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Recap: 2014 USA BMX Midwest Nationals

July 1, 2014 by · Comments Off 

2014 Midwest Nationals Re-Cap

The 2014 USA BMX Midwest Nationals had all the long-storied flavor of years past, but without the run-for-cover weather drama that sometimes plagues the weekend. This year, it held off til the day after the race, when a rare “derecho” system blew in from the northwest and turned a bunch of towns upside down, and put others under raging rivers of rapid mudwater. We didn’t make it the full weekend in the dry, but a 45-minute rain delay on Saturday was basically the sales tax on a prize weekend of racing at The Rock.

Pro turnout was a little thin this year, with some folks out on medical grounds and others not wanting to risk it before the worlds in a few weeks. And some are savin it up for South Park this weekend.

The Rotterdam worlds is chewing up the bankroll of many a BMX family, Rotweiller style. One BMX dad told News that they were “$10k deep already, and haven’t even left US airspace yet.” Wowza!

Track operators Jake and Candy Karau celebrated 30 (yes, three-zero) years running the Rockford track, and were recognized by USA BMX honcho John David before Sunday’s main events. The local newspaper followed up the accolades with a nice piece in the Monday edition. Let us add to that chorus of congratulations to Jake and Candy–they are the very heartbeat of what makes BMX racing so awesome.

We came away from the weekend with some awesome photos (gallery links below), but before you plunge in to the pixels, here are some of the highlights from the weekend.

Strider racing at the 2014 USA BMX Midwest Nationals

Strider racing is still surging at the nationals, and at local tracks across the country. It’s awesome to see the littlest ones in the BMX family having such a great time. One thing though: if your Strider rider gets to the top of the “hill” and decides s/he doesn’t want to race, be cool and let it go. No sense going all aggro on your four year old cause they get stage fright. Remember: “fun!”

Alan Struna at the 2014 USA BMX Midwest Nationals

The Big Kahuna, Alan Struna, was back in the saddle in Rockford. Alan has been spending time on his studies and on his school’s rowing team. Dude stepped back on the bike, and was going so fast he blew the numbers right off his plate.

Nick Adams at the 2014 USA BMX

Nick Adams is the man! This guy can play any position on the field: Registration, scoring, answering 10 questions from racers and parents in 40 feet of walking to the trailer, making sure us media types have what we need, back-home Track Operator and sometime-racer. Add to that: technology troubleshooter. Here’s Nick getting the webcast audio dialed after rain sacked the system in North Carolina.

Young BMXer at the 2014 USA BMX Midwest Nationals

Movin on up. This little guy was pushing his bro’s bike around the infield with gusto. Something tells us he will be leading a pack of 5-under novies in the very near future.

BMX Racing Fans pack the stands at the Rockford BMX track for the 2014 USA BMX Midwest Nationals

Despite 66 acres of shaded park land to park your posse, the fans were still thick in the stands all weekend long, watching 241 motos on Saturday and 216 on Sunday. The weather was sunny for the most part, but a storm blew in just after the pro mains ran on Saturday, forcing a 45-minute rain delay. Rockford BMX Track operator Jake Karau and his crew had the track covered in 41 seconds (literally, they timed it), and racing resumed with hardly a skip in the beat.

Haro trio at USA BMX Rockford 2014

Team Haro brought home some bank from the Midwest Nationals, with four of the six Elite Men podium spots. Pickard, Sharrah and Long were all in the same semi both days (above), finishing 1-2-3 (in scrambled order). On Saturday, it was Free Agent’s David Herman with the win Kurt Pickard in second and Nic with third. On Sunday, Pickard topped the podium with Nic in second and Joris Daudet’s Chase BMX ride in for third.

Lucky BMX leprechaun at Rockford 2014

Some folks have all the luck, others make their own luck. And a select-few have their own leprechaun as part of the pit crew, just to help things along.

Haro/Promax Andrew Townsend at the 2014 USA BMX Midwest Nationals

We love this one of Andrew Townsend, gettin down in the 17-18x Semi on Saturday. That whole class was scary-fast in Rockford. Townsend hit the podium both days with two third place finishes. Cole Tesar won on Saturday with Justin Knapper in second. On Sunday, it was Hunter Pelham scoring the W with Zinzow in the two-spot.

Dylan Wood joins Ssquared/Answer

Dylan Wood has been tearing it up lately, and layin a heaping helping of style on the situation. Just got picked up by Ssquared/Answer and was rockin the house on the team’s home track. Won 10C both days, and ended up with a Saturday crash and a second on Sunday (after “The Birdman,” Brandon Crain).

A Pro Main event at the 2014 USA BMX Midwest Nationals

Doublecross double-team in the A Pro main on Sunday. Alan Hudson and Jacob Sherbno hit the first straight at maximum warp. Sherbno (right) would take the lead soon after this, and be on to his first pro win. Doublecross also had oodles of orange on the Saturday podium with hometown hero Olijuwon Davis getting the win and Sherbno in second. (Standard Byke’s Jarrod Adcock got third on Saturday and Hutch BMX hotshoe Brandon McDowell got third on Sunday).

BMX News 2014 race coverage sponsored by Dan’s Comp

BMX News Race Coverage is Sponsored by Dan's Comp

Hyper BMX Jud Ciancia racing BMX at the 2014 Midwest Nationals

It’s been a minute since we’ve seen Hyper Bikes underboss Jud Ciancio on the track. This guy has more aces than a playing card factory. He added four more in Rockford, with 46-50 Cruiser and 46-over expert both days. Jud gets the BMX News “Double Double” award for the Midwest Nationals, earning a $20 gift card to In-N-Out Burger to chow-down on his next West Coast swing.

Tyler Whitfield racing BMX in his home town of Rockford, IL

The “most-factory-fastguy” award goes to Tyler Whitfield. Everything about this dude says slick, including his sensationally-smooth moves on the track. Twin wins in 19-27x in front of the home crowd. Insider Kenneth Gustafson got the fuzzy end of the lollipop both days, with two main event crashes. The race action in 19-27x is more hopped-up than some of the pro motos at times, in terms of “battle to the edge of what’s possible.”

Jack Parkin doubled at the 2014 USA BMX Midwest Nationals

Munchkins mixin it up into turn one. Sunday’s 8x main was a bunch of back & forth between these two, Jack Parkin on the left and Tyler Bailey on the right. They went 1-2 (respectively) on Saturday. Tyler had the lead for much of the Sunday main, til Jack the Ripper shredded the last straight and zipped past in the final feet.

Rick Terlecki is a BMX Racing dad at the 2014 USA BMX Midwest Nationals

“Pedal, Dad, Pedal!” We love hearing that from the fenceline. Here’s Big Rick Terlecki takin care of biz in the 46-over inter main event on Sunday.

Our next race will be the USA BMX Stars & Stripes Nationals this weekend at South Park BMX in Pittsburgh, PA. Keep it with BMX News for the latest on-track fireworks.

Links

2014 USA BMX Midwest Nationals Saturday Photo Gallery

2014 USA BMX Midwest Nationals Sunday Photo Gallery

Rockford Results (on usabmx.com)

Photo Gallery: Rockford Day 1

June 29, 2014 by · Comments Off 

Nic Long and David Herman

The first day of the 2014 USA BMX Midwest Nationals was a hot, hot, hot day of 241 muggy motos. Action in the pro classes was thick all day long, with Olijuwon Davis handily taking the A Pro class on his home track. Vet Pro had the three long-time favorites: Javi Colombo, Cristian Becerine and Matt Pohlkamp on the podium.

It was a smaller-count day in the Elite classes, with many opting out of Rockford–and likely South Park next week, to rest-up, train up, and not tempt fate for the World Championships in Holland next month. But for the elites that were on-scene, the racing was raucous.

Elite Women was missing Mariana, Alise, Felicia and Shanaze, but the 10 who did show up put on a great show for the fans. Dom Daniels added a win to her 2014 scorecard and was joined on the podium by Amanda Geving and Dani George, who was out for the first time without her familiar Supercross bike and uniform. Amanda Carr was also riding near the front all day, as was Lauren Reynolds.

Good battles in Elite Men between the Haro guys (Long, Sharrah and Pickard, who all made the main–from the same semi, no less), David Herman, Connor Fields, Joris Daudet, Kory Cook and Anthony Dean. Elite Men had 23 riders on the sheets for Saturday’s race, and we also saw good efforts from Joey the Bomb (who crashed out in the semis), Faoro and Posey. In the end, it was David Herman’s day to do-the-do, and he led the race pretty much wire to wire.

BMX News 2014 race coverage sponsored by Dan’s Comp

BMX News Race Coverage is Sponsored by Dan's Comp

Moments after the pros raced their mains, the skies opened up, and we had a rain delay of just under an hour. Out came the sun and dried up all the rain, and the balance of the mains were run in the dry (ok, damp). Storms thundered through overnight, but as of first gate on Sunday, we’re racing under hazy sunshine.

BMX News will have more race highlights from Rockford on Monday morning, as well as our full-re-cap of the Midwest nationals on Tuesday morning. For the moment, take a look at our awesome photo gallery from Saturday’s race. Free photo downloads as well! Link below.

Links

2014 Midwest Nationals Saturday Photo Gallery

Rockford Results (on usabmx.com)





BMX News Promax Top Story, Presented by Promax Components

Flashback: Midwest Nationals – Elkhart

June 26, 2014 by · Comments Off 

BMX News Flashback - 1980 Midwest Nationals
Going to nationals has always been a special experience. And for a 13-year old Novice, traveling 122 miles to race the 1980 ABA Midwest Nationals was a really big deal. The race was in Elkhart, Indiana that year, and we knew lots of the factory stars we read about in the magazines were going to be there.

This weekend, BMX News will be heading 82 miles in the opposite direction, to the USA BMX Midwest Nationals in Rockford, IL. The excitement and the anticipation of seeing all our BMX friends is still the same today as it was 34 years ago (wow…34 YEARS!).

We dug up the August 1980 issue of Bicycle Motocross Action magazine to revisit Bob Osborn’s coverage of the race, and see who was doing what on the track.

It just so happened that we were on the phone with Greg Hill as we were doing this readthrough, and later realized he won the “Pro Money” class that day (pro used to have two classes: Pro Money and Pro Trophy, and the winners would race the ams in the 15-over Trophy Dash–the last race of the day). We got Greg back on the phone for an impromptu podcast about what he remembers about the race. It’s a great interview!

A few interesting things you’ll see if you download the PDF of the BMXA coverage (link below):

Todd Kingsbury at the 1980 Midwest Nationals^^On page three of the PDF, we see Todd Kingsbury (far left) hanging out with friends in the pits. Tragically, Todd would soon be diagnosed with leukemia, and would die less than 18 months after this photo was taken, on September 13, 1981, at 12 years old. He would be the motivation for ABA starting the “Race for Life.”

John Kiernan at the 1980 Midwest Nationals^^It was probably the first time a video was used in reviewing what happened in a main event. Local BMX dad, John Kiernan, had one of the first video cameras on the market and taped the pro main. Kevin McNeal and Brent Patterson crashed in the second turn. McNeal had a reputation as a Kamikaze rider, and went for the pass, taking himself and leader, Brent, down, also throwing Stu Thomsen off his third place pace, paving the way for Greg Hill to get the Pro Money win that day. John allowed ABA head official Gene Roden to review the tape of the race. As a result of the video review, Kevin McNeal was suspended for the next two nationals.

Richie Anderson at the 1980 Midwest Nationals^^A 13-year old Richie Anderson has this now-famous photo in the coverage. Richie won 13x and the 13-14 Trophy Dash, beating another legend, who was a year older at the time: Pete Loncarevich. Richie (Rich, now, but he’ll always be “Richie Anderson” to us) will be back at the Midwest Nationals this year, as pit dad and coach to his 7-year old daughter, Danica.

David Marietti at the 1980 Midwest nationals^^We see a photo of Dave Marietti, who got second in 14x. Dave now owns The Hot Shoppe, who makes all the NAG and open jackets for USA BMX, along with many factory team jerseys.

Toby Henderson at the 1980 Midwest Nationals^^And Toby Henderson, who is riding for Raleigh at this race (far left). He’s on the inside, ready to move to third in this Pro Trophy main. Today, Toby is founder and chief at BOX and Promax, sponsor of the BMX News “Top Story” section, and one of our sport’s top manufacturers. Note: everyone is running a “Bicycle Motocross Action” visor. That was one of the Pro contingencies that year, so if you won with that visor, you got paid.

The podcast with Greg is awesome because he sees the events of how the main went down a little differently than reported in the story. Greg walked away with $1350 that weekend– $500 pro money win, the $400 or so in contingency money and $450 won in a pit-pool on the exact minute when the last moto would cross the line. That $1350 would be the equivalent of $3800 in today’s money–at 15 years old. Righteous bucks!

Greg also offers up one of his famous opinions on BMX Supercross, and today’s riders versus the old schoolers. You don’t want to miss it!

Listen Now:
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BMX News 2014 race coverage sponsored by Dan’s Comp

BMX News Race Coverage is Sponsored by Dan's Comp

Check out our coverage from the 2014 USA BMX Midwest Nationals, right here on News. Follow us on Twitter for as-it-happens action from the infield and the pits.

Links

Download the BMX Action Coverage (PDF)
Copyright Wizard Publications, Inc. Used with permission

Visit the GHP BMX Website

Follow @BMXNEWS on Twitter





BMX News Promax Top Story, Presented by Promax Components

Hotpoints: Midwest Nationals – Rockford

June 26, 2014 by · Comments Off 

BMX News Hotpoints: Rockford, IL

The BMX News crew is packing up and shipping out on another national weekend trip. This time, it’s a simple 82-mile hop to the USA BMX Midwest Nationals in Rockford, IL. Rockford is one of the old favorites on the national schedule, and we are packing our sunscreen and our rain ponchos, as it is all-but-certain both will be pulled from the tripod bag throughout the weekend.

News took the liberty of preparing this “Hotpoints” list of some of the details you’ll want to have at your fingertips for the coming weekend. After you have eaten Dominos in the room enough times, some hometown flavor is definitely appreciated, so we included some of our favorite local chow-down options.

We’ll see you on Safford this Saturday!

Track Address for your GPS:
5100 Safford Rd, Rockford, IL 61101
Phone: (815) 964-8657

Parking at the Track:
$10 per day/ $25 for the weekend
Motorhome: $50 for the weekend

Practice Schedule:
“A” Schedule (Download PDF with times)

Weekend Weather:
http://www.weather.com/weather/today/USIL1013:1

Pre-National Clinics:
Pro Gate has two free gate clinics on Friday (must pre-register)
Register Now

Last-Minute Hotels:
A check on Thursday morning found rooms at Days Inn Rockford ($69/nt), among others. The track is not very convenient to any hotels, and the “State Street” hotel area off I-90/I-39 is probably the best call, given its proximity to other amenities. The Days Inn is a down-market property, but it has a bed, a shower and Internet, so for a last-minute choice, it’ll do.

Getting to Rockford:
Driving up to Rockford, via Chicago, I-90 is perpetually under construction, and 2014 is no exception. If you’re flying into O’Hare you may have a long ride out to Rockford, depending on the time of day.

interstate 90 construction

Use the Google Maps app to monitor traffic. If it is super bad, you can look to IL 72 or US 20 as an alternate. Route 72 eventually intersects with Interstate 39, which you can take North over to the track or hotel. US 20 will take you directly into Rockford (with some twists and turns). These are, by and large, two-lane roads, but at least you’ll be moving.

Same goes for your way out of town. Some friends the past two years reported three hour trip times to O’Hare on Sunday. The best alternate is to take I-39 to I-88 East (Chicago). If you’re going to Indiana, Michigan or points East, you can hit 294 and you’re in the clear. If you’re flying out of Midway this would be a preferred route, and for O’Hare, it’s a little out of the way, but still may be a good alternate to a three-hour stop & go (no-traffic trip time should be about 90 mins at posted speeds).

Illinois Tollway I-90 construction overview

Local Food Recommendations:
We’re all pretty tired of the same-old-same-old national chains on the road. These are some great local choices, we have tried before and are mmmm-mmmm-good!

Chinese: Chen’s Cantonese 4722 N 2nd St, Loves Park, IL 61111 (Tyler Whitfield’s grandparents’ place)

Pizza/Italian: Giuseppi’s – 950 Halsted Rd, Rockford, IL 61103 (815) 877-3029

Sushi/Teppen: Shogun – 293 Executive Pkwy, Rockford, IL 61107 (815) 394-0007

Italian: Lino’s – 5611 E. State St. Rockford, IL 61108 (815) 397-2077

Raceday Provisions:
If you want a grocery store that has better-than-commercial stuff, check out Choices Natural Market for a full selection of organic produce and good-for-you-goodies. It’s as close as Rockford gets to a Whole Foods type establishment.

Choices Natural Market
6551 E. Riverside Blvd
Rockford, IL 61114
815-282-1861
Hours 9AM-7:30PM Thurs-Fri and 9AM-6PM Saturday

There are also a couple WalMarts in town, if you need the full selection of options (ice, rain ponchos and whatnot).

Near the “State Street” Hotels:
Walmart Supercenter
7219 Walton St
Rockford, IL 61108

Closest to the Track (2.5 miles)
Walmart Supercenter
3902 W Riverside Blvd
Rockford, IL 61101

BMX News “Essentials” (near the “State Street” hotels):

Chipotle
751 S Perryville Rd
Rockford, IL 61108

Starbucks
7474 E State St
Rockford, IL

Have a great weekend at the Midwest Nationals. For those not making the trip, don’t forget to follow @bmxnews on Twitter for as-they-happen updates from the infield and pits. Plus, check back here for story and photos!

For those sticking around in Chicago between Rockford and South Park, watch for our “Chicago Hotpoints” on Monday.

Links

Follow @BMXNEWS on Twitter

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