Archive for June, 2014

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This weekend was the site of the very popular AMA National Weekend, and the 8th annual Larry Weiss Memorial Race at Square Deal Riders.

It all started Friday night with the points paying AMA National for vintage flat track motorcycles. The beautiful SDR grounds where covered with great looking vintage iron from days gone bye. These riders travel the country chasing the AMA points, trying to be the Champion at the end of the year. 20140622-122454-44694151.jpg

Like most forms of racing equipment is a very important part of their success. These guys are a hardy bunch.Parts for these machines are hard to get and to maintain. Can you imagine trying to get parts for this early 70’s Ducati ( pictured below) or trying to run fast consistent laps on this vintage Harley? Well these riders do just that and do it well.

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Around 100 Bikes filled the pits both nights at SDR. Friday night started out with controlled practice and then move directly into the heat races. The track was superb, smooth and fast. This weekend is one of the biggest for the Award winning Square Deal Riders Club. Riders come in from all over the east coast, Mike Metzler Traveled north from Florida to stand on top of the podium both nights with his family owned BSA and Triumph. ( pictured Below)

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There where riders from North Carolina, Ohio, New England and all up and down the east coast. Of course the locals had their A game ready for the invaders. SDR has some of the fastest riders in the country giving the outsiders a big challenge when they come to upstate NY.

Craig Estelle( pictured below) proved that all weekend by winning most of the races he entered. The biggest being the Larry Weiss Race on Saturday. Craig won this race last year as well, making it two in a row.

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I have to tell you that I love the sound of the old bikes and the way the bikes looked back in the day. What is also a neat thing about this weekend is the amount of vintage bikes that the fans ride in on. You could spend a bit of time looking at the bikes in the parking lot behind the grand stands.

Both nights the racing was Handle bar to Handle bar in most of the classes. Below is a shot of the over 60 class. Theses guys are over 60 yrs old and some are in their 70’s, but still running it deep into turn one. “Got to love it ”

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I would suggest that you go to SDR’s web site and mark down in you calendars the flat track schedule and visit this Gold mine of Flat Track, you won’t be disappointed. http:// squaredealriders.com.

July 12 is the Lee Thomas Cup 25 laps for open Expert, national riders always enter this event. So come on out and make a night of it.

Don’t forget to check out all of the Vintage weekends images at Http://johnzacharyphotography.com you will love looking at these old racers.

John Zachary photography

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Here is the first in a series that I am doing with local and national Drag Racers.

Lane Choice

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Name: Carl Drake Jr
Age: 30
Hometown: Binghamton, NY
Occupation: Tree Service

Thank you for doing this interview for from the water box Carl

When did you start racing? And was drag racing your first form of racing?
I have been around racing my whole life. It was the first for of real racing I ever did competitively.

How did you do the first time you raced?
I got my license when I was 16 but only raced about 4 or 5 times between 16-21. I didn’t really start racing until I was 21. And I started right in super pro.

Now a days Carl tracks around our area run 1/8 mile and or 1/4 for their regular week programs, do you prefer one or the other? And what is the biggest difference between the to other than the obvious size?
I don’t care if I’m running 1/4 or 1/8…

View original post 1,099 more words

20130603-182141.jpgName: Justin Velicky
Age: 33
Home town: Amsterdam NY
Occupation: Bridge Inspector

How did you get started in racing, and how old were you when you started?

I started when I was maybe 8 or 9 on mini bikes. My father would bring home some pretty interesting pieces and we would pull a motor from a tiller or snowblower or find something to get in the frame and ride around the neighborhood. The first mini bike was pimped out to with red grips and a blue fur seat that was a cover for a toilet. The first real bike I got was at 12 – an 88 rm 80 and I was hooked from then on. I would ride it mainly in trails and rip the rear fender off as much as I could and one day my father and his buddy took me to electric city after hours ( kinda snuck in) and started burning in some laps. The next race they were holding I was in, new stickers all over the bike to make it fast, work boots, jeans, sweatshirt, and leather gloves. I got 5th and was pretty happy with that. There was 6 of us but it sounds better as a 5th than a second to last.

Justin what is your favorite track, and what type of surface do you enjoy racing on the most?

Its a toss up for me cause anything with stones and water is my fav. Square Deal is my favorite place to be if I have to pick. The guys there are amazing with the track. You know everytime its Race day that track is going to be one of the raciest tracks in the country. It brings out some heavy hitters every year to battle on that surface, and usually the fastest guy with the most balls wins and I like that.

Who did you look up to as a young rider? Was there a rider that gave you advice or support when you were trying to make it to the big bikes?

Roger Durkee GNC 69. I mean I loved to watch Scott Parker and he was my all time fav but my local guy who still in my head was one or the best technical short track riders was the great Roger. When I first started I used to watch him come out of turn 4 at electric city – sat back completely crossed up, wide open, with the wheel 2 -3 inches off the ground gone week after week win after win. He helped me a lot with learning his famous square off move that I like to think I use pretty effectively.

How has the sport changed since you started racing? And what would you like to see happen in flat track racing in the future?

It seems like it made it easier for kids to come through the ranks using this DTX style bike but, I feel like we lost a little of the flat track heiritage that came with the sport. I have a very one sided answer with this question cause I came through the AMA ranks on a framed rotax . I thought that it was a good bike to make the advance on from a DTX style motocross bike that most riders used coming through the AMA ranks and then make the switch to a framed bike with a little more weight before it was time for the XR. I guess that is what I would like to see come back – a big single pro race, and you know all the big boys in the pro ranks all have a fast rotax stored away.

I’m sure that you have had one or two races slip through your hands in your career, what one do you wish you could do over again if any and why?

Well I would like to lie to you on this one and say there were none but the one that comes to my mind the most was an Aaron Creamer race at Square Deal where I led 22 laps and slipped high and lost it to Mike Radley. I am sure there were more that were even worse but, the Aaron Creamer race holds a lot of weight in my heart so those days stick out the most.

Justin what has been your biggest win or championship that you are most proud of?

Every win to me is a great one. I never had a GNC win and im sure that would do it but if I had to choose it would be the Aaron Creamer Memorial race at Square Deal. I came close a bunch of times and really wanted my name on the checkered flag. I got it 2 years ago and I was pretty happy with that, I even wrote it on Aaron legacy page.

As a spectator I see you and your father in the pits working on your bikes together. It’s seems that both of you enjoy the sport and are working toward the same end goal (winning). What role do each of you play in bike set up and race prep during the week?

He does the inside of the motor and i do the outside and they usually meet together well. I would like to say that we get it done early in the week but, usually we are both working all over and it seems like we find our only and best time to work is under extreme preasure the couple nights before. We work around the clock and show up late ready to win with no oil in the bike and the air cleaners still drying with a paper on the tank that says no oil.

You and your framers are always fast, why do you like the framers better than the new style DTX bikes?

They turn, hook up, and weigh less period. These frames and the general geometry of a flat track bike hasn’t changed that much since it started. These are custom one of a kind purpose built bikes for an individuals personal liking. I mean for me it’s the only way to ride on a flattrack – you ride the flat track bike on the flattrack and you ride the motocross bike on the motocross track…right?

Justin I have seen you have some good battles at SDR over the last five years, who do enjoy running bar to bar with these days? What rider do you wish you could have raced against but never had the opportunity?

I like to run next to Craig Estell. He is a smooth rider and runs a consistant lap so it makes it easy to judge where he will be for close racing. During practice though on my own time pretty much the only rider I ride real close with lap after lap is Adam Carpenello GNC 58. We put in a lot of great battles and get to laugh about it after. Except one time when I was leading a heat race he had second and he completely took the two of us out on the last lap. I sent him the pic of that move he pulled but we still are great friends. The one rider I would have loved to ride with would def be Scott Parker. I got to race the same race but, we were in different heats down at the stadium in Daytona my first year expert on a rotax sponsered to me by Frank Carpenello and another bike By Tom Buzzi. So close.

Can you tell the fans how important the bike setup is and what changes make the biggest difference?

I mean the set up is everything. I’m generally a stone guy and a throttle junkie so I need traction as much as possible – swing arm angle and wheel placement is very critical for me along with tires. If you ever see me in the pits there is a good chance that I have a razor or grooving iron in my hand.

If you couldn’t have been a Flat track racer what other sport would you have liked to have done as a pro?

Is porn a sport?? Nah just kidding. Maybe offshore boating ??? it looks like a lot off fun and pretty risky. I need a certain amount of risk in my life or I get shakey.

What advice would you give to a young or new rider trying to make in the sport?

Work hard all the time, talk to the fast guys at the races and start practicing. You can slow yourself down during practice and practice individual technics and then apply them when your racing. Be in shape and try to eat healthy. Most important be a good kid. Its an expensive sport and very demanding same as all the other sports when you want to go to the top level. Your parents will be flipping the bill so be good and keep the family close and keep them paying as long as possible.

It seems like everybody has a traing program do you have one? If so what does it consist of? How much riding do you do during the week and off season?

Unfortunatly i had to grow up and do the whole college and job thing so I don’t get to enjoy as much riding as I used too but, during the race year I like to ride dirt bikes a couple times a week. We built a flat track and a motocross track at my house so it makes it a little easier. I try to eat healthy, lift light, and ride a bike also as much as I can fit in. At a minimum just do some stretches, sit ups, and push ups. During off season im on the ice a lot. I try to get at least 30 rides in before season starts.

What are your goals for the 2014 season?

Keep it on two wheels, try and have fun, see all the racers I love to see and most important WIN!

Please mention your sponsors and anybody that has helped you throughout your career

My whole family and friends, Harts MotorSports out of Mayfield NY 518-661-part, Killer Kyle 43, Jon lutzman, Doug Armstrong, Marks Const., Pilot Racing, Resist Ind., and my GF – who keeps me moving forward.

Check out Justin on his always fast No.12 at http://squaredealriders.comImageImageSquareImageImageImageImage

Check out more pictures of Justin and all of the riders at SDR at my site http://johnzacharyphotography.com