Scramblin’ in ‘Zona
By Steve Caro
Photography by Kathryn Caro
Buckeye, AZ. April 23
CALVMX members took a virtual trip thru motocross history to revisit the roots of their sport for round four of the CALVMX/100% 2017 series as they crossed the southwestern desert to Arizona Cycle Park for a classic scrambles event. In keeping with tradition, the course layout utilized natural terrain contours as opposed to man-made obstacles.
In addition to the regular classes for bikes ranging from pre-1975 vintage up to modern machines, the annual CALVMX 3-Wheeler National was included in the program. 24 entries of the iconic machines ranging from absolute stock to highly modified racers took to the track in several crowd pleasing motos.
Arizona Cycle Park is by far one of the finest facilities CALVMX visits during its racing series. Entrants to the facility are greeted with excellent parking, a well-prepared race course with frequent watering and a thoroughly prepared track crew that features flaggers equipped with radios, enabling constant communication throughout the day. For those members who have yet to make the journey, it is well worth the trip.
The first race of the day was for the Three-Wheeler Open class, featuring some of the fastest riders to ever straddle the challenging tri-wheeled machines. In the first moto, Tom DeCrescente (Honda) blazed out of the starting gate and with extreme body gyrations, manhandled his way into the lead, followed by David Ham (Honda) and Ed Hicks (RMD). The trio roared around the course at an impressive pace and never more than a few feet separated them. DeCrescente kept his pursuers at bay to take the moto win, followed by Ham and Hicks.
The second moto saw the highly skilled Hicks timing the starting gate perfectly and he led the pack into the first turn with DeCrescente and Ham in tow. As in the first moto, the lead trio were a constant blur of bodies in motion as they battled not only with each other but also with the constant challenge of keeping their machines pointed in the right direction and “rubber side down”. Hicks put in a flawless moto to take the win, followed by DeCrescente and Ham. In the overall results, Decrescendo’s 1-2 score garnered him the overall, followed by Hicks (3-1) and Ham (2-3).
Scott Piddington (Yamaha) and Norm Himaka (Yamaha) dueled for two motos for the top spot in the GP-100 Intermediate class. As with all small-bore machines, the secret of success is to never allow your rpm’s drop too far and to keep your speed up at all times. On this day, Piddington put all the pieces together for a 1-1 class sweep, followed by Himaka with his 2-2 scores.
A very impressive ride was put in by the young local Arizona racer Mathew Cuevas. KTM mounted Cuevas entered the Junior class as a novice, and after two very impressive rides which saw him closely following adults on full sized machines, Cuevas was summarily moved to the expert division. Along with his promotion, Cuevas also swept his class with 1-1 scores.
Although they were scored in separate classes, 50 Plus GP Expert Ty Nexsen (Suzuki) and Open Age GP Expert Doug Runyon (Kawasaki) put on a great two-moto duel for track supremacy in their race which featured several skill levels and classes of 50 Plus and Open Age entrants. Nexsen and Runyon swapped the overall lead numerous times in the first moto before Runyon was able to break free of his challengers. At the checkers, it was Runyon physically crossing the line first, followed by Nexsen with 50 Plus GP Intermediates Ray Zuchowski (Yam) and Honda mounted James Youngblood finishing close behind.
Nexsen was the dominant figure in the second moto as he took the lead shortly after the start and powered his way into a dominant lead. Runyon stayed within striking distance of Nexsen, while Zuchowski and Youngblood trailed Runyon a few bike lengths behind. Nexsen had the honor of being first across the line, followed by Runyon. Zuchowski used his 1-1 scores to take the overall in his class, followed by Youngblood.
Other class winners on the day included Karen Gariepy (Kaw) in Women’s Open Class Novice with CZ mounted Mike Korgan taking the gold in both 50 Plus Vintage Intermediate and Vintage Sportsman 500 Intermediate. Joining them as class winners were Jon McGill on a pristine AT-125 Yamaha, complete with aftermarket down-pipe, in Classic 125 Novice and former pro-level star Sean Kalos. who put on a riding clinic as he circulated the course at a blistering pace to take the win in Modern Support Two-Stroke Pro on his classic CR-500 Honda. The sound of the big two-strokes’ roar could be heard around the course, a sound now sadly extinct in pro-level racing.
Round five will see the club making its second appearance at Perris Raceway on May 21. Perris is considered one of the most vintage friendly courses the club visits. All club members, guests, etc. are strongly encouraged to come to this event.
Further photos and race coverage can be found at: