The Annual SLAM Festival, presented by MTA Distributing is an event that stands entirely on it’s own, as there is no other one-off race quite like it. Comprised of a bracket-style racing format, the SLAM Pro Race consists of only eight riders who battle head-to-head with the winner advancing from the heats to the semis. Once the two fastest riders are weeded out from the group and are set to do battle in the Final, a third “wild card” rider is thrown into the mix to ensure the final race of the day is nothing short of intense.
HEAT 1 | Dean Wilson vs. Ryan Surratt
The first gate drop of the day saw Dean Wilson and TWMX test rider Ryan Surratt go at it for the first race win. Wilson was at an early advantage on his Red Bull KTM 450SX-F, as Surratt was forced to line up on an underpowered Honda CRF250R. The gate dropped and it was Surratt with the inside advantage, but Wilson quickly put the power to the ground to rocket in front of the Honda rider. Wilson held onto the lead for the win, but Surratt kept him honest throughout the two lap race.
HEAT 2 | Nick Schmidt vs. Brandon Scharer
The second heat was one of the more exciting races of the day, as Nick Schmidt and Brandon Scharer kept the crowd on their feet thanks to their heated battle. Scharer had the inside line advantage on Schmidt and his Suzuki, but the “Milestone Assassin” had other plans. The two came together in turn one resulting in Schmidt going off the track after tangling with a hay bail. Schmidt quickly recovered from the bobble and managed to catch Scharer by the end of the first lap. The pair came down the start straight side-by-side, and as they entered the first rhythm section Schmidt went for the pass attempt, but was unsuccessful. Schmidt again mounted an attack on the Yamaha rider, and this time he made his way into the lead after a block pass on Scharer that ultimately resulted in the heat win for Schmidt.
HEAT 3 | Tallon LaFountaine vs. Jake Weimer
The third heat race featured TWMX test pilot Tallon LaFountaine along with RCH Suzuki’s Jake Weimer. Although Weimer was at a bit of a disadvantage lining up on the outside gate, it was LaFountaine who was at a true disadvantage, as he lined up on an underpowered KTM 250SX-F. In his first TWMX SLAM, LaFountaine showed a lot of potential after holding his own against the former Western Regional 250cc Supercross Champion. When the checkered flag waved though, it was Weimer who advanced to the next round.
HEAT 4 | Darryn Durham vs. Chris Blose
The fourth and final heat of the day was reserved for Darryn Durham and Chris Blose. The gate dropped with both riders entering the first turn side-by-side resulting in an unfortunate mistake from Durham before the first rhythm section. From then on, Blose held on to the lead and was the first to reach the checkered flag.
SEMI 1 | Dean Wilson vs. Nick Schmidt
The first semi of the day didn’t disappoint thanks to the exciting show that Wilson and Schmidt put on for the crowd. Wilson was given the inside gate pick on Schmidt, and it worked to his advantage, as the Scotsman moved into the early lead. Schmidt wasn’t going down without a fight though, as the two riders smashed into each several times. The second collision sent Wilson off the track, and instead of returing to the racetrack in the same spot the number 15 rode on the side of the course skipping a rhythm section to maintain the lead. Although Wilson held on to the lead until the checkered flag, it was Schmidt who was credited with the race win, as Wilson essentially cut the track.
SEMI 2 | Chris Blose vs. Jake Weimer
Weimer again rocketed to the early lead in the second semi against Blose and his underpowered Yamaha YZ250F. The number 12 of Weimer managed to stretch out his lead over the Arenacross specialist by putting in smart, smooth laps that ultimately resulted in the race win.
FINAL | Jake Weimer vs. Nick Schmidt vs. Dean Wilson (Wild Card)
A slight change in the racing format was implemented this year in the Final, as the winner is now determined by a three moto score. In the first race, it was Weimer and Schmidt first to turn one just ahead of Wilson with Weimer leading the way. Schmidt and Weimer collided in the first turn allowing for the RCH rider to move into the early lead and ultimately the race win. The riders immediately lined up for the second race and got down to business, as Wilson seemingly had the advantage on the inside gate. Weimer again grabbed another holeshot, but it was short lived thanks to Wilson’s pass on the number 12 for the second race win. There was a bit of pressure on the shoulders of Weimer and Wilson heading into the third race, as both riders was credited with a race win. The final race of the day began just like the two previous races; with Weimer leading the way. The RCH rider put in consistent, mistake-free laps all the way to the checkered flag, and was named the 2016 TransWorld MX SLAM Champion.
- Jake Weimer
- Dean Wilson
- Nick Schmidt