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FMF 2 Stroke Invitational – Unadilla Edition

by JohnNicholas on 08/17/2009

The silence of the morning mist was shattered by the bark of two-stroke engines coming to life. The smell of pre-mix filled the air and the braap of engines echoed through the hills of Unadilla. Years melted away.

Jimmy "The Jammer" Weinert waiting for the fog to lift and practice to begin.

Unadilla is steeped in motocross history. The first professional race was held in 1969 on a natural terrain course laid out on the rolling hills of New Berlin, NY. Since 2009 marked the 40th year of operation, the theme of the day was retro.

This race is an addition to the AMA National Motocross Series. It is an exhibition race, since two-strokes have all but been eliminated from Pro Racing this is an opportunity for fans to see them raced on the National level. Look for this series to grow in the future.

Danny LaPorte getting ready for the start. Photo by Guy B

The feedback from fans and racers has been much better than expected. In fact almost every fan I spoke at Unadilla told me they missed two-strokes in Pro Racing.

For the third round of the FMF 2 Stroke Invitational many former pro racers were invited to participate.  Jim Weinert 1974 & 1975 500cc National Champion and 1976 Supercross Champion, Danny LaPorte, 1979 500cc National Champion and 1982 World Champion joined John Dowd the 1998 125cc East Coast Supercross Champion for the Unadilla round. The field was rounded out with pro racers Mickey Kessler, Bruce Stratton, Greg Schnell, Todd DeHoop, Mike Leavitt, Carlo Coen, Dave Krantz, Pat Barton, Ken Napolitano, Mark Wundruck, Carter Gurnee and more. Every one of these guys raced as a professional, many competing at Unadilla during the Nationals, USGP’s and Trans-AMA races.

Staging area. Pat Barton #5, John Dowd #16, Dave Krantz #70, Todd DeHoop #10, Bruce Stratton #47, Danny Laporte #07.

While the racers were told that this was just a fun race, an exhibition for the fans, you could not tell from the intensity of the racers. Is it actually possible for a Pro racer to ever lose their competitive edge?

Heading Into the first turn. Bruce Stratton #47, Dave Krantz #70, Mike Leavitt #282, Mark Wundruck #729, Greg Schnell #63, Ken Napolitano #135, Todd DeHoop #10. Steve Burdette #21. Photo by Guy B

The race was a great deal of fun and a crowd favorite!! Fans were screaming from the sides of the track cheering on the two-strokes.

There was intense racing action on the first lap which resulted in Mike Leavitt and Todd DeHoop going down. Leavitt got up last and blasted his way to fourth place in only two laps! If not for this mishap Leavitt would have given Dowd a bit of a challenge.

Todd DeHoop heading up Screw U. Photo by Guy B.

The Jammer (Jim Weinert) was a rip… he pulled the holeshot (by leaving the gate when the sign went sideways!) And cut the track a few times… so John Dowd had to pass him a few times. On the white flag lap Dowd and Weinert raced side-by-side past the Mechanics Area. Dowd seemed to wheely alongside The Jammer as a show of respect to the former champion.

Danny LaPorte was flying on a borrowed RM250 that was not set up for him, but that did not keep him from giving his best during the race. Danny is a very classy guy.


1) John Dowd – 16 – Kawasaki PT250  – Chaplin
2) Greg Schnell – 63 – Yamaha YZ250 – Pant Saggin
3) Bruce Stratton – 47 – Honda CR250 – Atomic
4) Mike Leavitt – 282- Yamaha YZ250 -  Zen Energy
5) Carlo Coen – 67 – Yamaha YZ250 – RacePro
6) Carter Gurnee – 165 – Honda CR250 –
7) Mark Wundruck – 729 – Yamaha YZ250 – Sussex Motosports
8) Todd DeHoop – 10 – Suzuki RM250 – Fox Racing
9) Danny LaPorte – 07 – Suzuki RM250 – FMF Racing

A fun little behind-the-scenes video.

The AlliSport video will be embedded here when it is archived on their site.

Special thanks to Alex Moroz from Legends and Heroes and Nick McCabe from MX Sports, without whose help, support and encouragement this report would not have been possible. Thank you.

Danny LaPorte accelerating up Screw U. Photo by Guy B.

Greg Schnell. Photo by Guy B.

Jim Weinert. If you look between his wheels you will see John Dowd behind The Jammer. Photo by Guy B.

Erin Bates was into the retro theme of the day.

Carter Gurnee #165 finished ahead of Mark Wundruck #729 . Photo by Guy B.

The Jammer with his family, John Dowd and Bruce Stratton.

Danny LaPorte interview.

Danny LaPorte Presenting John Dowd with his 1st place award.

Trophy winners. Greg Schnell went back to the pits.

Carlo Coen's YZ 250... Using this borrowed RACEPRO USA machine,Carlo finished 5th.

John Dowd's trick PT250.

Weinert's 2007 Kawasaki KX250.

Danny LaPorte borrowed this machine from organizer Alex Moroz.

Friendly racer whose name I forgot...

Former Factory Husqvarna Dace Krantz borrowed this CR125 from his former employer. It was the only 125cc machine in the race.

Steve Burdette.

Ken Napolitano and Mike Leavitt chatting.

Ryan and his dad were so enthusiastic about being a part of this event. Great folks.

Mark Wundruck, Carlo Coen and Ken Napolitano.

Getting ready for the start of the race.

Getting prepared for the race.

The Jammer discussing the history of the world with Todd Huffman (Producer of the MX Files)

Weinert and LaPorte with their driver heading down to the start line.

Signing autographs. The World Famous Johnny "O Hannah flew in specifically for this event.

The coveted 1st place award built by FMF Racing for the top three finishers.

Matt Wozney from MXPTV posted a photo album of the race. Check it out.