Check out Argubright's race reports from Indy Endurocross and the OMA National in Indiana last weekend. - Press Release
EX Rd 3/OMA race **
This past weekend my family and I headed east to Illinios where my dad is from (and all of our family) and then we continued on to Indy for the third round of Endurocross. Sitting in 11th place in points, I was excited for what should have been a great weekend of racing. I had intended on hitting a local Ohio Hare Scramble, but by the time Thursday evening would come around, Mark Kariya had my dad talked into going to the OMA event just an hour outside of the city.
Friday Night Endurocross
Endurocross Friday evening was anything but the ordinary. Start with the abnormally large crowd, mix in the fact that it was Bike week, and then add the 7 foot 3 inch ex NBA player Rick Smitts and we were just an elephant short of a circus event. I was 11th in points, so I was one of the last to take the hot laps. My time was fairly good just at 1 minute, and for a few riders I was top 8 in time.
As more of the top 10 seeded riders went out, I was bumped down one spot at a time until I eventually settled at 18th. I was disappointed at where I was, but in reality was only 4 seconds off of the fastest time, who wasn't taddy!
In my first heat race things just didn't go as planned. I got a decent start and was working my way through the pack battling for 3th position. I took the finish line tire jump, and things just didn't work out. I tried to down shift into 2nd, but it went all the way into neutral, and as Mark Kariya happened to catch was the aftermath including a destroyed throttle assembly. I had to pull off and let Ed go to work, so in the mean time I relaxed and watched my friend Levi Jones compete in the Amateur race.
Levi did good, and actually finished 4th which would put him into the dash for cash at the end of the night. It was very exciting for him, because after all of the years that we have done this, it was his first time in the dash for cash! Before I could even realize it was my time for the semi and I lined up right alongside Chris Bach and Jaime Lanza, two of the best at what we do- needless to say it was a stressful race.
I hung it out and finished the race in third, which was good enough for the LCQ. I got close to Jaime at one point, but he just inched away as I got caught in the rocks. Into the LCQ I had a decent gate pick but I just failed to get a start. I was dead last, and desperately trying everything I could to get ahead. I made a few passes, but just couldn't make anything happen and had to settle for 10th place. It was good enough for 2 points, but disappointing to say the least.
After three rounds I am at 15th in points, and I plan to evaluate what I will do about round 4 this weekend. Either way, I am much better this year then I was at this point last year, and only time will tell if I can make it into the top 10, I will deffinately be hitting the final two rounds of the season.
Hoosier OMA Maxxis National**
There isn't much I can say about the OMA event, except- WHAT AN EXPERIENCE. It was a total learning experience for me, and had I taken the time to actually read through the rule book- remember I decided last minute to race this one- I might have finished a little better.
Saturday we got to take a practice run at the course, but they didn't have the entire thing set up. We got to ride on the mornings amateur sections, which didn't include some of the Pro only tech sections. I felt good and was really happy that it wasn't as muddy as my GNCC experience last year.
After the practice we had a mandatory autograph signing in the OMA tent, and I got to meet a whole lot of people who had no idea who I was! It was great meeting people from a different part of the country, and I really enjoyed talking to people about what desert racing was all about. Some of them even knew who I was which was cool, I kept getting the question- Are you the kid with the orange helmet?! I know that my dad was excited about that part!
Sunday morning I got to sleep in a bit and get a good breakfast before the race started at 2:30. I wasn't as nervous as I was at GNCC last year, mainly because we had ridden the course the day before. Off the start I was about mid pack and as soon as we got into the woods the lead guys began to pull a lead. Into the trees I made a right turn and thought that I was doing good. I got about 2 miles further in and found out that the red arrows I was following were for the mornings course! - Hense the part about not reading the rule book!!!!
Well by this point I was way behind, at about 38th overall. So I just started to ride my own pace and not really worry about where I ended up. I made a lot of passes, and ended up passing Levi on my second lap, he was having a dehydration issue and didn't look to be having a good time! At the end of lap 1 I was in 30th, but by lap 2 I made it all the way up to 13th. Not too bad for a desert racer!
I ended up riding with Steve Leivan who I know from Brian Elliott and the Endurocross series, and just kinda followed him around. Being that I wasn't in this for the points, I didn't want to do anything that might take him out, so I gave him his space and just enjoyed the day in the woods. Again like it was in Oklahoma, it was really freaking humid here, so I was definitely out of my element.
I got passed by Paul Whibley on my last lap, and then let both Thad Duval and Jordan Ashburn by. Finishing right behind Steve, I was 13th overall and 9th in the pro class. But most importantly I had completed an OMA race and now have a goal and bench mark for when I return next year.
The weekend was fun, and again I am one of the luckiest kids to get to race all over the country this year. As I was getting back on the plane to head home though, the only thing I was thinking was - I CAN'T WAIT TO GET BACK TO THE DESERT!
As always thanks to all of my sponsors Kawasaki of Simi Valley, Kawasaki Team Green, Monster Energy, TBT Racing, BRP, FMF, IMS, Fastway, Pro Moto Billet, Rekluse, and Off Road Support. It was really fun to get the chance to support them across the country this weekend. Also a special thanks this week to Mark Kariya for the awesome photos he got of me at both Endurocross and the OMA race!
My next race with either be the Lost Coyotes Dual European Scrambles, or the Washington round of the Endurocross series next weekend.
See you in the Desert!