Everett Washington's Xfinity Arena and the packed house of fans filling it were treated with an impressive EnduroCross duel between the top championship contenders as defending two-time Champion Cody Webb went to the front early and held off a blitzing Colton Haaker for the win. KTM's Webb never looked back on the soft, rutted and loose course after taking the lead on the second lap. Once again, the front-runners were so fast on the night, they lapped third-place finisher, RPM KTM's Ty Tremaine, on the last lap. Ty Tremaine's podium finish was his first in the Pro Class.
Webb, Haaker and Tremaine all won their respective heat races earlier in the night, each getting a bonus point in the championship standings. This was Tremaine's second heat race win in a row and second of his career. Also transferring straight to the main out of their heat races was Beta's Kyle Redmond and Max Gerston, KTM's Taddy Blazusiak and Canadian brothers Wyatt and Trystan Hart. In the first LCQ, which featured Husqvarna's Mike Brown, DA8 Training's Cooper Abbott and Beta's Ty Cullins went 1-2 to keep Brown out of the main event after the matrix got the best of the Husky rider for the first time this year. The second LCQ win went to Nick Thompson followed by Noah Kepple.
Haaker was arguably the fastest racer in the building all night with the fastest daytime Hot Lap, a heat race win and another the top time during the evening Hot Lap, which earned another championship point and first gate pick for the main event. By the time the main event gate dropped, Haaker had gained one more point on Webb in the championship battle.
Webb was trying really hard to be that guy all night. He was riding possessed in both Hot Lap sessions to set the tone and, in the evening, earn any extra points possible. But his time didn't come until the main event. However, his undeniable skills through the toughest obstacles on the track were impressive all night. Webb was clearly fastest through a brutal matrix section and was airing the sketchy obstacles-turned-jumps with the biggest names in the sport all night.
When the main event gate dropped, Haaker took the $500 Nexen Tire Holeshot award and put his trademark heater lap into motion aboard the factory Husqvarna, trying to stretch a gap on the field. Nearly next to him around the first turn was returning five-time champion Taddy Blazusiak. Blazusiak would be in contention for only two obstacles before going down and tangling off the track, getting back up in sixth place to start the race. Meanwhile, Webb, Tremaine and SRT-backed Cory Graffunder gave chase to Haaker. Redmond would come out in fifth as the train formed in pursuit of Haaker.
By the second lap, Webb made a pass on Haaker for the lead and didn't look back. Haaker put the heat on over-and-over, but Webb was simply faster and more consistent, especially across the matrix section, so Haaker's charges were always matched. Even when he would gain on the smallest mistakes by Webb, Webb erased the gains nearly as quickly.
By lap four, Webb was running into lapped traffic and Tremaine was pulling a lead over the rest of the top five. By lap five, the lapped traffic was getting heavier and Webb sliced through them cleanly putting more time on Haaker in second. The lapped traffic slowed Tremaine in third more, as well, allowing Redmond to get close enough to apply pressure. Meanwhile, Blazusiak had rebounded up to pass for fifth, only to lose the position with another mistake.
Before lap 10, Webb was lapping into the top five. And once he passed Redmond--who was in fourth at the time--it took Haaker two laps to get by the same position. That was really the difference for the top two spots and at this point, it was a cruise to the finish for Webb without much pressure from Haaker. In the final laps, a few mistakes by Haaker sealed the deal and Webb went on to the checkers.
Again, the top two passed the entire field, including third-place finisher Tremaine, in route to their dominant performance.
"I really sent it in the Hot Lap tonight because I need to get as many points as I can," Webb said. "Then, Colton did a near-perfect lap and beat me just barely--that kind of hurt a little bit. So, I knew I had to give it my all in the main and I came in really focused to not lose any more points. Colton made a little mistake and I was able to get by early and he hung there on my tire most of the race. The good thing is I knew I didn't make any mistakes all night, really. And in the main that mattered because I think I only made two little mistakes and Colton made more. It allowed me to open up the gap and cruise to victory. It's a great feeling."
"I got the holeshot--had a great start--then on the second lap I had made a mistake and lost the front end and went off the track," Haaker said. "Cody got by and I paced him for five or six laps until we started getting into some lappers. I got stuck behind one early that put me in a bad spot in the firewood. From there, I felt like I was riding well but started to lose contact and struggled on the track. It's so soft here and not like anything we normally ride in Southern California. Overall, I had more mistakes at the end of the race and just couldn't get through the lappers as easily as Cody did. I couldn't battle back as easily. In the end I lost a few points but didn't give up too much so it's still a good night here in second."
"It was gnarly--the track was demanding and it was definitely a rough one to say the least," Tremaine said. "I had Redmond behind me for a long time and I think fitness set in because I've been working so hard. I kept looking ahead and finally saw the white flag and new I had it. The matrix was so tough, so was the firewood, but the matrix was something I dreaded every lap. I got through it but it wasn't easy."
Graffunder raced strong to finish fourth, battling from third to fifth and finally passing for fourth in the final laps. Redmond ran in fourth most of the race and was fast all night only dropping to fifth at the very end. Sixth place went to Blazusiak who had mistakes hold back his charge all night. Gerston finished seventh after moving up from a 10th place start. Trystan hart moved into eight by the end of the race after starting in 11th. Noah Kepple put in another solid ride for ninth and Nick Thompson rounded out the top ten.
Cooper Abbott and Ty Cullins finished eleventh, twelfth respectively while Wyatt Hart was credited with thirteenth.
2016 Everett, Washington AMA EnduroCross Main Event Results
- Cody Webb, KTM
- Colton Haaker, Husqvarna
- Ty Tremaine, KTM
- Cory Graffunder, KTM
- Kyle Redmond, Beta
- Taddy Blazusiak, KTM
- Max Gerston, Beta
- Trystan Hart, Husqvarna
- Noah Kepple, KTM
- Nick Thompson, KTM
- Cooper Abbott, Husqvarna
- Ty Culins, Beta
- Wyatt Hart, Husqvarna
Heading into the penultimate round in Idaho, Haaker leads the points standings by 10 over Webb, Brown--who failed to make the main event in Everett sits 42 points further back in third. Tremaine gained serious ground and is now four points out of a top-three overall in fourth.
Canada's Shelby Turner took her fifth win in six races this weekend in the Women's main event riding a KTM. The Canadian finished in front of Morgan Tanke, again after a great battle. Beta's Tanke is now 14-points back in second place. Third place went to Rachel Gutish, favoring a tender knee injury suffered at the ISDE last week. Turner also raced the ISDE, representing Canada. Another ISDE racer, Tarah Geiger, had a great race back to the EnduroCross circuit lost third on the last lap and dropped back to finish fourth.
EnduroCross events also include two support classes for Amateurs and Vet riders 35 and older. Canadian Kevin Dupuis took the win in the Amateur class. Stephen Foord--vet class stalwart--took second after a late-race charge to the front. Third went to Joel Tonsgard, a local Washington racer.
In the Vet class, Foord took his second win in a row with fellow Canadian Shane Cuthbertson in second and Washington's Jason Gitchel in third.
In the Trialscross class, Everett hosted one of the biggest turnouts of the season with thirteen racers lining up for the main event. In the end, local Washington racer Kyle Larsen took the win over young gun Anthony Johnson. Ronald Ringuette came up the final podium spot.
The series will resume Saturday, November 5 in Nampa, Idaho. Tickets are available at: www.EnduroCross.com/buy-tickets/
The insane EnduroCross obstacles provide a great show and exciting racing for race fans. So if you have never been to an AMA EnduroCross in person, you need to put one on your calendar for 2016.
And if you want to tackle an EnduroCross course yourself, there are classes for Amateur, Vet, Women and TrialsCross riders. All of those support class main events run as part of the night show so it is your chance to compete in front of a large crowd. And there is nothing more challenging than tackling an EnduroCross course.
Racers can enter here: https://secure.
As an added bonus for pre-registering, racers will receive a $10 Gift Card from Rocky Mountain ATV/MC.
All eight rounds of the 2016 AMA EnduroCross series will air on the CBS Sports Network for the second consecutive year. For CBS Sports Network information, please visit www.cbssportsnetwork.com
2016 AMA EnduroCross Championship Schedule
August 27, 2016 – Duluth, Georgia – Infinite Energy Center
September 3, 2016 – Brandon, South Dakota – Badlands Motor Speedway
September 10, 2016 – Salt Lake City, Utah – Vivint Smart Home Arena
September 24, 2016 – Scottsdale, Arizona – WestWorld - Intl Off-Road & UTV Expo
October 1, 2016 – Denver, Colorado – National Western Events Center
October 22, 2016 – Everett, Washington – XFINITY Arena
November 5, 2016 – Nampa, Idaho – Ford Idaho Center
November 18-19, 2016 – Ontario, California – Citizens Business Bank Arena
EnduroCross tracks incorporate various elements of extreme off road racing into a Supercross-style setting, including rocks, boulders, logs, sand, mud, a water-hole...and even a few special obstacles like giant tires thrown in! Known as the "toughest racing on two wheels," this indoor off road racing will certainly keep you on your feet.
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