View Full Version : July 13th Thomas Wright pulls-off a well deserved 1st overall!

07-20-2008, 07:27 AM
Over 300 racers show-up in for round #4 of the Atlantic Grand Prix series in Barnegat NJ. GNCC fast guy Thomas Wright roosted to well deserved 1st overall followed by a very fast Sean Neidlinger who worked his way up to 2nd overall!

Photos by Chris Bohnyak cbohnyak@aol.com

Barnegat NJ- July 13 2008 Round 4 of the Atlantic Grand Prix series was a race weekend to remember. Race organizers spent a good part of the last month securing the required permits to pull the July 13th event off, There were town council meetings, meetings with the fire company and meetings with the New Jersey Pineland Commission, there were also slew of newspaper interviews and the logistics of coordinating everything including getting permission to use the property as well as all the important stuff like, trophies, sponsors, insurance as well as laying out the course and making everything come together so that the riders would have another high quality AGP event.

Starting Wednesday the AGP trail bosses had the big tractors out preparing the course. Trail workers had the monumental task of putting in thousands of PVC course markers so that miles of Moose Racing ribbon and Moose Racing markers cold be put up so riders stayed on the course. When asked Saturday evening how things were going.. On of the the trail bosses said “I think we have every spot covered and no one should wonder off this course!”

Come Sunday morning the day of the race, the sky was clear with temps in the low 70s. Race time temps were expected to be close to 90 degrees with no rain expected. Soil conditions were again dry and the open areas had the potential of becoming dusty. The Pinewood Estates Volunteer fire company did there best at hosing down the main road, parking area, scoring area and starting area.

The morning Peewee quad event started at 8:45 and ran for 30 minutes. Winning that event was Quad 70cc (6-11) racer Aj Garreffi out of Woodbine, NJ followed by Lea Concepcion out of Toms River, NJ in second. In the Quad 50cc Stock you had Julian Coffing out of Toms River, NJ in 1st. Following that race there was a protest from one of the youth peewee parents and the outcome of that protest is that AGP will be reevaluating where the Peewee Quads are going to start. Current thoughts are is to start the quads on the first row and all the peewee bikes behind them. The other thought is to move just the 70cc youth PeeWee quads to the Youth quad race later in the morning and keep just the 50cc youth PeeWee Quads in the 8:30 peewee race. (A decision will be made this week!)

The next race was the Youth Quad race which started at 11:00 am and that race was a 45 minute event. Those racing that event included AGP and GNCC regulars like Nicholas Majors, Brian Thorson, Dennis Baker, Andrew Thorson and Adam Yaple Close to 20 future AGP champions showed up for that race and many of the parents were seen going over last minute race strategy with their kids just prior to the green flag dropping. With a wave of the green flag the racers were off and quickly position himself as the race leader was Nicholas Majors on a Hendrick racing Cobra 65, running second out of Levittown PA was Brian Thorson on a Honda TRX90 and in third Dennis Baker also on a Hendrick Racing Honda TRX90 , Andrew Thorson and Adam Yaple were right in there and as the dust settled down after the start the racers began their long 45 minute battle with the 5 mile course. A few racers dropped out early due to mechanical issues but as the race wore on the five leaders positioned themselves for victory and when the checker flag came out the race leader was Nicholas Majors followed by Brian Thorson, Dennis Baker, Andrew Thorson and Adam Yaple.

The Adult Quad race was another great spectacle with many of the regions fastest AGP and GNCC regulars. Those making the trek to Barnegat were Rob Hurtz, Ralph Johnson, Steven Stracka, Sean Neidlinger, Tom Wright, Tom Hartman, Rob Houghkirk and Howard Cawley. In the A class you had Woman’s GNCC racer Stephanie Verkade who was racing today in the Junior A class along with James Eaton another up and coming GNCC star from New Jersey. Other notable A racers included Clementon New Jersey’s Steve Newcomb and Forrest Hill Maryland’s James Wilson as well as AGP resident jokester Lou Russo who said he had a score to settle with the AGP promoter. Lining up behind the Pros were another 100 or so Quads all chomping at the bit to be the first one into the first corner of the 1 hour and 30 minute event.

Race officials started the pre race run-down on the starting line thanking all those that made the event possible and they included Can-Am ATVs, Moose Racing, Husqvarna Motorcycles, Mt Holly Yamaha Honda, Surf & Turf Powersports, Mt Holly Kawasaki Suzuki, Trick Racing, Cycle World of Cherry Hill, Montgomeryville Cycle Center, East Hanover Honda Yamaha, Hamilton Yamaha, Southern Ocean Cycle Center, Central Jersey Husqvarna Cycles, ProPilot Suspension, Suffolk Redi Mix, Silvi Group, Shoreline Materials, New Jersey Off-Highway Vehicle Association, Trapanis Motorcycle Supply, Moto X Support and North American Warhorse. Also thanked in a big way was the township of Barnegat, the Pinewood Estates Volunteer Fire Company, the Barnegat Volunteer Fire Company and the Barnegat Emergency Squad all of who this event was done for as a fund raiser for.

At that point the trail boss then gave a final race rundown on what to expect out on the revised 7 mile course. From the expression on many of the riders faces you could see the uneasiness as they knew it was going to be another challenging AGP event with the best rider winning their respected classes. As the starter moved to the start hill the first row of riders all stood up and placed their right foot on their kick starters. The 10 second warning was giving and within seconds the roar of the first wave of big 4 strokes came to life and the race was on.

Back at the scoring barrels the scoring team made last minute adjustments knowing that the first racers would be due in just 15 minutes. Sweep riders were positioned out on the course in case any bottlenecks occurred. At about the 7 minutes mark the first waive of riders came back through the staging area. This was the midway point of the the course and many of the spectators as well as the riders were caught by surprise thing they had just done one lap. To their surprise this was the halfway point and the racers still had another 3+miles a head of them before they came through the scoring barrels. At about the 16 minute point the first racer came back through the scoring barrels and that rider was Tom Wright out of Tabernacle NJ followed by Steve Stracka out of Susquehanna PA and only seconds behind. The next rider through was Sean Neidlinger out of Flagtown NJ and he was only 8 seconds off of Stracka’s time. In 4th you had Robert Houghkirk out of Manahawkin NJ who was holding down the 4th place spot.

At about the one hour and 34 minute mark the checker flag came out and the race win went to Tom Wright who held on to the lead for all six laps of the race. 2nd overall went to Sean Neidlinger. In 3rd overall was to Steve Stracka and in 4th overall you had James Eaton. Steve Newcomb grabbed 5th overall and James Wilson out of Forest Hills Maryland snagging 6th overall.

Pro rider payout was great as always at AGP events. 1st Pro won $300, 2nd Pro won $200 and 3rd Pro won $100. A-class riders also did real well with each A-class rider nabbing $100 for a class win $75 for 2nd and $50 for third. All A, B and C class payouts were based on the AMA formula of 1 payout for every 3 riders in class. B and C class riders got really cool 12x15 Plaques from Gear Designs who are the same people that produce the GNCC awards.

ATV attendance was around 128 riders for the day and dirt bike attendance for the day was at around 175 riders. Total gate proceeds that went to Barnegat community based non-profits and charities was close to $7000 for the weekend... So again you and the AGP series made off-road racing respectable once again.

Adult ATV Class winners are as follows:
1st Pro and 1st Overall - Thomas Wright, Tabernacle NJ
1st College A - Steven Newcomb, Clementon NJ
1st Junior A - James Eaton, Lindenwald NJ
1st Vet A - Lou Russo, Oakland NJ
1st College B - Joey Taylor, Flanders NJ
1st Junior B - Scott Taylor, Flanders NJ
1st Vet B - James Wilson, Forest Hill MD
1st Senior - Thomas Neeks, Vincentown NJ
1st 16-19C – Steven George, Wharton NJ
1st 20+C – Jeff Totten Lindenwald NJ
1st 20+C – Gabriel Young, Baltimore MD
1st 30+C – Chris Troccoli, Smithtown NY
1st 36+C – Bill Steinert, Greenlawn NY
1st U2 – Ronald Derwoski, Bensalem PA
1st 4x4 Open – Jamie Bougher, Westwood NJ
1st 4x4 Lites – Karl Van Assen, Washington NJ
1st 4x4 Limited – Robert Macintosh, Hewitt NJ
1st Youth Production – Michael Bergholtz, Williamstown NJ
1st Sport – Matthew Shinn, Maple Shade NJ
1st Super Senior – Thomas Vesko, Washington NJ
1st Woman – Danielle Wilson, Budd Lake NJ

Youth ATV Class winners are as follows:
1st 50cc Stock- Julian Coffing, Toms River NJ
1st 70cc Stock– AJ Garreffi, Woodbine NJ
1st 90cc Limited 8-10- Benjamin Wilson, Forest Hill MD
1st 90cc Modified 8-10- Nicholas Majors, Toms River NJ
1st 90cc Limited 11-15- Adam Yaple, Moorestown NJ
1st 90cc Modified 12-15 – Dennis Baker, Trenton NJ

For complete story and results go to http://www.AtlanticGrandPrix.com

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