1,000 fans attend MSFF race

The Inter-Mountain photo by Brooke Binns
Riders compete in the Mountain State Forest Festival Motorcycle and ATV Race in Jimtown Sunday.

The Inter-Mountain photo by Brooke Binns Riders compete in the Mountain State Forest Festival Motorcycle and ATV Race in Jimtown Sunday.

JIMTOWN — More than 1,000 spectators came out to the Mountain State Forest Festival Motorcycle and ATV Race Sunday to support local riders and enjoy the competition of others from around the Mountain State.

Local rider Cody Pingley took third place in the adult pro bike race and had many supporters in attendance.

“This place is my backyard, I ride here every other day,” Pingley said. “This is great territory. You guys did a great job.”

Adult ATV pro class second-place winner Brent Sturdivant, another local rider, said it is nice to see the MSFF race coming back.

“A lot of my family and friends made it out today,” Sturdivant said. “It’s kind of cool to come out and race. I’m really glad that it’s back, so I hope we can keep it going.”

Richie Nolan, owner of Mountain State Hare Scramble, was the promoter for this year’s MSFF race, and explained the event is an endurance

“It’s so rough — this is one of the roughest tracks we’ve ever laid out,” Nolan said. “It’s so rough that if you decided to come out here and ride as fast as you could for the whole time, you’re going to break your equipment.

“You have to pace yourself and make the equipment last,” he added.

Nolan said the track was just over six miles in length.

“There are a lot of rocks on the course,” Nolan said. “There are two major creek crossings.”

First-place adult bike pro class winner Ricky Russel described the track as a “good, technical track.”

“You can push really hard in the faster spots and be smooth in the technical sections,” Russel said.

Second-place adult bike pro class finisher Craig Delong said, “It was very tough. You definitely had to be on your A-game for sure and go fast where you could and be smooth where you had to.”

Third-place adult ATV pro class finisher and pro Devin Masters said, “This track was really nice, it kind of reminded me of Snowshoe. It took us back to the roots where we started with technical riding and needing skill to ride.”

First-place adult ATV pro class winner Adam McGill said, “Like Brent said, it’s been a long time since we had a Forest Festival race — I think the last time I raced at the Forest Festival was in 2011. I can’t remember if I won — I think Brent won it that year.

“I like coming here,” McGill said. “This track, by far, was the roughest, gnarliest thing I’ve ridden in a long time. You never know what was going to happen, every turn was just a guess.”

MSFF Director General Chad Shoemaker said he was happy the festival could host a race with the caliber of riders who came out Sunday.

“What a great day of racing from the early morning to this last race – you guys hung in there and we appreciate it,” Shoemaker said. “I want to thank the Mountain State Hare Scramble people – Richie and all of you – for allowing us to be a part of this and bringing a racing event like this close to home and allowing the local guys to get a good chance to race.”

Shoemaker added that Brandon Sturdivant was essential in the planning and success of the event, in coordination with the Hare Scramble.

MSFF officials said they were pleased with of turnout for racers and spectators for this year’s event.

Nolan added this weekend’s race was the eighth 10 races in the Mountain State Hare Scramble’s series.

Mike Ross, Allegheny Hardwoods and Vince Judy were recognized by the festival for the use of their land and help in making the event possible.

Randolph County EMS was on site during the day of racing in case of emergencies.

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