Circle City Nationals race report
Circle City BMX has got to be one of the most unique track layouts in the country, with its much-talked-about criss-cross section, where riders hit a right-hand turn and crank into a 275-degree turn that crosses back over the first straightaway. The entire facility is just as cool as the track itself - first class all the way, and everybody looks forward to hitting up the Circle City Nationals.
So why have they dubbed Dothan the “Circle City”? Is it because that first turn does an oblong circle before crossing back over the first straight? Possible but doubtful. The real reason, you'll discover when you look at Dothan on a map, their main thoroughfare around town is a circle. It’s not a perfect circle, though. It looks more like backwheel of a 13 year old novice who thinks he could clear the third straight doubles and came up short. Yep - Circle City is actually a cased back rim.
With such an incredibly different - yet awesome track layout, there is sure to be some equaly as awesome racing to match. On Saturday, the best main of the day has to go to 15x, where racing was TIGHT! From the start, it looked like Factory GT's Weston Meurlot got the snap on his 15x comp, but by the first jump - he got kicked a bit high, leaving room for J&R's Mathew Haas and Factory Yess-man Nolan Caldwell to pull up alongside. As they hit the second jump (a set of doubles), they were at fullspeed, elbows out and bar-to-bar. Things were so tight over the next giganto tabletop that Caldwell and his Yess weaved off the track and into the infield, leaving room now for WiaWis' Drew Polk and Free Agenteer Charlie Biggs to get up toward the front.
By the end of the long, loooong first straightaway, after hitting the final set of dubs, they were nearly four-abreast at the start of the first turn. Original leader Meurlot and his GT ride squeezed down low and he'd lose a bunch of his momentum. Haas had taken over the lead and was haulin' beans, with Polk on his right and Biggs to his left, breathin' hard down his neck.
Polk was applying more pressure than a chiropractor as the hit the criss-cross section, but Haas did a fine job of holding him off. As they head into the final turn, it was still Haas' race to win or lose. Polk railed the last turn and as the top-3 racers blastest onto the final (long), rhythm-filled straightaway, Polk pulled up alongside the J&R ripper and it was a pump 'n sprint to the stripe. Drew Polk and his carbon WiaWis were just a tad smoother and faster and snagged the lead at the halfway point, but Haas wasn't about to give up. As they crossed the line, everybody was on their feet - excited to watch such close Nascar-like racing. Polk got the narrow win, followed by J&R's Haas, and Biggs snaggin' a solid third.
By far - the best main of the weekend (so far).
- 1 DREW POLK, WIAWIS/LSG, AVON, IN
- 2 MATTHEW HAAS, J&R BICYCLES.COM/SPEEDCO, WELLINGTON, FL
- 3 CHARLIE BIGGS, FREE AGENT-BOX, BELMONT, NC
- 4 WESTON MEURLOT, GT, NEW SMYRNA BEACH, FL
- 5 HENRY CHUDZIK, POWERLITE-DANSCOMP-DFR, HOMERGLEN, IL
- 6 BRETT STRIPLING, DADDY'S SPONSORS, MANCHESTER, GA
- 7 ZANE THOMAS, CYCLECRAFT, CAPE CORAL, FL
- 8 NOLAN CARDWELL, YESS, BELMONT, NC