Monday, February 13, 2012

Jolly Roger Motorsports Park

Here's a photo from JRM, taken around '02 or '03 by Scott Rounds. This is probably an Open Expert heat race with #22u Mike Beland, #1 Roger Durkee, #26b Lowell Carson, and #9u David Bettencourt.

This kind of marks an end of an era when the open classes were dominated by Rotax engined "framers", with a few guys racing big air-cooled Hondas or Yamahas, and a few guys racing the brand new CRF450R's. In a relatively short period, maybe 3-5 years, the dominant bike on the front row became the CRF450R.

Mike had his own powersports shop in Mass before he moved to Florida, called A-1. He'd shown up on the flattrack scene coming from a background of drag racing motorcycles. He's tough to beat off the line, despite this photo showing otherwise.

Roger was the local expert to beat. A former National number holder, he showed a lot of younger riders the fast way around any short track, and didn't lose too often.

Lowell is an expert that raced more in NY Dictrict 3, but would still show up at NEDTS events occasionally.

Dave was another of the local experts to beat, and I believe he was also a former National number holder. He held a few NEDTS titles. Sadly, he was taken by Leukemia a few years ago.

Speaking of National numbers, the way you earn one is to qualify for an AMA National feature race. To do that you must first accumulate enough points racing as a Pro-Sport rider to be eligible to enter a National event. At most of the National shorttrack or 1/2 mile events during the 90's and early 00's a typical entry list would often run 60 to 80 or more competitors, all trying to get into the 18 rider main event, so needless to say the competition in heat races was fierce.

The Pro-Sport plates are white with red numbers. The letter next to the number designates the district that a racer comes from, "u" is the designation for New England, and I'm guessing "b" is the Eastern NY district.

I'll miss the framers, 'cause they look and sound so badass. They're still showing up and occasionally winning races at some of the local tracks, but they're long gone from the National scene.

This is another photo from the same roll (remember film?) later in the program. Dave Bettencourt about to go around the outside of another rider entering turn 1. I can't remember who #31 is, this may have been a night with a lot of New York/New England riders trying for a big purse. Love the roost!

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