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MX racers ride the Cranberry Classic
by Dan McGee
Nov 28, 2010 | 2432 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune/Dan McGee - As Adam Munoz takes a tumble, Tim O'Brien (left) slams on the brakes to avoid hitting him while another rider (right) almost goes down avoiding the incident. The men were competing in one of the many hole shot contests at the LivFast/Exit 28 motocross track on Sunday.
Tribune/Dan McGee - As Adam Munoz takes a tumble, Tim O'Brien (left) slams on the brakes to avoid hitting him while another rider (right) almost goes down avoiding the incident. The men were competing in one of the many hole shot contests at the LivFast/Exit 28 motocross track on Sunday.
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Tribune/Dan McGee - Hole shot winner Alec Ficco (Blue and Yellow) heads for the lead followed by Caleb Duster (963) as they race toward a hairpin turn and the checkered flat at Exit 28 MX track.
Tribune/Dan McGee - Hole shot winner Alec Ficco (Blue and Yellow) heads for the lead followed by Caleb Duster (963) as they race toward a hairpin turn and the checkered flat at Exit 28 MX track.
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Tribune/Dan McGee - Casey Carmichael (9J) heads down the track as he competed in one of the many hole shot races during Sunday's Cranberry Classic at the Livfast/Exit28 track.
Tribune/Dan McGee - Casey Carmichael (9J) heads down the track as he competed in one of the many hole shot races during Sunday's Cranberry Classic at the Livfast/Exit28 track.
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Tribune/Dan McGee - Pee Wee racers Lux Turner (47), a 5-year-old from Minden, and Wyatt Brixx (15Y) were two of the many riders competing Sunday at the Cranberry Classic.
Tribune/Dan McGee - Pee Wee racers Lux Turner (47), a 5-year-old from Minden, and Wyatt Brixx (15Y) were two of the many riders competing Sunday at the Cranberry Classic.
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PATRICK — Despite the chilly weather, a group of die hard racers showed up at the Livfast/Exit 28 motocross track to ride and competed in the inaugural Cranberry Classic. After weather canceled the original event, it was moved to Thanksgiving Sunday and happened for a very good cause.

“We scheduled it for November 20th and 21st and that storm wiped us out,” track promoter Tim O’Brien said. “That date was open and that’s the one we chose, hopefully to get some good weather, then we had that big storm. Honey Lake canceled so we saw there was an opportunity for the Cranberry Classic to actually happen on Thanksgiving so I want to build this into an annual event.”

The purpose behind the event, besides offering a late season chance for motocross riders to race is for charity.

“This year we weren’t able to pull enough riders to throw a race but we could still do a decent ride day. And we’ve already over a 100 pounds of food donated for the Evelyn Mount Foundation and we have about 300 dollars already,” O’Brien said.

He added the event has a 5-dollar entry fee but that’s waived if the rider donates three cans of food. Since the money is donated anyway, several riders brought food and paid the entry fee, which went to the foundation.

Next year, Exit 28 will be part of the SMRA group but O’Brien has plans when racing resumes.

“I’ve got a big announcement as Ty Erquiaga and myself have joined forces for next year and we’re going to start off with a three-race series in the spring,” he said. “It’s going to be called ‘Spring Backwards’ as we’re actually going to run Stead and Exit 28 backwards. And we’ll probably do three, three-race series through out spring and the summer.”

O’Brien added that he’s also looking at another property but nothing is firm as yet.

Many of the riders came up from Minden as they were part of the Testa Motorsports team.

“We’re out here to donate, help others, have a good time and a lot of fun,” team boss Robert Taylor said. “It is the end of the year and I’m so glad that Tim allowed us to come out here, practice on his track and have a good day. We’ve got about 15 to 20 riders here as I brought up our whole team from Minden and Gardnerville to support Tim.”

Since there weren’t enough riders to stage individual races practice times were set by the type of bike that ranged from Pee Wees to the big one. Then, since he had a lot of prizes on hand, O’Brien staged multiple hole shot contests to give everyone a taste of competition.

At Exit 28 that meant a short downhill after the starting gate then a race across a level area, over a low jump and up a gently grade. Then things got interesting.

Right as the riders hit the top of the grade they had to negotiate a hairpin turn before reaching the checkered flag. Not an easy task on what amounted to a frozen track.

While many slipped Adam Munoz, from Minden, after getting sideways once had the most spectacular moment at the hairpin after he hit a hay bale and went over his handlebars. Fortunately O’Brien, who was right behind him, got stopped in time while most of the other riders got around the corner.

There were several different winners and all seemed to have a good time. But some, like 10-year-old multiple winner T.J. Taylor wished for full races.

Another of the younger winners was 5-year-old Lux Taylor, who said he had a good time.

A hairpin turn is an interesting case as there are almost as many ways through it as there are riders. And two Reno boys had success with two very different methods of negotiating that turn.

“I take the inside then go to the outside and finish,” 9-year-old Casey Carmichael said.

The 11-year-old Cole Carmichael said of his line, “I just went slow and tried to cut to the inside.”

One veteran having a good time was Kenny Bell, who won three hold shots.

“It was good man and I just want to say thank you to Livfast and Testa Motorsports for putting this on,” he said. “The hairpin, well it’s a little icy, kind of like riding on an ice skating rink but you just put her in an extra gear, take it easy and you’ve got it.”

Agreeing with him was Alex Ficco, a freshman at Western Nevada College, who said, “It’s a little sketchy going pinned into the 180 because it’s all icy right now. You wait pretty long before braking but then you’ve just got to be easy on the throttle as you go around so you don’t slide out.”

Despite the cold, everyone seemed to be having a great time riding this late in the year.

OTHER RACING NEWS

•This week Reno becomes the center of the short-track oval industry as promoters from across the country gather for the annual RPM Workshop. Speakers and seminars are on tap for this three-day conference.

Due to these challenging economic times, many will be interested in finding out how others are handing their situations. Short tracks are small business units that are linked to their local communities so many are feeling the hard times their areas having.

Accompanying the Workshop is a small trade show featuring just about everything a track promoter might need from tickets to tires.

•The area’s final race of this year, weather permitting, is slated for the weekend of Dec. 11-12 at the Mustang Motor Plex located east of Sparks just north of I-80. Saturday is for practice while final round of the Nevada GFI Volvo fall series should have a 10 a.m. start to the first motos.

•Sierra Motocross Racing Association has posted its final results from this fall’s State Championship Series. They are listed in the results section.

RESULTS

SMRA Nevada State Championship Series

50cc Beg: - 1. Cody Zimmer, 2. Lux Turner, 3. Tyler Petersen

50cc Jr. - 1. Elijah Frandsen, 2. Ben Knoblock, 3. Brin Osterman

65cc Beg. - 1. Dalton Chard, 2. T.J. Taylor, 3. Travis Whitwam

65 Jr. - 1. Alex Katzenbach, 2. Mikey Hillyer, 3. Tyler Gunn

85cc Beg. - 1. Andrew Williams, 2. Tyler Gunn, 3. Dylan Buck

85cc Jr. - 1. Chad Heishman, 2. Clay Amezquita, 3. Garrett Hueftle

20+ Beg. - 1. Steve Paladini, 2. Todd Wagner, 3. Shawn Viss

20+ Jr. - 1. Kenny Beauchamp, 2. Brett Fay, 3. Nolan Rudd

20+ Intr. - 1. Brandon Acquistipace, 2. Kile Fye, 3. Leo Gaster

30+ Beg. - 1. Travis Hilbish, 2. Bruce Hildebrand, 3. Gordon Petersen

30+ Jr. - 1. Bryan Hammond, 2. Sonny Snodgrass, 3. Jeff Butler

30+ Exp. - 1. Curt Fowler, 2. Tony Fagundes, 3. Jason Shakespeare

30+ Pro. - 1. Rich Thorwaldson, 2. Scott Stillmock, 3. Eric Guillen

40+ Jr. - 1. Kurt Zimmer, 2. Harry Trainor, 3. Dusty Rhoades

40+ Intr. - 1. Larry Brown, 2. Carl Lucas, 3. James Lamonte

40+ Exp. - 1. Anthony Pulera

Women - 1. Hope Stillmock, 2. Shalie Thorwaldson, 3. Katy Samuels

125/250 Beg. - 1. Cody Carter, 2. Caleb Duster, 3. Brett Thompson

125/250 Jr: - 1. Geoff Taylor, 2. Kyle Mason, 3. John Hansen

125/250 Intr. - 1. Christopher Paras, 2. Kyle Fye, 3. Jesse Gore

250/450 Beg. - 1. Daniel Arnold, 2. Wes Gilmore, 3. Adam Stokes

250/450 Jr. - 1. Tyler Artrup, 2. John White, 3. Jorden Drawver

250/450 Intr. - 1. Alex Ficco, 2. Preston Joy, 3. Tyler Bryant.
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