The 19th annual 24 Hours of Glen Helen is done and there are about 200 riders who will be sleeping in. This year the race course was especially physical because of a storm that brought over an inch of rain to Glen Helen Raceway prior to the start. That meant there was no dust, but the speeds were up and the course was rough. Much of the National motocross track was flooded and had to be bypassed. The REM course and the Lucas Oil Truck course still had plenty of mud and standing water for the riders to contend with.
The Chaparral Kawasaki/Precision Concepts team of Justin Seeds, Blayne Thompson, Michael Del Fante and Clay Hengeveld held the lead for the entire duration of the race. Seeds got the start and despite some down time at night, never surrendered the top spot. In the early laps of the race, the Santiago Creel team with Brandon Brieto, Massimo Mangini, Mitch Anderson and Troy Vanscourt kept their KTM within striking distance, but when darkness came, they spent almost two full laps working on the bike. That gave second overall to the STI team of Brandon Peterson, Jake Argubright and Nic Garvin. They were reinforced in the night by the arrival of Colton Udall and Ian Young. J. Schultz and his Baja Bound team of Adam Chapman, Ryan Liebelt, Andrew Puckett and Rowan Trefz had a consistent ride through the night to win the 30 Expert class and finish third overall.
Ty Davis spearheaded the 24 Hour Junior Challenge this year to promote interest in youth racing. As a result, there were 20 kids competing this year. Ty organized a chase team so that help would never be far away if any of the kids were stranded in the far reaches of the Glen Helen trail system–riders like current WORCS number one plate holder Gary Sutherlin rode throughout the night to look after the kids.
The mini teams were so well organized they had very little down time and at several times worked their way up into the top 10 overall. In the end, the Zip-Ty Kawasaki Supermini team of Connor Eddy, Cody Simpson, Clayton Roberts, Mikayla (“Kay-Kay”) Nielsen and Talan Van Valkenburg finished 12th overall. The real battle of the day was between the Zip-Ty Yamaha 85 team (Tristun Alvarez, Max Esquivel, Kyle Heald, Terry Pierce and Ryder Garcia) and the Yamaha 65 team (Dustyn Davis, Jett Lessing, Caleb Tate, Ries Seeba and Brennen Watson). For much of the race, the 65 team was in front, but the 85 riders made a determined push in the early morning hours to catch up and take the lead. The Chidester Transport Racing Supermini Team of Bradley East, Kayden Lynn, Max Shapiro McKane Tolley and Lane Forbes also finished with 37 laps.
The tough guys of the field were in the Ironman class. Stephan Pangburn was the winner after taking the lead four hours into the race from Mowglie Gutierrez. Pangburn didn’t really take a break until the early hours of the morning, when he sat down for about an hour and a half. He still won by over five laps over Carrie Barton and Jacob Michna. For full results, go to www.glenhelen.com.