The year 1996 was the last year that AMA Supercross passed through Denver. Twenty-three years. That’s over two decades since Colorado’s famed Broncos Stadium at Mile High last felt the adrenaline of a gate drop, the vibrations of two wheels hitting the dirt, the euphoria of a checkered flag flying. But, at long last, that finally changed a couple of weekends ago when Supercross returned to the Mile High City. The world’s highest-caliber professional riders took to the track Saturday, April 13th for round 15 of the 2019 Supercross season… and a day later, top amateur riders were welcomed to follow their idols’ tracks to race on the same stage for the first time ever! The opportunity was made possible by a new series of races this year, the AMA Supercross Futures. Denver was round 7 of the 8 round series created with intentions of unleashing the promising young talent in our sport onto prime supercross tracks around the country. Those in attendance had the chance to be part of and bear witness to some of the most heated battles we’ve seen in a while, but in case you missed it, here’s a recap:
250 SX Futures
If there was one class to give your undivided attention to, it was this one. The 250 SX Futures is the sole gateway into Monster Energy Supercross for the next generation of professional riders. With that said, the line up was stacked with top-tier talent itching to earn the required points necessary to make their pro supercross debut in the near future. The qualifying heats were back and forth battles til the end, but the main event had one clear winner: Zane Merrett. The #29 pulled one of the most dominant holeshots of the entire weekend and went on to be absolutely untouchable for the remainder of the race. Colton Eigenmann would finish second behind Merrett and Coty Schock would round out the podium with a third place finish.
Supermini 1 & 2
There are not many things in this world that are better than hearing the sweet, sweet sound of a full gate of angry bumblebees ready for battle… except for the actual battles that went down in the stadium during these two fast classes — those were better. All day long, names like Maximus Vohland, Talon Hawkins, Gage Wilcox, Logan Lessar, and Jaxon Pascal were thrown around left, right, and center. Every single one of them was on fire. In the Supermini 1 main event, Vohland and Hawkins ran a close race. And by close, we mean ‘ laptimes within the same couple tenths of a second the entire race’ close. The two rode extremely consistent rides, with Vohland finishing on the top step, Hawkins following, and Wilcox landing third. Our very own Colorado grown riders, Jaxon Pascal and Logan Lessar, would go on to round out the top five in the class and we couldn’t be prouder! The Supermini 2 main provided some more edge-of your-seat racing. Vohland started off the race in front again, but Hawkins was still right there to bring the heat and put on the pressure. It was looking like Vohland would come out with yet another main event win, but a fall in the last corner with just two laps to go would end his chances. Hawkins capitalized on the mistake and brought his #71 ride across the checkered to earn the W. Vohland would roll in behind him, and Wilcox would finish with another respectable third.
The 250 B class is no joke. Anytime these riders take to the track, you best prepare yourself for some major speed and major grit. When the gate finally dropped for the main, Colorado ripper, Bronson McClure, lead the pack. He wasn’t able to hold onto it, however, as he went down in the left hander out of the whoops after David Dabin came in hot to make a pass within the first lap. The position switch-ups wouldn’t stop there, either. Bjorn Viney made quick work of the rest of the field to make his way to the lead before the second lap was even completed. Impressively, Kaeden Amerine and Wristin Grigg would do the same and work their way to second and third. David Dabin finished fourth and another Colorado rider, Jaylend Mccarty, would earn the final spot in the top five.
Imagine being a 50cc rider at this race. Your dad pushing your bike up to the gate, while you’re looking up at the towering walls, thousands of seats, and hundreds of people surrounding you in the huge stadium that all of your Supercross heroes raced on the night before. There’s no way that any of the youngsters on that gate understood the significance or sheer magnitude of the opportunity to put their tires in the dirt on such an iconic stage. But, hopefully, someday they’ll look back on it and they will. Henry buck Karvasek was a little ripper to watch all day. Not only did he place first in the class, he was also one of the only 50cc riders to send the finish line gap. Sounds mighty impressive, right? It was. Gage Dunham ended up second and Christopher Harris rounded out the top three.
The 2019 Supercross Futures round seven in Denver was a whirlwind, in the best possible way. Having the opportunity to race in a prestigious setting such as the Broncos Stadium is something few probably even imagined possible. But it’s been done now. And we’re sure glad about it! Watching the Futures has us stoked for what the future of Supercross will be for the upcoming generations! Until next time… here comes the checkered flag on this one!