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Sturgis 2016 - Racing

Written by  August 28, 2016

Competitive motorcycle events have always been a part of the annual Sturgis Rally. The man recognized as the father of the Black Hills Rally was Clarence “Pappy” Hoel who owned an Indian Motorcycle dealership in Sturgis and was one of the founding members of the Jackpine Gypsies club in 1936. The Gypsies’ first event was a motorcycle race with nine competitors and a small audience. From that humble beginning grew an annual rally with attendance ranging from 400,000 and 600,000 each year. Motorcycle competition is still featured at the rally with moto-X, drag racing, hill climbs, ½-mile flat track, short track, and rodeo. This year, my agenda included Monday’s amateur hill climb at the Jackpine Gypsies’ Clubgrounds, the A.M.A. Pro Half-mile Flat Track races at Sturgis, Gypsies’ Short Track (rained out), and the Pappy Hoel Classic Vintage Half-mile races also at Sturgis.    

Jackpine Gypsies Amateur Hill Climb
The Gypsies Clubgrounds located at the southwest edge of Sturgis south of I-90 has facilities for moto-X, hill climb, and short track racing. During Monday’s Amateur hill climb, riders competed in several classes based on size and configuration of the bikes and age of the riders. There were stock bikes and bikes with stretched swing-arms designed for hill climb competition, some powered by four-stroke and some by two-stroke engines. There were youngsters and veteran riders of both genders. Some riders competed in multiple classes and some bikes were shared by multiple family members. The daunting hill featured rough, steep sections with ledges and nearly vertical areas. The top section was loose and covered with foliage. The catchers stationed along the course did a super job of minimizing the damage to bikes and riders resulting from wild spills that always occur during hill climb competition. In order to get to the next event on my schedule, I needed to leave during the intermission between the two rounds. As a result, I do not have a listing of the results. The hospitality shown by the Jackpine Gypsies in facilitating my coverage of this event was very much appreciated. Every year, the Gypsies have events throughout rally week, and the admission fees are very reasonable.

Pappy Hoel Classic Half-mile Flat Track
The combined purse for the two events, A.M.A. Pro on Monday and Vintage on Tuesday, was $20,000. Many of the top A.M.A. racers were already in the area for the Tuesday night race at Rapid City, so racing fans at the Mead County Fairgrounds in Sturgis had the opportunity to see expert riders from California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. The classes for Monday’s event were Pro Singles, Expert Singles, 450 Amateur, Senior (40+), Super Singles, 250 Amateur, Open Vintage, Open Singles Amateur, Pro Twins, and Expert Twins. The bikes were BSA, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, Rotax, Suzuki, and Yamaha motorcycles. There were enough competitors to fill out 19 heat races that determined which riders advanced to the 10 feature races. There was great competition throughout Monday’s event that concluded with an excellent Expert Twins final in which Brad Baker took an early lead that he maintained, and Sammy Halbert prevailed in an intense duel with Jared Mees that went on from start to finish.

On Tuesday, it was time for the vintage bikes to take over the Sturgis half-mile oval. One of the youngest riders was the talented Blake Barrett who was racing and winning on his 14th birthday. The oldest was Dan Deubler at 85 riding his #43A 1965 Bultaco Pursang. Classes for Tuesday’s races were +60 Vintage, Open Singles Amateur, 250 and 750 Brakeless, 450 Amateur, 500 Vintage, 250 Amateur, 250 Vintage, Board Trackers, Senior 40+, 750 Vintage, 360 Vintage, +50 Vintage, There were fewer competitors, but it was still great fun to watch the great old two-wheelers. Especially rare were the board trackers from the 1920’s ridden by Brittney and Matt Olsen from Aberdeen, South Dakota. The board track bikes have no brakes, no clutch, and no transmission and must be pushed to start. Races in other classes begin with a standing start, but the board trackers require a rolling start.

The White Plate Flat Trackers Association put on both of the Sturgis flat track races with Steve Nace Racing Promotions doing a great job of managing the event. Special thanks to Coe Meyer for granting me access to the pit and infield areas to facilitate our coverage. I sincerely hope that the track’s supporters are successful in their efforts to preserve the track and continue the Sturgis flat track racing tradition. Hopefully next year’s schedule will allow me to include some drag racing coverage as well.

The following is a recap of the race results:

Monday’s A.M.A. Pro
Pro Singles

1st      #14A  Yamaha       Dalton Gauthier       Pine Grove, Pennsylvania
2nd     #26I   Honda          Chad Kenyon           Harrisburg, South Dakota
3rd      #27U  Honda          Jamison Minor         Denver, Pennsylvania

Expert Singles
1st      #69    Yamaha       Sammy Halbert        Graham, Washington
2nd     #1      Honda          Jared Mees              Clio, Michigan
3rd      #66    Yamaha       Dominic Colindres     Brisbane, California

450 Amateur
1st      #28    Yamaha       Dawson Schieffer      Sturgis, South Dakota
2nd     #42I   Honda          Jeremiah Lindberg    Cambridge, Minnesota
3rd      #41P  Honda          Jake Fell                  Galesberg, Illinois

Senior 40+
1st      #80    KTM            Rich King                Waterloo, Iowa
2nd     #58Y  Honda          Jim Ottele              Redlands, California
3rd      #46K Rotax           Bob Anderson         Harrisburg, South Dakota

Super Singles
1st      #80    KTM            Rich King                Waterloo, Iowa
2nd     #36P  Honda          Adam Camp            Farmington, Illinois
3rd      #69I   Honda          Morgen Mischler     Beaver Dam, Wisconsin

250 Amateur
1st      #28    Suzuki         Dawson Schieffer     Sturgis, South Dakota
2nd     #02    Honda          Blake Barrett           Brandon, South Dakota
3rd      #42I   Honda          Jeremiah Lindberg   Cambridge, Minnesota

Open Vintage
1st      #68    Honda          Joe Baggott            Peoria, Illinois
2nd     #72W  BSA             Steve Liberty         Post Falls, Idaho
3rd      #18    Yamaha       John P. McClelland   Gillette, Wyoming

Open Singles Amateur
1st      #28    Yamaha       Dawson Schieffer    Sturgis, South Dakota
2nd     #41P  Honda          Jake Fell                Galesburg, Illinois
3rd      #8      Kawasaki     Samantha Berry     Harrisburg, South Dakota

Pro Twins
1st      #99A  Kawasaki     Kyle MCGrane         Gap, Pennsylvania
2nd     #16M  Kawasaki     Austin Helmholz      Sherwood, Oregon
3rd      #27U  Kawasaki     Jamison Minor         Denver, Pennsylvania

Expert Twins
1st      #6      H-D             Brad Baker              Tacoma, Washington
2nd     #69    H-D             Sammy Halbert        Graham, Washington
3rd      #1      H-D             Jared Mees              Clio, Michigan

 

Tuesday’s Vintage
+60 Vintage

1st      #18    Yamaha       John P. McClelland     Gilette, Wyoming
2nd     #18X   Unknown    Mark Erickson           Beulah, Wyoming
3rd      #21    Yamaha       Chuck Beving           Garden City, South Dakota

Open Singles Amateur
1st      #02    Suzuki         Blake Barrett           Brandon, South Dakota
2nd     #4      Unknown    Mike Grumpy Lee      Casper, Wyoming

250 Brakeless and 750 Brakeless
1st      #43    Bultaco        Dan Deubler                 Yukon, Oklahoma
1st      #58Y  Indian          Jim Ottele                    Redlands, California
2nd     #3k    Indian          Denny Kannenberg        Jordan, Minnesota

450 Amateur and 500 Vintage
1st      #02    Suzuki         Blake Barrett                Brandon, South Dakota
2nd     #36P  Honda          Adam Camp                  Princeville, Illinois
1st      #410  Unknown    Mark Erickson                 Beulah, Wyoming
2nd     #18    Yamaha       John P. McClelland          Gillette, Wyoming
3rd      #21    Honda          Chuck Beving               Garden City, South Dakota

250 Amateur and 250 Vintage
1st      #02    Honda          Blake Barrett                Brandon, South Dakota
2nd     #90    Honda          Brandy Lange               Campbellsport, Wisconsin
1st      #43    Bultaco        Dan Deubler                 Yukon, Oklahoma
2nd     #21    Kawasaki     Chuck Beving                Garden City, South Dakota

Board Trackers
1st      #33    Indian         Brittney Olsen               Aberdeen, South Dakota
2nd     #13    H-D             Matt Olsen                    Aberdeen, South Dakota

Senior 40+ 
1st      #46K Rotax           Bob Anderson               Harrisburg, South Dakota
2nd     #67W Unknown     Mark Erickson                Beulah, Wyoming
3rd      #58Y  Honda        Jim Ottele                      Redlands, California

750 Vintage
1st      #18X  Unknown    Mark Erickson                 Beulah, Wyoming
2nd     #18    Yamaha       John P. McClelland          Gillette, Wyoming
3rd      #3      Bue            Blake Barrett                 Brandon, South Dakota

360 Vintage and +50 Vintage
1st      #21    Honda         Chuck Beving                 Garden City, South Dakota
1st      #18    Yamaha       John P. McClelland          Gillette, Wyoming
2nd     #58Y  Yamaha       Jim Ottele                      Redlands, California

 

 

Stripe

Photojournalist/Account Representative - Kansas City, MO

Dave Baxter, a.k.a. Stripe joined our staff in December, 2003, as a photojournalist. If that road name sounds familiar, you may have seen his photos on the pages of such publications as American Iron, V Twin, VQ, In the Wind, and Easyriders. Stripe attends as many rallies, bike shows, and charity runs as he can and is a major contributor of photos and articles to our magazine. His first assignment was our January, 2004, cover photo, where he snapped the awesome photo of a 1958 Harley-Davidson Duo Glide. A rider since the age of 14, he loves to help and encourage new riders. Stripe enjoys meeting new people and looks forward to catching many of our readers in the viewfinder of his digital camera. Contact Stripe at stripe@cycleconnections.com