The following is an industry press release...
Port Elizabeth, N.J. – The Tri County Sportsmen’s MC shattered all other AMA East HS attendance records this weekend, as more than 800 two-wheeled racers battled it out over a two-day period at round three of the AMA East Hare Scrambles Championship Series.
This was also the season opener for the ECEA HS Series which co-sanctioned this event. 23 AA riders filled the front row. Heavy rains a few days before dumped about four inches on the mostly sand track, but the Tri County Sportsmen’s MC were out in full force working to insure flowing and useable trails.
When the flag dropped it was Wild Wally Palmer with the holeshot as 22 other AA’s funneled in behind him and headed into the woods.
Tri County did something a bit different this year with the track. They normally send the racers out into a large open one mile turn track providing plenty of entertainment for the spectators and allowing for separation before heading into the woods, but this year the turn track was one and a half miles long. Because of this, if you got a bad start, you had your work cut out for you.
After the one mile turn track, the racers came into the scoring chute. Palmer could not hold off the fierce charge of the other AA’s and he would end up third on the first lap. In the lead was last year’s winner, Ryder Lafferty and second was Jesse Groemm. Behind in fourth was was Craig Delong. Overall, first through fourth were separated by only 10 seconds.
On the second lap, Delong moved up three positions to secure first. About five seconds back was Lafferty and still right behind him was Groemm, keeping them honest.
As these three began to pull away from the rest of the group, a fierce battle was now under way. Lappers and track deterioration were now a factor and although the event had a separate morning C event, there were still over 270 other racers sharing the same 10 mile course.
By the middle of the third lap, Groemm would lost his rear brakes and started to fall back. Delong and Lafferty however would continue to battle.
At the end of the fourth lap it was Delong taking the checkered flag with Lafferty settling for second. Groemm finished a solid third.
It was later learned that several of the other AA’s had missed the pit entrance and were forced to leave the track and return to the designated pit area, since New Jersey has a strict fueling requirement. Several were administered a time penalty for their infractions. Unfortunately Palmer was to be one of them.
After all the changes, the top A rider was Marcus Cornell from the Open class, and the top B rider was Earl Miller from the 250 class. The top Women A/B went to returning racer Shawn Davidson who just returned to racing from a knee surgery.
The morning C event had 330 racers and the track was still very damp from the recent rain, however the course was defined by the Youth events the day before.
One and a half hours over a nine mile course gave the win to Mike Beeler Jr. who is no stranger to the podium. The day before he was the overall Youth Champion from the 12-13 Super Mini line, but on the second day took the overall for the Schoolboy 1 class from four rows back.
Our hero of the day however went to Hunter Fox, who just restored a 1982 Yamaha YZ 125 that he would race in the C 200. Fox ran first place against all the modern machines until he popped his shoulder out in some breaking bumps. Fox would still finish in second place against 37 others.
In Saturday Junior events, recent Rocky Mountain ATV/MC Amateur National Motocross Champions qualifier Jayden Palmer took the 65 overall and Cate Nash would win the Jr Girls. Carter Przmeleweski would again take the 50cc Pee Wee win.