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NAS-TRACK Madison Racing League
Rochester Hills, Michigan, July 11, 2003
Canadian/American team get early lead & hold on to win
By Christine Walden
The sprinter from Toronto and the endurance guy from Michigan won the first event of the evening and managed to hold onto that lead for the rest of the night to win the NAS-TRACK Madison Racing League’s third race of the season Friday, July 11 at the Velodrome at Bloomer Park in Rochester Hills, Michigan.
Team BLUE of Rob Good and Dave Koesel, paired together for the first time, gathered 62 points for the win. Second, with 50 points, went to Team GREEN of NAS-TRACK newcomer Steve Mlujeak and his partner the veteran Pio Apostoli. In third was Team PINK of Rippin’ Ronnie Sink and Randy Aardema with 46 points. Teams earn points in an omnium that involves five events.
Team BLUE’s lead was challenged frequently as every team grabbed an opportunity to launch an attack. It was still anybody’s bike race when the final Madison began, especially with the availability of double points in the final sprint of the evening.
The jamming began early. Team RED’s Ron St. John, of Hawaii, took a flyer off the front and immediately established a ½ lap gap. That team kept the burners on through the exchange that put in Mark St. John but by then, Team GREEN’s Steve Mlujeak was on a counter-attack. Probably the strongest rider in the field, Mlujeak quickly closed the gap and then began an attack of his own. The field came back together within five laps and was looking at the final 12 to go as it settled into an organized pace line. Then, at 5 to go, the youngest racer in the field 20 year old Jon Hughes of Team PURPLE, spotted confusion in the pace line and put the hammer down, immediately opening up ¼ lap gap on the rest of the field. He strung it out for two laps until a late exchange with his partner Andre Champoux, left him out there too long. Team PURPLE team finished fourth in the final sprint and in the bike race.
The evening’s racing was jostled by two crashes that eliminated two teams and led to one suspension and one warning. No one was seriously injured. In the first incident, Team WHITE’s Rob Akers took a hard spill in Turn 2 as a result of racing below the black line trying to avoid being called out in the Miss and Out. Riding on the Cote d’Azur, Akers’ attempt to get back on the track failed and he went down, taking Mark St. John with him. Akers was immediately suspended for 1 week by NAS-TRACK Chairman Dale Hughes, citing a pole line infraction that led to a mishap.
Mark Freed received a warning by Hughes after the evening’s second incident in which Freed made an illegal pass of Mark St. John on the apron. St. John was again a victim as both he and Freed endoed into the infield. No one was seriously injured in either incident. Team BLUE’s victory further establishes Dave Koesel as the leader of the overall points series and moves Good from ninth to fourth overall. Racing continues Friday, July 18th at the Velodrome at Bloomer Park, the 1/8th of a mile wooden oval that is the only one of its kind in North America.
The young and the not-so-young
Proving the Velodrome at Bloomer Park offers opportunity for riders of all ages and ability, NAS-TRACK Madison Racing League showcased the talents of 13 year old Eric Peterson of Northville and the experience of 70 year old T.J. Hill of Sterling Heights.
The two went against each other for a NAS-TRACK special event, a four lap race that was a crowd pleaser. Once a National caliber racer, Hill has become a super tourist with more than 100,000 miles on his legs. Peterson began racing last year when his dad Hans, also a former racer, first put his son on a track bike at the velodrome. Because the Velodrome is only in its second season, it is just now developing young racers. Peterson is among the first. He won easily against Hill.
For more information, contact NAS-TRACK Chair Dale Hughes at 248-961-3705 or visit www.nas-track.com.
1 TEAM BLUE 62 pts Dave Koesel Rob Good 2 TEAM GREEN 50 Steve Mlujeak Pio Apostoli 3 TEAM PINK 46 Ron Sink Randy Aardema 4 TEAM PURPLE 43 Andre Champoux Jon Hughes 5 TEAM RED 42 Ron St. John Mark St. John 6 TEAM NEON 23 Ray Dybowski Mark Freed Overall standings after Race 3 1 Dave Koesel 172 pts 2 Rippin Ronnie Sink 147 3 Mark. St. John 146 4 Rob Good 133 5 Jon Hughes 132 6 Andre Champoux 131 7 Pio Apostoli 127 8 Ray Dybowski 95 9 Rob Akers 79 10 Randy Aardema 63 11 Steve Mlujeak 50 12 Terry Palmer 43 13 Ron St. John 42 14 Mark Freed 23 15 Wayne Cook 21 16 Dave Boynton 21 17 Paul Jaqua 17