2017 Bluegrass Nationals race report
Another BMX season has begun, and USA BMX returned to Louisville for stop No.2 of the National circuit; going to the Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky. Famous in the United States as being the last home to the UCI World Championships (way back in 2001), the action heated up for the first 3-day national of the year - with all of the States competing for the President's Cup Championship.
With 250 moto's on Friday, racing went on into the 7 o'clock hour with some thrilling action-packed main events. Nearly every major factory team was present from the reigning No.1 Factory team, Answer~Rennen, to Doublecross, C-Yaa factory from the eastern shores and the newThrodown factory team (formerlySsquared), based out of Illinois. Of course, we can't leave out the brand new factory team on the block - Full Tilt, whose turquoise colors seemed to be out front in nearly every single expert class. They'd won a couple of weeks ago in Las Vegas, and by the end of the day, they'd do it again - which will no doubt boost them to an early lead in factory standings.
In 15cruiser, Hostile's Bobby Dellert battled with Evan Sincheck all the way to the line, making a killer swoop in the final turn to get past C-Yaa's Big Mac to nab the victory. Great racing right there!
Tristin Judd (Gold's Gym) would wind up with a double for day one and made it look easy-peasy. The dude has got style for miles, and right now (at least on Friday) - nobody can touch him. But, word on the street is that Bryce Batten is celebrating his 17th birthday on Saturday and will be joining Judd and the gang.
- 1 TRISTON JUDD, GOLD'S GYM/MONSTER ARMY, SEAGOVILLE, TX
- 2 LOUIS KAMINSKI, EDEN, NY
- 3 BRIAN THIERWECHTER, C-YAA, SANDWICH, MA
- 4 NATHAN SCOTT, HENDERSON, NV
- 5 NOAH TANKER, MACHESNEY PARK, IL
- 6 ANTHONY JEFFERSON, PITTSBURGH, PA
- 7 CHRISTOPHER PHILLIPS, FOUNTAIN, CO
- 8 MICHAEL BONESSI, HYPER BODYARMOR, HENDERSONVILLE, NC
Both the Collegiate men's and women's mains pretty much resembled a Marian University parade lap, and odds were definitely in their favor of taking the entire podium (as well as 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th AND 8th place. We did see some Lindsey Wilson University riders and maybe one or two others schools, but in the main but it was totally dominated by Marian. Samantha Miller and Jamie Windholz went 1-2 in the ladies class, while classmates and teammates Tyler Whitfield and Justin Richmond finished 1-2 for the men, followed by senior Luke Roarty.
Of all the novice classes, the older dudes (ie: 41-plus) were puttin' on a show - throwing elbows like an MMA fighter, dicing and slicing through the turns like a Ginzu(R) knife, and carving up the last turn like it was a Thanksgiving turkey. Sure, they might just be "lowly" nervouses, but that doesn't mean they can't put on an exciting race that rivals single-A pro!
- 1 STUART WRIGHT, STATELINE BMX, ARLINGTON, WI
- 2 KELLY OLDFIELD, PREDATOR BMX, CINCINNATI, OH
- 3 BRAD KEE, ASHEVILLE, NC
- 4 MICHAEL MATTINGLY, LOUISVILLE, KY
- 5 RANDY KOMSSI, CHARLTON, MA
- 6 JEREMY CURTIS, LOUISVILLE, KY
- 7 PATRICK STAPULA, WHITE LAKE, MI
46 & OVER NOVICE
- 1 RONALD MCDONALD, 269 MAFIA TEAM, BATTLE CREEK, MI
- 2 KEITH WELLS, MOLINE, MI
- 3 JOHN HUNT, VALPARAISO, IN
- 4 CHUCK WHITLOCK, UNION, KY
- 5 RICHARD BROWN, LOUISVILLE, KY
- 6 MARK METTLER, CHANHASSEN, MN
- 7 GLENN MCVICKAR, MAD/NOWEAR, NEENAH, WI
- 8 LANE WINCHESTER, WINCHESTER COMPANY, ARVADA, CO
Yes; you just read that right: Ronald McDonald won 46-over Novice.
To our disappointment, he was not wearing the red clown hair, yellow overalls, and big floppy clown shoes.
In 12 girls, Crupi/ReMax's RyennCapitani had a pretty good race with Maryland local Piper Yockelson. They were pretty close, grip-to-grip and axle-to-axle all around the track, and Capitani held on for the win. If that one wasn't close enough, 14 girls was definitely the nail-biter of the day, with new National No.1 Girl Cruiser rider Jaycie Sinclair, wearing her new AllTow Wrecking Crew jersey, racing it out with Throdown's McKenzie Gayheart.
- 1 JAYCIE SINCLAIR, ALLTOW WRECKING CREW/YESS, SPRING, TX
- 2 LEYNA JONES, ANSWER/RENNEN, OXNARD, CA
- 3 NATALEE DAUGHERTY, FACTORY FREE AGENT-BOX, RICHARDSON, TX
- 4 JENNIFER (THE MACHINE) METTLER, BLOT OUT GRAPHICS, CHANHASSEN, MN
- 5 MCKENZIE GAYHEART, THRODWN, FORT WHITE, FL
- 6 CAITLYN FARMER, SANDY SPRINGS, GA
- 7 BRITNEY HOVENCAMP, AMHERSTVIEW, ON
- 8 IMAGIN NELSON, FACTORY CRISP BROS RACIN, ROCKFORD, IL
It was also super tight to the white stripe in 15-16 Girls, between Stefani Morin and Jammin' Jordy Scott. Hyper's Las Vegas ripper held off Morin for the win (look, a rhyme!).
Jumping up ahead (waaaay ahead0, we witnessed Blackbox's Joshua Trerise grab a killer holeshot in 11x. But Kody Kolshinski was on him like white on rice. Trerise had his work cut out for him, but was able to hold off the pesky Nor.Cal.'er in his new Answer~Rennen uniform. Trerise is quickly making a name for himself, and could be this weekend's MIR (Most Improved Racer). Keep an eye on him.
In 12x Pancho Pistolas (Peter Choat) and Jacob Trujillo (who was sportin' his new Haro~Promax gear) snapped hard and fired down the first straight away like they were NHRA nitro burnin' funny cars, side-by-side. It was pretty much a battle elbow-to-elbow all the way around the track, with the edge going to Choat.
Up next came 13x and Powerlite~DFR's Henry Chudzik looked like he had a good lead and win locked in, but suddenly out of the first turn he locked elbows with the Birdman - Brandon Crain, and identical to Humpty Dumpty's men, they all fall down. Go boom. The rest of the class dodged the carnage and Florida's Evan Schaefer threaded the needle from third to instantly take the lead (and the win).
- 1 EVAN SCHAEFER, SARASOTA, FL
- 2 RYAN YUKI, SACRAMENTO, CA
- 3 COLE ZUFELT, C-YAA FACTORY, TRENTON, ON
- 4 AMAKYE ANDERSEN, FACTORY DAYLIGHT CYCLES, TUCSON, AZ
- 5 TYLER WRIGHT, STATELINE BMX, ARLINGTON, WI
- 6 JUSTIN HOULDSON, HARO/PROMAX, HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA
- 7 HENRY CHUDZIK, HOMERGLEN, IL
- 8 BRANDON (BIRDMAN) CRAIN, ANSWER/RENNEN, VICTORVILLE, CA
Things were definitely heating up, and 15x was about to reach the boiling point. Blackcrown's Cameron Bramer had things going his way from the get-go - at least, up until the last turn. That's where Dan's Comp rider Spencer Cole, who must've sharpened his elbows like a No.2 pencil before the main event, came in like a Kamakazi dive-bomber in WW-II. Cole took Bramer a little high in the turn, and Bramer got a close look at the backside of the last turn's exit while Cole and his DK sprinted to the win.
Yup. It was looking like the last turn is where all of the action was happening
. Come next main, in 16x, it wasThrodown1 and 2, with Bryce Batton and a newly crowned National No.1 Amateur Jesse Welch in tow. As they were going one and two into the final turn, Welch bailed and all six riders behind him pig-piled on top of him. Everyone was scrambling for the second and third place spots, with Race Lee running and carrying his bike to snag third-place!
- 1 BRYCE (BB KING) BATTEN, THRODWN, GLENDALE, AZ
- 2 JARED WRIGHT, LAKE STATION, IN
- 3 RACE LEE, FULLTILT BIKE CO, DERBY, KS
- 4 JASON ROTGER, FACTORY DK/MEGA, DAVIE, FL
- 5 JESSE WELCH, THRODWN, PERRIS, CA
- 6 ALEX GARCIA, THRODWN, SALEM, WI
- 7 JACK PLUMMER, FACTORY FREE AGENT-BOX, EDINA, MN
- 8 MARKWANE BILLINGSLEY, ANSWER/RENNEN, GRAND RAPIDS, MI
Could it get any more exciting?! Sure it can - because 19-27x's were up next! Answer~Rennen's Jeremy Knapper - still on cloud-9 from his Grandsvwinlast November, was out front from the start to the last turn, where once again - elbows were thrown and bars and wheels became tangled.Throdown'sRyan Zinzow got in a little bump 'n run, and Knapper went off the side of the track.
- 1 RYAN ZINZOW, THRODWN, ELKHORN, WI
- 2 JUSTIN RICHMOND, THRODWN, ROCHELLE, IL
- 3 LUKE ROARTY, HYPER BICYCLES, CLARKSVILLE, MD
- 4 NICK (NICKY D) DAWSON, FACTORY FREE AGENT, PITTSBURGH, PA
- 5 DEREK WILKERSON, CASCO, MI
- 6 TYLER SMITH, HARO/PROMAX, DOUGLASVILLE, GA
- 7 CHASE HINES, SUMMERVILLE, SC
- 8 JUSTIN KNAPPER, ANSWER/RENNEN, POTTSTOWN, PA
WOW, was the one three-letter word going through everybody's minds as they exited Freedom Hall for the first day of action. If racing is this intense on Friday - what does the rest of the weekend have in store for us?!
Evidently, the BMX students at Lindsey-Wilson had a major test on Friday that they couldn't miss, but they came out in force for Saturday's Collegiate classes. Marian U had some good competition but still wound up filling up the majority of the lanes in the main events. In the Women's class, Lindsey~Wilson's Sabrina Bice (who is also on Factory DFR/Powerlite) had her work cut out for against all of the blue 'n black jerseys in her main, but was able to conquer the giants and score the win.
- 1 SABRINA BICE
- 2 HEATHER COLLMAN
- 3 KRISTEN KLEIN
- 4 ADRIAN SANDERS
- 5 ELIDA BEEMAN
- 6 NOELLE VIDAK
- 7 JAMIE WINDHOLZ
- 8 BAILEE ENLOW
- 1 JUSTIN POSEY
- 2 ALEC BOB
- 3 JUSTIN RICHMOND
- 4 LUKE ROARTY
- 5 COREY ROSS
- 6 TYLER WHITFIELD
- 7 DUSTIN HAMMOND
- 8 CHRISTOPHER WHITE
On Saturday, the "B.B." in the familiar nickname "B.B. King of Cool" did not stand for Bryce Batten; but instead today - it was an acronym for "Birthday Boy." The Arizona-ripper was celebrating his 17th birthday, and we were all looking forward to seeing how he'd do bumping up to the dual-age 17 and 18 expert ranks.
Friday's 17-18x winner, Tristen Judd, told us he was looking forward to racing the B.B.. "I love racing him. We've had some good races in the past. He's such a good kid and a skilled rider." Prior to the main, Judd had nothing but praises fortheThrodown racer. But we reckon he was less thrilled after flying over the second turn in the main, and smashing into the side line fencing, while trying to chase down the King o' Cool.
Batten fit right in, instantly, and scored his first 17-18x win right off the bat, followed in by Supercross'newfranchise-player, Kevin Pauls. With 33 riders, this wasn't the largest class of the weekend, but at this rate of speed - we will still boldly predict that Batten has a solid shot this year for the National No.1 Amateur title.
- 1 BRYCE BATTEN, THRODWN, GLENDALE, AZ
- 2 KEVIN PAULS, SUPERCROSSBMX.COM, SIMI VALLEY, CA
- 3 NICOLAS DETERS, ST PETERS, MO
- 4 WILLIAM SILVA, SSQUARED/ANSWER, ORLANDO, FL
- 5 VICTOR SILVA, HARO/PROMAX, ORLANDO, FL
- 6 JASON BAIRD, C-YAA FACTORY, GRAND BLANC, MI
- 7 PONTON CARY, WINCHESTER, VA
- 8 TRISTON JUDD, GOLD'S GYM/MONSTER ARMY, SEAGOVILLE, TX
When it comes to the largest class of the weekend, we'd be talking 13x. With 53 riders (good for 9 groups), there were some major National points on the line for the weekend dominator. ...and that would be Answer~Rennen's Birdman, Brandon Crain. After scoring the "snowman" on Friday, Crain was on a mission on Day 2 and wasn't about to let another one slip thru his Answer-gloved hands.
- 1 BRANDON CRAIN, ANSWER/RENNEN, VICTORVILLE, CA
- 2 HENRY CHUDZIK, HOMERGLEN, IL
- 3 COLE ZUFELT, C-YAA FACTORY, TRENTON, ON
- 4 SAMUEL NICHOLS, HARO/PROMAX, O'FALLON, MO
- 5 TYLER WRIGHT, STATELINE BMX, ARLINGTON, WI
- 6 BRYCE HOMAN, GLENCOE, MN
- 7 JUSTIN HOULDSON, HARO/PROMAX, HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA
- 8 EVAN SCHAEFER, FACTORY PURE, SARASOTA, FL
By Sunday afternoon, riders were picking up their day's awards while the luckier ones were collecting a cool silver cup for the President's Cup series; which had accumulated results over the three days of action-packed racing. On top of that, there were 43 State represented, that were competing for the ultimate prize; The President's Cup. Once the final main crossed the line, California was once again declared the winner ...we've now lost count of how many in a row that has been.
Here is the final tally:
8 North Carolina
18 New York
23 South Carolina
24 New Jersey
26 Rhode Island
30 North Dakota
36 West Virginia
43 New Hampshire