Wonder Warthog Racing and their army of privateers stormed into Daytona last weekend, and five of them made the night show:
- Zach Ames (Lites)
- Antonio Balbi (SX)
- Dave Ginolfi (Lites)
- Jacob Saylor (SX)
- Kyle Tobin (Lites)
Both Tobin and Saylor went on to make their second main event appearances this season. Tobin finished 16th in the main event, and now sits 20th in the Supercross Lites East standings. Jacob Saylor piloted his MDK Speed/DrD/Enzo-built Yamaha YZ450F to a 17th place finish in the Supercross main event.
In a press release earlier this week, WWR’s Chief Altruistic Officer, Scott Kandel, commented, “Our riders are doing great this year. We’ve had nine guys make a total of 21 main events and we couldn’t be more pleased.”
Earlier this week we talked with Jacob Saylor about his Daytona performance, the season overall, and his plans for the upcoming Outdoor Nationals…
TWMX: It’s nice to talk with you, Jacob. Why don’t you start by telling us how things went in Daytona…
Jacob Saylor: First practice was good. I learned the track fast, and really enjoyed it, even though it was hard to pass. Because of my amateur career I feel pretty comfortable on outdoor-style tracks, so coming to Daytona I was looking forward to the track. Because it was one-lined I knew I would need to get a really good start in the heat race, and luckily I was up near the top five at the start and ran there for a good while. I ended up finishing eighth and made the main, which was a big relief off my shoulders. It’s only my second main of the year and I had missed some by one or two, so I was super pumped. The whole team knows I’m working hard, so when they see me ride to my potential and it pays off like that it feels really good.
Watching the track on TV it looked tough, but a few guys we’ve talked to say they liked it. What did you like more about this track, compared to a more typical Supercross track?
I like the different style of dirt, and the layout was interesting. It had sections where it was hard to pass, but the track being so brutal meant that riding smooth really paid off. It’s so much different than a typical Supercross; it’s just refreshing.
How did things go once you got into the main?
Man I wanted to bust out of there good, but I knew it was going to be tough physically for me since I really haven’t been in a 20-lap race mode for a while now. But I turned my fastest lap time in the main and felt like I rode really well. A bad start kind of held me back and then when I got lapped I moved over a little too much and let Jason Thomas by as the leaders were coming through. But it’s okay, I was glad to be there and happy with the way I rode.
This was your second main event so far this year. How do you feel about how the season has gone?
I’m not happy with the way things have been going. I started off on a bad note when I had a concussion and bruised my AC joint at Anaheim 1. That set me back until the third round, and I just felt like I wasn’t on pace and in race mode; I wasn’t making smart decisions when the gate dropped. I think it was as much a mental thing, because I know I’m capable of making mains and battling for the top ten, but it took a while to get going. Now it’s a little over half way through the season and I just need to keep this momentum going. I feel I’ve gotten through the mental thing and I just need to ride like I know how and keep making mains.
How have you enjoyed being a part of the Wonder Warthog team?
It’s fun, and it’s a great atmosphere! The team works really hard, and I appreciate everything they’re doing for me. I get along with everyone on the team and I love the atmosphere. It helps me when I show up for the race because I know that I can just ffocus on my job and they take care of everything else.
Do you have any plans for the Outdoors?
I really want to do the Outdoors, but the team isn’t doing them, so it’s kind of up in the air. Hopefully I can post up some good results and something will come my way. My game plan is to keep riding hard and hopefully something will come up. I like the Outdoors; I won a Four-Stroke National title, so I think I’m more than capable of performing there.
We know you have a long list of sponsors you want to thank…
For sure, I want to thank all my sponsors: Wonder Warthog Racing, Yamaha, O’Neal, MDK, Decal Works, Dr. D, Enzo, P-Lok, Volition, Cheaphousepayments.com, Barnett, Vortex, Roll-on Throttle, Lock-Jaw, Smooth Industries, Mymotospace.com, MMI, Becker Moto, and Maley Motorsports. I also really want to thank my mom and dad, Dana Kellstrom, my mechanic Shane, and Alan Denyce.
Good luck this weekend in Orlando, Jacob.
Learn more at www.wonderwarthogracing.com.