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 Race Report

Eagles Nest GP

 

BROUGHT TO YOU BY

THE VOICE OF TOR

@VOICE_OF_TOR

 

The Brothers DeLong Fly High at The Eagles Nest GP

delong brothers.jpg

Welcome back folks! It seems like forever ago that we left round one at Hurricane Hills GP. After much anticipation, we are back to TOR racing in Pennsburg, PA at the Wentz Training Facility for round 2. The event was dubbed “The Eagles Nest GP “ 

 

The Veterans Day weekend event was jam packed with action, not only Sunday, but Saturday as well. In an effort to make the most of the day/daylight, the TOR crew opted to hold the PeeWee race on Saturday. In addition to the PeeWee race on Saturday there was a Cornhole tournament, a Stacyc Bike Race (more like a free ride), and finally under the lights was a full on Pitbike Supercross race! Sunday, the racing action resumed, bright and early, at 8AM and continued throughout the day with the final moto going off around 3PM. PHASE MOTO, DELB, MILE HILL CYCLE, CROSSROADS POWERSPORTS made up the vendor booths surrounding the registration/podium area. LEATT was also represented and gave away a ton of merchandise to our riders. Food was provided by The WOW Wagon! “its wow at first bite!” Chicken Tendies 8/10, uniquely sweet and delish! The excitement doesn’t stop there……..

 

The TOR spectators were graced with the presence of recently crowned GNCC Champion, Craig DeLong! Follow along as I highlight the details of the weekend. 

 

With lots of great action going on all across the Wentz property, there was no shortage of good times and great memories made! Aside from the racing action, the big story of the weekend was the fundraiser that was held for Tom Smith and the Smith family. The “Cornhole for a Cause” tournament was a cash buy in, double elimination tournament, with nothing but bragging rights on the line, sign up proceeds went directly to the Smith family. Shout out to The Haggerty Boys for winning the tourney. In addition to the cornhole tournament funds, CROSSROAD POWERSPORTS offered up 4 brand new Stacyc bikes for sale, with proceeds of the sale being donated to the Smith family! Although you may not know them personally, I can assure you that you probably know a family just like them or have run into people like them at the races. A dedicated racing family, they are the ones that open up their camper to everyone in the pits, the family who helps fix your bike when it seems unfixable, feeds you when you didn’t bring your own dinner, and fills your cup till it runneth over with cheer, the kind of people that make our off-road community so special. Sadly, a few months ago, Tom was diagnosed with brain cancer. Our goal was to raise money for Tom and garner support for the Smith family. The TOR family and the entire off-road community has got your back, keep fighting Tom!

 

Whilst the Cornhole tournament wrapped up, the green flag dropped on the PeeWee classes just after 2pm on Saturday. The premiere peewee classes, AKA the 65cc classes feature top riders such Preston Siniavsky(YAM) and Easton Haggerty(KTM) in the 10-11 class. As well as George Stronhilos(KAW), Jaeger Bloch(HUS) and Mario Vargas(KTM) in the 7-9 class. Preston would go on to finish P1 in the 10-11 and 1st overall in the peewee division aboard his YZ65! Easton Haggerty finished P2 with a strong ride all the way to the end. 3rd place in the 10-11 class went to Cole Dillman aboard his KTM. In the 65cc 7-9 class, Wyatt Wheeler and Tanner Unger battled for a few a laps, ultimately Wheeler pulled away and hung on to take the win! Unger took 2nd in his first appearance at TOR. Finishing in 3rd was George (Georgie) Stronghilos, Georgie proves that consistency is key and walks away from round 2 with the triple crown points lead in the 7-9 class! The 50cc SR 4-8 class was won by TOR first timer Caleb Matthias(HUS). Bruce Brauer(HUS) and Lukas Stimmell battled for the win in the 50cc JR 4-6 class, Bruce took the win and Lukas took 2nd. Battling it out with the boys, and securing her spot on the podium in third place was Rylee Huff(KTM). In the 50cc 7-8 AirCooled class was Lorenzo Sheppard(HON) taking home 1st place. Ryder Schimpf would go on to finish 1st in the 50cc 4-6 AC class. The girls of the 4-11 class were Hayleigh Kaisinger 1st, Winter Swartz 2nd, and Kennedy Cox 3rd. After one heck of a battle, the rough and rowdy Trail Rider 4-11 class was won by Hayden Grogan! Impressively, Hayden lead all 9 laps aboard his Honda! After giving it his all, Gino Togno took 2n place. Zayden Caraballo rounded out the podium in 3rd.

Preston Siniavsky is now 2-2 winning both Round 1 and 2.

 Can he pull off the triple crown?

Photo by: Ashley Myers

 

Soon after the peewee race concluded the Stacyc bike free ride got rolling! We called it a race but truly it was more like mini ebike mayhem! Nearly 40 kiddos, aging 2 years old up to 7, were out there riding a mini off-road GP course built specifically for them! With no real rules other than to have FUN, we gate dropped the tykes on bikes by age class just as if they were racing their very own GP. This little event was a real hit! TOR is a family motivated organization, so it was truly special to see some of our PRO racers who are also parents out there pushing along their youngsters, guiding the next generation on their way to victory! Thanks to CROSSROAD POWERSPORTS and Stacyc for their help putting this on. 

Joe and Jetson having some fun.

Photo by: Ashley Myers

 

 

 

 

 

The Pit Bike Racing action under the lights Saturday night was truly mayhem and deserves its own race report. To keep things light I will just say that it was a huge success with over 60 riders in 4 different classes. TBOLT USA was the title sponsor of the pitbike event and gave out tons of free T BOLT merch as well as goggles, chain lube and sprays, and pitter accessories! Check them out at www.tboltusa.com

Even E-bikes got in on the action.

Photo By: Ashley Myers

 

Sunday morning, the racing action continued around 8am. The first Moto of the day would be the youth classes. Going 1-1 in both motos was Ryder Sigety in the Super Mini 14-16 class. Ryder would take the youth overall as well. 2nd overall youth rider was Dominic Griffith and taking 3rd on the day was Brent Myers coming from the Super Mini 12-13 class. The Girls youth class is stacked with young women, who soon will be racing big bikes amongst the women’s professional ranks. Top 3 in the Girls 12-17 class would go to Addison Platt 3rd, Jordan Dillman 2nd and taking home first place, Mattie Sims! 

                                                                                                                                     Some tight Racing in the youth motos

                                                                                                                                     Photo By: Ashley Myers

 

 

 

 

Overall C class rider was Evan Moyer(HUS) from the C Open class. Special shout out to the C open class as our most full gate; respectively, 30 riders in total lined up in the class. Behind Moyer, in 2nd place was Mike Ochoa(KAW) and Ryan Knight(HUS) in 3rd. 

 

The backbone of TOR is the women’s classes. From the youth ranks, all the way up to the PRO class our series has been graced with some fast ladies! Making her TOR Women’s PRO Class debut was Cara Langenbach. Cara took the overall aboard her KTM 105! Cara has a bright future, racing Temple Off-Road! We are starting to see our “regulars” show up to the races, and there are few names that stand out. Specifically, in the women’s amateur class is Emily Miller. Emily is on an absolute tear this season, in addition to winning all of her motos, she has also led every single lap, of every single moto at rounds 1 and 2! Emily, a south Jersey native has the opportunity to go 3 for 3 at her “home” track as we head to Millville, NJ for round 3. Another one of those TOR regulars is Annelisa McAlinney. Annelisa, known nationally for racing GNNC at the pro level has decided to try her hand at GP racing. Mrs. McAlinney has a BIG lead in the Triple Crown points standings. I have a strong feeling that Team McAlinney will be celebrating at round 3.

 

The PRO/AM 125cc Dash For Cash is proving to be a big hit at TOR! We encourage all racers who love the small bore to find one to race for 1 moto and get paid! This class only races once in the morning and lines up on the front row of B class moto 1, this gives some of the top riders in the Pro/AA class a second option so they can get more track time while also conserving energy for their main event, if they so choose to enter multiple classes. Small bore enthusiast, JDay OffRoad rippah, and New England legend; Nate “The Captain” Smith made the journey south to get his first taste of TOR. Nate put on a show as he made sweet music with his Precision Off-Road Husky 125 landing it on the top step of the podium! Nate led every lap of the race while Kyle Grenowicz battled with Max Fernandez for 2nd place. At the checkered flag was Fernandez 3rd, Grenowicz 2nd and The Captain, Nate Smith P1 !

Nate Smith made the long trip down to put on a clinic on

the one two five, not only in this class but also raced it 

in the pro motos as well.

Photo by: Ashley Myers

 

 

 

 

Throughout the day, the racing continued and buzz about the first pro moto began to intensify. By now, word had gotten around the pits that 2023 GNCC XC1 Champion, Craig Delong was in the house! Apparently, rumors of the TOR movement had been going around the pits at the nationals, and DeLong knew he had to come out and test himself and his Rockstar Energy Factory Husqvarna FC350 against the best GP racers in the country! The track definitely favored the PA native, with a mix of fast flowing woods with rocks and roots, a motocross track and of course the TOR Extreme section! 

                                                                                            Craig dicing it up in the gator pit,

                                                                                             making the difficult section look easy.

                                                                                            Photo by: Ashley Myers

PRO Moto 1 was an all out war between Magna 1 Racing Husqvarna rider Jason Tino and the natty champ, DeLong. The holeshot, and the BIG check went to Ryan Lasher. But from there on out Tino led all 5 laps with Craig DeLong seemingly attached at the hip. Tino managed to edge out the factory boy for the moto 1 win! It was truly a masters course on how to hold it wide open! Tino, considers himself more of a sprint racer, and boy did he prove that! I had a chance to talk to both Craig and Jason after moto 1; what they both noted was that line choice was the ultimate factor. The layout of TOR courses provides passing opportunities around every turn. Craig shared with me that the combination of line choices, paired with the pace of 30 minute moto caught him off guard and forced him to find a higher level focus. Jason was all smiles after Moto 1. He told me that he and Craig both didn’t get good starts but that when they turned into “gator pit” it was like the parting of the red seas with riders crashing left and right! He and Craig managed to move right through the pro pack and were 1-2 the entire moto. Finishing in 3rd place was none other than Andrew DeLong! Craig’s elder brother got off the couch for his first race in quite sometime! It was a special moment as Craig and his big bro lined up next to each for the first time with Craig as national champion. The DeLong family has been a staple in the tristate and national off-road communities for years and we are happy to have them around the TOR pits! 

As more than 500 racers took to the 2.1 mile course throughout the day, track conditions changed slightly but not dramatically. We were blessed with a beautiful day for racing with no clouds in sight. Some sections of the course became more hard packed and dusty but that was quickly forgotten as riders entered the “gator pit” which consisted of a 75 yard straight away right down the middle of creek bed. The gator pit sent riders and spectators into a frenzy! With carnage guaranteed, pictures and videos were being snapped along the creek bed as riders did their best to keep the motorcycle upright. A side from the gator pit there was also the Extreme section, comprised of rock gardens, log crossings, tire jumps and more! It seemed like the most challenging obstacle in the extreme section was the X log, which tossed riders like they were rag dolls! 

 

Green flag for Pro Moto 2 was around 3pm. As the racers made their way around lap 1, the running order was Tino 1st, C. DeLong 2nd and A. DeLong 3rd. Jason and Craig were truly on a whole new level compared to the rest of the competition. As the race progressed, it seemed like Craig would begin to gain an edge, only for Jason to shut the door and hold the lead. Wheel to wheel, bar to bar, around the entire course for the whole moto! It wasn’t until lap 5 of 6 that Craig was able to make the pass for 1st. While the 2 race leaders were going through the Extreme section, lap traffic played a role in slowing down Tino, DeLong was able to capitalize and went on to lead the final 2 laps and take the moto 2 win! As per the TOR rule book, if riders go 1-2 and then 2-1, the tie breaker goes to the moto 2 winner.  By winning the second moto, going 2-1 on the day, Craig was able to secure 1st overall! Truly exciting action for all of our fans and spectators. Part of our goal at TOR is to develop the next generation of national champions; thank you Craig and Jason for being awesome role models for our young racers! A special shout out to PRO rider number #399 Anthony “AFed” Federico, a dedicated GP racer, representing the JDay ridahhs of New England. AFed went 12-6 for 9th overall; thanks for coming down AFed! 

Jason and Craig wheel to wheel through the extreme section.

Photo by: Ashley Myers

We're halfway through the Triple Crown and the PRO class championship is heating up! Here's how things sit after Round 2. Jerod Stoner proved that showing up and being consistent wins championships. Although Stoner missed the podium, he came away with the Pro class points lead. Right on Jerod's heels, is Corey Doughten only 1 point behind! And quietly sneaking up on the pack is Hunter Keen, sitting in 3rd. Thorn Devlin and Craig DeLong each taking an overall, however both have missed 1 round, setting them behind but not out for a championship run!

 

Thank you to our country's veterans, who afford us the oprotunity to do what we love in the country we love! Also, thanks to all our wonderful sponsors, most importantly the Wentz family for hosting us! If you missed rounds 1 and 2, don’t panic! You can still experience TOR once more before the 2023 Triple Crown series comes to an end. Round 3 will be held at New Jersey Motorsports Park, Millville, NJ where a champion will be crowned! And of course, we will be bringing that national vibe to the local level; I will see you down in the sands of Millville!

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