East Coast Nationals race report
...when we'd last seen Chesapeake BMX track (for the 2016 Gold Cup Finals NE), it was a tad muddy and rutted after three days of rainy racing. But now, eight months later, one of Maryland's most legendary tracks was back in tip-top shape (six fresh layers of Soil-Tac) and ready to host some incredible action. Since we'd last slogged thru the infield on Gold Cup Sunday, Charlie, Tom and their awesome crew of volunteers - along with track builder extraordinaire Lance Maguire, Chesapeake BMX had an almost total-rebuild.
One of the biggest changes to it was the first-turns's slight-right dog-leg. It's now a bit more straight and gives riders a much better (straighter) entrance into turn two, which was reshaped and re-paved. The third, fourth and fifth straights all saw some improvements and the track was ready for some rockin' racing despite a never-ending spree of rainy weekends for the past few months.
This was a double-header weekend; with half of the USA BMX staffers and West Coast riders hitting up Salt Lake City, Utah, while many of the Mid-Westerners and Right-coast crew returned to Chesapeake BMX. With its plush park setting, diet-ending snack bar and super smooth and fun track, its easy to see why many families chose Maryland over Utah. The Throdwn posse and Factory Yess squad were present, a few Blackcrown & J&R Bike rippers made it up, along with New York's Wrecking Crew - AllTow-Yess, and local team heroes TNT and C-YAA Racing were out in full force. Oh, and don't ever count out the proud-to-wear Pink crew of Powers Bike Shop!
Under a clear blue sky and slightly hotter-than-usual temps, the East Coast Nationals witnessed some great action. One of the highlight races to watch all weekend long would be 15x, where Southpark local Cam Brammer would be matched up against NY's finest - Hayden Robinson, along with Free Agent's James Foxx. For Friday, it was tight going into the dogleg and they were all packed entering turn two, but Blackcrown's Brammer sprinted away with the lead, and did a fine job holding off the always hard-charging Robinson.
- 1 CAMERON BRAMER, BLACKCROWN BMX - PA
- 2 HAYDEN ROBINSON, THRODWN - NY
- 3 DAVID FREEMAN, TIME 2 SHINE - MD
- 4 THOMAS BRILLARD, SPEEDTECH-SSQUARED - FL
- 5 GARETT DEW, EPIK CARBON PRODUCTS - FL
- 6 CONLEY NEWBERRY, SCHOOLED U BMX - OH
- 7 JAMES FOXX, FREE AGENT-BOX - VA
- 8 JAGUR LAYMAN, COLBY DIRECT TRANSPORT - CT
Everybody knows that Hayden hates losing, and we assume vengeance will be on his mind for Saturday.
Next up, the 16x class was going to be another heater; with local hero Evan Sinchak going MX-style with a left-handed brake lever, due to having a bandaged-up brake finger on his right. Just days before this race, in a Lacrosse scrimmage, Sinchak just about got his finger ripped off his hand and the Doc's told him he shouldn't be playing Lacross for about six weeks.
...but they never said anything about not racing BMX!
Even if they did, there was pretty much nothing that would've kept Evan away from racing on his hometrackwhen a national comes to town. With 27 riders in 16x - including No.1 Amateur Jesse Welch, the C-YAA rider who is built like a brick outhouse was ready to defend his turf.
When the gate slammed down, it was Minnesota's Free Agenteer Jack Plummer who blasted to the front of the pack, with the No.1 Am in USA BMX (from lane 8) right on his side and hot on his tail, followed by lefty-levered Sinchak, in a blur of green. Plummer and Welch pulled away down the roller-filled third straight, skyin' it into turn three with a solid lead. Welch was doing everything in his power to catch Plummer, but couldn't make anything stick, as Jack ran a perfect lap to score the win.
- 1 JACK PLUMMER, FREE AGENT-BOX - MN
- 2 JESSE WELCH, THRODWN - CA
- 3 EVAN SINCHAK, C-YAA - MD
- 4 CHASE ROBINSON, BLOT OUT GRAPHICS - OH
- 5 PAUL ZENTISKA, FACTORY POWERS BIKE SHOP - OH
- 6 KYLE KRUYSMAN, DFR / POWERLITE - GA
- 7 EAN SLATER, STYLIN' - PA
- 8 CADEN BOWERS, STRANGE MOTION - IN
SATURDAY IN SEVERN:
One of the cool things to note for this year's #EastCoastNats is the fact that all four National No.1 Amateurs were in attendance. We had Welch (No.1 Am), Elida Beeman (No.1 Girl), Jaycie Sinclair (No.1 Girl Cruiser) and the billy-goated Yess-man, Drew Motley (No.1 Cruiser).
Sinclair was constantly out front - and would be up against everyone's favorite girl jumper on social-media- "Skittles" Mackenzie Gayheart. For the majority of the races (including the main event), Sinclair had the power advantage down the first straight, and the two went at it on every straight and in every turn. In the final, Skittles pulled the patented Maryland-move in the last turn to pull up alongside Sinclair and it was a race thru the rhythm to the finish.
- 1 MCKENZIE "SKITTLES" GAYHEART, THRODWN - FL
- 2 JAYCIE SINCLAIR, ALLTOW WRECKING CREW/YESS - TX
- 3 JENNIFER (THE MACHINE) METTLER, BLOT OUT GRAPHICS - MN
- 4 CAITLYN FARMER, RIDE LIKE A GIRL - GA
- 5 TAYLOR SMITH, BURLINGTON - ON
- 6 COURTNEY GALLAGHER, HOLE SHOT BLACK CROWN - DE
- 7 MALIAH NEMETH, KID DYNAMITE MN - MN
- 8 LILLYN RAUM, HAGERSTOWN - MD
The last turn was where moves were being made this weekend, and our other reigning No.1 Champion - Elide Beeman (Answer~Rennen) waited patiently on the back tire of Adrian Sanders - up to the final corner, to swoop down low and full-throttle it to the finish. Sanders looked as if she'd take it, but tiny lil' Beeman out-rhythm'ed her for the win.
- 1 ELIDA BEEMAN, ANSWER/RENNEN - MI
- 2 ADRIAN SANDERS, THRODWN - KS
- 3 KRISTEN KLEIN, POWERS BIKE SHOP - NY
- 4 HEALEY MILLER, LINDENWOOD UNIV/TRILOGY - PA
- 5 JENA SAGENDORF, FALL RISK RACING - AZ
- 6 ROSE ELLEN HOKE, PROFILE FACTORY WORLD - FL
- 7 KATIE DELGADO, BLOT OUT GRAPHICS - NY
- 8 CASSIDY CROTTY - CA
The next National No.1 to watch this weekend was Florida's Motley Drew; the reigning champ, who "belts" his competition from time to time. In cruiser, the black-background No.1 bike had some tough comp coming from Powers' rider J.T. - Jeremy Thompson and Blackcrown's BMX Dad of the Year, Jim Bramer. On this track, at this time, Thompson just seemed plain unbeatable - whether on his 20" or 24", I don't think anybody was about to best him this weekend. The dude is primed and ready for the Worlds to come to near his hometown and if all goes well in July as it did here in Maryland, Thompson could have a big "W" on his plate by the end of summer.
- 1 JEREMY THOMPSON, FACTORY POWERS BIKE SHOP - NC
- 2 DREW MOTLEY, FACTORY YESS - FL
- 3 RON MARKARIAN, LIBERTY - OH
- 4 JIM BRAMER, BLACKCROWN BMX - PA
- 5 DREW GUSTAFSON, C-YAA FACTORY - MA
- 6 TROY HAFFLEY, SELLERSVILLE - PA
- 7 TODD REED, GATE NINE DESIGN - OH
- 8 NIGEL CUMMINGS, COASTAL BIKE SUPPLY - NJ