Markwardt and Martin Top Megacross
Megacross Shootout Series
Mendota, IL – May 28, 2005
By Nikki Duranczyk
Racing families and friends kicked off their Memorial Day Weekend with Saturday night racing under the lights at Round 4 of the Megacross Shootout Series. 230 entrants took to the track for a great night of racing. The expert classes were stacked with top riders from the Midwest such as Ross Martin, James Polvolny, Kody Molitor, Kevin Markwardt, Derek Whitney, and Justin Kelly, making for some great battles in the main events. Markwardt, Jeremy Gauer, Keir Sexton, and Maxx Malatia all emerged as double class winners on the night.
Jeremy Gauer put his Yamahas out front in both 125C and 250C. In the 125C heat race, Brendan Parks had the holeshot. Gauer was right behind, but he and David Mapes went down in the first turn, moving Corey Knott and Zachary McCoy into second and third. Parks held the lead until lap three when Knott went inside in the turn after the whoops to move into first. Knott collected the heat race win with Parks and Logan Schmidt in tow. Gauer finished tenth after the first turn crash.
In the 125C main event, Parks started out front again with Mapes right behind, but Gauer quickly moved into the lead on the first lap. Gauer stayed out front until the checkered flag, with Parks and Nick Cadena rounding out the top three.
Jake Miller picked up the 250C holeshot in the heat race followed by Gauer and Adam Therriault. Gauer worked past Miller on lap one and stayed out front for the win, while Therriault, Steve Perkins, and Joey Zimmerman battled for second, with Zimmerman getting the edge in the last few turns.
Billy McCauley rocketed to the holeshot in the 250C main, but bobbled in the off-camber hump turn allowing David Mapes to take over the lead. Gauer put pressure on Mapes and made the pass stick on lap two. Gauer rode to victory, while Zimmerman was all over Mapes on the last lap, but Mapes held him off to take second.
Kevin Markwardt piloted his brand new RMZ 450 to victory in the exciting 250A class and said “Ross [Martin] was riding great; I just had one of my good nights. It’s great to be out there riding with these guys and having fun. Hopefully I can keep the wins coming. I would like to thank 4-Play Racing, the Riley family, Tuf Racing, UFO, and Scott.” In the heat race, Jetti Pifer started out front, but Ross Martin quickly took over the lead, while Markwardt worked into second after a bad start. Martin cruised to the win, with Markwardt and Molitor rounding out the top three.
“I had fun. I hope to come bang bars with these guys again soon,” said James Polvolny after taking third in the 250A main. Martin and Markwardt came into the first turn together, with Martin taking the inside line to get out front. Then the crowd was treated to a sea of Suzuki’s of Martin, Markwardt, Justin Kelly and Polvolny who all doubled up the first two tabletops in the rhythm section. Markwardt patiently studied Martin’s lines and mid-race, Markwardt stuffed Martin in a turn to take over the lead. Markwardt held on until the finish followed by Martin and Polvolny. On the podium, second place Martin commented about Markwardt’s win with “he was riding really good. I didn’t expect him to come up after I got that holeshot.” Markwardt also rode to victory in the 4-Stroke class over Molitor and Kelly.
Ross Martin topped the deep field in 125A. In the heat race, the first lap was a Suzuki freight train with Molitor getting the holeshot followed by Derek Whitney, Martin, and James Polvolny. Molitor held the lead while Polvolny quickly moved into second and was closing in on Molitor. Polvolny tired to go inside for the lead, but got sideways off a jump and crashed, moving up Martin and Whitney. Molitor captured the heat race win, while Whitney took advantage of Martin who slid out two turns before the checkered flag to finish second.
Molitor started out front again in the 125A main event with Martin and Jonathan Six in tow. Polvolny went inside on Six in the big berm to take over third, while Molitor and Martin were going at it for the lead. Martin was in attack mode and on lap four made a pass stick on Molitor in the off-camber hump turn. Then Molitor clipped a barrel, opening up the lead for Martin. Polvolny wanted Molitor and that second position and the two riders went at it for a few laps, even running side-by-side at times, until Polvolny slid out in the hump turn on the last lap. At the checkers, it was Martin followed by Molitor and Polvolny. After the close race with Martin, second place Molitor said “it was tough for me to keep up. I’m lucky I got a good start. Ross is flying around these hard packed corners. I would like to thank Pro Source Motosports, SoCal, DeCal, 4-Play Racing, and my family who came out to watch the races tonight. I’m happy they are here.” Third place Polvolny said “It was a tough race and hard to come from behind. The track is really slippery, and it’s tough to get around.”
Jeremiah Johnson owned the 250B class, leading from start to finish in both the heat and main. In the main, Johnson started out front, followed by Austin Halterman and James Wehrman. The action for the second position was non-stop. In the first lap, Jesse Keith moved past Wehrman and started working on Halterman. On lap three, Keith briefly moved into second, but Halterman shut him out in an off-camber turn and bumped Keith wide. In the meanwhile, Charles Harpe moved into the mix and passed Keith. Harpe then took the inside going into an off-camber to get by Halterman for second. At the checkers, it was Johnson followed by Harpe and Halterman.
Nineteen riders lined the gate in 125B. In the heat race, Justin Baker started out front with Derik Kostellic and Casey Profita in tow. Travis Kelsey and Ty Tyrrell were on the move as they worked past Profita on lap one. Kostellic kept Baker honest until he slid out in the big berm after the long straight on lap three. Baker then checked out for the heat win followed by Kostellic and Tyrrell.
In the 125B main event, Profita picked up the holeshot with Kostellic and Kelsey behind. On the first lap, Kostellic took over the lead, while Baker was on the move and found his way into second. Baker wanted the win and was doing all he could to try to catch Kostellic, even jumping the big triple, but it wasn’t enough as Kostellic rode a solid race for the win. Baker and Tyrrell completed the top three.
KTM-mounted Chase Sexton captured the win in 50 Junior. In his podium interview, Sexton was asked if he works on his own bike, the crowd smiled as young Sexton answered “I help change the oil.” Sexton was on the gas in 50 Junior, even finishing ahead of some 50 Senior riders as the two classes dropped together. Jacob Wehn and Jackson Jeffrey completed the 50 Junior podium.
Tom Jungles started with the holeshot in the 50 Senior heat race followed by Damon Quest and Logan Skaggs. On lap one, Skaggs went down in the off-camber hump turn, and Blake Schaefer moved into third. Skaggs remounted and was on a mission as he closed the gap on the leader on lap three and did the step-up jump at the end of the rhythm section to pass Jungles for the lead. Skaggs collected the win, followed by Jungles and Schaefer who raced side-by-side to the finish.
In the 50 Senior main event, Jungles started out front again with Schaefer in the hunt, but by the end of lap one, Skaggs had moved into the lead. Skaggs raced away for the main event win, while Jungles and Schaefer had another close race for second, with Jungles out front across the finish line.
“I just wanted to say thank you for my grandma and grandpa for coming out tonight,” said Maxx Malatia after his 65 Junior win. Malatia won the heat race over Robbie Hyson and Rick Nichol. In the main, Hyson and Nate McLeese were out front, and Malatia had to pass into the opening laps. But Hyson didn’t give up and kept with Malatia and was trying to find a spot to pass back into the lead. Then on the white flag lap, Hyson went down in a deep rut in the turn after the finish line whoops, which opened the door for Malatia to cruise to the win, followed by Hyson and McLeese. On the podium, Hyson said “I was having a good moto and keeping it smooth through the corners. It was just that one rut.” Malatia, Hyson, and McLeese also finished top three in 85 Junior.
After a close race in the main event with Jacob Conroy, Quad B winner Brandon Bracken said “[Conroy] wouldn’t get off me. That was too close of a race. He definitely stepped it up tonight.” Bracken had an easy win in the heat race, as he got the holeshot and never looked back. Nick Hollars and Jason Shearer followed Bracken, but on the first lap, they piled up in a off-camber turn with Shearer flipping over his quad. By lap two, Conroy moved into second and tried to chase down Bracken, but it was too late.
In the main, Bracken started out front again with Conroy and Hollars in tow. Conroy gave his all trying to reel in Bracken, but came up short. “[Bracken] just never gave up,” said Conroy on the podium when asked about the tough battle.
Twelve quads filled the gate for Quad A, with Nick Mardis coming out on top. After a sixth place finish in the heat race, Mardis had his word cut out form him in the main. Heat race winner Bryce Walters picked up the main event holeshot with Mardis right behind. Walters bumped Mardis off the track in the start, but Mardis quickly recovered and stayed in second with Jay Schwerman in a close third. Mardis turned it up on lap two to take an outside line through a turn to move into the lead over Walters. Once up front, Mardis held on for the win, with Schwerman and Walters rounding out the top three.
In the Women’s class, BriAnn Stiles dipped inside on Nikki Duranczyk to get the heat race holeshot, followed by Theresa Lanute. Stiles lead from wire-to-wire, despite heavy pressure from Duranczyk, with Lanute holding down third. In the main, Stiles started out front again with Lauren Hicks and Duranczyk in tow. Hicks went down in an off-camber turn on lap one, while Duranczyk and Lanute advanced positions. Stiles pulled away to take the win, with Duranczyk and Lanute rounding out the top three.
James Polvolny dominated the +25A class. In the heat race, Polvolny started out front and never looked back. Burton Lavens and Michael Hall completed the top three. In the main, Polvolny had another holeshot followed by Lavens and Tim Filippi. Hall was on the move as he caught up to Filippi and worked for two laps to pass into third. Polvolny checked out for the win, in an all Suzuki podium completed by Lavens and Hall.