Whitney and Kelly Top Megacross Season Finale
Megacross Shootout Series Championship
Mendota, IL – September 23rd, 2006
By Nikki Dixon
ts official, the 15th year of the Megacross Shootout Series is in the books. Although the threat of rain seemed to be the 2006 Megacross norm, the track crew ran a few races in the rain, dodged a few bullets, and all-in-all, had an exceptional year. An average race turnout of 300 entrants proved that Megacross is the place to race. Full classes from 50 Beginner to the Women's class to 250A give the riders and fans what they want, including exciting race action on the well-prepped stadium-style track.
A rainbow during practice at the Championship round was a fitting end to an outstanding season at the Megacross Shootout Series. With heavy rain surrounding the town of Mendota on race day, somehow the dark rain clouds bypassed the track, making for dry conditions and action-packed racing for the Megacross Championship round. Never in 15 seasons has the Megacross Shootout Series rained out three times, but 2006 would be the year to break all records. Turnouts, averages and rainouts, nothing was safe this season!
Derek Whitney picked up the 125A holeshot, with Justin Baker, Kevin Markwardt, Jason Donegan, and Scott Zont in chase. Whitney held onto the lead, while Markwardt quickly moved into the second position, but Baker stayed close. Zont moved past Donegan mid-race, with Justin Kelly charging to catch Donegan and Zont. On lap five, Whitney was still out front, and Markwardt bobbled in the turn after the whoops, handing the second spot back to Baker. Zont held down fourth, with Kelly and Donegan in striking distance. Whitney sprinted to the seven lap checkered flag, while Baker and Zont both gave up positions on the last lap in the small whoop section and bowl turn before the finish. Whitney, Markwardt, Baker, Kelly, and Zont wrapped up the top five.
In 250A, Jetti Pifer rocketed to the holeshot, with Scott Zont, Josh Pistole, Kevin Markwardt, and Jason Donegan in tow. 125A winner Derek Whitney went down in the start, opening the door for a new winner. Donegan crashed out on the first lap, advancing Justin Kelly into the top five. Zont pushed past Pifer to take the lead early in the race, while Markwardt picked off Pistole to move into the top three. Markwardt advanced into the second spot behind Zont on lap two, then slid out in a turn and went down. At the halfway point, Zont was out front, followed by Pifer, Kelly, Justin Baker, and Pistole. Kelly turned up the heat on Pifer, and moved into second with a few laps to go. Kelly then hunted down Zont, and closed the gap as they raced past the white flag, followed by Pifer, Baker, and Whitney, who was on the move after crashing in the start. Zont and Kelly went through the small whoop section bar-to-bar, and as they went into the bowl turn, the pressure got Zont as he went off the track, and Kelly took the lead. Kelly captured the hard earned win, followed by Zont, Pifer, Whitney, and Baker.
Chase Sexton had to work for the 50 Junior win over Jackson Jeffery. Sexton led the way, but Jeffery ran the pace, waiting for Sexton to make a mistake. Sexton finally opened up a gap on the last lap to take the win, followed by Jeffery finishing second. Dylan Boyd and Anthony Wallace diced the whole race for the third spot, with Wallace getting the edge at the checkered flag. Boyd and CJ Christensen completed the top five.
It was a close race out of the gate in 50 Senior, with Jacob Wehn leading the way, followed by Bryce Hemminger, and Tyler Scott. Jordan Cram was running in fourth when he fell in a turn on the first lap, and remounted in last. Leader Wehn went down on the first lap, as Hemminger, Scott, and Seth Blaeser moved into the top three. Cram was on the move, and had cracked the top four, with Wehn right behind. Hemminger kept out front for the win, Scott carded second, and Wehn picked off Cram and Blaeser to finish third.
Anthony Wallace started out front in the 50cc 4-8 class, followed by Thor Rick and Austin Howard. The 50cc parents were very animated, as they cheered on their young riders. Wallace kept on the gas, extending his lead, while Ryan Oseroff moved into second early in the race. Shawn Thompson and Ian Pistole made their way into the top four, and had a good race to the end, with Pistole getting the edge. Wallace, Oseroff, and Pistole finished in the podium positions.
Jacob Kelsey picked up the 85 Senior holeshot, trailed by Robbie Hyson, Maxx Malatia, and Durk Roper. Malatia quickly got around Hyson, and was ready to challenge leader Kelsey. The two ran a blistering pace, with Malatia trying different lines, looking for a pass opportunity. Kelsey rode flawless, and collected the win, followed by Malatia. Hyson, Roper, and Reese Miller diced for the third spot, with Hyson getting the nod.
In +30B, Jim Lyon was out front, with James Wehrman in tow. Donny McCauley held down the third spot in the opening laps, followed by a freight train of riders. With two laps to go, Justin Schaal made his way around McCauley, and Todd Heermann followed suit. On the white flag lap, Heermann turned up the pressure to get around Schaal and wrap up the top three behind Lyon and Wehrman.
Jordan VanDeWyngaerde collected the holeshot in 125B, trailed by Kyle White, Brad Fabrizius, Mike Chrisos, and Jakub Baker. White and Fabrizius sprinted out front, and were fighting for the lead, until Fabrizius slid out in the turn before the finish line jump, moving VanDeWyngaerde, Chrisos, Baker, and Dennis Morsch into the top five, behind White. VanDeWyngaerde then went down in a slick turn, while White was opening up a solid lead, trailed by Chrisos, Baker, Morsch, and Jake Fabrizius. The riders mixed it up to the finish, with White carding a big win, followed by Chrisos, Morsch, Jake Fabrizius, and Brad Fabrizius.
Wyatt Hall started out front in 250B, followed by Eric Hollub, Vini Provenzano, Nick Manning, and Dennis Morsch, who all avoided the pile-up in the start. Hall and Hollub were on the gas and running a close race as Hollub tried different lines, looking for an opportunity to take the lead. Manning slipped past Provenzano early in the race, and then Provenzano had his hands full with the hard charging Morsch for several laps. Morsch gained a position by the white flag, and Kyle Bracken was on the move after a bad start, cracking the top five on the last lap. At the finish, Hall took the win, with Hollub, Manning, Morsch, and Bracken completing the top five. Hall also topped the 14-24 class.
Nick Wallace carded the 65 Junior holeshot, followed by Logan Skaggs and Zach Sawko. On the first lap, Sawko twisted the gas to move out front, while Skaggs moved past Wallace and into the second spot. Tyler Scott and Sam Shanie mixed it up, with Shanie making a pass stick on Scott mid-race. Sawko checked out, catching most of the 65 Senior riders from the first gate drop to take the win, followed by Skaggs, Wallace, Shanie, and Scott.
The 65 Beginner class has been filling the gate all year. Damon Tatar led the class around the first turn, followed by Bailey Fessler, Trever Simpkins, Justin Carr, and Damon Quest. Simpkins then moved into second, behind leader Tatar early in the race. Fessler and Quest swapped positions the whole race, with Joshua Seibert moving into the mix late in the race. At the checkers, Tatar collected a big win, followed by Simpkins, Fessler, Seibert, and Quest.
In Quad A, Jeff Juran went inside in the second turn to move ahead, with Mark Brennan, Stephen Schenk, and Travis Jones in chase. Juran kept it out front, skying the big tabletop triple on his way to victory. Behind him, the battle for the final podium spots was fierce. Schenk passed into second, and Brennan, Jones, and Jeremy Beetz went through the whoops three-wide on the white flag lap. Juran collected the win, followed by Schenk and Brennan.
Daniel Olson picked up a big holeshot in Quad C, with Jory Dalsanto, Jaden Landwehr, Billy Garkey, and Derick Skaggs in tow. Olson opened up a small lead in the opening laps, while Garkey was on the move, picking off Landwehr, and putting the pressure on Dalsanto. On lap three, Garkey turned it up in the rhythm section to move past Dalsanto, and into the second position. Garkey then set his sights on the leader, Olson. On the last lap, Garkey tried his luck again in the rhythm section, railing the outside berm and passing into the lead to take the checkers, with Olson and Dalsanto wrapping up the top three.
Season-end thoughts from Promoter Gerhard Ward, "The way the season started we all thought that this was a year to forget right out of the box. But then some of the things came together, like our new water system and a few changes with the track that the riders seem to like. Wouldn't you know that at the time we are trenching in water lines, it rains more then ever? I have told many that if there was any way to understand exactly why the turnouts this year were so much improved, we should bottle it, outsell Pepsi, and retire from the racing business! Next year looks interesting with the class changes and new bike models out there. We plan some subtle changes and of course improvements to our organization as we have continued to do. Hopefully we will see this trend stay and will need to start earlier! Hope everyone has a great fall and winter, and don't forget our Megacross & Fox Valley Off Road Play day November 12th; MSR, Tucker, Answer, and Pro Taper gave us a ton of stuff to give away. Plus! it's an open ride with a meal.........nice way to go into winter.”