Photos by Brad Bentley
Las Vegas, Nevada.
November 17, 2007
Since I haven’t made a main event the last two years in Vegas, I had to ride Friday’s qualifiers. I really think this was a good thing for me. The track wasn’t as tough as Saturday’s event, but it still gave me some time to get a few sections figured out. I made it into Friday’s main event for both the 4-stroke class and the Vet class. I was able to take the main event win in the 4-stroke class and win a pretty cool EnduroX trophy. The Vet class was right after that, and I was pretty pumped to already win a class so I decided to sit it out and watch. Later that night we had 40 guys left (started with 200 racers) and they still had to get it down to 10 riders that would race on Saturday. I was able to get out of my semi and earn a spot into Saturday’s show. Later that night, they had a $1000 race event with the 10 riders that qualified for Saturday night’s show. I had a decent start, but made a few mistakes and was probably around 3rd. In one of the rocky corners I tried to go a little more inside, but high-sided on a rock and went down. I lost a few spots before I could get going, but I was able to make up most of them before the finish. I really don’t know where I finished, but I was happy to be in Saturday’s show.
Around 2:30 we had a timed lap for our gate pick. We only got one lap to go as fast as you could and it would determine your gate pick and what heat you would be in. When it was my turn to go I went out hard, but I was trying too hard and making mistakes. I finished 14th fastest (out of 36 guys), but I knew I should’ve done a lot better. This put me in the second heat; which later I saw was stacked. I definitely had some of the fastest guys in my heat (Knight, Ty Davis, Jamie Lanza, Nick Brozovich, and Damon Huffman to just name a few). In the first heat, they would only take two guys to the main. When the gate dropped I had a good jump, but got pinched out right away. I came out around 3rd in the first corner (12-riders in each heat) and made a big bobble on the second log and went sideways right into my teammate (Jamie Lanza) and took him out. Out of all the guys in my race, he was the last guy I would do that to and I felt really bad. When we hit, I lost a few more spots and was around 5th now. Knight was leading, and already putting some time on us since we had a little bottleneck on the rock hill. I made another pass just after that, and got into a nice groove. I was riding a clean pace and before I knew it, I was in 2nd and in qualifying position. With two laps to go, I could see Ty behind me and knew if I didn’t make any mistakes I was good. Then before the start straightaway, I had a lapper mess up in front of me and I had to back up and lost some valuable time. I was still able to hold onto second and make it into the main event!
Main Event Time!
I was feeling really good and I knew I had a shot at being up front (top 3 or 5). The gate dropped and I had another good start (thanks to the KLX450). I thought I was going to be first or second, but when I was making the turn someone nailed my back tire and messed me up for the first log. I was still ok, but then someone landed on me after the second log and I was lucky to still have a left arm after that. I’m not sure what he hit me with, but my left arm just about got ripped off and my hand had a huge blood blister bubble where he hit me. I was surprised how wild things were right away! Now I wasn’t in a great position and was somewhere around 8th. I started to push it too hard and made some mistakes again. I told myself to just relax and that’s really the only way to ride this event. I finally got into a groove again and made a pass, and saw I was catching the pack in front of me. Before I knew it the white flag was out and I was in 7th place. I still made time up on Geoff and finished about a bike length behind him. Then he was right behind Nick who finished 5th. Hopefully next year they’ll make the main event 10 to 12 laps long.
I have to say this was one of the best times I’ve had this year. It’s been a long year and luck wasn’t on my side at a lot of my races, but it was sure nice to end it on a good note. I felt my speed has been great this year and at least I got to show some of that Saturday night. I would’ve liked to do a little better in the main event, but I’m not going to complain. I’m really confident about next year and we’ve got the new KLX pretty dialed now!
1. Taddy Blazusiak
2. David Knight
3. Mika Ahola
4. Colton Haake
5. Nick Brozovich
6. Geoff Aaron
7. Destry Abbott
8. Damon Huffman
9. Mike Lafferty
10. Nathan Kanney
If you didn’t make it to the EnduroX, you’re definitely missing the best motorcycle racing out there. I know I talked to a lot of people that have never been and they couldn’t believe how good it was. I saw a lot of SX riders up in the stands watching, which was pretty cool.
I was really hoping to see David win the 50 grand, (that’s if I didn’t win) but that Taddy guy is pretty talented. I know there was a lot going on behind the scenes that people didn’t see and understand. I’d still put my money on David to beat Taddy next time.
One of the best races of the night was the LCQ where a trials guy was going to win, but Dowd put a wheel into him on the last corner. While they were trying to get unstuck Huffman went by to take the win and the last spot into the main.
One thing about this race is you never know what’s going to happen. I know there were a lot of great riders that raced and a lot of them for the first time that didn’t make the main event.
I have to give a huge thanks to everyone that was cheering me on. I really can’t tell you how much it meant to me to have so many people pulling for me. Thanks!!!
I’m really looking forward to some time off and a chance to regroup for next year. I have off until January 20th where the WORCS series will kick off here in Arizona (Speedworld.) I know I’ll be ready for it!!!
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