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Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming:
"WOW, what a ride !!!"

Submitted Race Reports

Greenwood Missouri-Harpers
MOVMX Race Report April 10th 2005

This race was originally scheduled for a new venue at a place called Pottawatomie Campground near Fulton Missouri but there were some problems with putting on a quality event that we are all used to so fast thinking promoter Curtis Harper along with some of his helpers got on the phone and message boards to change the location back to his parents farm near Greenwood Missouri. The opening round of the series was at this same location (parents farm) 3 weeks prior and by moving it back to that location was fine with me. Closer to home and just a fun track, Cool.

This track is mixes of natural terrain and man made obstacles. It is a fairly technical track with lots of turns, high speed straights, a hill climb, several vintage friendly jumps, a banked bowl corner (more on that one later). The area the track lies in is a lower valley that hugs a steep creek back that has been known to flood and cover up the track. Curtis's father Mike has all kinds of earth moving toys that he likes to play with and over the years has improved drainage and added the jumps and most recently a wicked hill that you must access by crossing the creek on a man made dirt over tube type hump. You cross but you have to turn immediately right and follow the creek bank all while trying to build enough speed to climb the bank as you sweep back to the left. It's very intimidating at first and you defiantly want your engine revving when you hit it. I would guess about a 70 degree angle and 100 yards long. Once on top you hit a really rocky rough section then back down you go. The way back down is not quite as steep and it has a turn in it about half way down with water draining right in the middle. Makes for a interesting obstacle. I won't explain the whole track but put it this way, there is not time to rest and wave at the flaggers. Its jump, jump, jump, jump (counting four) as soon as you get down the hill. I really like these type of tracks. Lots of line choices and it keeps you thinking.

Do you ever watch those Chopper & Hot Rod shows that always have the deadline approaching? You know, its one day to go and they are no where near being done so they stay up all night and amazingly get it done at the last possible second? Well I can relate. That is the way all of my races go. You see not only do I have my own bike to prep and race, I have two 14 year old boys (my son Austin and buddy Jake) plus life long friends Dave and Muck bikes to keep me hopping and then there is the Motorhome and trailers. Believe me that 3 weeks in-between races goes really fast. Oh did I mention we mow about 4 acres per week here at home? (dang I hate working on lawn mowers). So to keep in true form I built two complete engines from bare cases ('82 YZ 100 and '70 Super Rat 100) in the week leading into the race which includes the fine tuning with the carbs. Good buddy Dave showed up Friday night prior to Sundays races and pulled the 125 Combat engine out of the '71 Super Rat chassis as I was going to put Jake on this one in the 100 Class. It was 9 PM and Dave asks "where is the 100cc engine to go back in?" I point and say "over in the vice" which was nothing but a bare left hand engine case, clean but no bearings. He just grins and knows I can do it. Fast forward to 4 AM and the engine is in the frame with spark. Five hours of sleep and by noon Saturday I am doing jetting runs. Then I have to load 5 bikes, one pit trike and all of the tools and parts. We hit the road about 5:30 PM for the short 1 hour drive to the track. As we cruise through the edge of Lee's Summit Missouri we spot Mark Jarecki's white Super Combat setting on a trailer outside a motel. Cool, Mark made it I think.

As we arrive at the track it is now getting dark but there is several campers there and we get our normal spot facing the track. Things are going our way. Yeah! For some reason (gee I wonder why) I was really tired that night so we crashed out early sleeping with the windows open. Life is good.

Sunday morning in rolls Mark Jarecki, Dave with wife Laura, Andy Lippert and son Drew and fast guy Bob Garner with son Josh and Wife. With all of the pre race challenges I didn't have time to service my own bike (I do everyone else before mine anyway) so it was a quick spoke & chain check and I was pretty much ready to go as is. Practice was a little muddy in spots but boy was that going to change. Good news for me was my late hours proved well spent and son Austin and Jakes engines were running strong and shifting good. Whew, that's a relief. My '74 Super Rat felt strong but I was fighting shifting problems from the previous race. My shift cover needs rebuilt badly as the shift lever can be moved up and down two inches without shifting a gear. I just didn't have time to fix it but wish I had as I fell in practice when I down shifted into neutral just as I was leaning getting ready to crank the back end around with the throttle. It fell onto the clutch lever and kept running so I just revved it once then picked up and took off cleaning the dirt out of my lever as I went. Falling once in a while is a good thing as to me, it kind of gets it out of the way for a while (I hope).

Its time to race and the mud is now gone and replaced by really rough chopped areas and lots of dust. Austin and Jake are in the Post Vintage (1975 to 1983) 100 Class with two other teenagers. Even though Jake is on a much older (1971) bike he is entered to start gathering points in this class as I am building him a YZ 100 that he will finish the season on. Moto One Austin gets 2nd and Jake snags 3rd on the old Super Rat. I watch Mark Jarecki run right in the middle of a bunch of 250's on his 125 Super Combat. Good run for him for sure. Dave on his '82 CR 480 is racing against Andy Lippert on his '83 YZ 250 in the Plus 40 Post Vintage Novice Class. Dave has dropped 60 lbs in the last year and is looking better with each race. He is second coming into the first turn with about 11 or so behind him. Andy is one of those 11 but hones in on Dave and works him for two or three laps and finally makes the pass. I think Andy gets 2nd and Dave 3rd or 4th. Good Race. Andy's boy Drew riding a KTM 50 with his knees in his face (Dad I need a bigger bike) runs a strong 2nd behind a super fast Husky 50.

In my first Moto (Vintage 100cc Advanced) there are 6 of us plus one 100cc Post Vintage Advanced rider on a '78 YZ. I grab the holeshot (Man I love that feeling) but I can hear and feel Bob Garners Hodaka and Dave Griffins Suzuki TM 100 on my tail. Bob and Dave are excellent riders and both have me by 25 lbs or so. I have the horsepower but more weight to pull and Bob has less in both power and weight. End result is some of the closest races of the day. Bob was on me like stink on, er, you know. The TM throws a chain and now it's the Randy Bob show as we run away from the field. I am fighting the shifting gremlins and Bob is so close that everytime I make a error he pulls up beside me. Of course I yell at him "Yee Haw" and grab the lead back. In a battle like this you would think it would be all nerve racking but for some reason I was extremely relaxed which made it fun. Guys like Bob and Muck I can trust to run close like that. I would never run that close with Phall Down Phace Phirst Phil Ketchum as his history precedes him <grin>. Anyway I make a major gear miss, rake it into 3rd and bog the engine then down shift and over rev it. There goes Bob around me and less than one lap to go. Oh No! For about a half of the lap I am nearly rubbing his rear wheel and I am thinking strategy. 2nd place in Moto one is good if you can win Moto two and if you win Moto one you "have to" win Moto two. Less pressure in second but I am too competitive for rational thinking. Two corners before the finish there was this banked corner that you can hit real fast. 3rd gear pinned and leaning over about 60 degrees or so. But if you look at the corner it is really about 25 feet wide with most of it being flat. I had a slight advantage in that we used to not have the bank and used that flat corner all of the time. Muck and I had used the flat part of this corner before for passing but it was one of those cards you don't show in practice. Bob goes for the bank which is the line of choice and I know he is thinking "two corners and I have it" In using the rule of "never follow" I held on as deep as I could then went for the low slower flat corner and made the pass. I know it had to surprise Bob as all of a sudden we were both trying to occupy the same spot. As I exited the corner my rear end slid in the fluff a little to the left. About that same time Bob shoots out of the bank like coming out of a gun. The next thing I feel is Bob's front tire rubbing the back of my boot but we are both still going at it. Rubbing is racing right? Well the unexpected happened. Bob got a little crossed up or his front knobbies were fighting with my rear knobbies and he goes down hard. OH NO! I look back as I enter the last corner. I stop and wait. I have only about 100 yards to the finish line but we were so far ahead that know one is close at all. Bob gets up and I am going to wait on him so that we can finish in style but when he goes to kick his bike he falls over in knee pain. The 3rd place rider is moving in so I slowing roll past the finish line and ride back to Bob. I lean my bike up against a tree and help the paramedic get Bob up on his feet. He is OK but wounded. His Hodaka has the rear brake peddle wrapped around the footpeg and the front brake lever is busted off. I start it right up and buddy Dave rides it back to the pits as Bob gets a ride back on the back of a quad. DANG IT, I hated to see that happen. The race was really a good one up to that point. Back in the pits I help Bob fix his bike all while I am getting teased by Andy and Mark about me being the Terminator and knocking Bob down on purpose. It was a good pass that ended bad. What can I say? neither Bob or I was going to let off. Bob shows me his boots that have orange paint on them from a earlier corner where he was so close that he was up against my front painted fender. Everyone is talking about our race being the "Main Event" and the best race of the day. Andy has the early laps on film but missed the crash. He's fired <grin>

Moto two for everyone was nearly a repeat with a few exceptions. Jake runs the old Rat into 2nd place for about two laps or so ahead of Austin on the YZ but makes a shifting error on top of the big hill and drops to 3rd. Andy gets out ahead of Dave from the beginning and keeps it that way. Andy's son Drew shows that it is all in the corners as he works on that faster Husky and makes it stick for first over all. Jarecki once again works over a couple 250's and makes them feel inadequate with his 125. Bob and I do a repeat with me getting the holeshot again and Bob all over me. We go tooth and nail for all five laps and go off the finish line jump a bike apart. As we high five each other everyone is giving us thumbs up cheers. Even the racers waiting to take off are raising up their arms in approval. As we ride back to the pits I tell Bob that this is the way the first Moto should have ended. He said we gave them their monies worth. Bob tells me he is going to have Donnie at E&K break out the grinder and get a few more ponies. The next race could be tough on me. Lets see, can I loose 25 lbs in 14 days? NO!, I better get that shift cover fixed for sure. I have a feeling I will need to pick it up a notch. Now if Muck can get up enough money to build him a Super Rat the three of us might just set the track on fire. You won't want to miss the 100cc Nationals over Memorial Weekend. It will be at the same track that this story was written about. Be there!!!!!!!!

Randy Smith


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