NEMRR ended the 2023 season with the strongest rider turnout the organization has had for a standard (non-Loudon Classic) event since it took the reins over from New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 2020. Participation was excellent across all divisions of racing, with particularly strong fields in the popular lightweight and ultralight classes. NEMRR’s stated goal of making the series a family-friendly organization was on full display on Saturday night when the traditional Saturday night barbeque turned into an early Halloween trick-or-treat, costume contest, and scavenger hunt across the paddock. Near perfect weather on both days provided a fantastic backdrop for both the double-points finale and the NEMM races that followed the conclusion of racing on Sunday. NEMM, which is run by NEMRR regular Sergio Dimoffetta, offered is focused on youth riders and gave free entries in 2023 to kids as young as four years old who wanted to experience riding at NHMS.
With the MotoAmerica season now over, the growing group of NEMRR riders who have sampled racing at the highest level in the US were showcasing their skills and putting on a show. Only Teagg Hobbs, a multi-time MotoAmerica race winner who carded several podium finishes in the ultra-competitive Supersport class in 2023, was absent as he was working to recover from minor injuries. Fellow MotoAmerica race winner podium finisher Ben Gloddy took most of the 2023 season off after an injury at Daytona, but finished the pro season with a fourth-place finish at NJMP and spends the NEMRR weekends racing a relatively stock Honda CRF450 in the Ultralight classes. Ben was in podium battles all weekend long and carded a win after a race-long battle with Trase Boudreau in the Lightweight Sportsman class to close out the weekend.
MotoAmerica top 10 finisher Jacob Crossman split time between his Twins Cup Aprilia RS 660 machine and his Husqvarna FS 450 machine over the course of the weekend. On the Aprilia Crossman finished on the podium in the highly competitive LW Grand Prix Class and was knocking on the door of a top five finish in the NEMRR feature Dash for Cash MW Grand Prix class before missing Turn One on the final lap and losing several positions.
Adam Muscaro, who tested the waters with two appearances in MotoAmerica Junior Cup in 2023, clinched the NEMRR 500 Superbike Expert Championship after a race-long battle with fellow Ninja 400 rider Ryan Imbeault. Muscaro also clinched the Moto 3 championship with a hard-earned win over Ty Fazekas and NEMRR #1 plate holder Rick Doucette. Although Doucette finished second in the Moto 3 Championship, the veteran racer secured championships in the Middleweight Superbike and 300 Superbike classes and in the process carded his record-breaking 13th NEMRR #1 plate in 2023. The “King” will reign for another season!
After pulling off a double win at the MotoAmerica Junior Cup races at NJMP, Eli Block displayed his diverse riding talents while winning races on three different motorcycles over the course of the weekend. On his trusty KTM 450, Block battled fiercely with multi-time NEMRR champion Gunnar Oulette in three of the classes that typically feature the popular motard machines. Both riders reeled off incredibly fast times all the way down into the 1:15 range (times that could almost win some middleweight classes), with Block taking the Motard and Super Singles classes and Oulette winning the Ultralight Superbike class. In addition, Block won a nail-biter over MotoAmerica rookie (and top 10 finisher Renee Franco) as the pair battled on a pair of Kawasaki Ninja 400 machines. Franco used her incredible roll speed in Turns One and Three to close in on Block and set the fastest lap time of the race in the process. In the end, Block used his prowess in the famous Turn Six “bowl” and his skill in navigating through traffic at NHMS to hold on to the victory.
In the feature Michelin/Motorace Dash for Cash, Triumph-mounted Ian Beam held a 16-point advantage over Block and Harlan Hildebrand, who were tied for second place. With double points on the line, Beam would have to finish third for either Block or Hildebrand to have a mathematical chance at the title. As the green flag dropped Beam rocketed to the lead, followed closely by the Yamaha R6s of Block and rising star Micheal Lee. The lead group was six riders deep and had the crowd on the edge of their seats until the three-cylinder Triumph of Beam came down the front straightaway sounding like a twin on lap five. After pulling off, Beam somehow got the bike to re-fire and rejoined the fray in 15th place, only to retire a lap later. This left the Championship wide open.
Block won the race – and with it the Middleweight Grand Prix Championship, holding off the charging Paul Duval, who had cured the mechanical gremlins that plagued his Yamaha R6 for much of the season and had moved his way from fifth to second in the closing laps. Lee rounded out the podium with another strong finish, and will surely be someone to watch for the 2024 season at NEMRR.
The 2024 NEMRR season schedule has already been announced with the series showcasing six rounds of competition at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The premier event of the season will be the 101st running of the Loudon Classic, which will be a three-day event that will again have the distinction of offering a record $250,000 purse for the feature Classic and (new for 2024) a $50,000 purse for a Pro Bagger class. For information/sponsorship opportunities for both NEMRR and the Classic, please visit www.nemrr.com or email [email protected].