2008 overall champion Ricky Dietrich and defending ’09 Pro Junior champ Colton Haaker fail to make main
IRVINE, Calif., (July 28, 2010) – High hopes heading into the opening round of GEICO AMA EnduroCross, presented by E3 Spark Plugs, at Vegas’ Orleans Arena were dashed for two former EnduroCross champions – Monster Energy/Kawasaki’s Ricky Dietrich, the 2009 overall Pro class champ, and Colton Haaker, last year’s E3 Spark Plugs Pro Junior champion – both of whom failed to transfer to the main out of their qualifiers.
Tough luck? Sure was. But if we revisit comments from both Dietrich and Haaker leading up to the Vegas EnduroCross opener, it’s not that surprising that something like this would happen – as both admitted.
Dietrich, from MonsterEnergy.com:
Monster Energy: Who are some of the other riders in EnduroCross that fans should keep an eye on this year?
Ricky Dietrich: There’s definitely a large pool of talent out there. That and some random dudes will pop up, always do. Shoot, a couple years ago, in ‘05 when I did good nobody really knew who I was. Got 3rd and kind of put my name on the map, so there’s always new kids that can come up and do something like that – as well as all the favorites that are there. So you never know.
And Haaker, from EnduroCross.com:
GEICO EnduroCross: We’re fortunate to have here in the States the world’s premier indoor off-road racing series. That said, what do you feel is the most difficult aspect of GEICO EnduroCross?
Colton Haaker: The most difficult part is staying out of trouble. It’s such a small track and there’s so much that can go on with other riders … just staying clean and getting some luck on your side will go a long ways in EnduroCross. You could be having a great night and some guy falls in front of you and you have nowhere to go. So the most difficult part is actually racing it. A lot of people can ride EnduroCross, but to race it is a LOT different.
So with Dietrich and Haaker out of the points picture in the first round, Taddy Blazusiak (KTM) and Geoff Aaron (KTM) took charge in the overall Pro class points chase, going 1st/2nd, respectively, while Husqvarna’s Cory Graffunder grabbed the overall Junior Pro championship points lead when he joined Blazusiak and Aaron on the podium (3rd).
Summing the whole EnduroCross main event qualifying saga the best – also in a pre-Vegas interview – was defending champ Blazusiak: “It’s nice to win races, but you have to remember that to win the race you have to qualify for the race. And it’s really easy not to do that.”
Both Dietrich and Haaker are looking forward to getting back to their winning ways when GEICO EnduroCross returns to action Aug. 14th at Guthrie’s (Okla.) Lazy E Arena.
EnduroCross tracks incorporate various elements of off road racing into a supercross-style setting, including rocks, boulders, logs, sand, mud, a water-hole … and even a few special obstacles like giant tires thrown in! Known as the “toughest racing on two wheels,” this indoor version of extreme off road racing will certainly keep you on your feet. With its excitement and unpredictability the EnduroCross championship has always gone down to the wire and this year will be no different as the series starts and finishes at Vegas’ Orleans Arena! Don’t miss your chance to see GEICO Powersports AMA Endurocross “Live.”
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