Park Hills, Missouri - Round 1 of the 2017 Mid-America Motocross Series got off to a cracking start at Sweeney’s MX Park Hills, MO as the sun had certainly put his hat on for the weekend. In sharp contrast to the Loretta Lynn Area Qualifier at nearby ROMP MX two weekends before, we were in for a dusty, fast and rutted treat.
Instead of battling wet conditions, the wind played a fundamental part in the weekend’s dynamic. The track crew had to stay ahead of the 80-degree temperatures mixed with 30 mph gusty winds by watering the track continuously the night before and throughout the day. For the most part, they had won the battle by keeping the dust tame and by providing ideal conditions for racing.
Drayke Sizemore ran out front all day in both 250A and 450A classes and swept all motos. However, Michael Hicks did not make it easy for the reigning champion. In the 450A moto 2, Hicks lead all laps except for the last lap. All moto long, Hicks fought off charges from Sizemore to take the lead. On the white flag lap, Sizemore finally passed Hicks, and at that point, Hicks seemed to run out of all fight and rolled the rest of the track to the finish.
Recent B class graduate, Korey Teson earned impressive results in his first race in the A class. Teson scored fourth overall in the 250 and fifth overall in the 450.
Talen Smith (027) ran out front all day in the 50cc Open Stock and 50cc Sr. Stock. Smith lost one moto to Ely Gross (7) who earned two second place overalls in the same classes.
Big St. Charles rider, Colin Marler had a bad get off on an uphill double that ate up a few riders on Sunday, but pulled off the overall win in the Supermini class.
Kole Medwid dominated the C classes and Schoolboy 2. While leading the Open C, Medwid made a mistake and dropped back to third but fought back to take the win.
Literally riding in his backyard, Grant Sweeney got off to a good start to this season by winning both 65cc Open and 65cc Sr. classes. Although bad luck cost him a podium spot in the 85cc Jr. class, Sweeney has shown he will be a title contender on the bigger bike.
Alyssa Cole recovered from bad starts to win both motos for the overall in the Women’s class.
Jacob Snodgrass (16) returned to the Mid-America Motocross Series on fire by winning overalls in the 85cc Jr. and Super Jr. classes.
Ace Enloe claimed the overall in the 65cc Jr. (7-9) by going 1-1 in motos.
Caleb Luttrell (82) powered his way to two overall wins in the PW Shaft TTR, XR 4-8 and in the 50cc Jr. Stock 4-6.
The next gate drop for the Mid-America Motocross Series is at Paradise Moto Park in Du Quoin, IL on April 23.
Tulsa, Oklahoma – The 2016 / 2017 Arctic Cat Nitro Arenacross Tour, presented by Nitro Lubricants was the most impressive season in the history of the series and the action inside the Ford Truck Arena last weekend put an explanation point to Championship Weekend. Though the quest for championships was concluded during the previous round in Springfield, MO, fans witnessed the most competitive racing of the year with some of the Midwest’s fastest contenders, Chase Marquier and Richard Jackson signing up to compete with tour champion, Aaron Gulley and runner-up, Adam Gulley.
250 PRO - FRIDAY NIGHT
On Friday night, the pursuit of the 250 and 450 Pro wins was a foregone conclusion: Chase Marquier was going to sweep both classes, right? He won his 250 Pro heat by chasing down Aaron Gulley and winning by a good margin. But a funny thing happened in the 450 Heat race – his bike gave up while leading and basically handed the heat win and possibly the overall to one of the Gulley’s. Oops. That was another foregone conclusion gone wrong. After grabbing the holeshot, Adam Gulley lost the lead to his brother, Aaron Gulley early in the 250 Main Event. Before the pass, there was a three-way battle for second between Aaron Gulley, Brandon Glenn, and Richard Jackson. With no bike, Marquier’s night was done. So, Aaron’s pass dropped Adam back to battle for second while he extended his lead with a few bike lengths. When Jackson passed Glenn for third, Glenn dropped off the pace and the battle for second came down to Adam Gulley and Jackson. Every pro rider in arenacross knows that passing one Gulley is a challenge, but passing two Gulley’s in the same race is impossible. That was another foregone conclusion gone wrong. After holding off Jackson for several laps, Jackson passed Adam Gulley in the turn after the whoops before the white flag lap. Then on the last lap, Jackson caught and passed Aaron Gulley in the same turn. Aaron Gulley tried to claw back in the last turn before the checkered flag, but Jackson held on to steal the win from both Gulley boys.
450 PRO – FRIDAY NIGHT
Now that the surest bet was negated to win the 450 Pro class, fans were excited for the rematch between the Gulley’s and Jackson. They did not disappoint. Adam Gulley grabbed the holeshot and was shadowed by Tracy Morgan with Aaron Gulley in tow. Jackson made a move on Logan Kustanborter to take over fourth and kicked up the pace to another level. Both Aaron Gulley and Jackson got around Morgan, and the battle was on for second while keeping the heat on Adam Gulley out front. All of them were pushing hard, blowing up berms and straight up going for it in a clean battle. It took Jackson several laps to pass Aaron Gulley, and when he did, he immediately went after the leader, Adam Gulley. Jackson put in a huge push on the final laps to close in, but not close enough as Adam Gulley held on to win.
250 PRO - SATURDAY NIGHT
Relief from Friday night’s action was far off because Saturday was just as thrilling to watch. The return of Marquier changed the playing field a bit to add more drama to the mix.
Marquier struck first in the 250 Heat. He got the early lead and was under immediate pressure from Aaron Gulley. However, that was short-lived; Marquier pulled away, and Aaron began to receive the pressure from Jackson. Jackson took the inside away in a turn, and then put a smooth block pass on Aaron Gulley to take over second. Lurking in fourth, Tanner Young was now putting the force on Aaron Gulley, but Gulley regrouped and held off Young. Young ended up losing a position to Glenn. Jackson seemed to gain a little time on Marquier, but Marquier ended up with the heat win.
The Nitro Arenacross champion used what has become the Gulley boys patented move: good start, cut inside turn two, and take the lead one and two. But Chase Marquier wasn’t having it. After a third place start behind Adam Gulley, Marquier jumped into second on the first lap. Then on lap four, Marquier blasted through the inside of the whoops and completed the pass for the lead in the corner. Then he pulled the hammer down and stretched his lead. The Ride365.com rider was unchallenged from there, taking a win during his hiatus from Monster Energy Supercross 250 West rounds. Jackson challenged Adam Gulley early on for second, but something happened to him to drop out of that battle. Aaron Gulley took second, and Adam Gulley took third. Tanner Young made a lot of ground on the Gulley’s but ran out of laps before he could threaten for a podium spot and settled for fourth.
“It was a pretty eventful weekend, to say the least. Friday night started good, got a heat race win. Then in the second heat was out front then my bike died. I stayed up until about 3:30 trying to figure out what was wrong with it. It ended up being the stator.” -- Marquier
450 PRO – SATURDAY NIGHT
Gulley boys were out front first with the advantage going to Adam Gulley in the 450 Heat, until the next turn, where Aaron made the pass for the lead. Adam went down in the next turn and was now last. Marquier got a terrible start but worked his way up to third on the first lap. A couple of laps later, Marquier passed Glenn for second while Aaron Gulley had about a ten bike length lead. Lap after lap, Marquier closed in patiently on the leader and took over the lead right before the white flag and rode it into the finish. Aaron Gulley finished second, and Glenn held onto third.
Once again, the Gulley’s grabbed the lead early with Adam capturing the holeshot. Jackson was in third, and Marquier again was off to a terrible start. While Adam was out front pulling away with a little lead, the battle to watch was for second between Aaron Gulley and Jackson with Tanner Young joining the mix. Just as Young was putting the pressure on Jackson, Young made a huge mistake in the rhythm section and dropped out of that battle. However, the fight for second was still on between Gulley and Jackson. For several laps, Jackson applied heavy pressure on Gulley but couldn’t make any moves stick. Then through the rhythm section, Jackson seemed to make a big mistake, cased one of the jumps and began to look down on his bike as if he had a mechanical issue. That battle was over, but no rest for Aaron Gulley; the fastest rider on the track was burning up space between him and the champion. On the last lap, Marquier captivated the crowd with his final attack, but it was too late. Adam Gulley won the 450 Pro class for the second night in a row, Aaron Gulley held onto second and Marquier fought hard to earn the last podium spot.
“Starts were key, just like always. I got a good start. I rode the best I could and held off everybody for the win. Yes, this is probably the one of the most stacked races we had all season. Richard Jackson was on the gas last night and tonight also. Chase Marquier was by far the fastest here, but bad starts hit him in the 450, so I was able to take advantage of that.” – Adam Gulley
“In the 450 main, I got a terrible start and was moving up through the pack pretty good, and then I got tangled up with a rider and went back to last. I worked my way back up to third; not what I wanted but we’re having a good time, and it was fun battling with those guys.” – Marquier
The Nitro Arenacross Tour team crowned champions and handed out awards at its Champion’s Weekend Banquet Saturday morning. Hundreds of awards and prizes were given out at the Ford Truck Arena in Tulsa, OK. Here are a few photos from the day.
Kory Wilson completed his goal by winning a title in one of the three classes he competed in. Wilson earned hardware for winning the Open Outlaw East Region and Tour Championship. During the season, Wilson climbed the podium box five times and brought home the Perseverance Award, presented by Bryan Jackson of Vertical Adrenalin for competing in every round.
The closest battle for a tour championship was between Hunter Angell and Matt Hannah in the Schoolboy class. At the last round for the points championship in Springfield, Angell had a one point lead over Hannah. Hannah won and Angell came in second and that’s how they finished for the championship. Tyler Brendenkoetter’s climbed the last step of the podium for third overall.
Although Hunter Angell came up short in the Schoolboy Tour Championship, Angell racked up multiple regional championships and a Tour Championship in the 250 Novice class.
Mady Trower grit out two championship to earn trophies in the Mini ATV Outlaw and ATV Beginner C classes. Trower was also honored for the Perseverance Award for competing in every round of the tour.
Rolling up to the banquet podium in a wheel chair with a broken ankle and broken wrist, Wyatt Melton showed true grit and accepted the hardware for winning the 85cc Beginner Tour Championship.
With 5 podiums and two wins, Brayden Mahlstedt received the trophy for the Supermini / 85cc Outlaw championship. Mahlstedt was also one of fourteen recipients of the Perseverance Award. Nick Brendenkoetter claimed the third step on the podium.
The next gate drop of the Nitro Arenacross Tour will kick off the 2017/2018 season, November 4 & 5 in Cookeville, TN. The 2017 / 2018 season includes more rounds with new impressive venues and four regional tour championships. More information will be posted at www.nitroarenacross.com. Stay tuned for more breaking news and updates on Facebook.
ABOUT THE ARCTIC CAT NITRO ARENACROSS TOUR:
The Arctic Cat Nitro Arenacross Tour presented by Nitro Lubricants is owned by Motorhead Events, LLC. The Nitro AX Tour started in 2007 as a grass roots effort to give MX racers a place to expand their skills indoors to get away from the harsh winters of the Midwest. The series has organically grown into one of the largest Arenacross Tours in the United States due largely to its over 600 entries per weekend and their award winning Intro shows and high entertainment show quality. Today the Tour covers eight states from November to March, pays out $70,000 in Pro prize money and entertains 1000’s every night. www.nitroaxtour.com
2016 - 2017 NATIONAL TOUR MARKETING PARTNERS
Arctic Cat * Nitro Lubricants * Bike Graphics * Big St. Charles * Ride 365 * Honda of the Ozarks * FMF * MX 343 * Croft Trailer Supply * KTM * Suzuki * Husqvarna
At a young age, you might’ve been making dirtbike noises on your bicycle, dreaming of throwing nac-nacs like Chad Reed, and getting the big cardboard checks like James Stewart, Ryan Villopoto and Ryan Dungey.
As you get older, the dream never changes, but the journey gets harder. Racing isn’t cheap; it isn’t easy. The pros make it look easy -- but it takes a lot of heart and a whole lot of guts.
Every privateer who lines up at the pro level knows their chances of winning are slim. When you roll into the gate on the bike that you brought in the back of your truck, and Ryan Dungey is suited up next to you – it’s intimidating.
And Ted Parks knows that better than anyone.
Every champion was once a privateer, and Ted Parks got an ‘extended warranty’ on his heart to keep helping them get there.
The TPJ Fly Racing team, (originally dubbed the Privateer Journey race team) has been helping underdogs get to the big leagues for years. Owner and founder Ted Parks is dedicated to seeing the success of up-and-coming athletes, and he works tirelessly to help them out. Even after a heart attack last fall, Ted Parks continues to keep it ‘wide open’. If you ask, he will tell you that the Man upstairs gave him an extra 100,000 miles so he could keep pushing his purpose – he considers it an extended warranty on his heart.
Fitted in shiny cowboy boots and a big cowboy hat, Parks might be running down to the managers’ tower to spot, or he might be back in the pits helping mechanics. His peers and competitors within AMA Racing voted him the 2015 Team Manager of the year, and he takes his role very seriously. If you’re hanging with Ted Parks, you have to run to keep up.
Despite the fact that Parks would try and run the whole show on his own, he has built up a small staff that works very hard to help him grow and expand the TPJ Racing team. The #TPJCrew is a dedicated group of individuals who are passionate about the sport and helping the riders ‘get to the big leagues’. The massive 200-foot pit set up is hard to miss at the pit parties – and it’s set up by just two guys – Ethan Curley and Shane Doyle. The TPJ Racing riders are also given tools to help market themselves – the TPJ Racing media manager Anna Glennon works with the riders on their image and how to promote sponsors, and also manages the TPJ Racing media. With a fresh pit set up and a new outlook on media, the TPJ Fly Racing team has revamped its program to give its team riders a more professional experience, helping prepare them for the grind of being on a factory team.
Last year, the TPJ Fly Racing team reestablished themselves as The Professional Journey – focusing on giving privateer athletes the tools and experience of a professional level team. The TPJ Fly Racing team works to build these athletes into the future champions of the sport, giving them a chance to have a professional pit, helping them learn how to market themselves as professional athletes and to understand the effort that goes into operating and being a part of the professional team. With the help of a full slate of big industry sponsors, the riders on the TPJ Fly Racing team have everything they need to get themselves out there, and get into main events.
If you ask, he will tell you that the Man upstairs gave him an extra 100,000 miles so he could keep pushing his purpose – he considers it an extended warranty on his heart.
This season, the TPJ Fly Racing team is supporting a line up of ten riders for Monster Energy Supercross. The 250 team consists of James Milson, Dylan Merriam and John Short, and a west coast rider – Broc Shoemaker. This season, Broc Shoemaker celebrated making his first ever main event as a part of the TPJ Fly Racing team.
In the 450 class, the TPJ Fly Racing team supports Suzuki riders Dustin Pipes, Nick Schmidt and Teddy Parks Jr., as well as Chad Cook, and Adam and Tyler Enticknap. They have celebrated several main events with Nick Schmidt and Adam Enticknap – and the rest of the team continues to get closer to earning tickets to the main.
The TPJ Fly Racing team hopes to spend the rest of the season growing the image of a professional-level team. As their riders continue to excel, the team will look for new ways to support them and get them to the next level.
Every champion was once a privateer, and Ted Parks got an ‘extended warranty’ on his heart to keep helping them get there.
To support the cause of the TPJ Fly Racing team, you can purchase a TPJ Racing tee for $20 by visiting www.tpjracing.com/shop
Zack Osborne gets his first career win; Ryan Dungey ties Ricky Carmichael and Jeremy McGrath for all-time Georgia Dome Wins with five to close down the historic venue.
After several years on the Monster Energy Supercross circuit, this was its final year at the Georgia Dome. A jam-packed weekend of Monster Energy Supercross and Amsoil Arenacross hit the Georgia Dome.
After an intense night of Arenacross, spectators began counting down to the Supercross night show.
In 450 qualifying, Eli Tomac and Chad Reed had the fastest lap times. Fans buzzed about the potential for Reed to nab a podium, and Ryan Dungey seemed to be still lagging with a 4th fastest time.
In 250 qualifying, it seemed like Joey Savatgy would be taking control of the event again with the fastest lap of 52.099. Other riders like Christian Craig and Zach Osborne trailed not far behind, making it clear that there was a potential for competition.
The pit party in Atlanta was massive. The indoor set up was perfect – fans packed the convention hall to hang out with their favorite riders and teams. While the riders finished up qualifying, fans wandered through the pits checking out the set ups and watching as their favorite riders prepped for the night show.
When the sun set in Atlanta and the night show rolled around, the convention center was deserted, and fans packed the Georgia Dome for the first gate drop.
When the first 250 heat took off, the holeshot went to Yamalube/Yamaha/Rockstar rider Dylan Ferrandis. Ferrandis was able to hold on to the lead for three laps before Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider Adam Cianciarulo took over. Cianciarulo would take the race all the way to the end and finish two seconds ahead of second place.
In the second 250 heat, the crowd waited in anticipation for Pro Circuit/Kawasaki Joey Savatgy to break away from the competition off the start, but it was Rockstar/Husqvarna rider Zach Osborne who took the holeshot and carried it all the way to the win. Joey Savatgy finished close behind, followed by TLD/KTM rider Jordon Smith and Autotrader/JGR/Suzuki rider Kyle Peters.
Luke Renzland, Kyle Cunningham, Tony Archer and Paul Coates battled tooth and nail for the qualifying positions in the 250 LCQ. TPJ Fly Racing rider John Short started the LCQ in the back of the pack after a clustered start and made his way all the way to fifth and was ready to make moves for a qualifying position when the checkers came out, narrowly missing the main.
Ryan Dungey reminded everyone that he means business in the first heat of the 450 class. He came out of the gate like a rocket and was untouchable the entire race. Reed fans were pumped for his second place finish and the fact that he looked like a real contender for the night event. RCH Racing rider Broc Tickle finished third, and Honda HRC rider Cole Seely finished fourth. While everyone was fast, Dungey seemed to be taking the sand section the best – staying smooth while maintaining his speed.
The crowd anticipated Eli Tomac jumping out of the gate and charging the race, but a tangle up would leave him mid-pack and leave Blake Baggett to take over the race. Josh Grant and Marvin Musquin worked to reel him in, but it wasn’t happening. Baggett would take the win and Grant, Musquin and Bogle would qualify alongside him.
Tomac found himself in semi one, along with Jason Anderson, Malcolm Stewart and Justin Brayton. Anderson would sneak the holeshot from Tomac and would dance out of his grasp. Anderson would charge the entire race to the win, and Tomac would qualify behind him, and Malcolm Stewart, Justin Brayton, and Nick Schmidt would also get tickets to the main. To the delight of fans, Trey Canard came out swinging in semi 2 to take the win and a qualifying spot. Dean Wilson, Justin Barcia, Mike Alessi and Vince Friese followed suit and followed him right into the main event.
Everything came down to the 16-minute long main event in the 250 class. As the riders converged on the first turn, TLD/KTM rider Jordon Smith broke out from the pack to take the lead. Zach Osborne put serious pressure on the KTM rider until he was able to make a pass on lap five, from here he put distance on Smith. Alex Martin passed Smith after a crash and him behind. Adam Cianciarulo was in contention for a podium when he lost traction and gave way to Colt Nichols, who moved into a podium spot. Joey Savatgy had a rough start and spent most of his race making up lost time. He made it all the way to fourth place but couldn’t quite make his way to the podium. In the end, Osborne earned his first Monster Energy Supercross win, followed by Alex Martin in second (making up for a rough season start) and Colt Nichols in third place – who had a broken leg before the start of the season.
Fans were hoping for a Tomac vs. Dungey smackdown in the main event but were surprised when Tomac kicked off the 450 main in eleventh place. Dungey nabbed the holeshot and slipped away from Blake Baggett who wrestled his way into second after the start. Baggett got the crowd rowdy as he reeled in the champ, Ryan Dungey throughout the race. It wasn’t until midway when Eli Tomac began passing his way up the ranks and closing in on the top three. Tomac charged through the pack and made his way around Musquin (who also had a bad start) and Cole Seely. Jason Anderson was the first of the top three to give way to Tomac’s maniacal charge, dropping to fourth. Several laps later Tomac would catch Baggett and focus on trying to pull on Dungey. In the final laps, it seemed like Tomac might be able to catch up, but Dungey’s smooth riding kept Tomac at bay as he frantically clawed at the distance between them. Although Tomac didn’t catch up to the leader, he proved he had the skills to pick off the top riders on a difficult track.
Even though Dungey took the win, Blake Baggett was the big winner – celebrating a podium finish with the Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM team. Tomac would take second overall and gain some much-needed points and the champ got back on top of the box in Atlanta.
This week 500 truckloads of dirt were poured on to one of the country's most famous football field. Thousands of fans swarmed AT&T Stadium for the Arlington round of Monster Energy Supercross.
This week's pit party was nearly as massive as the stadium itself. Fans packed the paddock and perused the pits to visit with their favorite riders. The 80-degree weather made this one of the best pit parties so far this season - riders hung out in between qualifying to chat with fans and sign autographs.
Like Oakland, Arlington was also a day race. Open ceremonies started at 3:30 and the first gate drop clocked in at 4 pm.
The 250 class lined up for its first two heats to kick off the evening.
The first heat was relatively uneventful -- Shane Mcelrath took a substantial lead and ran away with it. He went on to lead all eight laps of the heat. Behind him, Jeremy Martin fought to keep Aaron Plessinger at bay.
The crowd (especially mama Forkner) jumped to their feet as the 250 rookie Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider Austin Forkner took the holeshot in heat 2. He looked a little unsteady at first but quickly gained complete control and stretched out his lead from the pack. Somewhere in the mix behind him was his Pro Circuit teammate and current points leader, Justin Hill. Hill advanced into second place and slowly crept up on Forkner. Near the end of the race, Hill made a clean pass, but Forkner latched on and stalked Hill to the final lap. As the checkered flag flew, Hill took the win, but Forkner was only a tire's length behind him. Dan Rheardon finished third, and Martin Davalos hauled it in for fourth.
In the 250 LCQ, TPJ Fly Racing rider Broc Shoemaker grabbed the holeshot and led the race until Tallon Lafountaine overtook the lead. Chris Alldredge passed Lafountaine and led the remaining laps to take the win. Scott Champion snatched second, Broc Shoemaker finished third, and Chris Howell grabbed the last qualifying spot. Broc Shoemaker celebrated his first career main event in Arlington.
As the riders rounded the first turn in the main, it was looking like a repeat of previous rounds. Shane Mcelrath shot out ahead of the pack and began working on stretching out a lead. Justin Hill, Austin Forkner, Aaron Plessinger and Jimmy Decotis bumped their way through the rhythm section in Mcelrath's trail. As we neared the halfway point, Hill had moved his way into second place and fought to catch up to Mcelrath. Suddenly, Mcelrath began moving backward through the ranks. Hill took over the race and went on to extend his lead all the way to this finish line. Mcelrath continued to fall through the pack due to mechanical issues all the way to 22nd place. Justin Hill captured another victory; Austin Forkner celebrated a second place career-best finish, and Aaron Plessinger squeezed onto the podium in third.
Despite his massive set back in Arlington, Mcelrath still maintains a top three position in the points championship, 25 behind the leader, Hill. Aaron Plessinger moves into second place in the standings.
The 450 class started off with two heats. In the first heat, we witnessed the same old tune. Ryan Dungey pulled ahead of the pack while his teammate Marvin Musquin trailed behind him. Blake Baggett and Cole Seely followed suit. Dungey led the entire race from start to finish and earned his main event ticket.
In the second heat, there was an unusual shake-up. Mike Alessi took the lead of the race and held on to it for four laps until Justin Bogle ran him down and passed him for the position. Bogle went on to take the win. Davi Millsaps and Cooper Webb nabbed the other qualifying positions.
In the first semi, the crowd erupted for Chad Reed as he took the holeshot and led the entirety of the race. Broc Tickle chased after him as the two Rockstar Husqvarna riders Dean Wilson and Jason Anderson qualified directly behind him.
The second semi race was in the bag for Eli Tomac, who crashed into the back of Cooper Webb's bike on the first lap of the heat race. He was able to take the holeshot and the win, while Trey Canard qualified in second (after returning to the series from injury). And Justin Brayton and Malcolm Stewart qualified in third and fourth.
In the LCQ, the crowd cheered for privateer favorite, TPJ racing rider Adam Enticknap "The Seven Deuce Deuce" as he got off to a great start alongside RCH rider Jake Weimer. Weimer commanded the race and was untouchable, despite second place rider Jimmy Albertson's best efforts. Albertson, Austin Politelli and Cade Clason managed to get the final spots into the main event.
While the night had seemed typical so far, things were about to get crazy.
As the fire heated up AT&T Stadium and the gate fell into the dirt, Cooper Webb got the jump on everyone. He was off to a first lap lead; however, Justin Brayton went down and got trampled on in the first turn chaos. The medical unit was called, and the officials red flagged the race and sent everyone back to the gate for a restart, much to the disappointment of Webb.
The gate dropped again and this time factory KTM Redbull rider Marvin Musquin got the jump. Cooper Webb was able to make it out of the first turn unscathed and was not far behind the leader. Cole Seely trailed behind the two, and Ryan Dungey and Eli Tomac were lost in the crowd behind them.
There seemed to be two separate races going on - the race for Webb to catch up to Musquin, and the race for Dungey and Tomac to get out of the mid-pack.
Webb had begun to inch closer and closer to the leader when suddenly he began to drop back as if he physically ran out of steam, but he pulled into the pit area (the first of many odd pit stops for racers). We discovered he had a flat tire. His mechanics frantically swapped out his entire wheel and Webb was back on the track, but the damage was done, and Webb lost a lot of positions. As Webb made it back on the track, Tomac began his advance toward the podium. The crowd was cheering for him, and then suddenly, he crashed in a corner. He remounted his bike but pulled off the track and into the pit area with his hands up. His team cut the front brake lines to get him back on the track. At this point, neither Webb nor Tomac could make up the distance. Musquin was too far gone. Cole Seely kept up a steady charge but just could not haul in the leader. Jason Anderson worked on catching Seely, and Dean Wilson was not far behind. To everyone's surprise, points leader Ryan Dungey seemed to be stuck behind Dean Wilson by spending several laps trailing the Rockstar Husqvarna rider. It wasn't until nearly the end of the race that Dungey was able to get around Wilson and take over fourth place.
Tonight was the first night in a long time that we did not see Ryan Dungey make it to the podium, but it is unlikely that KTM was too upset. The crowd erupted as Marvin Musquin celebrated his first main event victory in the 450 class with style and an incredible lead. It was an emotional victory for the French rider, who FaceTimed his brother as soon as the race was over, and teared up as he embraced his excited wife. On the podium, even the competitors congratulated the winner and doused him in champagne in his first 450 Pro victory.
While it may have been a rough night for riders like Ryan Dungey, Eli Tomac, and Cooper Webb, these are the riders that don't back down and don't let off. Whatever problems they may have had tonight, they will come back next weekend stronger and faster, with a searing amount of willpower. You just can't count them out.
For now, Musquin's victory brought him closer to teammate Ryan Dungey's points lead; 18 points separates the leaders. Eli Tomac lost some traction due to his 15th place finish, but he is 29 points down and remains a championship contender from 4th place. Cole Seely quietly hangs tight to third place in the points championship, and Ryan Dungey continues to loom over everyone.