Awareness Race, Rd# 4
Oktoberfest VMX Style
By Steve Caro
Photography by Kathryn Caro
Anza, CA. October 16, 2016
The high-desert hills of Cahuilla Creek MX Park once again echoed with the sounds of classic motocross machinery as CALVMX hosted the fourth of five rounds in their second 2016 vintage/post-vintage racing series. Under clear skies and a refreshingly cool breeze, nine races of vintage, post-vintage and modern support classes took the well-prepped Cahuilla Creek Vet Track.
As with the majority of CALVMX events, a special cause is promoted in conjunction with the normal race schedule. For the October event, breast cancer awareness was the featured subject. Riders and spectators alike sported pink ribbons, along with other pink colored items, in support of this important cause. Long time CALVMX member and track photographer Roni Faxon noted the disease has affected numerous members of the club along with their family members. The goal for the annual awareness day is to remind members of the importance of early detection and to push for an eventual cure for the disease.
Honda mounted Ross Youngblood put on a display of pure track domination in the 50 Plus GP Intermediate class with a clean sweep of both motos. In the first moto, Youngblood timed the starting gate perfectly and launched perfectly up the starting hill. Entering the main portion of the course, Youngblood led Kevin Reynolds (Mai) and Ron Rinden (Suz). By the second lap, with Youngblood continuing to lead, Rinden began to duel with Kawasaki mounted Andy Shellcross who had powered his way into third. A short time later, Ross Thompson’s Husqvarna joined the lead trio. By the halfway point in the moto, Youngblood had built up a multi-bike length lead over the rest of the class. Nearing the end of the moto, Thompson passed his way into second, followed by Shellcross and Rinden. At the checkers, Youngblood took an unchallenged win, followed by Thompson and Shellcross.
The start of moto two saw Maico racer Don Hansing leading the pack onto the course, trailed by Youngblood and Shellcross. Entering the second lap, Youngblood moved into first, followed by Hansing, Shellcross and Rinden. Employing a flawless riding style and perfect line selection, Youngblood again built up a large lead over the trailing pack. Behind Youngblood, Shellcross, Rinden and Thompson swapped positions continuously for the majority of the moto. By the white flag lap, Youngblood had an insurmountable lead, with Shellcross finally putting some distance between himself and third place Rinden. Youngblood took the overall victory with his 1-1 scores, followed by Shellcross (3-2) and Thompson (2-4).
Mike “Ponch” Padilla has been a formidable competitor in Vintage Sportsman 250 Intermediate since he joined the class a few seasons ago. Using his pristine Honda 250 Elsinore, Padilla, resplendent in the era correct riding gear of open face helmet, goggles and Jofa mouth guard, powered his way into the lead at the start of the first moto, trailed by Benjamin Woolsey (Yam) and the Maico of Norm Himaka. Using the well watered track surface to his advantage, Padilla never set a wheel wrong and powered his way to the moto win with a near 14 second lead over second place Woolsey and Himaka.
Padilla quickly made the second moto an exact replica of the first as he blitzed his way to the front of the pack, followed by Woolsey and Himaka. Recreating the dominance the silver tanked machine established over the motocross fields back in 1974, Padilla was never seriously challenged and powered his way to both moto and overall victories. Behind him, Woolsey, the son of long-time vintage competitor John Woolsey, kept up a steady pace to secure second overall, followed by the always-consistent Himaka in third.
Other class winners on the day included Rick Labgold (Maico) in 60 Plus Vintage Intermediate, Mike Korgan (CZ) in 50 Plus Vintage Intermediate and Ed Tashjian (Suzuki) in 50 Plus GP Expert and GP-2 250 Expert. Brad Morrison and his distinctive blue colored Maico took top honors in 60 Plus GP Expert, while Tami Lynn (Yamaha) took home the gold in Women’s Open Novice, followed by Agina Sedler-Rupert (Yam) and Karen Gariepy (Kaw).
The fifth and final round of the 2016 CALVMX series will take place at Cahuilla Creek on November 13. Several class championships are still undecided. The club is hoping for a strong entry count prior to the winter break and then the start of the 2017 season in February.
Further photos and race coverage can be found at: