RACE STORY & PHOTOS
National Vet MX
Motocross of Marion County
BY CRAIG AND ANGELA JOHNSON
REDDICK, FL, FEBRUARY 21-22, 2004
The first annual National
Vet Motocross Championship was a huge success. Veteran riders came from
all over the Eastern part of the United States to see who would be
crowned champion. The riders raced for great contingencies with Vortex
being the title sponsor. Vortex gave out contingencies to the top three
in all classes. There were also plenty of other goodies given out to the
top riders such as handlebars, goggles, grips, and oils just to name a
You could not have picked a
better weekend to race, as there was plenty of sunshine and the
temperatures were in the 70's. To make it even better there were no
riders that completely dominated. It seemed that everyone had there
chance at glory. One rider did win two classes but had to work in
getting the wins. Zach Ische, from Bonita Springs, Florida, took the
Over 25 and 30 Amateur classes.
The Over 25 and 35 Amateur
raced a combined moto with Jacksonville, Florida rider George Masdea
getting the first moto holeshot. Pennsylvania rider, Mark Burkholder was
second followed closely by Ische, Curtis Johnson, and Craig Allen.
Masdea put a few bike lengths on the pack when the green flag flew but
lost it a couple of laps later. Ische passed Burkholder on lap two and
reeled in Masdea. Just before lap three was over Ische made the pass for
the lead in the new rhythm section. The battle for third on the track
also tightened up with Johnson passing Burkholder at the finish line
with still a couple of laps to go. Ische pulled out to the win with
Masdea in second. The race for third was not over. Allen, leading the
Over 35, pushed passed Burkholder and then Johnson to round out the top
three. Burkholder lost one more place to Johnson on the final lap.
The second moto, Masdea
again absconded into the lead. Ische was close behind and shadowed
Masdea for half the race. Ische found his opening and took the second
moto win. Masdea kept second ahead of the battle for third. Burkholder
started third but by lap two Allen was putting the pressure on. Allen
got third, as Jim Badgett also got by Burkholder. Johnson suffered from
a bad start and raced to catch a tiring Burkholder. Johnson finished
fifth on the track ahead of Burkholder at the flag.
The race of the day was the
Over 30 and 40 Pro combined moto. The first race saw Arty Coker grab the
lead ahead of Ricky Hampshire, Tom Engel, Tony Carreiro, and Dan Zullo.
The race for the lead stayed tight, as Zullo and Johnnie Shields move to
fourth and fifth. A couple of laps into the race Zullo passed Engel
before the long table-top, as Shields did the same on the outside of the
next corner. The race got even better going into the pit, as the top
four were all side-by-side. Coming out of the pit, Zullo was out front
with Coker, Hampshire, and Shields in tow. Coker lost second to
Hampshire along the woods, as the long moto was starting to take its
toll. Shields passed Coker next in the rhythm section for third. At the
halfway mark, Zullo was feeling the heat from Hampshire. Shields was
closing once again to make it a three way battle. The two front runners
crossed the finish line jump side-by-side and Hampshire got the lead
going to the inside of the next turn. Hampshire pulled out a few bike
lengths, as now Shields was all over Zullo. Shields move into second
thru the double/double section. Hampshire had the 125cc machine
screaming ahead of the bigger 4-stroke machines, but was it going to be
enough. Shields closed in but came up only a bike length short when the
checkers flew. Indiana's Jeff Heaston came up to get fourth just behind
Zullo and just ahead of Engel.
Coker grabbed the holeshot
for the second moto. Samuel Allen, who suffered a bad start the first
moto, was second. Zullo, Erik Burkholder, and Heaston rounded out the
top five. Allen was out for revenge and passed Coker early to lead the
pack. Coker started his trend back and lost second to Zullo. Hampshire
and Shields were on the bad end of the start this time and were way back
in the pack. Coker lost third to Burkholder and the top three made a
breakaway. Zullo passed Allen in the end to win the combined moto
whipping it at the flag for the fans. Allen got second three seconds
ahead of Burkholder. Engel got ahead of Coker, as Heaston rounded out
the top six.
A class gets ready to take off at the Vortex Vet MX Nationals.
2. Dan Zullo (202) raises his hand in victory winning the second moto
of the +30 Vet Pro class and becoming the champion with a second the
3. Ricky Hampshire (21) worked his way up to fifth in the second +30
Vet Pro moto after winning the first moto.
4. Johnnie Shields (2/3) won the +35 Expert with double moto wins.
5. Samuel Allen (929) pulled off the +40 Senior Pro championship with a
6. The second moto win and overall was this close for Bridget Prevatte
(44) and Beth Rewis (77) in the +25 Womens class.
7. Zach ische (331) was the only double class winner of the day winning
the +25 and +30 Amateur classes.
8. Ryan Kelley (386) and Dan Zullo battle in the +25 Expert class.
9. Ed Garlin (41) brought the vintage iron out to take a 4-3 and third
overall in the +40 Amateur class.
10. George Masdea (949) pulls the holeshot on the second combined moto
of the +25 & +35 Amateur classes with (979) Curtis Johnson & (120) Mark
Burkholder close behind.