The second round of WORCS has rolled in to Primm for the last few years and has become a fan favorite as the adjacent desert makes for a sandy, fast and flowing racecourse. It also doesn’t hurt that the Buffalo Bill’s casino is right next door allowing for quick access to restaurants, shopping and (if you’re not afraid of freezing your buns off) the Buffalo Bill’s rollercoaster. A little rain fell Friday night to aid the track conditions and, come Sunday morning, the course was nearly perfect and all of the Pro and Pro2 riders were eager to get out on track, adjust the throttle to maximum and get a little squirrelly in the sand.
I was freaking out on the start line. It was a dead engine start and my bike, rather consistently, would only start on the second kick. I kept going through my meticulous dead engine start routine, but to no avail; my bike simply wanted to start second kick. I was boiling with frustration when my teammate, Ty Renshaw, finally yelled at me, “Stop messing with it! Just kill it, kick the thing and go!” I did as I was told for another practice start and the bike fired right up. “That was good enough for me,” I thought, “let’s start this race.“ It was an intense silence as a full row of Pro and Pro2 riders anxiously awaited the slightest flicker of movement from the green flag and as it finally flew to release us I gave the kick-starter a powerful throw of my leg. My engine lit immediately, catching me slightly by surprise, and I let the clutch out and rushed down the start straight. I was around fifth as I rounded the first corner, but I was quickly able to jet by a couple of riders and move into third position. Just ahead of me, Ty had obviously heeded his own advice as he had taken the holeshot and led us onto the infield section, followed closely by Tallon Taylor. As we headed into the back section, Tallon made a pass for the lead and I found myself right on the back of Ty, looking for a way into second place. This section of racecourse had been re-prepped overnight and was absolutely epic; it was glassy smooth, damp sand with fluffy berms on the outside… and yes, we were pinned. I railed the outside of a left handed sweeper and was all over the back of my bike, looking for every mph I could muster, as I raced side by side with Ty and before the following corner, I was just able to edge by and into second place. I soon had Tallon close in my sights and as he took an outside line, I dove inside and block passed into the lead. Tallon still had the momentum of the outside line and he was trying to motor back by me. Again, I was all over my pony, spurring her on as we raced for sole possession of the next corner and as we rounded the following right, I had taken first position for my own and pushed to put a bit of distance on the field.
As the first lap came to a close, I had managed to put a few seconds on Ryan Abbatoye and Gary Sutherlin, who had made their way into second and third, and as the lines started to form, over the following few laps, I started to feel the flow of the course and began expanding my lead over the pack. By the midway point I had pulled out over forty five seconds and was really enjoying my time on the track; I’ve never been the fondest of sandy conditions, but with the course being so enjoyable, it was hard not to have a smile under my helmet as I was skimming the edges of the racecourse, looking to maintain as much momentum as possible. It was an incredible sensation, to feel as though I was in complete control of the race, and with just a few laps to go, my mind started to get the better of me as it began to sink in that, after seven years of trying, I was heading for my first WORCS win. My last lap was surely my slowest as I took my time, soaking it in, and when I finally crossed the checkers I felt a huge swell of pride and accomplishment; I’d finally won.
It definitely isn’t lost on me that Taylor wasn’t there, among a few other past champions, and that’s a shame to me as I feel I’m enjoying the best form of my career and I want to be racing a field full of the best racers on the GP scene. Still, this is a huge accomplishment in my career and it felt amazing to at long last be the one standing atop the box. I want to thank my team: Precision Concepts, Alamo Alarms racing and all of the fantastic team sponsors for their outstanding effort, my personal sponsors: Fox Racing, THR Motorsports, USWE, Asterisk, Northland Motorsports and HookIt.com for their continued support, my mechanic Phil, my family, my wonderful fiancé and her family for making a surprise arrival this weekend and helping in the pits, Camron for being my ambassador of Quan and all of my friends for believing in me all this time. I also want to congratulate the entire WORCS crew for successfully putting together their first “super event”. I felt the course was fantastic, the schedule went off without a hitch and it was great to have such a packed pit, full of spectators, racers and vendors. All in all it was an amazing weekend for me and I’m looking to keep the momentum rolling next weekend as I’m planning on doubling up, hitting the Adelanto Grand Prix on Saturday and then heading out to Glen Helen on Sunday for the first ever Gary Jones Western Off-Road Championship Series race. See everyone at the races!