On April 2nd, 2017, the state of Colorado saw a beautiful union between two race series that even mother nature couldn’t stop. The Rocky Mountain Showdown brought the SRAC and RMXA series together like it was a scene from Westside Story: the Jets and the Sharks gathered at one track to do battle and it was righteous. The track was gnarly, the gates were stacked, and the racing was a spectacle like none other in past seasons. The standouts of the day were 250 C, Supermini and Pros.
The track preparation for the weekend was immaculate, but the start was such a mud bog that if I was racing, I would have put a snorkel on my bike. Also, yes the track did shape up, but the first race of the morning which was the 250 C class, was still a sloppy mess. So first and foremost, hats off to 250 C for being the pioneers of the treacherous deep uphill start of Thunder Valley.
The gate dropped, the clutches were released, and the bikes lurched forward to hit that mud so hard that some didn’t even make it. “My clutch is done,” said Taylor Quenzer, former SRAC 250 C champion. His bike was one of many claimed by the infamous bog of the day.
For those who made it, the name of the game for them was keeping the rubber down. There were so many yellow flags waving, one had to question when a rider could even make a pass, but the race went on. The second moto of every class brought a more consistent track and race. The podium went Jaylen McCarty 1st, Cody Dye 2nd & Grant Ashwege 3rd overall.
The Supermini class was another spectacle and the track was gnarly for these racers, but the talent they exuded was present as they still worked the deep conditions. This class also had to battle the start, so everyone watched quietly as 2-Strokes hollered through the hills.
Blake Curry would put in a dominant performance going 1-1 for the overall. The rest of the podium was more of a fight. Gage Friedrichs took 3rd the first moto through turbulent conditions. He would regroup during the break and improve taking 2nd in the second moto for Silver. In the first moto Collin Webber thrived in the mud for 2nd, but in the afternoon took a respectable 5th for 3rd overall.
Then there was the Open Pro/Non Pro class. Here the fastest A and B riders took to the same gate to showcase the fastest talent at the track. With a 36-man gate, the start was comparable to a national as everyone fought through the mud to the first corner. The mud and turbulent conditions, as well as the mixing of competition brought new results from the traditional reports.
Kyle Summers returned to racing and made it seem like he never had left. Summers’ great starts and ability to hold off pressure from a fast Ian Blythe earned him 1st in moto one and he snagged a 5th in moto two for the overall. Blythe was a victim of the deep conditions and suffered a crash in the first 450 A moto forcing him to call his raceday short. We hope for a speedy recovery. Joey Olson would make his debut on his Peak Honda World machine for a 5-1 performance for a 2nd overall. The podium would be rounded out by Cody Gray with a consistent 4-5 finish.
We would certainly be remiss if we didn’t give mention to one of the most impressive,
surprising performances of the weekend. Trae Dilley, a fairly new commodity to pro action, was able to hold off the fierce advances of the likes of Mitchell Gifford & Mikey Sweney to salvage his first win in the Pro class. Helluva performance for the yungin, & he did it all while pursuing a degree in Engineering from CSU. Good stuff, homie.
Well, the first round of the Rocky Mountain Showdown lived up to the hype and some more. The goal of combining the series to bring bigger gates, more talent and stiffer competition to the sport was a success: all on a weekend that other states would deem unfit for racing. A special thanks goes out to Thunder Valley for their efforts on providing everyone a solid track to race, to RMXA and SRAC for listening to the riders, and to the racers for digging deep & racing a track that was scary to just walk around. Until next time, from everyone here at Elevated.