Kiowa, Colorado: home to a shit ton of cows, bogus internet and surprisingly, some of the better racing in the state. Saturday night marked the 3rd supercross event of the year for SRAC. After a pretty stellar turnout at Pikes Peak (as per usual), the Brush supercross fell a little flat in terms of numbers. Kiowa didn’t necessarily have a great turnout either, but the peeps that did turnout had some real talent. The likes of Justin Starling, Mitchell Gifford, Todd & Travis Bannister and Bobby Fitch were all in attendance to bang some bars. SRAC and the promoter, Mike Zawacki, were adept at putting on one hell of an event with pit bike and tandem races galore. Okay okay okay, let’s get into some coverage.
In the pro class, we saw the Colorado motocross emergence of someone who hasn’t raced since every white girl blew up your timelines with posts about how excited they were for summer. Justin Starling, someone who showed incredible promise as a youngster in the amateur ranks, turned out to do some battling with our local crop in prep for 2018 Pro Supercross competition. We had the chance to catch up with Starling to discuss his recent move to Colorado and more, here’s what he had to say:
EM: So what drove your decision to move out to Colorado?
JS: My girlfriend lives out here so I wanted to spend time with her, and also the altitude for training was a big factor in it. I wanted to be as ready as possible for 2018 so we changed up our program, started working with Tom Danielson at Cinch Cycling and it’s been a great transition. Just want to be better than I was in 2017 Supercross
EM: On that note, what are some of your goals going into 2018?
Goals are to be a frontrunner in Supercross. I’m putting in the work to make sure that happens. I want my worst finish to still be in the top 10!
EM: Was this your first time racing a local race here in CO? What was it like?
JS: Yes, Kiowa was actually my first time really back on the bike since Vegas SX in May. I rode the Friday night practice before and that’s it. It was pretty fun, I was definitely rusty but it was cool. The guys were fun to race, everyone kept it clean and we all had great battles. I almost won every Moto till a crash in the last race but it was cool. I didn’t expect to win that much with basically coming off the couch but it was cool and I’m excited to race again with everyone.
Anyway, in every main but one, he was incredibly effective in navigating his Husky around, as he went on to win both 250 & 450 Pro quite handily. Gifford followed suit in both of those mains, as he was able to secure a few 2nd place finishes in those classes. The one class where we saw the tides turn, ever-so-slightly, was in Open Pro. The main got underway and Starling looked to be heading for another W. The Colorado Springs resident, Gifford, was buried in the pack after a lackluster start. Digging deep, he was able to work his way up to 2nd, with Starling really just out of reach. Just when Mitchell thought he was en route to another 2nd on the night, Starling tipped, and left the door open for Mitchell to swoop in for his only win of the night. Behind them, Cole Shondeck & Bobby Fitch were in lockstep essentially the whole moto: swapping positions in a sick nasty battle. Fitch was able to edge Shondeck out in the end, laying claim to a 3rd in that main. Dude has still got it after all these years.
Is it true that the Novice class can consist of some dudes who are literally shitting their pants at the line? Sure. However, is it also true that the frontrunners of the class tend to lead way to kicking ass in the Bs? Absolutely. Look no further than Trey Archuleta for a prime example of that. This past Saturday, the kids of the night were Josh Layton & Dylan Barnes. Josh Layton was simply dominant, as he would go on to sweep the Cs and go 3-1 in Schoolboy. If that’s not rippin’, then not a damn thing is. Behind him, Dylan Barnes went on to capture 2nd in all 4 C races, and a so-so 6-6 in the pit bike class. Dylan has been really finding his own as of late, especially indoors. As his last 8 moto finishes indoors were seven 2nds and one 1st in the C class, after struggling pretty mightily at the Rocky Mountain Showdown races thus far. Finishing up behind Layton & Barnes were Wheeler, Poe & Pruitt in the 450s and Parker, Hunning & Lucas in the 250s.
The Women’s classes were interesting for a few reasons. The first being that 2 girls ran the table in Girls 9-12, Girls Sr 12-15 and Women 14+. The second reason: those two girls, Alana Padilla and Amanda Walsh, were also the champions of the tandem race. Proving yet again that girls are probably more badass than us smelly dudes. In the 12-15 class, Johnson & Allen rounded the Top 3. Murphy & Degraff closed out the top 3 in the Women 14+ class.
Any of you guys familiar with the name Ryan Boutilier? If you’re not, you’re probably about to be. If you were out there, he was the one blitzing the whoops like James Stewart in his prime. One of Colorado’s most promising youngsters is somewhat of a supercross specialist, but he rips outdoors as well (quite similar to his counterpart in the 80s, Ryan Zawacki). Ryan was an animal in both the 7-9 and 7-11 classes. As you would expect Ryan swept both motos in 7-9. He came out swinging in the first 7-11 moto, and he was able to steer his Husky to a 1st place ahead of Jace Hinrichs & Blake Leach. In the 2nd 7-11 moto, Jace snagged an early lead, but quickly relinquished that lead to a speedy, and confident, Boutilier. Jace would hound Boutilier for a few laps, and eventually force a mistake on Ryan B. Jace would go on to snag a Moto 2 victory, in addition to the overall. Although, relatively quiet in the 7-11 class, rising ripper, Blake Leach, swept both motos in 10-11.
- In the 250 Bs, supercross enthusiasts, Austin Wagner & Dylan Flatley collected in the whoops, causing both riders to go down pretty awkwardly. Luckily both of them were ight.
- Two ladies crushed in the tandem race. (As we already alluded to: you better have read that part)
- Rylan Munson going on an absolute tear in the Pit Bike class, with a dominant 1-1 performance
That’s All Folks