who turned Pro at 17 but didn’t train. I just let my natural ability get me where it was.”

Mike Healey made his return to minicycle racing, Adult Mini Scrambles-style. And look at him style over this jump on the Honda! Now, this was the jump just past where Mike took a spill. Take a look at this next shot…

Mike Healey made his return to minicycle racing, Adult Mini Scrambles-style. And look at him style over this jump on the Honda! Now, this was the jump just past where Mike took a spill. Take a look at this next shot…

With his leg up in the air, Mike Healey sure got a “kick” out of his big return to racing. This is where Ralf Schmidt ran Healey into the bushes – according to Hensley. It took a while for Healey to get back up and get going, but he was still able to race.

With his leg up in the air, Mike Healey sure got a “kick” out of his big return to racing. This is where Ralf Schmidt ran Healey into the bushes – according to Hensley. It took a while for Healey to get back up and get going, but he was still able to race.

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Scott Burnworth pulls up to the starting line with his trick Timothy Bartee-painted helmet. Who would he be racing against, and how would he do in the Modified class?

Scott Burnworth pulls up to the starting line with his trick Timothy Bartee-painted helmet. Who would he be racing against, and how would he do in the Modified class?

How cool is this? Scott Burnworth (8) on the line, with Donnie “Holeshot” Hansen making sure that he gets a good start by sweeping away some rocks with his foot.

How cool is this? Scott Burnworth (8) on the line, with Donnie “Holeshot” Hansen making sure that he gets a good start by sweeping away some rocks with his foot.

Turning like a Pro is “The Burner” on his Honda. Scott had to work for it in the first moto: “Bob Tocco got the holeshot, and it took me a few laps to sneak by him.”

Turning like a Pro is “The Burner” on his Honda. Scott had to work for it in the first moto: “Bob Tocco got the holeshot, and it took me a few laps to sneak by him.”

Scott Burnworth cleared this jump before the finish, while this tricky section took another rider into the same bushes that Mike Healey fell into – literally.

Scott Burnworth cleared this jump before the finish, while this tricky section took another rider into the same bushes that Mike Healey fell into – literally.

Burnworth finished the day by getting the holeshot in the second moto. More importantly, he won the Modified class, over Bob Tocco and David Lynch.

When asked what he wished he knew about racing when he was younger, Burnworth replied: “Not sure I would’ve changed anything when I was younger. I had great support from my parents and then with R&D Racing and Suzuki, which helped me transition to the Pros.”

What about a bike that he raced but didn’t keep? He answered: “If there was one bike I could have kept, it would have been either my first factory Suzuki 125 in 1980 or my 1983 Factory Suzuki 250, on which I finished second, behind [David] Bailey, in the final outdoor standings.”

This is what it’s all about: close racing between two former minicycle champions. Here, Bob Tocco (47) has the lead, ahead of Scott Burnworth (8) – until they traded places.

This is what it’s all about: close racing between two former minicycle champions. Here, Bob Tocco (47) has the lead, ahead of Scott Burnworth (8) – until they traded places.

“I did fairly well,” Bob Tocco said, “knowing I had put the most pressure on myself that I could have. I freaked out leading Scott Burnworth and almost threw my lunch up – seriously! I was leading for half a moto and I went 2-2 for second overall. All in all, Team Bobalooch did the best ever this year at Day In The Dirt [Adult Mini Scrambles]. See ya next year!”

One more solo shot of Bob Tocco (47), also known as “Bob Gnarly.” Was there anyone else with whom Bob competed closely against on the track? Oh yes… as you will see in the next picture…

One more solo shot of Bob Tocco (47), also known as “Bob Gnarly.” Was there anyone else with whom Bob competed closely against on the track? Oh yes… as you will see in the next picture…

Practically sticking each other with their wheels are leading rider Cory Tocco (47, on the Honda) and his dad, Bob Tocco (47, on the Kawasaki).

Tocco Combo: Practically sticking each other with their wheels are leading rider Cory Tocco (47, on the Honda) and his dad, Bob Tocco (47, on the Kawasaki).

In the Stock class, Bob Tocco was happy to see his son Cory ride like him – and dress like him, too.

“He was styling in Levi’s and tennis shoes,” Bob said.

“The first moto started without us,” Cory reported, “as we were busy talking, so we threw on our helmets and jumped on the track a few seconds from being a lap down. By the end of the moto, I got up to, I believe, third.

“The second moto went a little better,” Cory continued. “I got the holeshot and sprinted a couple laps and maintained my lead and rode around.”

Cory and his father, Bobby, got all of the action filmed through that GoPro.

Cory and his father, Bobby, got all of the action filmed through that GoPro.

“Racing wasn’t expected,” Cory confessed, “as I drove up strictly to cheer on the old man [Bob Tocco] – until I saw he had a spare bike, so I grabbed a helmet, ran and asked Bierman if I could sign up, and went on to practice.”

Cory was glad that he did race, because he became the winner of the Stock class, over Ted Cordova and Rich Hargrove.

Micah Davis (118) leads Motocross Action magazine’s Dan Alamangos (66), who races often on the Glen Helen REM track.

Micah Davis (118) leads Motocross Action magazine’s Dan Alamangos (66), who races often on the Glen Helen REM track.

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Finish flagger David Anton.

Finish flagger David Anton.

“We who race the Adult Mini class are here for the fun and the sport,” explained finish flagger David Anton. “We love to have fun, and be it on the track or spectating, we old guys are a lively bunch. This day, I was wearing my man bun for the millennials at the track, just to see if I needed to send anyone to their safe space for their conduct on the track. It can get heated when competed. But in the end, we are all friends and want to have fun and go home unhurt. It is still dangerous. God help the old guy who breaks a hip.”

When asked what he wished he knew about racing when he was younger, or if he would have kept any of his early racing bikes, Anton replied: “If I kept a bike, it would have been my DKW. Lord knows it cost me a small fortune to replace. It was a fun bike then and still to this day. Today, I have acquired all the bikes I dreamed of having as a kid. And I race them still.”

So, did everybody have fun racing and watching the Adult Mini Scrambles? We’ve got some pictures of those who just loved it…

Motocross legend Donnie Hansen and top CMC Pro rider and Swolen Activewear owner Todd Peterson.

Motocross legend Donnie Hansen and top CMC Pro rider and Swolen Activewear owner Todd Peterson.

Micah Davis shows his enthusiasm for the day’s event!

Micah Davis shows his enthusiasm for the day’s event!

“Flyin’ Mike” Brown – one of the greatest mini racers of all time – got out of his van and stood up to show how excited he was to see the Adult Mini Scrambles and so many people that he’s known and raced with throughout the decades.

“Flyin’ Mike” Brown – one of the greatest mini racers of all time – got out of his van and stood up to show how excited he was to see the Adult Mini Scrambles and so many people that he’s known and raced with throughout the decades.

And as you can see here, there’s a whole new generation who find the minibike to be the most fun a kid can ever have!

And as you can see here, there’s a whole new generation who find the minibike to be the most fun a kid can ever have!

Glen Helen Raceway
San Bernardino, California
Adult Mini Scrambles Results: November 25, 2017

OPEN: 1. Ray Hensley; 2. Ralf Schmidt; 3. Ken Wilson.

WOMEN: 1. Desiree Bates; 2. Sarah Cords; 3. Lori Payne.

MODIFED: 1. Scott Burnworth; 2. Bob Tocco; 3. David Lynch.

STOCK: 1. Cory Tocco; 2. Ted Cordova; 3. Rich Hargrove.

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