This week’s coverage is brought to you by our friends at Peak Honda World
Nestled somewhere in the middle of friggin’ nowhere, directly adjacent to a junkyard, is one of Colorado’s older & more well-known tracks, Aztec Family Raceway. Bluebird skies, a deeply ripped track and 650+ entries assured us all that Sunday was about to be another classic in the newly-established series. The action got started on a pretty real level and continued throughout the afternoon. As we have come to expect, the pro class was stacked like a can of Pringles™, and the other classes showed out pretty damn well, too. From the 60s to the 80s to the Bs to a senior class that enjoyed a robust 25+ man gate (live for the days when their entries will match their age) there were plenty of great battles to go round. On the part of the track, it was well-maintained throughout the day, but the layout didn’t seem to favor much flow. Alright ladies & gentlemen, here is our breakdown on the weekend.
Not trying to sound arrogant, but Colorado must have some of the more stacked pro classes in the nation. From young guns like Gifford, Gray and Sweney to vets like Fitch, Flesia and Sabbaugh, we’ve got it good here. The action got rolling early with the first 250 A moto, when Sweney came out swinging with a holeshot. Sweney was able to capitalize on the great start and held on for the win. Next up we had the Open Pro / Non-Pro, where to no one’s surprise, Gifford was quickly dominant. Behind him, John Citrola put in a sound ride for a 2nd place. The best battle towards the front was the jostle between Kyle Summers and Dalton Linkus, both of whom just rebooted their racing careers after significant hiatuses. In the 1st 450 Pro moto, Mitchell got off to another hot start and started to gap a little bit while the people’s champ Todd Bannister and Summers duked it out behind him. Once Summers settled in a bit, he was able to reel Gifford in, but was never able to mount much of an attack.
The next 250 Pro moto, Mitchell took a spill and left the door open for Cody and Chris to go at one another for the win. Flesia was all over the back tire of Cody, before he tucked the front tire in an off-camber and left Cody with a sizable lead to convert into a moto win. Open Pro moto two, we saw a different story, as Cody Gray was able to get the lead early and start his charge. For most of the moto, Gray led Gifford around, until Mitchell was able to get around him following a very arenacross-like block pass. Solid performance of that moto was by Tyler Kuntz who cruised to a convincing 5th place right behind Flesia. For the final Pro moto of the day, it was mostly the same story as the 1st moto, as Gifford, Summers and Gray filed in 1,2,3 respectively.
The intermediate class had a respectable amount of entries and was littered with good battles throughout the class. In the first 250 B moto, Bryan Borquez got out to a quick start and was not to be denied as he guided his blue steed to the first moto win. Following behind him, were the likes of a stingy Bryceton McArthur and Chace Reinhard. In the first 450 moto, Borquez kept his morning momentum rolling right along as he was able to all but check out on the rest of the field. The battle that unfolded behind him with Trey Daughtrey and Trey Archuleta was intense. There was a moment on the first lap that the two crossed the finish line in lockstep and looked over at each other mid-flight (there may have been a wink in there, not sure though), it was super rad, gave me the willies. Anyway those two were neck-and-neck for the entire moto. Behind them, there was a ridiculous battle from 5th-9th and it was AWESOME. The next 250 moto, Chace Reinhard really proved his mettle. As he was leading, he took a spill and was able to recover to claim the 2nd moto win. Behind him were Archuleta and Borquez, then another rad battle between 5th & 9th place. In the final 450 B moto Borquez kept crushing, and landed another moto win. Dakota Kreager, Bryceton McArthur and Larry ‘LJ’ Zerfas jostled heavily for the 2nd position.
We’ve given the Colorado pros their dues for crushing, but the ladies of the state are true rippers in their own right. Kacey Pekola, Carter Daughtrey, Samantha Peters and Rylee Newsom went at one another all day in the Women’s pro division. Kacey Pekola was entirely consistent as she guided her white machine to a 1-2 on the afternoon. Carter Daughtrey, who has been learning how to fly friggin’ airplanes between races, was able to manage a 2-3. Samantha Peters after a poor outing in the first moto, came back with a vengeance in the 2nd moto, and was able to lay claim to the victory. And last, but certainly not least, Rylee Newsom went 3-4 on the day.
The 80s, a class where two strokes are beginning to sound cool, was stacked with some good racing. In 85 9-11, Jack Jamison was simply not to be messed with, as he went on to snag both moto wins for a convincing overall. Coleton Forte, held down the fort-eh?, in 2nd for both motos, with Karl Brown rounding out the top 3. The real battle was the battle amidst buds between Aden Finley and Jeremy Roe as they swapped moto finishes, going 5-4 and 4-5, respectively. In the 9-12 all-star, Brody Propernick came out swinging in the first moto, and scooped up a moto win, with Coleton Forte and Slade Allen coming in behind him. The 2nd moto featured a pretty toasty battle between Jack Jamison and Brody Propernick, with Jamison coming out on top after a last place finish in moto 1. Switching on over to the Superminis, it was none other than one of Colorado’s brightest rippers, Alex Vestal controlling the afternoon. Vestal simply dominated both motos and cruised to an overall: while Caden Salladey and Owen Ogden rounded out the podium. We got a chance to talk to Vestal about his pursuit for Loretta’s and here’s some of what he had to say:
EM: So you seem to have taken a pretty big step forward this year, what made the difference?
AV: Well at the beginning of this year I knew I wanted to make some changes. So this spring I went to Underground Mx and trained there for a few months. This time training wasn’t just work it was fun to get faster. And after seeing the results get better, that just pushed me more and more.
EM: Is having fun while you’re out there the most important thing to you?
AV: Having fun definitely makes it nice but usually I’m only having fun if I’m doing well and am at least where I think I should be.
EM: So, you made it Loretta’s this year, was this your first time?
AV: No, I made it to Loretta’s last year, that was my first time going. My mindset this year was different because I knew I could qualify if I rode good and had consistent motos and good starts. It was really just focusing on riding fast enough to have a definite spot, but not so hard you risk going down.
EM: What do you think the biggest difference is between local and national races?
AV: The main difference is at the national races, everybody there is pretty fast and is there for a reason. Also at the nationals, you really want to do well in front of all your sponsors and potential sponsors. At the local races it’s just a fun race, you don’t have to worry about pressure and you can hangout with your friends a lot more.
EM: What’s your goal going into Loretta’s this go round?
AV: The goal this year is to be in the top 5. If I keep working I think that is a possible goal. Last year I placed around 20th, but that was my first year and I feel I’ve learned a lot since then and I am more prepared this year. I just need to have good consistent motos and I’ll see where I come out at the end of that week.
Hell yeah brother, hell yeah.
I was honestly pretty dumbfounded yesterday, as I sat on the side of the track with a notepad looking like a nerd, watching these kids that aren’t even double digit in age just sending the finish line TAPPED out. It’s just one of those things that makes you look back on your 60 days with shame. Anyway, in the 7-9 class, Jeremy Roe was able to ride his way to a convincing moto 1 victory with Beau Leach and Ethan Funk following behind him. The 2nd moto was awesome, as Ryan Boutilier was able to get out to a quick start and Jeremy Roe went into attack mode to track him down and pass him with a lap left. In the 10-11 class, we saw the emergence of Blake Leach who went toe-to-toe with Aden Finley in both motos, and was able to salvage the overall with a 2-1 finish. Jace Hinrichs and Aiden Gray had a killer first moto battle, and went 3-3 and 4-4 respectively.
Jeremy Roe has been on a tear as of recently, and we were able to grab a few words from one wise little dude:
EM: So you had a pretty stellar weekend and you were able to beat all the big kids, how were you able to do that?
JR: Me and probably my biggest rival, Aden Finley, ride together a lot. I knew he was gonna be the man to beat, so I knew what I was getting into.
EM: This year was your first year making it to Loretta’s, what was that like?
JR: I went out with my friend Jack Jamison, and it was a blast all the way there. I wasn’t really thinking about it, and I just went and rode my dirtbike and had fun.
EM: Do you think that you do better when you’re having fun?
JR: My biggest problem with racing is when I’m not having fun, I’m too much in my head. When I’m having fun, I just take it for what it is and just go out and ride.
EM: What has enabled you to take that next step this year?
JR: Kind of during the offseason started going to Jaxson Pascal’s house. Jack Jamison Aden Finley, Brody Propernick and Jaxson will all be out there riding. It just helps because I’m probably the slowest, so I’m constantly getting pushed to be faster.
EM: Do you enjoy spending time out at the track with your buds?
JR: It’s a lot of fun to hang with my buddies when were not riding. And then we just go out and burn motos and we all have this mutual respect for each other, so it’s cool.
EM: Does racing here locally help prep you for the nationals?
JR: Ya know at the local races I race a couple guys that are good at the nationals, it’s helped me a lot to know that I can beat those kids. I’m blessed to be able to beat those guys, cause they’re great riders.
Halfway through the interview, I was simply amazed at this kid’s presence of mind and wisdom for being at such a young age. Future is bright for young Jeremy.
Standouts and Well Wishes:
Some standouts on the weekend were the likes of Corinthia Crawford and Payton Aragon who was just coming back from an injury. Corinthia was once again dominant in the Girls 9-12 class, following up a strong performance at Round 1 of the series. Payton put in a solid showing for his first run back with 4th & 5th overalls.
Well wishes go out to Kaleb Hale, Bryan Sabbaugh and Kyra Bobbiney who all had some nasty get-offs this weekend. Get better soon, guys!
That’s All Folks