Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bar bangin' under the lights

The fans came out in droves for the 44th anniversary of TNMX at P.I.R. last Thursday, and they were not disappointed. 70 pros came out to qualify for the nights main show, which had a $15,000 purse to offer to the field, with the winner walking away 2,500 big ones richer. That kinda cash can get you to the next few nationals, or fund one killer post win party. Whichever way you choose to spend your dolla bills, they would have been hard earned Thursday, as the competition was no joke. Jeff Alessi made his return to racing, '08's winner Tiger Lacey is always fast on Thursday's, '09's winner Daniel Blair is no one to forget about, and one time Pro Circuit driver Bobby Bonds was in house as well. NW pros like Tevin Tapia, Mike Horban, and Nate Whitlow always ride hard, and there were some new faces behind the helmets this year, like the very exciting Jimmy Decotis.

One of the highlights of the night was watching Austin Ulrich back up his prediction, and holeshot the first pro heat, only to have the race red flagged after a gnar crash in the back of the pack. But in dramatic fashion, Ulrich pulled out his slick bag of tricks, and nailed a second holeshot on the restart. I'd say that falls under the definition of "badass," right there.

The field was so stacked that it took three heats, and two LCQ's to set the roster for the main event, which was set to drop gate at 9:30, but didn't get under way until almost 9:50. Jeff Ansett led the majority of the race, before finally cracking to the pressure that Bonds was applying each corner of each lap. Behind them, the race for third blazed on, as Jeff Alessi battled with Daniel Blair, and NW hero Nate Whitlow in close tow. The final checkers waved around 10:15pm pacific time, with Bobby Bonds taking home the coveted Red Bull broom, followed by Alessi and Blair.

But the pro racing was only part of the evening, as hundreds of local amateur racers lined up on the same gates throughout the night as well. 50's, and mighty 450's, beginners and the fastest intermediates, all had some serious racing to contend to. The P.I.R. track is always well crafted and tended too, and tonight was no different. Truckloads of sand were brought in to provide a near dreamy racing surface, and the layout, with split sections for amateurs and pros, made for epic racing no matter what class you were apart of, or watching. With so many fans and riders, the sponsors showed up in full force as well, with a full FLY racing vendor, Red Bull mini coupe, complete with Red Bull ladies, and the always inspiring Hooters babes to come and dish out free wings. It felt like being a part of an AMA SuperCross race, with all the fans, pros, pristine track, and sponsors.

It truly was an epic Thursday night for motocross, and here's to 44 years of great racing under the lights. I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say I can't wait to see what 45 years has in store for us next summer. Hope you all had a blast rubbin' plastic with your buddies, watching some great racing, and enjoying some of the best facilities the northwest has to offer with friends and family.

Yup. Yup. Yup.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Warsh-ougal motor-cross

2010 Washougal national is just days from dropping the gate on the 8th round of the AMA circuit. It's gonna be a barn burner with tons of good racing, good weather, beer gardens and scantly clad women to try and divert your attention from the racing with their "assets." Be strong, and keep your eyes glued to the track for 30+2, then you'll be free to chase all the tail you want once the checkered flag waves.

The start straight has been re-vamped for 2010, replacing the short funnel that of years passed that left anyone in the back of the pack shit outta luck. It was also the cause of many o' first turn pileups that either ruined a guys day, or made it all the better (RC coming from deep in the pack in 2006).

If I was a betting man, oh wait, I am a betting man, I'd put the money I don't have on Pourcel in the tiddler class. He's been a bit inconsistent this summer, but he's a badass on a dirtbike and if anyone can find traction on the big dirty ice skating rink we call Washougal, it'll be Pourcel.

The 450 class is a toss up. The church boy of Dungey has been dominant since round 2. He looks like a seasoned vet, stomping on a bunch of B riders most days. But the gray haired K-Dub returned last weekend at Millville and got 3rd o/a straight off the couch. He's excited about racing and he's always fast at Washougal. He thwarted Ricky not once, but twice here, making Washougal the worst track in Ricky's illustious career, statistically. I'd say the gold is going to go to one of the two, but don't count out a surprise ride from someone like Josh Grant or Andrew Short, who have both shredded some serious gnar at Washougal in years passed.

Although if Ronnie Mac were there, I'd put all my chips on his redneck ass.

See ya at the races!