August 15, 2009
The track in Oklahoma had a bigger layout then all the other EX races. It looked like it was going to be an easier track, but once we got out there and started to ride it really wasn’t. Right after practice we had our hot lap for gate pick (one rider goes out on the track at a time). I made a couple small mistakes, but still was able to put in the 7th fastest time.
In my first heat, I always seem to get a lot of great riders. I had a pretty good start and was in 4th after the first corner. Not far into the first lap, Josh Demuth made a mistake in the rock section and I was able to get by. Just ahead of me was Mike Brown and Damon Huffman was in the lead. The three of us built up a pretty good gap on everyone by the finish, but they only took the top two (I was about 5-seconds back from Mike in 3rd).
Now I had to race the semi and I knew it was going to be tough, because they only take the winner to the main. I got and ok start, but was able to get into the lead before the first lap was over. I built up a small lead and then the bike just stalled on me. I got it started, but lost my lead on the next lap when it stalled going up a log and put me on the ground. Things weren’t looking good at this point. I barely hung on to finish 5th and was off to the LCQ. Right after the race, the Kawasaki guys drained the carb and realized I had water in it (there was a big water section on the course).
I really wasn’t excited to be racing the LCQ and the humidity here was really starting to catch up to me. I had a pretty good start again and was in 4th. After the first lap, I was able to get by Demuth and was right on Patrick Smage. With two laps to go, I made the pass on Patrick and took the lead. I was able to take the win when the checkered flag came out (Patrick was right behind me for second).
I was super happy to make the main event again, but I truly was beat before the gate even dropped. It was less than 10-minutes since my LCQ and my heart rate was still pretty high. Considering I didn’t have a great gate pick, I was excited when I found myself in fifth after the first corner. My goal was to just ride a good pace and stay up. I knew I was lacking enough energy to really try and ride hard. Then the next couple laps I found myself in 3rd or 4th after some riders had issues with the matrix section and went down. I was pumped and just kept doing what I was doing. A couple riders got by me since they were really pushing it. There was actually a pretty big pack of riders that I was in (from 2nd to 7th place) and we were all pretty close together. Taddy was putting in a great ride up front, and checked out from all of us. I really wanted to get a top 5, and it was looking good with two laps to go. Then in the matrix section I stalled it and lost a few spots. I was so beat trying to get it started and when I finally did I just tried to stay where I was. I ended up finishing 9th ,but was really hoping to be higher up in the main event.
Once again I was really happy with my speed and excited to make it into the main event, but I was lacking some energy once I got there. I had to spend a lot of time on the track and finally made it through after the LCQ win.
Main Event Results:
1. Taddy Blazusiak KTM
2. Damon Huffman Monster Energy Kawasaki
3. Cory Graffunder Husqvarna
4. Geoff Aaron Christini/KTM
5. Colton Haaker Kawasaki
6. Mike Brown KTM
7. Kyle Redmund Yamaha
8. Nick Brozovich Honda
9. Destry Abbott Monster Energy Kawasaki
10. Patrick Smage KTM
11. Jamie Lanza Kawasaki
The big news this weekend was when Ricky Dietrich (last years champion) messed up his foot on his hot lap. He went to the hospital right afterwards (thought it was broke) but luckily it wasn’t. He wasn’t able to race but should be good in a couple weeks.
This was the last Endurocross race I get to do until the final in Vegas (November 21st). I have a couple AMA H&H’s that have conflicting dates.
It was really cool seeing some of Oklahoma’s top riders checking out the race (Guy Cooper, Kenny Bartram, and Trey Canard). I talked to Trey for a little bit and he’s really a great kid (and an awesome rider).
I didn’t make it to Oklahoma last year, but I did the year before. This year’s attendance was almost sold out and was way better then the last time I was here. It’s really cool to see the EX races filling up the stadium!
Jonny Weisman (my normal mechanic) wasn’t able to make the trip since this event wasn’t on our schedule. I had Craig Adams and Matt Leach wrench for me at the race and they were both a huge help. Thanks guys!
Last week Jacob Argubright and I spent some time training here in Arizona. Jacob is really picking it up and if he keeps riding like he is, he’s going to look out for (H&H’s and Endurocross’s).
I have the next few weeks off and then I have my ISDE fundraiser here in Arizona. I’m also going to be posting my new t-shirts up on my site this week. Be sure to check them out J
I attached some photos from Ryan Sanders. Thanks Ryan!
2009 Sponsors: Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing, Thor, Dunlop, GPR stabilizers, Shoei, Pro Circuit, Stephen Gall Training, SIDI, IMS, Zip-Ty, HoyFox.com, Motion Pro, BRP, Braking, Works Connection, Concept2, CTI2, Maxima, Kicker, OGIO, Dragonfireracing.com, Steahly, RK/Excel, Renthal, Bent, Hinson, Jonre Multimedia, Steahly, Scott, Cyto Sport, N-Style, UNI, Parkway Chiropractic, Acerbis, Tire-Balls, and ZLT.