Limestone 100 GNCC, Tyler Bowers In For Las Vegas, James Stewart Status, and Argubright Tops H&H! - The Weekly Dirt: April 30, 2014

By the DR Staff

Welcome to Weekly Dirt, your place on the Internet for off-road news from around the world. This week we check in on the Limestone 100 GNCC in Indiana, which was won by Charlie Mullins. We also delve into the H&H near Lucerne Valley that was won by Jacob Argubright. Our report wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t fill you in on James Stewart and Tyler Bowers, who are both “in” for this weekend’s supercross in Las Vegas. There’s plenty to talk about, so let’s get going.

James Stewart In For Vegas

Photo By Shan Moore

The entire moto nation took a deep breath when James Stewart tweaked his knee in this weekend’s main event in MetLife Stadium in Newark, New Jersey, with some pundits speculating that he might have to miss this weekend’s series finale in Las Vegas… or worse, the outdoor series.

Stewart rode off the track holding his knee, which is never a good sign, and no word was issued by the team that night after the race. So it was a big relief when Yoshimura Suzuki released that Stewart will race the season finale next Saturday. Although Stewart injured his left knee, he has since recovered and feels good about racing next weekend.

“We were really concerned after the New Jersey race on Saturday night,” said Yoshimura Suzuki Team Manager Mike Webb. “But although he twisted his knee pretty bad, we had it checked out this morning and we all feel good about James racing the final round of Supercross. We’ve had a tremendous season this year, with James winning five main events, picking up his 50th career victory and taking over second on the all-time Supercross wins list. James and the whole Yoshimura Suzuki team are looking forward to ending the 2014 season on a positive note in Las Vegas next weekend.”

Tyler Bowers To Ride Vegas For Chad Reed

Tyler Bowers will ride a TwoTwo Motorsports Honda this weekend in Las Vegas. Photo By Shan Moore

It’s been confirmed that Tyler Bowers will ride a Discount Tires/TwoTwo Motorsports Honda at this weekend’s Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series finale in Las Vegas. Bowers won last year’s 250 race in Las Vegas, and the smallish course in Sam Boyd Arena may very well favor the current and four-time Arenacross champion. We’ll see on Saturday night.

Bowers just recently wrapped up his fourth GEICO Arenacross title.

Charlie Mullins Wins Limestone 100 GNCC

Charlie Mullins took over the lead in the XC1 point standings with his win at the Limestone 100. Photo Courtesy Ken Hill/GNCC Racing
Kailub Russell suffered a big crash early in the race. Photo Courtesy Ken Hill/GNCC Racing
Kacy Martinez claimed her fourth win of the season in the Women’s Pro class. Photo Courtesy Ken Hill/GNCC Racing

Charlie Mullins put an end to Kailub Russell’s three-race win streak in the GNCC series with a huge victory at this weekend’s Limestone 100 GNCC in Springville, Indiana. At the same time, the FMF/KTM rider took over the XC1 GNCC point standings heading into the mid-way point of the 13-race series.

The Limestone 100, round five of the 2014 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series, also saw a breakout performance by Raines Riding University/Atlas Cycles' Ricky Russell, who captured his first XC2 Pro Lites victory of the season with an impressive fourth overall for the day.

Kailub Russell came into the race with a two-point advantage over fellow his FMF/KTM teammate, Mullins, but after three hours of racing Mullins, the 2011 GNCC National Champion, left with a seven-point lead in the championship standings.

Russell took the early lead in the three-hour race, however, after three laps of leading the pack, the West Virginia rider experienced a big crash that sent the reigning champion end-over-end and to the ground.

Mullins capitalized on the situation, taking over the lead and holding it to the finish. RideMPS.com/AMSOIL/Honda's Thad DuVall also capitalized, moving into the second place position after Russell’s crash and then held off a late charge by Russell to take the runner-up position. Russell settled for third after an incredible effort that brought him from outside the top 10 after the race to third at the finish.

Ricky Russell finished fourth overall for the day and topped the XC2 division for the first time in his career.

In the Women’s Pro division Kacy Martinez captured her fourth win of the series.

Overall Results

1. Charlie Mullins (KTM)

2. Thad DuVall (Hon)

3. Kailub Russell (KTM)

4. Ricky Russell (Yam)

5. Paul Whibley (Yam)

6. Grant Baylor (KTM)

7. Stu Baylor (KTM)

8. Takeshi Koikeda

9. Jordan Ashburn (Yam)

10. Josh Strang (Yam).—Shan Moore

Jacob Argubright Takes Husky Back To The H&H Winner's Circle

Jacob Argubright is no stranger to the winner’s circle (though he hadn’t won since last season’s finale), but it’s literally been decades since Husqvarna has overalled a hare & hound National, possibly since the early 1980s. He’ll miss the next round this weekend in Utah, however, as he instead protects his series points lead in the AMA West Hare Scrambles Championship Series, run in conjunction with the AMA District 37/GPR Big 6 Grand Prix Series event in Primm, Nevada. Photo By Mark Kariya
Nick Burson helped conduct a new-racer seminar right before the Youth races on Saturday. On Sunday, he didn’t get the start he normally expects and had to play catch-up while fighting with a broken brake pedal. An eventual third place let him retain the series points lead, and he’s stood on the podium all five rounds so far. Photo By Mark Kariya
Mikayla Nielsen ran away with the Pee Wee race, then lined up for the combined Micro Mini (65cc)/Girls event immediately afterward. Despite almost no rest, she apparently had momentum on her side, claiming second Girl and sixth overall. Photo By Mark Kariya

The way Jacob Argubright’s been riding lately, Husqvarna won’t have to wait 30-some years for its next victory in the AMA/SRT Hare & Hound National Championship Series.

It’s likely that either Dan Ashcraft or Dan Smith won on one of their dominant Huskys in the early 1980s, but Ashcraft couldn’t recall when contacted by e-mail.

At any rate, it was a history-making day for Argubright who emerged on top after battles the entire race near Lucerne Valley, California. First, it was FMF/KTM Factory Off-Road Racing Team’s Ivan Ramirez out front, though he ceded the lead to THR Motorsports/Monster Energy/Precision Concepts Kawasaki’s Ricky Brabec before the end of the 40-mile first loop. That allowed Brabec to pick up the $100 Bike Week Radio Show bonus.

From there, Brabec dueled mostly with Argubright, the Bel-Ray/FMF/Moose Racing Husky factory racer saying, “I learned from last round that when the wind strikes, they said a lot of the markings were down so I knew to maybe take it down a notch and just not make mistakes because I made a lot of mistakes blowing corners last time.”

He minimized such mistakes this time and managed to get the upper hand over Brabec for good during the 40-mile second loop, picking up his first triumph since last year’s season finale. Brabec held on for second despite snapping off his front-brake caliper, and Purvines Racing Beta’s Nick Burson retained his series points lead after kind of limping in for third, having broken off the tip of his brake pedal.

After a nearly race-long duel with Max Eddy, Jr., Ryan Smith posted a fourth-overall finish--his best ever and a tremendous achievement for the 250cc Expert winner. Eddy settled for the Vet Expert victory and fifth overall.

Brabec admitted to being very tired after two races in two days as he and Eddy had partnered at the inagural SCORE Imperial Valley 250 near El Centro, California, the day before.

The duo were first to the finish line, but after tracking data reviews and consideration of protests, the WFOx Motorsports Honda team of Mark Samuels and Ian Young (substituting for injured Rider of Record Colton Udall who continues to recover from his broken femur of two weeks ago) wound up the winners, Brabec/Eddy relegated to second place. —Mark Kariya

That’s all for this week, be sure to check in next week for more news from the off-road world.