OMA Nationals/Round 7

Paul Whibley shouts out what he’ll need at the next pit to his wife/pit boss Katherine. They’ve been doing this long enough that she understands; we believe he said something about goggles.


 In a re-run of the round six, FMF/AmPro Yamaha’s Paul Whibley gave up the start and early lead to Russell Bobbitt of the FMF/KTM Factory Off-Road Racing Team, but it didn’t take long for a very familiar script to play out: Whibley went to the front and left everyone else fighting for the lesser places on the podium, and once again Bobbitt earned the runner-up spot with Husaberg’s Nick Fahringer claiming third.

Russell Bobbitt (127) edged Whibley for the $100 FMF Holeshot Award, the second consecutive round he’s managed to pull that off. After leading for almost two laps, he was unable to hold off Whibley’s attack and settled for second, the fourth time he’s done that to date. It also gave him sole ownership of second in points.

            Bobbitt earned his second consecutive $100 FMF Holeshot Award, saying, “I wanted to get out front and see if I could just get going away a little bit.”

            Indeed, Bobbitt owned a six-second gap over Whibley as they completed the first lap of the Sidi High Wire Cross-country National at the Reynolds Family Farm in Medora, Indiana. “I was riding all the new, virgin stuff really well and came in pushing hard,” Bobbitt shared.

            But Whibley grew tired of following and blew by with a move around the outside of a grassy turn as they headed towards the end of the second lap. Bobbitt refused to concede the lead easily and stayed close for a couple laps.

            However, as has happened so many times this season–and last–Whibley simply ground down his competition. While Bobbitt clicked off consistent laps in the 11-minute and 30-second to 11:40 range, Whibley completed his circuits generally about five seconds quicker, and he really surged on lap seven of the 11 that the top four finishers managed when he banged out an 11:19.

            “Once [I] got a little bit of a gap, it sort of grew and grew and grew again so it was a good day,” Whibley said.

            Fahringer had a good start as well, though he dropped to fourth behind the two leaders and Whibley’s Yamaha teammate Jordan Ashburn. When Ashburn dropped out after six laps, Fahringer got rolling, though “Whibs” and Bobbitt were out of reach.

We’re not sure if the fruity drink he had at dinner the night before had anything to do with it, but Nick Fahringer got a good start, held second for a while and ended up third–the fourth time this season he’s done that. He’s four points back of Bobbitt now with three rounds left.

            Local racer Jeff Cregg took advantage of a break in his schedule and proximity to home to make his first OMA start a great one. Ironically, though he’d been racing ex-Whibley Yamahas the past two years, he won 30-39 A aboard his recently purchased KTM 300 XC and was the last man to complete 11 laps.

Local rider Jeff Cregg showed up and put the hurt to all the other A riders, winning 30-39 A and finishing fourth overall. He was the last man to stay on the lead lap, completing 11 tours of the relatively short, hilly course.

            Shane Klimek took fourth Pro and fifth overall aboard his private RM250 followed by 30-39 A runner-up Steve Leivan. Daniel Janus came back from a couple soil samples to make a crucial last-lap pass for the Lite A win and seventh overall, five seconds ahead of Marty Michels. New homeowner Derek Spangler ended up second Lite A and ninth overall ahead of Indiana’s Jake Fiddler.

            Whibley now has run his win streak to a perfect seven out of seven this season and when you add the rounds he won last year (from two to 10), he’s got 16 in a row. Sweet, he’d say. His competitors might not feel so, and they’ve got a big job ahead if they want to beat him at one race, much less over a season.

Open A points leader Spencer Burke picked up his third class victory to date, easily keeping him atop the points in class.

 Daniel Janus had to really work for the Lite A win. He’d work into the lead then fall, get back up there then fall again. On the final lap, he chased down former class champ and perennial rival Derek Spangler (who was making his first start of the year) to secure the victory and seventh overall; ‘Spanky’ settled for second in class and ninth overall.


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