OMA Winter Nationals- Round three



Parts Unlimited Off-road Motorcycle and ATV Winter Nationals, Round 3: Sidi Indian Bluff Cross-country Winter National


Phelps gets talked into first at snowy Kentucky OMA Winter National


By Mark Kariya


Even after stopping to help a competitor stuck in a mud hole and losing the lead, Dillon Phelps rallied back to win not only Lite A but take the $100 bonus for being the first A overall. Oh yeah, he also overalled the race, held in chilly, snowy conditions.

Dillon Phelps had plans for the day and they didn’t include racing the Sidi Indian Bluff Cross-country Winter National at Royal ATV Trails near Millertown, Kentucky, round three of the Parts Unlimited Off-road Motorcycle and ATV Winter Nationals.

Kyleer Vance captured Open A and even held the lead for a lap. Not bad for someone who’s been racing just two years, though as a former college baseball player, he has athletic skills and conditioning.

            But after good friend Alan Westerfield chided and cajoled and shamed him into it at dinner the night before, Phelps agreed to show up, especially since Westerfield sealed the deal by offering to pay his entry fee. (“Big Al” declined to ride this one due to being out of shape and unable to handle the cold any more.)

            Twenty-four hours later, Phelps was glad he decided to race. He not only won Lite A, he was the first A overall (worth $100) and actually won the race overall.

            “To tell you the truth, I wasn’t really trying that hard [at first],” he insisted. “As I got more into the race, I started getting more serious about it.”

            Indeed. Though he got the holeshot and led the first two laps, he knew that Barry Heath Racing’s Michael Williams, the only Pro who dared travel to the event, was making up ground fast after being last off the line. By the end of the first lap, Williams was second on his KX250F, about 44 seconds behind the Phelps’ Pro Action KTM 200 XC. A lap later, Williams had cut that in half and by the next lap he had the lead.

            But it was short-lived.


No, Nathan Thornhill didn’t save this, but he wasn’t the only one to do this either. Nonetheless, he recovered, rebounded and restarted, eventually finishing third overall, second Open A.

  Williams got stuck once in a mud hole and Phelps stopped to help him out, knowing they were in different classes. While doing so, Kyleer Vance on his Hall’s Cycle Husqvarna WR250 motored by so Phelps and Williams both took off in pursuit, managing to repass before too long.

            That wasn’t the last time Williams would get stuck, though.

            “I guess [with] about two laps to go, I went down into a [mud] hole–it didn’t look bad–and I was stuck there for the rest of the race,” he reported. “The whole race [before then] I’d been taking the same line, just remembering it and everything. I came around this lap and it looked a little different because it had water standing in it, but both sides had water standing in it so I didn’t think anything of it and went through it and I was just buried.”

            This time, he was there to stay–at least until after the race when Westerfield and others rescued him with a 4WD ATV and a sturdy tow strap.

            Though Vance led through the scoring chute on lap four, he bobbled in a slick rocky section not long afterward and surrendered the spot to Phelps, who said, “Once I got around him that last time, I kind of tried not to make any more mistakes because I think that’s where all the passes were made [today].”

See, even Michael Williams–who earned $100 for setting the fastest lap (not this one)–wasn’t immune from the occasional slip. A seemingly bottomless mud hole would later prove to be his undoing.

            Vance would ultimately finish second overall and first Open A, about 35 seconds behind Phelps and almost nine minutes ahead of Nathan Thornhill, who earned second Open A aboard his Hard Core Racing KTM 250 XC after attended the GNCC banquet the night before in West Virginia and traveling most of the night to make the race. The top three completed five laps on a day when the snow never stopped falling and seemed to come down heavier as the afternoon wore on, making for chilly, sloppy conditions in some parts.

            Harvey Whitaker took his Husaberg FE 450 to fourth overall and the 40-49 A victory followed by Lite A runner-up Duell Murphy aboard his Lake City KX250F.


Alan Westerfield (left) and Eric Ingram (right) make sure Dillon Phelps’ hands are ready for what turned out to be his holeshot.

Comments are closed.