Organizer Skip Horne said he promoted the event a little more this year, including with a booth at the September Tracy Dry Bean Festival, and he figures that accounted for some of the growth of this year’s hillclimb.
Saturday and Sunday saw riders compete in 76 events, including A, B and C classes in 32 divisions. Participation ranged from a half-dozen to a dozen riders in most events, up to 45 riders in Sunday’s Altered Stock 0-700 A Class, as experienced riders made the 500-foot climb up the side of Corral Hollow Canyon.
Saturday also saw the running of “verticross” races, where motorcyclists race side-by-side up the steep canyon. It was the third of four events in the AMA’s hillclimb series, with riders planning to return Nov. 7 and 8 to find out who will be this year’s series champions.
Tracy rider Kevin Porter, a regular at the hillclimbs for the past 20 years, raced in five events over the weekend, including the Altered Stock Old Timer, where he finished third with a time of 15.192 seconds. He also competed in the Vet Altered 700 series, where he finished in fifth place with a time of 17.124; Altered Stock Open, seventh place, 15.856; Altered Stock 0-700, 10th in a 45-rider field, 14.879; and Pro 450F, 16th place, 16.511.
Porter, 42, said a lingering shoulder injury probably kept him from finishing higher in those races, but sore shoulder or no, he said he wouldn’t miss the chance to race against riders he has known for years.
“I just love the sport,” he said. “I really love coming out and riding motorcycles, coming out on weekends with a couple buddies and just make a whole day of riding around Carnegie Park.”
He added that the hillclimb brings even more of those riders out for the weekend.
“There are top riders out here. If you’re even near these guys, you’re doing pretty good,” he said, adding that it’s like a family that keeps attracting new riders
“It’s all about helping each other out and rooting for each other. You’ve got the camaraderie and the competition, that’s what it’s all about.
“I feel fortunate and lucky that I get to still run with the young guys.”
Erik Schaffer of Hayward, who is competing for series points in the Altered Stock Senior Class A division, said the hillclimb is possibly the most emotional type of motorcycle race he has participated in, since it involves so much preparation of equipment and mental preparation for a dash up the side of the hill.
“It all comes down to a 20-second window in your life where everything comes together,” he said.
Shaffer added that it brings out the exuberance in riders young and old.
“It’s interesting how guys 50 years old or better still play like kids,” he said.
Tracy riders who won their events this weekend include Rebecca DeStefano, who took first on both the Four Stroke 101-125cc B Class, and first in the Girls 51-100cc C Class. Michael Thompson took first in the Four Stroke 451-650cc C Class, and Tyler Martin came in first in the Stock 66-85cc C Class.
Results for other Tracy riders
Four Stroke 0-50cc, C Class: Johnny DeStefano, fourth; Jared Bridgeman, fifth.
Four Stroke 101-125cc, C Class: Tyler Sanders, second; Hunter Graham, third; Ryan Shipman, fourth; Rachel Shipman, fifth; Johnny DeStefano, seventh.
Four Stroke 126-150cc, C Class: Jake Lewis, fourth.
Four Stroke 401-450cc, C Class: Gage Loge, 11th.
Girls 101-125cc, C Class: Charleen Wiggin, fourth.
Stock 51-65cc, C Class: Joshua Rogers, third; Kyle Shipman, fourth; Hunter Graham, fifth.
Stock 66-85cc, C Class Jordan Sanders, ninth; Scotty White, 11th.
Stock 126-250cc, B Class: Brock Soares, second; Trevor Besse, 17th.
Stock 126-250cc, C Class: Bruno Silva, 15th; Tyler Martin, 29th; Casey Bishop, 30th.
Stock 251-550cc, B Class: Brock Soares, fourth; Trevor Besse, eighth.
Stock Old Timer 0-250cc, B Class: Alan Besse, third.
Stock Seniors, B Class: Alan Besse, second.
Pro 450F: Jake Flanigan, third; Kevin Porter, 16th.
Altered Stock 0-700, A Class: Kevin Porter, 10th; Trevor Casey, 25th; Jake Flanigan, 37th.
Altered Stock 0-700, B Class: Jason Hill, 13th; Tim Sawyer, 14th; Devon Hartenstein, 15th.
Altered Stock 0-700, C Class: Josh Hall, 13th.
Altered Stock Open, A Class: Kevin Porter, seventh.
Vet Altered 700, A Class: Kevin Porter, fifth.
Vet Altered 700, B Class: Tim Sawyer, second.
Vet Altered 700, C Class: Mario Marques Sr., ninth.
Altered Stock Old Timer: Kevin Porter, third.
Extended Verticross, 450F Four Stroke: Jake Flanigan, third.
Vet Stock 251-550cc, C Class: Rob Wirt, eighth.