Monday, March 30, 2009

Mud Blog!

Man what a weekend! I did my first full "working" trip of just taking photos! I did have to work on the pit scoot a couple of times, but for the most part, just kicked it back and just shot photos!

I arrived down at Ballance MotoX just shortly after practice Friday. The rains had already set in for the most part, but it wasn't a downpour by any means. James Bell stopped me no longer than I turned in towards the pavilion. He said parking would be a problem in the SIMX transporter. The old Ford van seems to get stuck in a good "dewed" grass section if you know what I mean! Anyway, I managed to get turned around without sinking and headed back towards Bell's. Got the Ol' Gal parked, heading downhill, just in case I needed to make a dash for the road.

Set up camp and spent time catching up with old friends. Talked a lot with the Cox family and found out Dylan was switching to Kawasaki's the next morning! Spent some time with team Gourley catching up on all their shenanigans! We also met up with some folks from Manitoba Canada. They had their kids down at MTF for a week and just stopped in to try to qualify.

Finally grilled up a couple of chops, had a few frosties and hit the sack, ready for Saturday action.

Well it rained more overnight and the track, basically sucked. Victory Sports did a decent job working with what they had, but it still wasn't good by any stretch. I actually took quit a few pics on Saturday, but Sunday was a wash! Mist, sleet, snow, rain, cold...

Black Brother's Racing made it down Saturday morning as well. They are always up for a good time and I really enjoyed the weekend with them, Gourley's, Cox's, Bells and Rankin Racing. Danny "The Storm Chaser" VanDunk was a riot Saturday afternoon when the storms were upon us!

It was pretty serious with funnel clouds and all around us, but we made the best of it. We decided if we all got blown away, we couldn't find any better people to be with!

Oh yeah, racing!
Well this is what Cody Black looked like after practice on Saturday. I didn't get a picture of Cody after he went off the side of the tunnel jump either, but Mom caught all the action on video. We all had a good laugh at Cody's expense, but were very thankful he wasn't injured after falling about 10' down off the side of the jump! Brother Dilan said "he landed on his face, so he was OK"!

I missed out on any pics of Derek Rankin and Justin Brockman. No excuse, I just missed them some how. It was a little hard to see, and I wasn't even using the soon to be banned tear offs! If you haven't heard about that issue, check it out at RacerX! Seriously, banning tear offs? Could be that time of the year?

Team Gourley was at it again, claiming qualifying spots in I every class the entered, I think. Bret did real well in the Ballance mud as did Brandon and Broc. The winter ice storm riding on studded tires has made all of the Gourley's "mud cats" in my opinion. They all just plain get it in the mud!

Here are a few of the "Mudcat Gourley's"

"Wildman" Matthew Bell had about as much luck as Cody Black. He didn't fall of the side of a jump but had problems with the mud. Matthew like most of the mini's struggled off of the ice slick concrete start gate. The start stretch was probably the worst part of the track and saw no work all weekend. Poor starts, traffic, downed riders just about everywhere paid it's toll on #94.

Everyone made it home in one piece, so that was good! Most got a ticket to the next level and all the others are looking forward to the next qualifier. Crossroads MX in Mason, IL will be the next close one, so everyone get prepped and ready for the big trip north!

Until next week...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ballance bound!

Well, I'm heading of to Ballance MotoX this weekend. Solo, well maybe! The wife and mutt may go, but it looks like we won't be racing. It will be a little different, but it will be good to just get out and visit with everyone. No pressure working on bikes, race order, washing bikes, etc...

I remember back several years ago and some of the Dads always talked of when the kiddo's reach 17, 18 years old and grow tired of the racing and venture out into there on thing. Well, that's me at the current situation. Mine has ventured into fishing, girls and soon to be "mushroom" hunting times. He and a couple of his buddies are convinced they can sell morel's and make it big!

I don't think it will be a permanent thing, and like my Old buddy Sean Rocke said, it's a helluva lot safer and cheaper, but dammit I miss moto!

So I told my wife I think I'm heading to my first LLQ bikeless. Well, race bike anyway. I plan to bring the ol' pit bike, but basically just me, my camera and a few other necessities.

Hope the weather holds up this weekend and all my MXF Racing pilots have a good weekend.

What else is going on? Well the ABCMX series kicked off at Daniel Boone last weekend and from what I've been told, not to good of reviews.

I think the series itself is fine but the track evidently was a horrible mess. Lot's of accidents and one serious wreck which has put Alex Brockman in the hospital needing surgery.

Sounds like they may have been overwhelmed with their first race as new track owners. It happens, but I'm sure the folks at DBMX are willing to work the kinks out, if it's not to too late! I've personally spoken to three or four who said they will not be back!

Several MXF Racers saw action at DBMX and made it home safely! Brett Gourley took the win in the 65 7/9 class. Brother Brandon Gourley had a two class wins. Broc Gourley had a 2nd in super-mini and a 4th in Schoolboy aboard his KX125 smoker.

Justin Brockman had a win in Lites Intermediate, followed by Tyler Richey in 5th place overall. Tyler also managed a 3rd in Open Intermediate.

New SIMX backed Travis Hardcastle brought home a 6th in Lites Intermediate and the overall win in Open Intermediate. Good job Travis and welcome aboard!

Well that's about all for now. look me up this weekend at Ballance. I'll be the "lost' guy stumbling around with a camera!!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Lake Whitney, LL Qualifiers and the Great Outdoors!

Well Spring has sprung, well officially Friday, but the Outdoor season has begun and with great success to some of the MXF Racing Team.

First off a quick Lake Whitney report. The Gourley boys were in attendance at what sounded like a cold rainy mudfest! Several days racing were altered or canceled by the rain in what sounds like miserable conditions.

I'll start off with the smallest Gourley, Brett. Brett has moved off the 50's into the very competitive 65 class about a Team Green support KX65. Brett finished 19th overall in the 7/9 Stock class and 23rd in the 7/9 Mod class. Pretty impressive work Brett.

Bigger brother Brandon had a pretty impressive week as well! Brandon won the overall in the 65 10/11 Stock class and finished 3rd overall in the 10/11 Mod class. He also raced in the 9/11 85 Stock class but had some problems, but still finished 38th overall in that class. Congratulations on bringing that big fat #1 back to Boonville, Brandon!

Broc ran in the super competitive Super Mini 1 & Super Mini 2 classes. Come to think about, every class at a Amateur National is competitive, but Broc runs with the fastest of the fastest it seems every where he goes. He pulled out a 24th overall in Mini 1, which is fabulous, but he also had some problems in his other class.

Congrats to Team Gourley, the hardest working family in amateur motocross!

Team SIMX backed Dylan Cox was tearing it up early in the week as well, winning his heat in Schoolboy 1. He finished 11th in his 2nd moto for the 8th overall spot! Dylan also had a 15th in 250B Stock and 39th in 450B stock.

Moving a little closer to home was the Paradise MX Loretta Lynn Qualifier in Du Quoin, IL this past weekend as well.

Matthew Bell had a rough weekend with a couple of pretty hard crashes. Dad, James, says he got up and tried to finish motos Saturday and Sunday but just couldn't ride through the pain. This is saying something, cause Matthew is one tough little kid! He hopes to be healed up and back in action here in a couple of weeks for sure!

#188, Davis Uphoff got his regional tickets punched in two classes at Du Quoin. Davis finished 5th overall in 12/13 85 Stock, 6th in 12/13 85 Mod and threw in a 11th overall in Super Mini.

Justin Brockman also will be heading to Sunset Ridge in June looking for a ticket to Loretta's via the Schoolboy 2 class. Justin finished 3rd overall on Sunday with a broken finger!

The old man of the MXF bunch this weekend was Tyler Richey! Tyler may have plans for a long road trip to Millville Minnesota for the Spring Creek Regional in the 450 B Stock class with a 6th overall. Tyler also turned in a pretty solid 14th in the always fast 250B Stock class.

Awesome work men! Congratulations

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Echo Valley Practice Day

Wow! What a day to get back out an enjoy the outdoors! Went down to The Rideout family's Echo Valley track in Poole, KY.

I'll tell you what, those people down that way have one heckuva mess on their hands with those ice storms from a few weeks back. It looks like a tornado had been through the area. Tree limbs are down everywhere! Some folks we saw on the way down were using the good weather to clean up their yards. I spoke with Jeannie Rideout briefly and she said they just got phone service back to them earlier that week!

Got see a lot of people I hadn't seen in a while. They had well over a hundred riders and everyone, well most everyone was knocking the rust off after a long winter.

I'll start off with Jack Campbell. Jack recently switched over to a Pro Action KTM 450. I asked how he liked it and with a big smile said, "He loved it!" He said it runs like no other and turns just like a Suzuki. That kind of got my attention, because Kody has been on a Suzuki for a few years and always raves at how good the Zooks a turn. Jack offered up the big orange weapon for Kody to ride later on.

Jack looked extremely well on the KTM and said this was the most excited he'd been about racing in several years. So all you "A" guys be on the look out for the big orange #263.

Also sporting a Katoom this Spring is Broc Sims. Broc had been on Suzuki's for so long it took me a while to figure out who he was. I didn't get a chance to catch up with Sims, but from the sound of the rev limiter, he was putting the bike through it paces.

Some of you may remember Jerod Neal. Jerod was a SIMX team rider from a few years back and just recently got him a bike and was getting back into the flow down at Echo Saturday. Jerod's bikes always look unbelievable, and his new ride a KXF450 is the same way. Tricked out with aftermarket parts and sparkling fresh! Jerod is back in the 2009 Team SIMX fold and you can read more about him over at the soon to be updated SIMX Racing pages.

It was also so good to see my old buddy T.J. "Danger" Schafer back on a bike. Some of you may remember late last summer T.J. had a wreck leaving Posey Co. MX and was laid up for quite a while with some injuries. If I remember right, he had a good conversation with some wild turkey's waiting down an embankment for emergency service to get to him. Anyway, Danger was back in action and looking pretty good. I caught up with Danger down workin' on the back triple, and after a couple of short landings, he had it nailed down! All kidding aside, good to have ya back T.J.!

Here are a few more from Saturday!
Davis Uphoff, Jordan Penner

All of the Echo Valley pics can be seen and purchased at here.

One last thing. I also added a black and white gallery of some of my Echo valley shots. I've always been a huge fan of black & whites and hope to add even more galleries this season. I've got a few other photo "tricks" up my sleeve and hope to incorporate a few very soon. Here is a B&W image of Jason Stiles.

The Black & White Gallery is here.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Has Spring sprung?

Gawd I hope so! Suppose to be in the 70's possibly tomorrow. Woo hoo! I think the Hamer squad is heading down to Echo valley in the morning so #40 can get in some long awaited lap time. Yeah, I typed #40. Seems like 407 wants a change for the 2009 season so he wants to run #40. We tried this last summer at the Mt. Carrol regional when he ran some Rodney Smith number he got from Rod Harris. Well that didn't pan out to well either with a couple of wrecks, poor starts and getting ran over on the start of his third moto, so maybe another new number is what he needs!

He'll always be #407 to me though!

Sounds like I missed a good one up at Indy last weekend. Ol' Reedy got the job done from what I saw on TV it looked like he rode a good race. James made some mistakes, but still, in Reeds case, you have to be close to capitalize when you can!

I'll admit, I'm not a huge supercross fan. For one I hate the drive to Indy or t. Louis for that matter. I guess the drive would be OK, but getting out of those damn places really sucks! I also have a problem getting a hot dog, pop corn and a beer and bustin' out a $20 and needed more to pay for it! We've discussed going to St. Louis. Only because Pastrana is rumored to be racing. He did design the track this year and it looks pretty cool, but it would be awesome to see the old 199 ripping it up again. Say what you will about TP, but he brings excitement where ever he goes.

I'll never forget our first rip to Troy, Ohio for a National. Kody and I got to the track early Sunday morning and was just walking around looking at the track. We noticed someone over by the "Widowmaker", but didn't think much about it. To our surprise it was Pastrana. He walked up to us and just started talking like you would to someone you knew. He was real cool and even asked if we had anything we wanted signed. We didn't have anything really, or even a sharpie for that matter, so he just chatted with us. Kody had his wrist broken from a football incident andI said too bad we didn't have a pen or he could sign the cast. Travis says no way, that would be bad luck! True story, TP worrying about luck!!!

Anyway, hoping to see a few familiar faces tomorrow down at Echo. Be good to see Kenny and get a chance to talk with him. Man it seems like forever since we've been anywhere near a track!

I'll have the MXF camera charged up (and hopefully a memory card), so stop by and say high!