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The Leader - Salem Report

Chris DeSanty (below) began the 2019/2020 Salem indoor series as he ended last year, as the leader in the points standing in the Vintage 250 class. He did so with little trouble within the field, winning both heat and main events, going away. The rest of the group in the class couldn’t be happier for him. The consensus is that he looks tough to beat. We’ll see…

Skyler Goar rode as flawlessly as anyone I’ve ever seen, easily defending the #1 plate he earned last season in the Vintage Open class. His RC Racing built Yamaha TT540 seemed perfect. Hunter Taylor held off very fast company in the likes of Davis Fisher, Michael Hill, Jake Burton, and Dan Lowther, both Joe and his son Cody Kopp (watch for this kid) among others, to win the 450 Pro main. No matter how many times I watch that class, I’m in awe.

Sunday Motors make really cool miniature flat track motorcycles. If you don't alrerady know, they’re purpose built little framers with 14in flat track wheels, horizontal motors, and plenty of aftermarket hop-up kits available. Their popularity has grown exponentially, and it showed in the Mad Dog class. “Mad Dog,” or Pit Bike, is reserved for anything of 150cc of displacement, or less. Essentially, it’s run what you brung. The surge of Sunday Motors bikes leaves the defending champ, Cory Churchill looking at the backs of a lot of good riders aboard fast little framers. There is a Mini Framer class, as well, but they certainly made their presence known in Mad Dog.

When I noticed Scott Rounds in the pits with his ’89 XR100 on the trailer behind his Volvo XC70 wagon, I rushed over to greet him. You see, Scott puts a smile on your face as soon as you see him. He has that affect on people. He’s just fun to be around. He’s also a talented motorcycle racer and a 20+ year veteran of flat track racing. He no longer has a full size bike to race, after selling his TT500 to Chris DeSanty two summers ago. He doesn’t need a full size motorcycle to go fast. Just ask anyone in the 250 Vintage Class who was on the track last year when he entered the class on his old 100… He made us all look silly.

Saturday night Scott didn’t disappoint any of us spectators, putting on a show among all of the new mighty might Sunday bikes. If memory serves he took fourth in his heat race, with evidence of the difference in power between his Honda and the Sundays. In the main, we all watched a much different tale. Fighting his way through the pack, Scott ended up leading at least 8 of the 10 laps with Andy Dibrino hot on his tail. It was very clear that Andy had much more power (my online research yielded accounts of the 1989 XR100 making 'just under 10 horsepower'), and it showed. However, Scott is a vet, and crafty, and skilled. Andy finally passed him with one lap to go. We were yelling so loud, we were sure they heard us. By the time they were coming out of turn 4 and headed for the checkers, Scott was leading and holding off DiBrino. We went nuts as Scott crossed the finish line first… on a clapped out ’89 XR100. So good.

'The Leader' is a jumping little rockabilly number, fifth in order on the first side of Sandinista, the largely under appreciated triple album follow up to London Calling. It’s but a minute and 42 seconds of Joe, in a bit of a reverent tone, calling attention to the Imperialistic and misogynist days of British yore. Ah, the good ol’ days. The song is about the absurdity of the headlines written to sell papers over time, demonstrated clearly in the chorus:

'You gotta give the people something good to read, on a Sunday…'

Of all the great stories written about Saturday’s season opener at Salem, my leader reads:

Rounds Beats DiBrino!

It bears telling, that it will be Scott’s last race for a bit, as he and his lovely wife Kira, will be having their first child at the end of this week! Congratulations to the new parents to be!


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