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Race Report: Kevin Moranz Wins First Race in Pro Debut at the Nitro Arenacross Tour in Topeka, KS

 

Topeka, KS - The Arctic Cat Nitro Arenacross Tour presented by Nitro Lubricants, wraps up not just another weekend of extreme racing, rather a record-breaking weekend of 780 entries as the series completes rounds 5 and 6 at the Kansas Expocentre in Topeka, KS. A local favorite, Kevin Moranz broke up the Gulley boy’s weekend dominance in his pro debut. On Friday night, round 5, Adam Gulley won the 250 Pro, and Aaron Gulley took the 450 Pro. The twin brothers set the table on Saturday evening, round 6 with the heat wins in both Pro classes, but Moranz brought his own silverware to the table.

250 Pro Main Events

Kevin Moranz’s showed signs on Friday night that he had the speed to compete with the tour’s veterans. A heat win in the 250 Pro class was the first clue. After a poor start, Moranz passed last year’s 450 Pro winner, Tanner Young for the lead and went on to take the heat win. The Letko Cycle pilot with top ten finishes at Loretta Lynn’s Amateur National Championship added a podium finish to his resume, pulling off a third-place finish in the 250 Main Event.

In front of his hometown fans on Saturday night, the recent B rider graduate got a second place start behind Aaron Gulley. As history dictates, once one of the Gulley boys gets the lead, they check out most of the time. However, like most newcomers, Moranz wanted to trash tradition. On lap two, Moranz put the standard arenacross block pass on Gulley to take the lead. Lap after lap he inched away until the final two laps. Gulley reclaimed some time on the leader, but he lost all his production when made a mistake through the rhythm section that sent him off the track. Gulley maintained his position but lost ground and time. The hometown favorite went on the take checkered flag to claim his first pro win.

“It made me feel great,” Moranz said about his hometown fans. “Once again, being this is my first pro race a lot of people came out to see what I can put on the table, and I think I did that pretty well.”

Top 10 250 Pro Main Event Results – Saturday Night

  1. Kevin Moranz
  2. Aaron Gulley
  3. Cheyenne Harmon
  4. Dustin Winter
  5. Dillon Cloyed
  6. Adam Gulley
  7. Addison IV Emory
  8. Logan Kustanborter
  9. Johnny Marley
  10. Nick Peterson

Top 10 250 Pro Points Chase

  1. Aaron Gulley 155
  2. Adam Gulley 131
  3. Addison IV Emory 122
  4. Drayke Sizemore 100
  5. Tanner Young 100
  6. Cheyenne Harmon 78
  7. Gage Mast 75
  8. Jonathan Six 50
  9. Kevin Moranz 45
  10. John Short 44

450 Pro Main Event

The 450 Pro Main event went down much like the 250 pro main. Aaron Gulley continued his consistent hot streak in grinding out another holeshot. Dustin Winter claimed second on the green flag lap but held the door open for Cheyenne Harmon on lap two in the corner after the catapult leading into the whoop section. This corner was where battles were won and lost all weekend, the path of destruction. After a few laps, Harmon used the same turn to put a block pass on Gulley for the lead. Winters hung in there with the top two riders creating a three-way battle for first. Dillon Cloyed lurked back in forth. After the halfway mark, Winter lost some ground with the leaders. With four laps to go, Aaron Gulley took back the lead from Harmon in the same turn he lost it in. The two made a little contact, but it was a clean pass for the most part. On the final lap, a down rider on the outside line of the bowl turn before the finish line made it a thrilling end. Harmon got a wheel in on Gulley and tried to take the inside line away, but Gulley held off the last chance charge and took the win. 

“I just followed him around, and kind of did the same thing he did to me. Got back and just stayed in front of him,” said Aaron Gulley after the race. “I feel pretty good. I let the 250 main get away from me, so it’s nice to get back in front in the 450 main.”

 

Top 10 450 Pro Main Results – Saturday Night

  1. Aaron Gulley
  2. Cheyenne Harmon
  3. Dillion Cloyed
  4. Dustin Winter
  5. Kevin Moranz
  6. Adam Gulley
  7. Zack Archer
  8. Logan Kustanborter
  9. Jason Richey
  10. Addison IV Emory

Top 10 450 Point Standings

  1. Aaron Gulley 182
  2. Addison IV Emory 136
  3. Adam Gulley 136
  4. Drayke Sizemore 90
  5. Tanner Young 84
  6. Justin Kelly 76
  7. Cheyenne Harmon 63
  8. Gage Mast 50
  9. John Short 42
  10. Josh Mast 40

 

ATV Pro Main Event

Marcus Carrol led most of the laps in the ATV Pro Main Event, but Michael Cataldo, after a poor start used the catapult to his advantage. Cataldo, the only ATV rider to jump the catapult, gained ground on the leader and eventually passed Carrol in the closing laps to take the ATV Pro win. 

Amateur Honorable Mentions

After poor finishes in the 50cc 7-9 and 50cc Outlaw classes on Friday night, Kyler Hatch won both classes on Saturday evening.

 

Alexander Rudd’s weekend performance earned him the FMF MPR “Most Promising Rider” Award.  After a decent performance on Friday that included a Schoolboy class main event win, Rudd was perfect on Saturday night by winning all his heats and main events in three classes.

 

Diesel Thomas grabbed eight holeshots, and eight moto wins to seize the perfect weekend in the 65cc 7-9 and 65cc Outlaw classes.

 

Branden Yates took 3 out of 4 of his main events during the weekend. Rudd spoiled his chance capturing the fourth in the Intermediate class on Saturday night; otherwise, Yates laid down the law.

 

The next gate drop will be on December 30, 2016, at the Cowan Civic Center in Lebanon, MO. 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 race.

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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