ANAHEIM, Calif. (Sept. 29, 2009) – Yamaha’s Jason Raines, a western U.S.-born enduro racer who’s become one of the top stars of eastern GNCC-style enduro racing, is starting to get the hang of this GEICO AMA EnduroCross, presented by E3 Spark Plugs, thing – making his first EnduroCross main event of the year recently in South Carolina and looking to implement plan to improve upon that this weekend in Columbus, Ohio.Raines, a two-time GNCC runner-up and four-time AMA National Hare Scrambles champions (not to mention multiple time ISDE medalist, two gold) has set up shop with his wife and daughter in South Carolina while he pursues his dream of racing dirt bikes for a living, while running some serious training schools for up-and-coming racers when he’s not competing. Living the dream, for sure, for those who relate to dirt bikes.But one thing’s come between Raines and success on the GEICO EnduroCross tour. Well, make that a number of things. Like the “Monster Energy Matrix,” “Maxxis Boulder Mountain,” the “Lucas Oil Rock Quarry” and “Moose Racing Log Jam.” All aptly named obstacles on the GEICO EnduroCross tour that gives the world’s best off-road racers, such as Raines, fits when they boot up to race EX.”Everybody at EnduroCross is a great rider,” says Raines. “The only thing is, when you step outside your boundaries – like when the West Coast enduro riders come to race the GNCCs – you’re not nearly as confident and it takes you a while to get comfortable. Goes both ways – east guys going out west to race, too. I mean, look at Paul Whibley (current GNCC points leader). He came out and did the first EnduroCross (Vegas). You see him at a GNCC and can’t believe how strong and fast he is. Then to see him at an EnduroCross track being real timid and getting pushed around a little – that’s just the way it works with EnduroCross.”Raines went as far as to build his own EnduroCross track, “complete with a Matrix and everything,” he says. But not even making the main event his first two attempts at EnduroCross in ’09 hit home hard with the highly decorated – both here in the States and abroad – racer.”Season’s starting to get a little better – it was kind of a steep learning curve for me,” said Raines, who actually raced only four GEICO EnduroCross events in his off-road career. “First round (Vegas) I was in qualifying position, made some mistakes and didn’t get in. Took me a long time to get comfortable. Racing in that format’s tough. And I’ve got a really good track I practice on, but unfortunately there’s not ten other guys to race with.”With “OK” speed coupled with admitted “consistency” issues early on, Raines finally cracked the code at his hometown race in Florence, S.C., and made the EX main event – barely. “Going into my hometown race in South Carolina I’d pretty much stuck to the same program that I was comfortable with, but changed up my race strategy a bit. First two rounds I seemed to follow people, which was kind of messing me up. At Florence I rode my own lines and tried not to get behind guys and that worked out really good for me. I wasn’t the fastest guy, hot lap wasn’t any good, but I was consistent and didn’t make many mistakes.”At the Florence Civic Center Raines placed 3rd in his heat, one spot out of making the main, then 2nd in semi – one spot out from making it to the main, before winning the LCQ in classic come-from-behind EnduroCross fashion. “I feel like I’ve kind of turned the page since Florence with my EnduroCross racing,” he says.But Raines, as do many other riders, is quick to point out that GEICO EnduroCross, by far, is the toughest event he has to deal with on his Yamaha. “For us, as racers, EnduroCross makes everyone of us look like an average Joe out there,” says Raines. “Watch a typical off road race, supercross or motocross – everything’s pretty calculated and consistent. With EnduroCross there’s nothing saying who’s gonna do what, no clear cut favorite. Everything’s so inconsistent. But that’s one of the best things about being part of it, both for racers and fans. You can be in the right place at the right time and come out smelling like a rose, or you can be in the wrong place at the wrong time and end up at the back of the pack.”This weekend Raines will be in Columbus in hopes of making Saturday’s (Oct. 3) EX class main event at the Schottenstein Center. And just to show how tough he and his buddies are, there’s talk of doubling up and hitting the Can-Am GNCC round in St. Clairesville, Ohio, on Sunday morning. “Me, Kyle Redmond and a few other guys are going to try and do double duty. It’s going to be tough, but we’re planning on it,” said Raines. “Our 100-percent focus is the EnduroCross on Saturday, then from there we’ll see what happens. It’s a two hour drive and we’ll be racing on limited sleep. So if we do the GNCC it’ll just be an added bonus for the weekend.”From his Jason Raines Racing Riding University to his Full Circle Training Camps, Raines is on point in the sport of GEICO EnduroCross and poised to move the #100 Yamaha up in the standings as the series continues.To check out more on Jason Raines, hit up his website at: www.rainesracing.comCombining multiple off road motorcycle racing disciplines such as western U.S. desert enduro racing and eastern cross country racing with technical trials-style riding, GEICO EnduroCross showcases riders from all over the world that excel in these fields.What: 2009 GEICO Powersports AMA EnduroCross Series, presented by E3 Spark Plugs, round four
Who: World’s top off road motorcycle racers, both pro and local Ohio area racers
When: Saturday, Oct. 3rd
Tickets: At Iron Pony, Athens/Lancaster Sport Cycles, the Schottenstein Center Box Office, by calling (614) 292-2624, or online at www.endurocross.comEnduroCross 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. The GEICO Powersports AMA EnduroCross series will be captured by the Versus Network, to be aired on the popular grassroots racing program; The Lucas Motorsports Hour. With its excitement and unpredictability, the EnduroCross championship has always 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” – and be sure to log-on to www.Versus.com for local airing dates/times for the Lucas Motorsports Hour.For rules and race information visit www.EnduroCross.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For TV airing dates/times visit www.motorsportshour.comSource Interlink Media Motorsports:
Encompassing the highly successful Maxxis AMA MiniMotoSX, the GEICO Powersports AMA EnduroCross Championship Series and the GEICO Powersports AMA EnduroCross Grand Championships, the Source Interlink Media Motorsports brands reach millions of motorcycle enthusiasts with live events, DVD packages, web sites, television and magazine coverage. Visit www.minimotosx.com or www.endurocross.com.