Every so often, there are weekends of racing that go down in the record books as legendary. This weekend, out at Sweney Cycle Park (Brush), was definitely among those. After a massive downpour on Friday, the track was closed for practice on Saturday. But, thanks to a shit-ton of sand, the track ended up being in pristine condition on Sunday and Monday. SCP is always guaranteed to be covered with braking bumps the size of little people and line choices as far as the eye can see; so, the heavy amount of rain only added to the gnarlyness of the track. This weekend was not only an RMXA race, but it was also the Area Qualifier for Loretta Lynn’s. There was a surprisingly large turnout of really fast out-of-state guys. From little rippers like Stilez Robertson and Brayden Bruce, to the B-Bombers such as Jyire Mitchell and Zachary Mangam. For the local guys, it’s a really good measure of where they are as far as their speed and intensity are concerned: especially if competing at Loretta’s is their eventual goal. Some local riders fared better than others, but one thing is for certain, the racing was wild all weekend. This week, we will have a little more comprehensive coverage because of all the racing and how downright stacked the gates were.
You know why I love Sundays Harry? Because there is no post on Sundays, also because I get to watch my buddies do battle in the pro class (best believe I just dropped a Harry Potter reference mid-moto post). Seriously, though, it’s so dope to watch guys like Mitchell Gifford, Tanner Wineland, Connor Olson, Joey OIson and several more, just battle week-in and week-out. The speed that they have is just outrageous, and it’s even cooler that it’s all in good fun. No one is out there looking for blood: it’s simply good, hard racing. As we’ve mentioned before, there was a gnarly turnout for pretty much every class. The pro class lined the gates as deep as we’ve seen all season, but unlike the classes below them, they didn’t really deal with the likes of the crazy fast, out-of-state guys. Still, the intensity from moto-to-moto was definitely present. The four dudes I mentioned above really duked it out all weekend, trading positions, swapping moto wins and playing the occasional game of mid-moto leap frog.
The boys really had their speed dialed and it made for sick racing, despite them unintentionally running into each other on a regular basis. Perhaps the most dominant dude was Tanner Wineland, as he managed to swoop up 6, out of a possible 8, moto wins. That’s not to say he went without challenge, however, Mitchell and Joey were each able to snag a moto win and compete at the front of the pack. Another dude who really upped his game, perhaps just at the right time (week before the national), was Connor Olson. Although he appears to be a squider from the picture above, he was actually on rails and was dicing it up at the front all weekend. We got a chance to sit down with (and by sit down with, we mean send texts to) Connor and ask him a few questions about how the weekend went and how he feels coming into the national:
EM: So, what enabled you to step up your game this weekend?
CO: Honestly it was just the track. I love rough and rutted tracks. That’s where I really excel. All the races I’ve done this year have been relatively smooth and slick. I’m too timid in those conditions. I love having line choices and being able to move around on a track.
EM: The local dudes have really been rippin’, what’s it like dealing with guys like Mitchell and Tanner all day?
CO: It’s awesome! I’ve known all these guys my whole life and we’re all friends which makes it fun to race with them. You aren’t trying to murder someone you don’t like or whatever. It’s fun being able to race knowing your boy isn’t going to clean you out. Hopefully…
EM: Haha word, how do you feel coming into the national?
CO: Honestly, I feel really good. I’ve felt great on the bike lately. I pulled in some overtime today doing the Novik privateer ride day and then loading up and pinning it to get in some press action. Both tracks were epic. But I felt great all day. So hopefully (I can) just keep the train moving into Saturday.
We’re glad Connor was being so honest with us, but all jokes aside we were stoked on the rad battles of last weekend and look forward to the racing this weekend at the national. Hopefully our local boys can go out and mix it up with those national squiders.
This class saw a bit of an upgrade from the weeks prior. Like, holy shit, those out-of-towners can rip. As mentioned before, there was a pretty incredible turnout of non-local dudes for the Loretta’s qualifier. Dudes like Managam and Mitchell were absolutely flying, but that’s not to say that our local boys didn’t show some impressive speed as well. Ryan Velasquez, Trae Dilley and Nick Citrola all showed flashes of serious speed and intensity throughout the weekend. Out of the three, Nick certainly had the most consistency. He was able to secure a 2nd, two 5ths and a 6th out of 4 classes. Ryan showed flashes, but was unable to really maintain consistency, and ended up with 2 3rds, a 4th, 9th and a 20th in his 5 B classes. Trae struggled for most of the weekend, but he did snag a very impressive 2nd place moto finish in 450 B limited, which was arguably one of the more stacked classes of the weekend. Michael Sweney, aka The Age Group Wrecker, went out and grabbed 5 out of 6 possible, moto wins in the Schoolboy classes at his home track (as we’re sure you could have guessed). The boys didn’t have the most consistent results you could have asked for, but no one can question their speed, even while dealing with blazing fast out-of-towners.
80’s (I don’t care that they’re actually “85’s”, 80’s sounds more dope):
This was another class where the non-local homies showed up in droves to wreak havoc on the grounds of SCP. Stilez Robertson, 4-time Loretta’s champ, was far and away one of the fastest kids we’ve ever seen. There was a whole mess of fast dudes, and he checked out in pretty much every moto. It was really pretty impressive to watch, and goes to show the level that the national kids ride at. A few of the other kids who really stood out in the 80 classes were Brayden Bruce and Juan Vallerrma. Despite not being able to best Stilez straight up, both of them were hammering the throttle all weekend, and showed off some wicked speed. As far as the local homies were concerned, Tyler Long and Alexander Vestal were not intimidated by the speed of the out-of-town cats and really held their own. Tyler walked home with three 3rds in the Loretta’s classes, well done dude, that’s pretty baller shit. And Alex picked up a 4th and a 5th in his respective Loretta’s classes. If they are able to maintain the same mentality that they held this weekend into the regional quals, no reason to say they can’t seriously compete with the top dogs. Good job to both of you fellas.
The Women classes were a wee bit thin this weekend, both in the Loretta’s classes and the local classes. One girl who definitely stood out was Tove Knox as she raced in a crap-ton of classes and showed some real speed as she cruised to two 2nds and a 3rd. Another girl who was hammering, which has become common ground for her, was Tawny Reinhard. She swept the Women’s B class, but unfortunately didn’t compete in any of the Loretta’s classes.
We’ll run through some of the standouts real quick in the 60’s classes. Logan Lessar was on another level this past weekend, and he was pretty much unfazed by any amount of pressure. He won every single overall in the 60’s classes. Hats off to you little dood, that’s killer stuff. Brody Propernick also flashed some really great moments, on his way to two 3rds in his Loretta’s classes.
This weekend was one that will stay imprinted on the minds of most who had the fortune of being on the Plains all weekend. With wicked rough track conditions and intense battles, it made for one helluva racing arena. The pro class was straight stacked with local boys laying down crazy speed and trading paint all in the name of having fun doing what they love. The B’s saw a large turnout of non-local migrants (ha), but our boys kept them in check and impressed in the process. In the 80’s, much like the B’s, the out-of-state dudes were abundant, but Tyler and Alex were definitely not intimidated, and put some solid overalls together. In the 60’s, Logan Lessar was a man possessed, going out to smash and dash his way to four overall wins. And the ladies, despite their lack in numbers, still had some epicly fast riders that really impressed. Stoked to see everyone out at ‘The Hood’ for the regional!