With the season winding down, the midwest rounds of the series provide some of the best racing year after year. The dirt makes for rutted race tracks that challenge the riders and this has led to great races in the past. Combined with a unique layout, St. Louis was shaping up to be another exciting night. Additionally, Zach Osborne and Austin Forkner entered the night tied in points, which meant that one of the two would walk away with the red plate.
250 SX Heat One
Forkner raced out to the early lead, grabbing the holeshot and taking off. His teammate Martin Davalos wasn’t far behind in second place. Both riders put in lap after lap without incident, although Davalos did nearly crash at one point. Jacob Williamson, Brandon Hartranft, and Alex Rodriguez rounded out the top five. Behind them, Sean Cantrell and Luke Renzland battled back and forth over sixth. Soon they caught Rodriguez in fifth, with Renzland advancing past Cantrell but not Rodriguez.
250 SX Heat Two
Kyle Peters shot out to the holeshot, but was followed closely by fill-in rider Thomas Ramette. Jeremy Martin was also right in the mix as well. Further back, Jordon Smith crashed on the first lap and was far behind in seventeenth. Soon, Martin moved his way up to second place. Then, Zach Osborne worked his way through the pack after a bad start and made moves to secure third place. He would then go after Martin for second, and quickly caught up to and passed Peters for the lead. Meanwhile, both Smith and Michael Mosiman worked their way into qualifying positions after the incident on the first lap.
250 SX LCQ
Weakley pulled the holeshot in the 250 LCQ, but he would have to fend off Fleming early on. Fleming nearly had the pass made, but ended up washing his front end and went down. This moved Sizemore up to second place and Vanbuskirk and Jackson into the final two transfer spots. With just under three minutes left, Sizemore took the lead. Weakley now faced pressure from Vanbuskirk. This soon turned into a three-rider battle with Jackson getting into the mix. Weakley would drop back to fourth and would quickly lose the spot to Basso. Jackson then dropped back to fourth and was caught and passed by Alves. Alves wasn’t done there, as he would move into third place by passing Basso.
250 SX Main Event
Osborne and Forkner were side by side off the start, with Osborne getting the holeshot. Forkner quickly inherited the lead with a mistake by Osborne and Forkner launching a quad in the opening rhythm lane. Behind them sat Martin, Davalos, and Peters. Davalos then moved past Martin to take third. However, a lap later Martin passed him back. Peters also started to pressure Davalos.
Five minutes into the race, Smith started to close in on Peters after starting back in ninth. Up front, the battle between Osborne and Forkner remained tight, with the gap under two seconds and shrinking. Then, Smith showed a wheel to Peters and the two would battle back and forth for the spot. Both riders would move past Davalos who washed out in the corner. Smith would then get by Peters. At the same time, Osborne moved up onto the rear wheel of Forkner. Before Osborne could attempt a pass, Forkner would endo and go over the bars, dropping back to fifth place. Osborne then had a clear track ahead and a decent gap over Martin. With about five minutes left in the race, Davalos would go down again, this time requiring attention from the Alpinestars medical team. A few minutes later, Forkner came together with Alves, who was a lap down. This caused Forkner to stall and lose a position to Hartranft. Forkner would come back to retake fifth on the final lap.
At the front, Osborne would hold on to take the win. Behind him, Martin claimed another podium finish in second place. Rounding out the podium would be Smith.
450 SX Heat One
The holeshot in this heat would go to Broc Tickle, but Tyler Bowers took over the lead quickly and was able to build a solid gap right away. Dean Wilson also had a solid start and was able to move his way up to second place on the first lap. Christian Craig and Justin Brayton rounded out the top five early on. Brayton would make the move on Craig for fourth place. Then, Bowers would go down while leading and drop back to sixth place. This put Wilson into the lead. With a minute and a half left, Brayton moved past Tickle to take second place. He then began applying pressure to Wilson. With less than a minute plus a lap, he successfully made the move to take the lead.
450 SX Heat Two
Blake Baggett took the holeshot despite a challenge from Vince Friese. Jason Anderson started a few spots back from the lead, but quickly worked his way through the pack and took the lead from Baggett. However, he didn’t gap Baggett by much, and soon both he and Eli Tomac were right on the rear fender of Anderson. Eventually, Anderson would pull away though and go on to win. Baggett would finish up second and Tomac would finish third.
450 SX LCQ
Dylan Merriam was credited with the holeshot, but he and Malcolm Stewart crossed the line side by side, with Stewart getting the better drive to take the lead through the first rhythm lane. Merriam would lose another spot to A.J. Catanzaro. In fourth, Scott Champion had the spot early on, but was caught and passed by Henry Miller. From there, Miller would hold the spot down until the final lap, when Champion came back to take the spot away. The two would come together, will Miller going to the ground. Out front, Stewart took the LCQ win without contest.
450 SX Main Event
Tomac and Anderson were nearly side by side on the start, but Tomac got a good drive out of the corner and quickly opened up a gap. Anderson meanwhile was facing pressure from Musquin. Tickle sat fourth and Stewart fifth. Brayton would then take over the fifth place spot. He continued moving forward, taking fourth away from Tickle. After applying some pressure early on, Anderson started to slip away from Musquin. Tomac would also stretch his gap out over Anderson.
Around the halfway point in the race, Peick would get by Tickle for fifth place. Baggett would then go to battle with Tickle, eventually taking the sixth place spot. Baggett would continue to work his way forward and with five minutes left, he caught up to Peick and began challenging for the fifth place spot. Peick responded though and picked his pace up slightly to pull away a bit.
With a lead of nearly 20 seconds, Tomac would take the win without a challenge. Anderson and Musquin rounded out the podium in second and third.