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Tulsa Nitro Arenacross | Race Report

Gulley, Jackson, and Marquier Take on Tulsa

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.

 

Photo: Kurt Schellenberger 

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.

 

Photo: Kurt Schellenberger

 

Despite the win to hold off Jackson, Adam Gulley admitted he was exhausted after the 450 Main Event. (Photo: Kurt Schellenberger)

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.

 

Photo: Kurt Schellenberger

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. 

 

Photo: Kurt Schellenberger

“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.

 

Photo: Kurt Schellenberger

 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.

 

Photo: Kurt Schellenberger

“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

 

Photo: Kurt Schellenberger

“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

HONORABLE MENTIONS

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.

 

Photo: Kurt Schellenberger

 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.

 

Photo: Jeff Cox

 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.

 

Photo: Kurt Schellenberger

 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.

 

Photo: Jeff Cox

 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.

 

Photo: Jeff Cox

 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.

 

Photo: Jeff Cox

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

 

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