W

e all had something to be thankful for this year. The 47th Thor Mini Olympics went down at the legendary Gatorback Cycle Park in northern Florida this past week, despite a financial disagreement between the promoters and track owner earlier this year that threatened an end to the long-running motocross championship. But thankfully that got resolved. The Mini O’s always runs over Thanksgiving week with the first half of the week dedicated to a supercross-style track and the second half to outdoor motocross. Tuesday evening a torrential downpour lasting only an hour but bringing a few inches of rain flooded motorhomes and created lakes in the pits. This did not stop any racing. However constant precipitation on Thursday did force the first day of motocross to shut down completely and families were forced indoors for Thanksgiving. Friday morning the track was surprisingly rideable and racing began early. So many bikes and the conditions created a very rough MX course Friday and Saturday that was a bit one-lined. It seemed that passing was the issue, and how most racers started was close to where they finished.

Carter Halpain
Racing the new and mostly stock 18 YZ450F was Carter Halpain. Halpain won 250 A SX and finished second in 250 Pro Sport, 450 Pro Sport, and 450 A.Jacob Souder
Taylor Painter
Texan Taylor Painter went 1-1 in 30+ Vet MX for the championship. He has won Loretta Lynn’s, Ponca MX, and now Mini O’s Vet +30 in 2017.Jacob Souder
John Grewe
Michigan’s John Grewe continued his reign of terror, claiming five titles between the MX and SX racing. The only rider to beat Grewe was Timmy Ferry.Jacob Souder
Nathan Hummel
From St. Louis, Cobra rider Nathan Hummel won gold in the 51cc 4-8 Limited MX and SX championships.Jacob Souder
Garrett Marchbanks
Monster Energy Team Green Kawasaki’s Garrett Marchbanks finished 1-1 in the 450 Pro Sport outdoor championship and also won the overall in the SX portion of the same class.Jacob Souder
Jesse Flock
From Tulsa, Oklahoma, EBR Yamaha-backed Jesse Flock displayed amazing speed all week that earned him gold in 450 B Limited. Bad starts and crashes kept him from better finishes In other classes.Jacob Souder
Ty Masterpool
It was the 125 debut at Mini O’s for the highly remarked Ty Masterpool, the newest member of Star Yamaha’s crew. Masterpool won Schoolboy 1 12-16 B/C MX but lost both 125 B/C MX and SX to a very fast Jarrett Frye, who won three titles.Jacob Souder
Derek Drake
TLD/Red Bull KTM rider Derek Drake proved he is the real deal as he steps up to the A class this year. Drake won 250 Pro Sport MX championship ahead of all the heavy hitters. He also finished second in 250 A and 450 A.Jacob Souder
Stilez Robertson
Another big-bike debut was Stilez Robertson in the B class. Robertson won 250 B Limited SX and finished second in 250 B/Schoolboy 2. However, a large pileup in 250 B Limited claimed Robertson and he DNF/DNS the remainder of the MX championship.Jacob Souder
Jett Reynolds and Matthew LeBlanc
Two young guns, Jett Reynolds and Matthew LeBlanc, found each other in several motos throughout the week for great battles, but LeBlanc had nothing for Reynolds as he won each of these battles.Jacob Souder
Garrett Marchbanks
Kawasaki’s Garrett Marchbanks scrubbed the finish on his way to the 450 Pro Sport SX championship.Jacob Souder
Haiden “Danger Boy” Deegan
Haiden “Danger Boy” Deegan did what he does: Show amazing bike handling ability on his way to the 65cc 7-11 championship.Jacob Souder
Collin Allen
A very happy Collin Allen celebrated his 65cc 10-11 SX championship. Allen also won the 65cc 10-11 Limited MX title.Jacob Souder
51cc 4-8 Limited SX first turn
Here’s the 51cc 4-8 Limited SX first turn.Jacob Souder
Jett Reynolds
Monster Energy Team Green Kawasaki’s Jett Reynolds is a monster. Jett won six titles at Mini O’s and is on pace to shatter the Loretta Lynn’s Championship record.Jacob Souder
Daxton Bennick
KTM Orange Brigade’s Daxton Bennick climbed out of the “Gator Pit” on his 65. Bennick won gold in the 65cc 10-11 limited SX championshipJacob Souder
Matthew LeBlanc
Star Yamaha’s Matthew LeBlanc won silver in nearly every class against Jett Reynolds. This is a rivalry that’s certainly one to watch.Jacob Souder
Jordan Jarvis
Yamaha’s Jordan Jarvis won both Girls Sr. SX and MX championships.Jacob Souder
Jeremy Ryan
Californian Jeremy Ryan won Supermini 2 (13-16) after saving this near crash.Jacob Souder
UTV in the mud
Making the best of the conditions on Thanksgiving, these kids were pulling a table with a UTV in the mud. At least they put their helmets on.Jacob Souder
Gator Pit
This was the bottom of the Gator Pit on Thursday. These kids stood on the actual racing surface.Jacob Souder
2017 Thor Mini Olympics
Despite the rumors of the national shutting down earlier in the year, the turnout was still massive.Jacob Souder