Race Report: U.S. Open Day Two

The second and final night of the 2007 Rockstar Energy Drink U.S. Open welcomed a large crowd to the MGM Grand Garden Arena Saturday night. The first night saw Chad Reed win, well, everything. He took the Toyota Superpole for $10K; he won his heat easily, and he won the main event for the main purse of the night. But Saturday was a different night…right?

After the familiar spectacle of opening ceremonies that only Vegas can truly offer, the racing got underway. If you didn’t read yesterday’s Race Report, the Open consists of 3 heats with top 3 advancing to the main, 3 semis with winner advancing, and a short LCQ with top 2 advancing. Also, for the first time 250s and 450s race together in a true open format.

Heat 1
Jason Thomas, aboard the DNA Energy Drink/BTO Sports Honda, blasted the holeshot and lead for two laps. By lap 3, however, Andrew Short passed three riders to take over the lead. Once he had the lead, he checked out, leaving Jason Thomas and Heath Voss to battle. Meanwhile, Josh Demuth came out of nowhere and passed the two during their battle. By the end, Short, Demuth, and Voss qualified for the main.

1. Andrew Short
2. Josh Demuth
3. Heath Voss
4. Jason Thomas
5. Justin Brayton
6. Bryan Johnson
7. Ryan Clark
8. Leighton Lillie
9. Jacob Marsack
10. Joe Oehlhof

Heat 2
Billy Laninovich ripped the holeshot in Heat 2 on his new MDK/KTM SX250F, beating out every 450cc in the field. He commanded the first lap, but was overtaken by Chad Reed. The always friendly Tim Ferry chased down Laninovich and but the block pass on him. Flustered, Billy L. tagged the wall in the tunnel, ending his race early. Reed eventually checked out and took another win. Timmy Ferry capitalized on his pass and held on for second. The Idaho native, Jake Weimer rounded out the qualifiers with a third place finish.

11. Chad Reed
12. Tim Ferry
13. Jake Weimer
14. Jeff Alessi
15. Cole Siebler
16. Kevin Johnson
17. Brock Sellards
18. Thomas Hofmaster
19. Tyler Medaglia
20. Kyle Tobin

Heat 3
Heat 3 brought a lot of action for the fans. Michael Byrne held on for the holeshot with Mike Alessi and Branden Jesseman making chase. The Australian Supercross champion, Dan Reardon, and Grant Langston followed closely behind the 3 Suzukis. Alessi and Byrne battled in Lap 3, with Alessi coming out on top. GL wasted no time reeling in the top 3, Reardon on his tail. Reardon attempted to pass, unnerving GL, so the outdoor champion slowed down to bump Reardon, which got the crowd going.

1. Mike Alessi
2. Michael Byrne
3. Grant Langston
4. Dan Reardon
5. Branden Jesseman
6. Chris Blose
7. Tyler Bowers
8. Jeff Gibson
9. Jim Neese
10. Kyle Cunningham

The gloves came off in the semis. Nasty block passes, bumping, and carnage filled each moto. Reardon took an opportunity for the win, Jeff Gibson took out Jeff Alessi in the final turn and was bombarded with boos from the crowds after Cole Siebler cartwheeled and face-planted into the dirt.
In the first semi, MDK/KTM’s Justin Brayton took the victory and assured himself a spot in the main event. In the second semi, Dan Reardon kept it interesting by making a vicious block pass on Branden Jesseman in the second-to-last turn of the moto to take the victory. Jeff Gibson shook things up in the final semi by putting Jeff Alessi into the tuff blocks and out of the race. He won the race, but did not win the crowd.

Semi 1 (top 5)
1. Justin Brayton
2. Jason Thomas
3. Eric Sorby
4. Thomas Hofmaster
5. Brock Sellards

Semi 2 (top 5)
1. Dan Reardon
2. Branden Jesseman
3. Chris Blose
4. Ryan Clark
5. Jacob Marsack

Semi 3 (top 5)
1. Jeff Gibson
2. Kevin Johnson
3. Jim Neese
4. Joe Oehlhof
5. Tyler Bowers

DNA Energy Drink/BTO Sports teammates Jason Thomas and Bryan Johnson tookk the checkered flags in their respective LCQ’s, and the final spots in the main.

Main Event
So was it a different night??? Heck yes! The only first-turn pile of the weekend kept the heavy hitters from grabbing the main event checker. Timmy Ferry, Chad Reed, Grant Langston, and Andrew Short all went down leaving the Progressive Direct Holeshot open for Jake Weimer. He took it and did not look back. He flew out in front of the flock for the duration of the race with Josh Demuth behind him. Mike Alessi made his way through the crowd after a bad start and finished 3rd. Meanwhile, Reed, GL, and Short weaved their way through the pack with Ferry in last place. Chad Reed battled but could not keep it going. He ended up going down a second and third time. Grant Langston raced back to a solid 5th place and unexpectedly took the overall U.S. Open victory. No one knew for sure until the crowd built around the podium.
The drama ensued at the finish when Reed and Timmy Ferry got in each other’s faces about the first turn pile-up. Pushing and yelling drew a crowd of mechanics and other racers to break it up. Ferry stormed off, throwing his gloves at Chad. It was a bitter end to a momentous start for Reed. His bad start and continued bad luck throughout the moto kept him from the overall win. Instead, the current Outdoor National Champion, Grant Langston gathered enough points during the weekend to win the big money. So after GL helped pull Tim Ferry away from the scuffel, he graciously celebrated his surprise overall victory.Stay tuned for more on Monday Kickstart.

RESULTS (top 5)
1. Jake Weimer
2. Josh Demuth
3. Mike Alessi
4. Dan Reardon
5. Grant Langston

OVERALL1. Grant Langston
2. Chad Reed
3. Josh Demuth