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Race Report: Texans Win Podium Sweep Saturday Night at Mesquite Arenacross

Texans Win Podium Sweep Saturday Night at Mesquite Arena

Mesquite, Texas – The Mesquite Arena may need a pair of brooms on Sunday after John Short and Brady Kiesel completed the pro class sweep by winning Saturday’s 250 and 450 Pro classes.

Some familiar faces and newcomers claimed wins during rounds 13 and 14 of the Arctic Cat Nitro Arenacross Tour, presented by Nitro Lubricants. On Friday night, Short took the checkered flag twice in the 250 Pro by winning the heat and main. Kiesel did the same in the 450 Pro. Those two wins added two new winners of the season in the pro classes.

250 PRO

On Friday night, John Short beat out local, Brandon Glenn, and Nitro Arenacross Tour’s first timer, Wyatt Fontenot to the finish.  After winning the heat on Saturday night, Short was just one race from perfection in the 250 Pro class.

Josh Hernandez of Andrews, TX grabbed the holeshot, but his lead was short-lived. John Short hustled his way past three riders to take over the lead at the beginning of lap two. Once he got the lead, the battle for second was in dispute between Logan Kustanborter and Brandon Glenn. Kustanborter was on course to his first podium of the season until the two tangled up in a corner. By no means was it a hard hit by Glenn, but when they came together, Kustanborter’s foot peg snagged Glenn’s front wheel causing both riders to go down and roadblock any possibility for a podium spot. Josh Hernandez and Blake Neiheiser inherited those podium positions. Neiheiser passed Hernandez on the next lap to secure the second spot.  With a substantial lead, Short saw the checkered flag waving first in front of his Texas fans.

“Really no one contested me; I think there was some carnage behind me. I just put my head forward and road a smooth clean and tried to be safe. It feels good to come out of here safe; I really just wanted to race for some gate drops and for some experience.” -Short. 



250 Pro Top 5 Results

  1. John Short
  2. Blake Neiheiser
  3. Josh Hernandez
  4. Nick Peterson
  5. Aaron Smith

250 Pro Top 10 Point Standings

  1. Aaron Gulley
  2. Adam Gulley
  3. Tanner Young
  4. Logan Kustanborter
  5. Drayke Sizemore
  6. Tucker Smith
  7. Addison IV Emory
  8. John Short
  9. Kevin Moranz
  10. Gage Mast


450 PRO

The Friday night crowd saw Brady Kiesel top John Short and Nick Peterson for the win. After winning the heat race on Saturday, Kiesel was one win away from sweeping the 450 Pro class for the weekend.

On Saturday, the 450 Pro main got off to a messy start. Kiesel grabbed the holeshot and was on his way to the perfect weekend in the 450 class. Short was in second going through the whoops section until Brandon Glenn overtook him in the corner. At the end of lap 1, Kiesel grabbed a handful of throttle coming out of the corner, lost control of the bike and fell into Glenn's line. Hernandez got caught up in the wreckage too while the rest of the field could get away. Short received the lead, but on the same lap, he washed out his front end in the sweeper and gave it up to Aaron Smith. Meanwhile, Kiesel already worked his way back to third at this point, now found himself in second and back in contention for the sweep. After three laps, Kiesel made an aggressive pass on Smith and was back out front. Glenn also was on the move and worked his way up to third, and Kustanborter was in the fourth spot. Kustanborter gave Glenn a little taste of his own medicine in the same corner, but both riders came out unscathed. At this time, Short was in last. Glenn past Smith on the next lap to claim the second spot while Kustanborter dropped off the pace a bit. With three laps to go, Short worked his way up to fifth and passed Smith and Neiheiser while they were battling for the last podium spot. When the white flag came out, Kiesel had about a three to a four-second gap on Glenn and took the checkers four out of four times in the 450 Pro class during the weekend.

“The track conditions were treacherous, they were so slick. There were little tiny holes everywhere that would grab your front wheel. The sections were technical too, so it made for some great racing in the pro class. It was tough; it was fun.” -Glenn


450 Pro Top 5 Results

  1. Brady Kiesel
  2. Brendon Glenn
  3. John Short
  4. Aaron Smith
  5. Blake Neiheiser

Top 10 450 Point Standings

  1. Aaron Gulley 356
  2. Adam Gulley 323
  3. Tanner Young 234
  4. Logan Kustanborter 173
  5. Tucker Smith 160
  6. Addison Emory IV 156
  7. Drayke Sizemore 144
  8. John Short 104
  9. Brady Keisel 90
  10. Nick Peterson 84




Photo: Kurt Schellenberger

Billy Champion eluded the first turn crash and secured the win from the start. All eyes were on the battle for second between Todd Williams and Nash Garvey. Garvey had the advantage of a tight course but cracked the door open for Williams to squeeze his UTV through for second in the sweeper turn. 



Jeffrey Rastrelli (728) was the first one out of the gate and the first to get to the checkered flag at the Mequite Rodeo Arena. After winning the heat race, Ronnie Higgerson (665) earned the second spot on the podium and Westley Wolfe (741) finished third.



Photo: Kurt Schellenberger

The Nitro Arenacross Tour’s “Two-Minute Preacher,” Bryan Jackson set two world records Friday night during the intermission stunt show. For the first time, Jackson front rolled a three-wheeler three times in 100 feet, nonstop. Then Jackson successfully attempted a trick on two-wheels by turning around and riding backward and back forward again in 100 feet, nonstop on a dirt bike. The record-breaking stunts are a part of the Doug Domokos “Wheelie King” Tribute Tour that Jackson has put together.


Photo: Ronnie Rayfield

Hunter Angell increased his points lead for the entire series over Brendon Grey in the 250 Novice class. On Saturday night, while Angell grabbed the holeshot and checked out, Gray got a terrible start but minimized the damage by passing his way up to third behind Jaylend McCarthy.


Photo: Ronnie Rayfield

Alexander Rudd prospered from the 9.5-hour journey from Festus, MO by taking three main event wins on the most challenging track of the season. In the Intermediate and Collegeboy classes, Rudd won without having to make any passes. Rudd only saw the rear fender of lappers in the main events.


Photo: Ronnie Rayfield

From nearby Decatur, TX, Aiden Benson did not have to travel far to claim four main event wins over the weekend. Benson is the points leader in the 50cc 7-9 and 50cc Outlaw classes of the South Region.


Photo: Ronnie Rayfield

In the Mini ATV Advance class, Bryce Ford of Springtown, TX aired his machine like a pro and awed the fans by jumping the finish line triple. Though, he crashed on it once. Favorably, it was when Ford took the checkered flag. Luckily, he came out unscathed to enjoy the win.


Photo: Ronnie Rayfield

Brock Walker raced the Nitro Arenacross Tour for the first time ever and stole three wins from the series’ regulars in the 85cc 7-11 and Supermini classes.


Photo: Ronnie Rayfield

Collin Allen returned to the tour in Mesquite and grabbed two wins in the 65cc 10-12 class.


Photo: Ronnie Rayfield

Local ripper, Branden Walther (68) clutched a win from Supermini point leaders, Brayden Mahlstedt and Ethan Kidd on Saturday night.


The next gate drop will be on February 10 and 11, 2017, at the Hartman Arena in Wichita, Kansas. 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.


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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