It’s been a busy but productive summer for Chase Saathoff as he and parents, Mike and Bobbi Saathoff of Hillsboro, have hit races in four different states and more often than not, coming home with a few wins.
In May, Saathoff raced in Ohio and Illinois, collecting 20 wins in 23 races.
The first three of those wins came close to home as Saathoff swept the 251-450cc class, the 250cc-Open class and the Pro/Am class at the Belleville Enduro Team short track.
The Hillsboro High School sophomore-to-be picked up two more wins, despite being on his back-up bike, at the Lima Half Mile at the Allen County Fairgrounds on May 8-9, taking first in the Open Amateur and 450 Amateur classes. He would also race in the Power Elite Singles race, taking fifth in a field loaded with talented competition.
The Saathoffs would be back in Ohio on May 15-16, with six races in two days at the Ohio Flat Track Sport Center in Harpster, OH. On the short track, Saathoff would go 3-for-3, winning the 450 Amateur, 450 Money and Open Money classes on May 15. On May 16, he was nearly as good, winning the 450 Money and Open Money classes, while taking second by a wheel to Jeffrey Lowery in the 450 Amateur.
A planned trip to Galesburg was put on hold due to rain, but that opened the door for Saathoff to compete in the Belleville Enduro Team TT race on May 22. Racing on his sister Sara’s Yamaha YZ250f, instead of his customary Husqvarna, Saathoff pulled away and picked up another victory.
The future pro also took time to help out one of the younger riders from the area, five-year-old Silas Randall, who raced in the Cobra class for the first time and brought home two fourth place finishes.
Team Saathoff was close to home again on May 29-31 with Memorial Day weekend racing at the Central Illinois Motorcycle Club in Neoga. On day one, Saathoff picked up wins in the 251-450cc class, the 250-Open class and the Pro/Am for a strong start to the weekend. Day two went nearly as well, with two more wins in the 251-450cc and 250-Open classes, plus a second in the Mad Dawg race. Saathoff would miss the feature in the Pro/Am class, which brought a big crowd due to the $5,000 purse, but the setback was a minor one and didn’t spoil what was a fantastic month for the young racer.
A new month brought more racing as the Saathoffs competed in Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois and Ohio in June.
On June 5, Saathoff raced in the Steve Nace Promotions event at the Terre Haute Action Track in Indiana. He would pick up wins in Open Singles and 450 Amateur, plus a sixth place finish in the All-Star Singles race, despite using his back-up bike.
On June 12, Saathoff made his first trip to the Dairyland Classic in Plymouth, WI. It was a challenging, but productive day for Saathoff as he beat out 40 other riders to take first in the A Main.
“It was an awesome track and a challenge to get the correct bike set-up,” said Saathoff, who had to place in the top two in his qualifying heat (he placed first) to advance to the A Main.
On June 19-20, the Saathoffs were in Pekin for the Pekin Motorcyle Club Father’s Day double-header. Saathoff provided his dad, Mike, with a hard to find Father’s Day gift, six wins in six races as he won the Open Am, Pro/Am and 450 Amateur on both days.
The month would close with the Steve Nace Racing Promotions Pushin’ the Cushion event at the Greenville, OH half-mile on June 25. Saathoff would come away with a first, a second and a third, with only two racers getting the better of him.
After picking up a win in the Open Amateur class, Saathoff was third in the Pro/Am behind James Rispoli of Deltona, FL and Jacob Vanderkooi of Mount Gilead, OH, working his way back toward the front after a rider went down in front of him. Vanderkooi would get the win in the 450cc Amateur race, with Saathoff finishing second.
July promises to be a fun one for the Saathoffs as well, with the AMA Flat Track Grand Championship kicking off on July 14. Saathoff will race in the second group on the half mile on July 15, followed by TT races on July 16. After a day off, he heads indoors for the short track, followed by the half mile racing on Monday, July 19.