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Race Report: The Showdown at Nitro Arenacross Kansas City

Kevin Moranz and the Gulley Boys Split Wins in the Kansas City Showdown

Kansas City, Missouri – The 100-mile radius that surrounds the Kansas City area in recent years is known to produce some of the fastest motocross riders in the country. With a reputation like that, it’s no surprise that over 800 entries competed in Rounds 11 and 12 of the 2016/2017 Arctic Cat Nitro Arenacross Tour, presented by Nitro Lubricants. On Friday and Saturday night, the large crowd witnessed local favorites, such as Kevin Moranz, Tanner Moore, Nick Peterson, and Tucker Smith challenge the tour’s points leaders Aaron and Adam Gulley at the popular venue at the Hale Arena.

 

Photo: Ronnie Rayfield

 

250 PRO FRIDAY NIGHT

The heat races appeared to serve as a precursor to the action that would unfold in the main event. Adam Gulley and Kevin Moranz won their perspective heat races. Moranz captured the holeshot, and Adam Gulley was in tow. Points leader, Aaron Gulley, got a terrible start and had a lot of work ahead of him. Devin Reed battled Adam Gulley for second on the first lap and made the pass through the whoops, but Adam claimed the spot back for keeps in the next corner. In a mid-pack battle, Tanner Moore t-boned Chase Pearson, and both riders went down. But the battle to watch was between Aaron Gulley and Brad Deprenger for the fourth. Deprenger ended up winning that battle. With the open track in the lead, Moranz was able to pull away from the rest of the field and claim his second win of the series. Adam Gulley held onto the second position, and Johnny Moore quietly rounded off the podium for third.

“I got the holeshot in the 250 and just ran away with it. I felt good,” said Moranz. “I love the track, Tracy (Freeman) did an amazing job with it. It’s pretty choppy right now, especially in the whoops. The whoops are getting a lot of people. It’s going to be the game breaker tomorrow.”

Top 10 250 Pro Main Event Results – Friday Night
1. Kevin Moranz
2. Adam Gulley
3. Johnny Moore
4. Brad Deprenger
5. Devin Reed
6. Aaron Gulley
7. Tanner Young
8. Travis Eck
9. Logan Kustanborter
10. Chase Pearson

450 PRO FRIDAY NIGHT

From the start, it looked like Moranz was going to pull off the pro main event sweep by grabbing the holeshot. However, Colin Hickman challenged Moranz in the corner after the whoops, sending Moranz wide, off the track. Adam Gulley took advantage and passed Moranz to take over the second spot and wasted no time to pass Hickman for the lead. Though, his lead was short-lived. Adam Gulley washed out his front end in the sweeper turn and seemed to have erased any hope for victory. The lead went back to Moranz, who had just passed Hickman for second. Tanner Young and Aaron Gulley were in the mix as well. Hickman crashed out of the top 10, and the battle was on for second between Young and Aaron Gulley. Gulley won that battle and clawed his way to catch Moranz. Gulley was faster in the whoops and would get close to Moranz in the corner lap after lap, but coming out of the corner, Moranz was clearly faster in double – double section. The only chance for Gulley to make a pass for the lead was in that corner, and he tried. However, Aaron Gulley came in too hot and t-boned Moranz sending both riders to the dirt. That allowed Adam Gulley, Tanner Young, and Johnny Moore to take over the top three positions and that is how they finished. 

“I tried a new line in the sweeper turn on the end and washed the front end out and was like fourth. I got back to third, and Aaron and Kevin got together and gave me the lead back and took it all the way to the end.”

Tanner Moore finished fourth, and Keven Moranz rolled it in for fifth. In the middle of the rhythm section on the last lap, Aaron Gulley’s rear sprocket cracked causing him to crashed hard on a jump on, jump off to put an explanation point on a turbulent night for the points leader.

 

Aaron Gulley came into the corner too hot to avoid the t-bone on Keven Moranz - Photo: Ronnie Rayfield



Top 10 450 Pro Main Event Results – Friday Night
1. Adam Gulley
2. Tanner Young
3. Johnny Moore
4. Tanner Moore
5. Kevin Moranz
6. Travis Eck
7. Logan Kustanborter
8. Nick Peterson
9. Mitchell Gaylord
10. Aaron Gulley

 


250 PRO – SATURDAY NIGHT

Twenty-four hours after winning the 250 Main Event the previous night, Kevin Moranz was back on top and on track to chasing another pro win. In the first heat, local rider, Moranz squared off with the Gulley boys in one of the most exciting battles of the year. Adam Gulley secured the holeshot over Moranz, but at the end of the first lap, Moranz captured the lead. The two swapped the lead spot several times on the opening laps until Moranz seized it from Adam for the last time. Aaron Gulley got into the mix and passed his brother for second midway through the seven-lap heat race. Adam couldn’t hold pace with the leaders and lost ground while Tanner Moore closed the gap on Adam and eventually picked him off. Meanwhile, Moranz held off several of Aaron Gulley’s attacks. In the last corner, Aaron Gulley tried to slip in the inside line, but Moranz powered his KTM for the win.

 

When the gate dropped for the 250 Main Event, it was Kevin Moranz who grabbed the holeshot over Brad Deprenger and Aaron Gulley. Aaron made the pass for second on lap two. From that point the top three cemented hold of their positions to the checkered flag.

“I just got out to a good start; rode my race; made a few mistakes, but regrouped and just pulled away a little bit,” said Moranz.

Top 10 250 Pro Main Results – Saturday Night

1. Kevin Moranz
2. Aaron Gulley
3. Brad Deprenger
4. Adam Gulley
5. Tanner Moore
6. Tucker Smith
7. Connar Troyer
8. Nick Peterson
9. Mitchell Gaylord
10. Travis Eck

Top 10 250 Point Standings
1. Aaron Gulley 317
2. Adam Gulley 298
3. Tanner Young 222
4. Drayke Sizemore 162
5. Tucker Smith 138
6. Addison IV Emory 137
7. Logan Kustanborter 132
8. Kevin Moranz 95
9. Gage Mast 91
10. Johnny Moore 88

450 PRO SATURDAY NIGHT

The 450 Pro Main Event went down much like the 250 Pro; the leaders sealed their positions from start to finish. Adam edged out the holeshot from Aaron. The Gulley boys were running one and two complicated things for Moranz in third. Adam went on to capture his second 450 win of the weekend, fourth 450 win of the season, and the seventh total combined Pro class win. Although Adam gained valuable points on Aaron, Aaron holds onto the points lead in both pro classes.

“The start is pretty much everything here. The track was getting a little technical at the end. The whoops were getting kind of tricky. I just did my best to just keep it up and not make any stupid moves and take it all the way to the win,” said Adam Gulley.

Top 10 450 Pro Main Results – Saturday Night
1. Adam Gulley
2. Aaron Gulley
3. Kevin Moranz
4. Tanner Moore
5. Brad Deprenger
6. Nick Peterson
7. Travis Eck
8. Tucker Smith
9. Alex Malott
10. John Berry

Top 10 450 Point Standings
1. Aaron Gulley 356
2. Adam Gulley 323
3. Tanner Young 210
4. Tucker Smith 160
5. Addison Emory IV 156
6. Drayke Sizemore 144
7. Logan Kustanborter 129
8. Justin Kelley 76
9. Johnny Moore 74
10. Kevin Moranz 67

UTV NATIONALS

Round 1 of the Arctic Cat UTV Nationals took place last weekend. The competition was fierce, but the track was more cutthroat for the UTVs. Bryce Cory of Kansas City, MO grabbed the holeshot and tamed the angry track for the win. Cory held off attacks from Michael Zinerich who flipped his UTV through the double-double section, but he was still in contention because he landed on all fours. Then on the last lap, Zinerich rolled the UTV on its side during a desperate pass attempt for the lead which let Cory roll it in for the victory.

“It was the first time ever trying this; here just trying to try something different,” said Cory. “The track really wasn’t set up for UTVs so we just kind of had to go with it. It was fun, and we went out there and had fun.”

Michael Zinerich flipping through the doubles during the UTV Nationals Saturday night.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Photo: Ronnie Rayfield

Merrill Crose notched his first victory in the ATV Pro class in his first race of the season. After overcoming problems, Crose finished fourth in the heat race. In the main, Crose grabbed the holeshot and checked out with a huge lead.

 

Photo: Ronnie Rayfield

Hunter Day triumphed over ten other quads that lined up for the ATV Amateur B class. After a second-place start, Day passed Caden Colin for the lead on the first lap and drove his ATV to the checkered flag.

 

Jamison “Wild” Hindman won his first race of the 2016/2017 Nitro Arenacross Tour season on Friday night in the 50cc 4-6 class. If Hindman can get better starts, there is no doubt more wins will be in his “wild” future.

 

Carter Ingerson of Tonganoxie, KS cleaned up three wins over the weekend in the 50cc classes. The number 111 has twelve podiums this season, eight of them are wins.

 

Kyler Hatch racked up two wins out of three classes. Hatch earned wins in the 50cc 7-9 and 50cc Outlaw classes. Only Seth Mahlstedt could stop Hatch in the 65cc 7-9 class.

 

65cc 10-12 points leader, Ryder Lenhart, added a pair of wins in that class to give himself five total for the season.

Lindsay Johnson swept the Women class both nights. Her biggest battle she said was with the track, but Lindsay crushed it.

 

Nitro Lubricants “Most Promising Rider Award” – Clayton Dalton

 

FMF “Most Promising Rider Award” – Alexander Rudd

 

The next gate drop will be on January 27 and 28, 2017, at the Mesquite Rodeo Arena in Mesquite, Texas. 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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