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RACE REPORT: Nitro AX Tour - Topeka

Photos by: Adam Dennis & Kurt Schellenberger

Topeka, KS – Coming into rounds 7 and 8 at the Kansas Expocentre Arena as the 450 Pro points leader, Tanner Young had one hurdle to clear in this year’s Arctic Cat Nitro Arenacross Tour. He had to win a main event.

So, that was precisely what Young did on Saturday night in Topeka. Young was one of four main event winners in the pro classes over the weekend that were all new winners of the 2015-2016 season thus far. On Friday night, Chris Thies won the 250 Pro and Dustin Winter took the 450 Pro. On Saturday, it was the two Tanners, Tanner Moore won the 250 Pro and the aforementioned Tanner Young won the 450 Pro.

250 Pro Main Saturday Night

In the main event, local rider, Tanner Moore #394 grabbed the holeshot and led all fifteen laps but not with comfort. In the opening laps, it looked like Moore was going to run away with this one, but a late charge by Dustin Winter made this one a nail biter. Winter had a third place start, followed by Sean Hackley in fourth, and it took Winter about four laps to get around Cody Agler for second. Meanwhile, Moore pulled a three to four second lead over the second spot. Hackley also got around Agler to take over third. Then a red cross flag on the finish line jump came out waving and racing began to tighten up. On the closing laps, Moore was on the defensive protecting his lines from Winter’s attack. The best chance Winter had to make a pass was in the last turn, but Moore protected the inside line and secured the win in front of his hometown fans.

“I felt great, I was really happy to get a good start and it finally fell in the right time for me. So, I’m pumped,” said Moore after the race.

John Short of Pilot Point, Texas put on an impressive ride. Short got a terrible start; in fact, he was in last place on the second lap. On a tight track, Short worked his way through the pack to finish fifth.

250 Pro Results Saturday Night

  1. Tanner Moore
  2. Dustin Winter
  3. Sean Hackley
  4. Tanner Young
  5. John Short
  6. Cody Agler
  7. Chris Thies
  8. Gage Mast
  9. Mason Eck
  10. Logan Kustanborter
  11. Travis Eck
  12. John Berry
  13. Jason Richey

After eight rounds, Sean Hackley’s consistent finishes keeps him in the number one sport in the 250 Pro points chase. Tanner Young is fourteen points back in second place. Gage Mast of Moberly, Missouri, in his first year racing Arenacross, sits in third.


Top 10 250 Pro Current Point Standings

  1. Sean Hackley 129
  2. Tanner Young 115
  3. Gage Mast 100
  4. Addison IV Emory 95
  5. Chris Thies 93
  6. Cody Agler 86
  7. Tanner Moore 71
  8. John Short 69
  9. Theodore Pauli 62
  10. Cory Green 50

450 Pro Main Event Saturday Night

After a disappointing Friday night, Tanner Young came into the weekend as the point’s leader and was at risk of undoing all that he worked hard in the season thus far. Young failed to qualify for the 450 Pro Main Friday night, which was his worst finish of the year. Fortunately, he rebounded Saturday night by taking his first win of the season and holding onto the points lead.

Young started the best way anyone could have by grabbing the holeshot, but he still had to earn the win. Tanner Moore and Cody Agler battled for a few laps over the second spot until Moore faded. Agler began to reel in Young and was able to get his front wheel on Young a few times in the corners, but just could not make anything happen. Agler could not take advantage of Young’s mistakes because Agler made mistakes of his own. As soon as Agler closed the gap, Young pulled away again like a slinky. Young just needed to keep the bike on two wheels on the final lap and that’s what he did to earn his first win of the season.

“Alger was right there with me, I could hear him the whole time. He forced me into a couple mistakes but I knew if I could just stay up and stay in his way that he couldn’t get around me,” said Young. I could hear the gap going away and coming, closing and leaving. I felt good, I felt like I rode excellent and I felt like Agler rode good too so I’m excited for next round.”

 450 Pro Main Event Results Saturday Night

  1. Tanner Young
  2. Cody Agler
  3. Dustin Winter
  4. Sean Hackley
  5. John Short
  6. Cheyenne Harmon
  7. Tanner Moore
  8. Mason Eck
  9. Gage Mast
  10. Addison IV Emory
  11. Nick Peterson

Top 10 450 Pro Points Current Standings

  1. Tanner Young 117
  2. Addison IV Emory 112
  3. Sean Hackley 100
  4. Cody Agler 94
  5. Cheyenne Harmon 75
  6. John Short 74
  7. Theodore Pauli 61
  8. Tanner Moore 60
  9. Gage Mast 59
  10. Chris Thies 54

Amateur Honorable Mentions

It had certainly been a tense, edge-of-the-seat weekend with racers all being given real-time exposure to the world on Pay Per View via the internet. Noah Merrick of Basehor, Kansas showed the world his dominance in the 50cc 4-6 class by taking both main events Friday and Saturday night. Merrick has won that class at every event he had attended.

Ethan Kidd picked up a few more wins last weekend in the 65cc 7-9 and 65cc Open. While leading the 65cc Open class Friday night, Kidd made a mistake that cost him the sweep. Joining the tour last weekend, Michael Cleaver took advantage of that mistake and picked up the win.

The Moranz brothers also joined the Nitro Arenacross Tour last weekend and did so with authority. Kevin Moranz swept all the mains over the weekend in the College Boy and Intermediate Open. But perhaps one of the best performances of the weekend goes to Colton. Colton got a terrible start in the Open Outlaw class but he charged hard and made a pass in the last turn with a down rider occupying the inside line to capture second place. If he had another lap or two, he may have caught Alex Cleaver the winner of the main.

Brock Lassiter was on his way of taking the Supermini win Saturday night, but got tangled up with a lapper. Kaedon Steinert of Fayettville, Arkansas was at the right place at the right time and stole the victory.

The next gate drop will be on weekend of January 8 and 9 at the Ozark Empire Arena in Springfield, Missouri. Tickets can be purchased in advance online at https://www.nitroaxtour.com/events/buy_tickets  before the race or at the event the day of.     



The Arctic Cat Nitro Arenacross Tour 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 it’s 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



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