Little People, Little Bikes and BIG Hearts!
This past weekend, many caring people got together and held the inaugural "Ride for Life," a six-hour motorcycle endurance road race to raise desperately needed funds for the Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Blood Marrow Transplant Clinic at University of Arizona Medical Center (U.M.C.).
The race was held at the beautiful Musselman Honda Circuit in Tucson, Arizona, and was the brainchild of Shelly McGriff and Charlie Quiroz of the Southern Arizona Kart Club (www.mhcircuit.com). Shelly and Charlie knew that to attract the crowds needed to support the event, they'd need a couple of AMA Pro Racing Superbike competitors on the grid, so a call went out to Jake Holden - AMA Pro jack-of-all-trades, as well as EBR's own Geoff May. Both May and Holden were instantly on-board and made the trek to Tucson, Arizona, where the day before the event, Jake, Geoff and Mariah McGriff visited the Pediatric ICU at the U of A Med Center with one of the 10 Musselman Honda NSF100 racebikes for the kids to see firsthand.
Saturday, November 3rd the rider's meeting was held at Musselman and the teams learned that they would compete on identically-prepared NSF100s and each team rider would run a maximum of a 30-minute stint before a required pit stop, at which time riders could be changed. There was a limit of 10 riders per team and the race would be checkered at the six-hour mark.
The green flag dropped on the six-hour race at 3:00 p.m., and Jake Holden (Team Jake) shot to an early lead, made easier no doubt by the fact that Geoff May was called away to Las Vegas for EBR Racing sponsorship promotional duties at the Vegas SEMA show. Geoff was to race a street-legal EBR1190RS against a new, supercharged Chevy Camaro ZL1 and would miss the start of the six-hour motorcycle event. Team Honeybadger was running second and also in the mix was Team Horseless Headsmen.
As the race ensued, Team Jake enjoyed a five-lap lead with Jake Holden lowering the circuit lap record NINE times during his stints on the little NSF100. The other racers and spectators alike were awed by Holden sliding the front of the little 100cc bike around the Musselman track.
Unfortunately, it all went wrong for Team Jake when at lap #199, Shane Kampstra came in contact with another rider and crashed heavily, suffering a shard of fiberglass fairing puncturing his upper arm. The Team Jake bike was thrashed-on in the pits by team manager Jim Storlie but had to be replaced by an untested back-up bike. As the event wore-on, Team Jake made up five of the six laps they lost to Team Honeybadger during their downtime but came up just short, with Team Horseless Headsmen just behind for the final podium spot.
The event is on again for next year, and all are invited to compete or just spectate at the Musselman Circuit. Each team is expected to bring $1000 in tax-deductible donations for the Pediatric Clinic at U of A, and in addition to some fun racing under the lights, camaraderie and great sportsmanship; the Southern Arizona Kart Club hosts a pulled pork BBQ. For you Go Kart enthusiasts, the day following the motorcycle event (Sunday) was also a six-hour endurance race called "Laps For Life," in Musselman's go karts with the same basic rules package.
If you're interested in getting on the event e-mail list for next year, contact Shelly at Shellymcgriff@aol.com or Charlie Quiroz at Charlie@mhcircuit.com.
Team Honeybadger - 1st place
Team Jake 2nd place
Team Horseless Headsmen 3rd place
More, from a press release issued by Minimoto USA:
MINIMOTO USA 2012's FINAL ROUND AT BUTTONWILLOW RACEWAY PARK
Seventeen Northern and Southern California regional rounds of Minimoto USA are completed with one round to go! This last round for Minimoto USA is a double region and double points race weekend. Both our Northern and Southern series will come together to see who is the BEST Minimoto, Mini GP, Supermoto and Scooter racer around!
Stoney Landers, owner of Minimoto USA:
"This inaugural season for Minimoto USA has been absolutely fantastic. Along with kids and adults who have previous racing experience, we have a lot of new racers that started racing this year. It's a ton of fun to watch them come into the series whether experienced or brand new and each weekend get better and better.
"We welcome kids and adults. We have the classes set up so a kid can start young on a Minimoto machine and gradually make his/her way up to the point where he/she is racing the larger Mini GP machines such as Supermoto style bikes, 125 chassis with 150cc four stroke/85cc two stroke engines, 250cc four stroke road-race machines, and 250/450 Supermotos. Of course adults are welcome to race in all of our classes and we have lots of adults on minimotos, supermotos, XR100s, NSR50s, YSRs, scooters etc"¦"
Our end of the year banquet is going to be held this Sunday at the racetrack after our races, so come join us for a great end of the year party!
Location of the race:
Buttonwillow Raceway Park Kart Track
24551 Lerdo Highway
Buttonwillow, CA 93206
For more info on Minimoto usa: