By Michael Allen
Up until three days before the 45th running of the historic Elsinore GP, I had no intentions of racing. Funds have been tight and I had just finished forth in the NHHA championship. At the beginning of the week, I was hearing more and more hype about how much fun it was going to be and how I’d be missing out if I didn’t participate. The main thing that was holding me back was the steep entry fee ($125 per race to be exact). Nonetheless, I decided to give the Dirt Rider YZ125 a race prep and head down to Elsinore Saturday morning to race the unclassified race. I figured it would be good practice for the Mushman 100 race on Sunday.
Early Saturday morning I was informed that unclassified was all full. It was then that I ran into fellow D-37 racer Justin Shultz, his partner for the team race had bailed, so he asked if I wanted to team up and race. I figured this was a perfect way to pre run the course and prepare myself for Sunday’s 100-mile adventure. We decided to race the DR YZ125 and just have a good time. That “good time“ ended up being a great time and we finished 4th overall out of 80+ entrants, on a 125 no less.
Sunday morning I slept in and arrived at the track at around 11am to start preparing for my race at 1:45pm. I lugged all my pit supplies over to the designated area, filled up the 125 with sweet two-stroke gas, got my gear on and headed to the line. We were given three envelopes and told to choose one of the three, which contained our starting position. I chose 65, not the best number, which put me on row 10. I got to my line and was informed that the race would be a land rush start meaning all rows went at once.
As the flag girl raised her arm and dropped the flag, I put my bike in gear and was off. Lucky for me there were quite a few people who stalled their bikes so all I had to do was weave through them and into the first turn. After a few miles the faster riders started to sort themselves out from the beginners, and to my surprise at the end of the first lap I was in 10th overall and slowly catching other racers. I put in a few hard charging laps and made my way to seventh only to get a rear flat one mile into lap five. I limped the bike around the course and came into the pits knowing I had all the tools and a spare set of wheels with the correct sized sprocket. With some help from Travis Flatu and Scott Denny I was back in the race in less than 3 min.
After the flat, I knew I had a lot of ground to make up if I still wanted to finish in a respectable position. Lap after lap, Travis held out a pit board letting me know where I stood. It seemed that every lap I was picking someone off, watching the pit board go from 12th to fifth. There were a lot of fun battles with fellow racers including one with pro WORCS racer Justin Seeds. I didn’t realize that he was lapping me due to my flat tire down time. I thought he was a racer coming from behind and was trying to take my position. We had a heated battle dicing back and forth many times, mixed with colorful words before he overtook me and left me in the dust just before the finish line. I found Justin after the race and told him I had no idea he was leading and lapping me!
I crossed the finish line in fifth overall after 100 miles and two and a half hours, which I was quite surprised with considering I was aboard the little 125. Maybe it was the sweet UFO plastic that helped me go so fast. The course was a blast with a lot of fun sandy turns and deep ruts. They also added a motocross section mixing up the course nicely. Before I left the track, I received my tremendous trophy and $250 cash. A big thanks goes out to Dirt Rider Magazine for letting me use the YZ 125. Thank you to my sponsors for always being behind me. I am always happy to represent AMSOIL, AME grips, Fasst co, Dirt Digits MSR, SIDI, Moto Nation, TBT racing, FMF, Acerbis, Malcolm Smith Motorsports, and Total Chaos Fabrication who helps me throughout the season with assistance of all kinds.