Whitney Takes Two at Megacross Mudder


Megacross Shootout Series

Mendota, IL Ė September 9th, 2006

By Nikki Dixon



Itís like clockwork this year, if a Megacross race is scheduled, so are the rain showers.  Lightning was off in the horizon during practice, and then the skies opened up during the first half of the heat races.  The steady rain made for an interesting stadium-style track, where a few slick turns were a challenge lap after lap.  Staying on two-wheels through the first three turns after the start seemed to be half the battle.  And donít forget the added weight of the sticky clay under the fenders, and the time spent pressure-washing afterwards.  Regardless, over 330 entrants put on a few extra tear-offs and gave it their all, most happy that the races were called based on the heat race finishes, and others wishing for a second chance in the mud. 


Donít miss the Megacross Championship race on Saturday, September 23rd.  This is the last chance to race Megacross this year, and after several rainy race dates, weíre due for great weather for the final race.  With Megacross bonus points and a drawing for a free year family pass, make sure to catch the action!


The 50ís raced on a dry track, as Jason Hack picked up the holeshot in 50 Senior, with Tyler Scott, Kai Devine, Jeremy Martin, and Austin Ryan in tow.  Jordan Cram had a bad start, but moved into second behind Hack in the opening laps.  A great battle for third shaped up between Scott, Ryan, and Devine.  Cram caught up to Hack on the last lap, but not enough to make a charge at the lead.  Hack collected the win followed by Cram, with Ryan edging out Devine and Scott for third place honors in a close race.


Chase Sexton, Tomas Aubone, and Justin Mack went three-wide around the first turn in 50 Junior, with Sexton pulling ahead of Aubone and Mack in turn two.  Behind them, Bryce Austin, Jackson Jeffery, Dylan Boyd, and Anthony Wallace were in pursuit.  Jeffery was on a mission, as he moved all the way up to second on lap two.  Sexton checked out for the win, with Jeffery taking the runner-up position. Aubone and Austin held down third and fourth, while Boyd and Wallace duked it out to the finish for fifth, with Boyd getting the call.


Thunder rumbled in the distance as Kevin Markwardt collected the 125A holeshot in front of Derek Whitney, Kody Molitor, Jonathan Six, and Justin Baker.  As they completed the first lap, Whitney pulled side-by-side to leader Markwardt through the whoops, but Markwardt shut the door in the next turn.  Whitney stayed with Markwardt the whole race, while Moltior held down third, and Baker and Justin Kelly climbed into the top five.  Whitney made his move on the last lap, by going inside in the small whoop section, and pushing Markwardt high in the berm to take the lead and the win.  Markwardt, Molitor, Kelly, and Baker wrapped up the top five.


Jacob Wever started out front in 65 Senior, followed by Rick Nichol, Kyle Nelson, Jordan Mackiewicz, and Steve Simmons.  Nichol went down in a bowl turn, while Nelson, Simmons, and Travis Ward moved up behind leader Wever.  Wever kept out front, despite early pressure from Nelson, while Nichol rallied back to a third place finish after his early crash.  Mackiewicz and Ward rounded out the top five.


In 65 Junior, Logan Skaggs rounded the first turn out front with Zach Sawko, Jason Hack, Chad West, and Nick Wallace in chase.  Skaggs led the opening laps, followed closely by Zawko as they caught up to most of the 65 Seniors.  West moved past Hack early in the race, as lightning light up the entire night sky.  With a lap to go, Zawko took over the lead and held it to the checkers, followed by Skaggs, West, Hack, and Sam Shanie.


The rain started to fall while the 65 Beginners took to the track.  Damon Tatar collected the holeshot in the 19-rider field, followed by Jordan Cram, Jordan Tornow, Damon Quest, and Jacob Pogliano.  Cram turned it up on the first lap, and jumped past Tatar on the step-up double at the end of the rhythm section to take the lead.  On lap two, Tornow was all over Tatar for the second spot, with Tornow eventually making the pass.  Pogliano went down in a turn, while Cram motored to the win, trailed by Tornow, Tatar, Quest, and Justin Carr.


As the track turned slippery, Burton Lavens grabbed the holeshot in the 18-rider +25A/B combined start, followed by Josh Pistole and Wesley Parker.  In turn three, Parker went down in the uphill off-camber, collecting a few other riders as well.  Pistole then took over the lead, followed by Lavens, David Hayes, James Abbott, and B-riders Troy Quest and Jesse Keith.  On the second lap, leader Pistole slid out in a slick turn, handing the lead back to Lavens.  Hays, Pistole, and Abbott then battled for second the remainder of the race.  At the finish, Lavens, Pistole, Abbott, Hayes, and Keir Sexton finished top five in +25A.  In +25B, Keith and Brian Goodin made their way past early leader Quest to complete the podium.


The 21-rider 85 Senior class braved the slick conditions, with every rider finishing the race.  Daniel Sanders led the pack around turn one, followed by Reese Miller, Robbie Hyson, and Durk Roper.  There was a pileup in the second turn at the first tabletop, and second place Reese Miller slid off the track.  Then another cluster of riders went down on the off-cambered third turn.  Durk Roper emerged the leader as they entered the rhythm section, with Sanders, Hyson, Alex Zimmerman, and John Pogliano behind.  The top three were running a close race, but Roper used his mud-riding skills to open up a small lead on his way to victory.  Sanders carded second, while Hyson ran into problems on the last lap.  Zimmerman finished third, followed by Blake Couch and Maxx Malatia who diced for position the entire moto.


The 14-rider Womenís class stepped up to the challenge, and everyone did their best to stay on two wheels and complete the race.  The front runners were still on the gas despite the slick and muddy track, and racing hard to the finish.  April Roper used her mud-riding experience to finish out front, followed by Whitney Miller, Briann Stiles, Theresa Lanute, and Stacy Bukowski.


The muddy conditions didnít slow down the 250A class, as they just pulled a few more tear-offs while they raced hard for position.  125A winner Derek Whitney showed that he can win rain or shine, taking the victory.  Justin Kelly, Wesley Parker, Scott Zont, and Ty Tyrrell rounded out the top five.  Kevin Markwardt and Kody Molitor, who finished on the podium in 125A, didnít fare as well in the muddy 250A race, finishing outside the top five.


Nick Manning picked up the holeshot in 250B, with Ryan Underhill, Matt Dissell, and Kyle Bracken in pursuit.  The 16-rider class was slipping and sliding and roost was flying everywhere as they fought for position.  Many riders went without goggles in an effort to see.  Underhill dropped back in the pack on lap one, while Dissell and Mike Chrisos moved into the top three.  On lap three, leader Manning went down in the whoops, advancing Dissell, Chrisos, and Underhill into the top three.  Wyatt Hall was on the move, advancing into the top five after being in last on the first lap.  Dissell collected the win followed by Chrisos, Underhill, Hall, and Jesse Keith, who edged out Bracken and Manning for the fifth spot.


Arick Abraham led the 16-rider 125C Division 1 around the muddy first turn, with Tyler Mcintosh, Stephen Stocklen, and Doug Smith behind. Reese Miller was right up there fighting for the holeshot, but slid out.  Second place Mcintosh went down in the uphill off-camber, allowing Stocklen, Smith, Jeremy Newell and Lauren Hicks to advance position.  The mud didnít faze leader Abraham, as he was on the gas riding like it was dry on his way to a big win.  Miller put in a hard ride, coming from near last to battle Tyler OíNeill for third.  At the checkers, Abraham, Stocklen, Miller, OíNeill, and Luke Kaszynski wrapped up the top five.


The 15-rider 125C Division 2 was the last class to take to the track as the rain continued to fall.  Michael Monn rocketed to the holeshot with Jody Walker right behind.  In true 125C style, the tabletop out of the second turn looked like a parking lot, with all the bikes that went down or were stopped.  Joe Downs went off the track and moved into third, followed by Cole Johns and Neil Johnson.  Johns then went down on the uphill third turn.  As they went through the rhythm section on lap one, the running order was Monn, Downs, Kevin Kline, Walker, and Scott Holmes.  Monn checked out, as he had clear vision and distanced himself from the pack.  Second place Downs crashed in the off-camber mid-race, with third place Walker stalling as he approached Downs.  Holmes, Kline, Joel Miller, Kyle Kuhn, Johns, and Johnson then caught up to Downs, and the second place finish was up for grabs.  Monn captured the win with a half a lap lead over second place, while Kuhn, Downs, Kline, and Johnson completed the top five.


Talking to Wardy after the races, "Tonight was a test of the brave and diverse riders. You could tell what riders out there have ridden in this stuff.  Not many times do we race in these conditions in a stadium atmosphere.  Fantastic practice for those who wanted to perfect their rusty "mud" riding skills.  The track held up pretty well but was getting harder and more treacherous as the night went on.  We had to make a hard decision tonight, on whether to continue racing with the mains. After picking up all those kids out there, and no way the 50's or 60's would make it around. We decided to call it a race.  Not to sure that same decision would be made if we were running outdoor MX races!  But we pushed our luck far enough, bikes were getting hot, riders were falling everywhere, the "fun" was starting to wear off!!!  Hats off to the Women, 80's and all the riders who went out there and showed us, that a little rain and slick conditions didn't ruin their fun. Don't forget, Megacross Championship Sept. 23rd, don't bother looking at the forecast, 14 day is already calling for rain!!!!"