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Racers have fun in the Sand Box
by Dan McGee
Mar 25, 2013 | 4068 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by Dan McGee — Jesse Gore gets some air as he heads for victory in Sunday's racing at Fernley. It wasn't easy as he had a seesaw battle for the lead with Tucker Larrieu, who finished second. Both riders participated in group and team racing at the Sand Box Grand Prix.
Tribune photo by Dan McGee — Jesse Gore gets some air as he heads for victory in Sunday's racing at Fernley. It wasn't easy as he had a seesaw battle for the lead with Tucker Larrieu, who finished second. Both riders participated in group and team racing at the Sand Box Grand Prix.
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Tribune photo by Dan McGee — Keeping a family tradition, Sparks racer Pete Cannizzaro won his race Sunday at Fernley. Here, he gives his son Chase, who won his Pee Wee class on Saturday, a ride back to the finish line.
Tribune photo by Dan McGee — Keeping a family tradition, Sparks racer Pete Cannizzaro won his race Sunday at Fernley. Here, he gives his son Chase, who won his Pee Wee class on Saturday, a ride back to the finish line.
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Tribune photo by Dan McGee — At the Sand Box GP, all the riders had a bar code sticker on the right side of their helmets for scoring. Here, Dennis Buckmeyer, who won his race, stops in the scoring chute so Art Verlinga can scan the bar code.
Tribune photo by Dan McGee — At the Sand Box GP, all the riders had a bar code sticker on the right side of their helmets for scoring. Here, Dennis Buckmeyer, who won his race, stops in the scoring chute so Art Verlinga can scan the bar code.
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Tribune photo by Dan McGee — Like last year's event, the Sand Box GP ends with a team race where members do one lap then hand off a wristband to their partners, who also do a lap before the next exchange. Here, the first line of riders is taking off in a blaze of dust and color as the race begins.
Tribune photo by Dan McGee — Like last year's event, the Sand Box GP ends with a team race where members do one lap then hand off a wristband to their partners, who also do a lap before the next exchange. Here, the first line of riders is taking off in a blaze of dust and color as the race begins.
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FERNLEY — It all began last year when Rich Barker, vice president for the Trail Blazers Motorcycle Club and Layne Kolbet, president of the Over the Hill Gang, had an idea. They wanted to create a fun event to honor the late Rich Thorwaldson, who was a driving force in this area's motorcycle racing.

The result was the Sand Box Grand Prix.

"Our whole concept was in honor of Rich Thorwaldson because he loved these style of events to get the maximum bang for your buck. So we had four races in honor of him and having fun on your motorcycle," Kolbet said.

The result was a race matching desert racers from MRANN against motocross racers from SMRA. No points but only bragging rights were on the line and it was such a success, they repeated the event this weekend.

Asked about this year's response Barker said, "I think it's going to be better than the first annual event as we've had great response."

This time the riders were challenged by a 2.8-mile course and, at the end of every lap, they stop in a scoring chute so the bar codes on their helmets could be scanned.

Depending on the class they race in or their bikes, riders start from one of three lines. And all pro and expert riders would always start from the first line for each of the 45-minute races.

The last of the races had pros, experts and intermediate riders in the field. And the first two-thirds of the event saw a seesaw battle for the lead.

When the race began, Tucker Larrieu got the hole shot and rocketed away from the pack. Behind him, Jesse Gore, who usually competed in the WORCS series or Hare and Hound events, was headed for the front.

Soon, it became a two-man race as both Larrieu and Gore left the field far behind. Eventually Gore took the point, only to lose it then regain it after a few laps.

Finally around the three-quarter mark, Gore made the winning pass and outran Larrieu for the victory. Ethan Hoffman and Sparks rider Dean Wilcox followed them across the line.

At the finish when asked why he lost the lead after gaining it, Gore said, "I fell a couple of times. This course is a lot like a WORCS race with moto and desert sections."

If there was a hard charger award, Sparks racer Pete Cannizzaro would have earned it. Fighting some kind of bug, he only wanted to ride and have fun during his race.

The event began badly as he couldn't get his bike in gear. Once he got things going, the racer in him kicked in and he was off.

Charging through the pack, Cannizzaro eventually passed the early leaders and stormed away to claim the win. At the finish, Marcus Gentry and Anthony Fagundes took the next two positions.

After taking the checkered, he picked up his son Chase, who won his Pee Wee class on Saturday, and they both rode back to the finish line.

Then he said, "I was dead last off the gate, couldn't get my bike in gear. Being sick like this it was a lot of work as I've had this bug for a week. The track's unreal, 2.8 miles, God that was fun and I won it last year, too."

For Chris McCewen, the race wasn't that hard but he had to overcome being tired from a week of hard training. He went on to win the day's first race followed by Matt Jones and Bryson Boriho.

Then he said, "The race was awesome. I worked my butt off this week, went to the 4 days and rode on Friday so definitely I'm a little sore so I'm going to rest now."

Dennis Buckmeyer, another Sparks racer, won the third race followed by Zach Zito and Tom Stone.

The day ended with a team race and all during the day, more and more riders arrived to compete in that event.

It is a two-hour long contest where each rider has to wear a wristband or something like that. They do one lap, including a stop at the scoring chute then go into the pits where the wristband is exchanged with a teammate, who takes off and does the next lap.

The teams varied from two to four riders and 62 of them were ready to compete in the event. Many used creative names but once on the track, everyone was out to go as fast as they could and still have fun.

When the dust settled, brothers Tony Evans and Brian Sjogren riding as Team Valley Brothers, won the race. They received a large trophy with Thorwaldson's picture on it.

After he parked his bike, Kolbet was asked about the day and event.

"I think it went really well, we had a great team of people to help put it on between MRANN and the Over the Hill Gang. And it seemed like everybody had a blast," he said. "Last year we had 75 teams but there's a Hare and Hound, a WORCS race and a Mammoth Lake qualifier at Oakfield so we're up against three events, but we had a good turn out."

OTHER RACING NEWS

•Only two events are slated for this weekend and both are on Saturday.

The Northern Nevada Kart Club is staging its annual tune-up race so gives drivers can practice and tune their karts before their season begins.

Further east Rattlesnake Raceway has its "play day," so drivers can tune and test their cars and outlaw karts. For rookies it's mandatory track time.

•The Busch brothers spent the weekend at Fontana, California this weekend.

Kyle won Saturday's Nationwide event from the pole position. During Sunday's Sprint Cup event a last lap wreck involving the leaders gave the victory to Kyle while older brother Kurt used a determined drive to finish third.

RESULTS

2nd Annual Sand Box Grand Prix

Fernley Lion's Motocross Track

• Saturday, March 23

Pee Wees:

- 6 & Under: 1. James Larsen, 2. Treyton Maskaly, 3. Andrew Anderson, 4. Austin Hough, 5. Ryder Thomaselli.

- 7 to 9 Jrs: 1. Cashe Cannizzaro, 2. Jimmy Tracey, 3. Camie Ingram, 4. Lawson Williams, 5. Tristan Morrice

— 65cc Beg: 1. Collin Hutson, 2. Taren Turnage, 3. Andrew Kuha, 4. Andrew Kuha, 5. Ripley Shakespeare

Women:

— Beg. Nov: 1. Taylor Kemp, 2. Alina Frei, 3. Rozanne Spring, 4. Jessica Rankin, Alyson Wilson

Vintage (Pre 1976): 1. Michael Dixon, 2. Timothy Hill, 3. Devin Genovese, 4. Robert McAdam

Mini Jr. Ama: 1. Hayden Fagundes, 2. Kody Gray, 3. Ryder Schwartz, 4. Ezra Belingheri, 5. Caleb Polacek

100cc:

— Beg/Nov: 1. Kai Williams, 2. Parker Miller, 3. Lyle Stoddard, 4. Justin Larsen, 5. Tristan Furlong

— Jr. Ama: 1. Kurtis Gray, 2. Tyler Gunn, 3. Tristan Mathisen, 4. Anthony Wills

— Open Exp: 1. Austin Wilson

• Sunday, March 24

Race 1:

450 Beg/Nov: 1. Chris McCewen, 2. Matt Jones, 3. Jonathan Remien, 4. Steven Daughhetee, 5. Kody Weil

250 Beg/Nov: 1. Bryson Boriho, 2. Drew Chattin; 3. Lenam Hammrnack; 4. Jake Dellavdona, 5. Jason Chapman

200 Beg/Nov: 1. Nason McCombs, 2. Tyler Spelts, 3. Keigan McIntier

Race 2:

Over 60: 1. Pete Prichard, 2. Kerry Barnes, 3. Jim Patterson, 4. Doug McCaleb

50+:

-Beg/Nov: 1. Ted Elswick, 2. Brian Fletcher

— Jr/Ama: 1. Bruce Burke, 2. Ray Sbriglia, 3. Scott Hilodbran

— Open/Exp: 1. Larry Brown, 2. Mark Dowers, 3. Gilbert Chick, 4. Michael Butler

40+:

— Beg/Nov: 1. Chris Gaarenstroor, 2. Ronnie Scorsonell, 3. Rich Sulis

— Jr/Ama: 1. Brent Lymin, 2. Mike Molyeanux, 3. Jamie Bonner, 4. Curt Crandall, 5. Steven Wakefield

— Intrm: 1. Steve Decarli, 2. Layne Kolbet, 3. Aaron Turnage, 4. Tim Frei, 5. Donovan Campana

— Open/Exp: 1. Marcus Gentry, 2. Anthony Fagundes, 3. Tim Fitzparticke, 4. Paul Ziegler, 5. Chris Ponsock

30+:

— Beg/Nov: 1. Chuck Cavins, 2. Jason Ines, 3. Chris Cross

— Jr/Ama: 1. Dave Rennie, 2. Clifton Kump, 3. Mike Stumbaugh, 4. Nicholas Prater

— Intr: 1. Joe Pomeroy

— Open/Exp/Pro: 1. Pete Cannizzaro, 2. Jared Washabaugh

Race 3:

— 450 Jr/Ama: 1. Dennis Buckmeyer, 2. Zach Zito, 3. Tim Stone, 4. Ricky Dahlberg, 5. Ed Sellers

— 250 Jr/Ama: 1. J.R. Albarran, 2. Brett Fay, 3. Jonathan Sawyer, 4. Blake Taylor, 5. Robert McAdams

— 200 Jr/Ama: 1. Max Pecoraro, 2. Mason Stone

Race 4:

— 450 Open/Exp: 1. Jesse Gore, 2. Tucker Larrieu, 3. Dean Wilcox, 4. Matt Manna, 5. C.I. Crandai

— 450 Intr: 1. Ethan Hoffman, 2. Tyler Bryant, 3. Weslee Valerio

— 250 Open/Exp/Pro: 1. Johnathon Ayers, 2. Chriss Maas

— 250 Intr: 1. Kyle Mason, 2. Samuel Jacobus

— 200 Open/Exp/Pro: 1. Joe Haney, 2. Kody Moutafidis

— 200 Intr: Caleb Fandsen

Team Race Overall: 1. Team Valley Brothers, 2. Billy Nilly, Captain Silly, 3. Team Give Er the Onion, 4. Team 775, 5. Team Dadbomb
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