The heat races got underway with the best race of the night as Wilson, Motoconcept’s Gavin Faith, and Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin were all going for, at at one time in, the front position. Eventually Wilson pulled a slight margin, Hahn washed out his front end, and Musquin held steady in second. The second 250F heat was the first of young Geico Powersports Honda’s Zach Bell’s career, but he rode with a lot of body English and confidence from his holeshot right up until a really horrible crash over one of the track’s triple. Bell separated from his bike and landed hard. He was down for a couple minutes, but got up on his feet and onto the Asterik Mobile Medical Unit’s Mule to head off the track for observation. The race, 4 laps into the 6 lapper, was red-flagged then restarted with yet another staggered start. Three years ago no one would have believed this start style for a race too far into the lap count to make a gate drop seem fair. The racers lined up in the positions they’d held and restarted. It looks odd, but it’s a good and fair way to reward riders for the positions they’d worked up to before the red flag. The race has a wild finish with Wharton aggressively diving inside Team National Switchgear/Shea Racing/PassportWorld.com/SMS Racing KTM rider Steven “Scuba” Clarke coming out of the final corner. The two tangled up the face, with neither crossing in a finishing position. The AMA’s official finish line scoring isn’t necessarily counted from the lip of the jump, so initially Wharton was awarded 9th (qualifying into the main), even though he didn’t make it over the jump in 9th. The AMA considered the finish, and awarded 9th to Clarke, who also hadn’t crested the jump before several other riders had passed. All told, it seemed like another odd, but fair move on the part of the AMA officials.