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Las Vegas Endurocross Race Results
Webb Wins Again, King Keeps His Crown
The 2013 Endurocross season went out with a bang in Las Vegas last night. I doubt anyone could have scripted the outcome to be more exciting. Like many of the early Endurocross races, there was so much action that it was hard to keep up on everything.
While there are plenty of story lines for the night. I think the biggest one was the track itself. I guess the Endurocross people finally got the message that Supercross style jumps really are not what the fans and riders want to see each week. After many rounds with “do or die” doubles that only the fastest could put together, the Vegas track went back to something that was much more sedate looking.
I should say that it looked sedate on the surface, but proved far more challenging that any track in recent memory. It also allowed a larger group of riders, those with real EX skills, to be competitive. Kyle Redmond proved this by putting up the fastest hot lap time. It was clear early in the night that the racing would be much closer. Webb, Aaron, Graffunder and Robert all looked fast on the track that favored the smooth riders and would bite those who were too aggressive.
With the title battle deadlocked, all eyes were on Brown and Blazusiak for the final. Regardless of anything else, who ever finished in front of the other would win the championship. They did not have to worry about anyone else on the course. Cody Webb came into the night as the best rider of late. Sherco’s David Knight was also on hand. As the former Endurocross champion, he was going back up against some of his old and current competitors. There isn’t much love lost between Knighter and Taddy.
When the gate dropped and the riders came into the stadium from the outside start, it was all Brownie and Taddy, just as everyone expected. For the first 3 corners, they laid bars against each other. Brownie finally came out ahead in the tricky parallel log turn. But he would run off the track before the end of the first lap, handing the lead to Taddy.
Just half a lap latter Taddy would go over the bars off the log leading to the wood pile turn, one of the hardest parts of the course. From there things went downhill fast. Taddy got up, but fell while pushing his bike. Knight plowed into the back of him with both bikes ending in a pile. Brown went for the pass and fell alongside the two. The whole race came to a stop momentarily in the resulting bottleneck.
After a bit more shuffling, Brown was back to the lead in the championship battle with Taddy dropping a bit back. But they had dropped a number of spots from the lead as Aaron, Redmond, Graffunder and Webb had got past. But Brown seemed to have lost his composure in the chaos of the first two laps. He and Taddy had been so focused on each other that neither was riding very well.
Even so, Brown had a slight cushion over Taddy. But he would crash in the water feature and later drop a wheel between the truck tires and his bike was wedged in place. Once Taddy came by, it was effectively the end of the title chase. Taddy would ride around mid pack, well off the lead pace. Brownie had lost all his mojo and would end up getting lapped by the leaders.
With so much action early, it was easy to forget what was happening at the head of the field. Geoff Aaron lead for a couple of laps chased by Kyle Redmond. But it wasn’t long before Cody Webb showed up and found his way to the front. From there he took off to get a comfortable lead by the middle of the race.
Behind him Cory Graffunder worked past Aaron and Redmond for second place. Cory was the fastest rider on the track for the second half of the event. He closed a full straight away of distance by the final lap and came right up on Webb in the matrix before the finish line. But Webb would hold on for his third straight win, giving him the most race wins for the season even though he missed one event due to injury. Cody finished 3rd in the championship, just 11 points back of the lead.
Rounding out the podium was Kyle Redmond on one of his strongest nights of the year. Colton Hakker was fourth. David Knight was never quite on form for the night. He looked to struggle with suspension set up. His collision with Taddy appeared to bang him up some also.
In the Vet Class, Kurt Nicoll and Adam Booth had a great battle, with Nicoll just coming out on top. In the women’s class, Rachael Gutish finally got her first win. She was the steadiest of all the women and had the fewest falls. The women’s class demonstrated just how hard the course was. At one point the entire class came to a dead stop in the log pit turn. Rachael was just aggressive enough to work her way past, yet not get in too much trouble herself.