Straddleline WORCS 2015 Race Report & Photos

Straddleline, Washington - Round 7

Straddleline ORV Park in McCleary, Washington was the site for the 7th round of the 2015 WORCS race. It was also the location for one of the most exciting finishes in WORCS history during the previous year in the Pro class, where there was a lead change in the last corner before the finish. Ricky Russell was edged out by Gary Sutherlin in a log-turn after nearly 2 hours of racing. The two would face off again this year in a highly anticipated rematch.

Joining them in contention for the win would be a slew of WORCS talent. Justin Seeds, Travis Coy, Eric Yorba, Jesse Lundin, Blayne Thompson, Justin Morgan, Jacob Argubright, John Beal, Eric Giese, Kyle Porter, Ty Tremaine as well as series point leader Robby Bell, who was recovering from an injury. The climate would be a factor in determining the race outcome. Though the coastal regions of the NW are normally lush and green, uncharacteristically hot and dry weather had browned the vegetation and extracted most of the moisture from the dirt.

The WORCS X event was held Saturday evening, giving spectators a condensed view of off-road racing action over some challenging obstacles. It was a relative sprint at less than 15 minutes in duration, but paid out a full round of series points. Eric Yorba earned first, Gary Sutherlin second and Ty Tremaine placed third in the Pro class.

The main event on Sunday saw major drama in the first 10 seconds of the race. Several Pro riders tangled while entering the first turn causing Sutherlin and Coy to go down and Thompson to collect his marbles off the side of the track before returning to the race. Russell made it through the first turn in the lead followed closely by Argubright, Seeds, Tremaine and Bell. Seeds took over the lead before leaving the track, but quickly gave it back to Russell while in the woods.

Tremaine pushed his way to second while Russell was first to slip through the deep forest silt. Meanwhile, Sutherlin was on a mission to make up for the first turn pileup. He rode like an aggressive silverback gorilla, muscling his 450 around while making up positions under the dark evergreen canopy.

At the halfway point, Russell was comfortably out front. Tremaine crashed out of the race following a small bobble in the woods. Sutherlin stampeded into the number two spot. Morgan and Argubright were close enough to be considered a battle as the leaders made their way in the dust through lapped traffic.

Russell was the first to see the checkered flag wave as he earned the WORCS round victory in the Pro class. The Washington state native turned GNCC racer, executed his strategy. Russell explained, “I wanted to get a good start with the dusty conditions and just make minimal mistakes unlike last year where I crashed a few times. I am just happy to get my first Pro 1 WORCS race win after I was so close to getting it last year.”

Sutherlin held onto the second position while Argubright would outrun Morgan for the final spot on the podium.

Gary Sutherlin was on the gas everywhere.Photo by Ben Baucum
Travis Coy managed to finish a respectable 6th place in the Pro class despite hitting the dirt in the first turn.Photo by Ben Baucum
The woods were dark and dusty.Photo by Ben Baucum
Jacob Argubright worked his way up to 3rd in the Pro class.Photo by Ben Baucum
Sutherlin in route to 2nd place.Photo by Ben Baucum
Ricky Russell rode with speed and intelligence on his way to victory in the Pro class.Photo by Ben Baucum
Justin Seeds had a great start, eventually finishing 5th on the day.Photo by Ben Baucum
Justin Morgan was one of a few to run a trials tire.Photo by Ben Baucum
Washington is the Evergreen State and the trees are proof. Though it looks lush, it was actually bone dry.Photo by Ben Baucum
Justin Morgan hooks up on the way to a 4th place finish in the Pro Class.Photo by Ben Baucum
Ricky Russell and Justin Seeds pick clean lines through the first turn. Blayne Thompson takes the ragdoll route.Photo by Ben Baucum
The NW is Sasquatch country. Spectators didn’t seem at all spooked by the WORCS monster.Photo by Ben Baucum
Eric Yorba on his way to a 9th place finish.Photo by Ben Baucum
Travis Coy rode the lone 2 stroke for the WORCS X event, in the Pro class.Photo by Ben Baucum
Blayne Thompson saved some tear-offs for the race the next morning.Photo by Ben Baucum
Ty Tremaine and Gary Sutherlin are no strangers to EnduroCross sections, the two finished on the podium for the Saturday evening race.Photo by Ben Baucum
Jacob Argubright was hampered by the dark and dust. He fell victim to a bad line at the back of the course and could not continue.Photo by Ben Baucum
Tremaine discusses the race with his dad and John Beal.Photo by Ben Baucum
Ricky Russell finished 4th in the Saturday evening event.Photo by Ben Baucum
Eric Yorba got a good start and held off some serious talent on his way to the WORCS X victory.Photo by Ben Baucum