WARSAW – Under a heavy and hot sky this past weekend, BMX riders from around the country took to ‘The Saw’ for Hire Park’s biggest weekend of the year. Several area riders stepped forward as part of a very busy and exciting two days of racing as part of the Indiana State Qualifier and Gold Cup races.
Saturday saw riders lobby for points and positioning in the Indiana State Qualifier races. Needing to compete in four of the seven state qualifiers, riders are aiming for the early October state finals in Portage. The stop in Warsaw was on the list for many needing to get their points built up, and some area riders did just that. The Gold Cup is a series of races across the country that help build points for the end of the year champion.
Seven competitors from the Warsaw area won their Motos in the State Qualifier, which was a set of three heats and a main final. The culmination of points after the four rides determined the winner. Of the seven, five were also winners in their age divisions as well on Sunday in the Gold Cup races.
Hunter Popenfoose was both days in the 7 Novice, as did Jase Bowers in 11 Intermediate and Caden Bowers in 17-20 Expert, all three riders from Warsaw. Colton King in the 16 Intermediate from Larwill and Steve Monesmith of Akron in the 36-40 Novice division were also double winners for both days.
Also taking top honors in the Indiana State Qualifiers on Saturday from the area were Liza Arnold in the 41-45 Women Cruiser and Jason Puterbaugh in the 41-45 Men Cruiser. Both are from Warsaw. Arnold did pull a double, but did it in two age divisions, taking the Gold Cup honors in the 21-30 Cruiser category.
Wrapping up area winners in the Gold Cup races were Gavin Monesmith of Akron in the 5-Over Balance Bikes, Kane Clingerman of Etna Green in 8 Intermediate and Gavin Lawrence of Akron in the 9 Expert.
The Indiana State Qualifiers had 43 Motos and the Gold Cup had 48 Motos in all. Hire Park hosted the double event that brought in riders from as far as Las Vegas, and per track director Dan Rumple, was one of the biggest showings the park has had in recent memory. “This was one of the best weekend’s we’ve ever had. Just a great couple days of riding with a lot of really talented guys and girls out here competing.”
Hire Park has a pair of major events left on its 2018 calendar. The Race For Life fundraiser is Saturday, Aug. 11, and the Bob Warnicke Scholarship Race is set for Saturday, Sept. 1. The Race For Life is to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, with just a $10 entry fee and no riding license required. Registration begins at 4 p.m. with riding set to begin shortly after 5:30 p.m. The Warnicke event is also a $10 entry with no license required.
Hire Park will continue to host practice nights on Tuesdays and Thursdays and racing on weekends through October weather permitting.