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Midwest Nationals Race Report

Filed under General on June 20, 2015 | Comment(s)

WORDS AND IMAGES: Jason McGuire

 

It is always an exciting time whenever I get the opportunity to visit a track, especially one that carries as much history as Rockford. Luckily for myself, this is the year that I finally got to board the plane and make that trip happen. I was certainly excited, as I totally had no clue what to expect besides what you hear on social media or through word of mouth.

We made the trek from Chicago to Rockford and after a quick pit stop at the BK Lounge; we were off to the track. Upon arrival it was already clear that the track was placed in a beautiful setting. Booming trees and thick grass everywhere the eye takes you. Campers were lined all down the driving path to the track, and I certainly cannot blame them based on how beautiful it was. Especially since there is a creek running right through the park, which I didn’t realize until I made it down to the track. 

The track itself is maintained with the utmost care. A perfect coat of soiltac, a rhythmic flow, and enough obstacles to constantly keep you on your toes. Of the entire night, the best part was watching pros and top experts gap off the triple out of turn one onto the step down that rockets you into turn two. There is not much of a lip to take off from, but those with the best bike skills were making it look simple.

Race time rolled around and the Elite Women loaded up the gate. With so many various events coming and going within the next few months, the showing for both the men and women was quite small. Only sixteen gents and a half-dozen ladies. Nonetheless, the battle between GT’s Felicia Stancil and J&R’s Amanda Carr was nothing short of awesome. Given UCI rules, the class ran just like your typical total points race. The first round was a drag race down the last straight, but Carr would get the edge. The second round was very much of the same, but this time Stancil was on top. In the final round, Carr was on the inside, which may not always be the best place with Rockford’s dogleg right first straight. Over the first obstacle Stancil had a slight edge and she moved over to shut the door on Carr. After that it was a game of chase, but the track was not long enough for Carr to make a move happen. Stancil would take the win, Carr for second and New Zealand’s Victoria Hill would finish third to round out the podium.

In Elite Men, there were a handful of top guys not in attendance, but that doesn’t mean those who showed up are slacking. Last weekend’s Sunday victor Corben Sharrah was ready to try for a repeat, while Sam Willoughby, David Herman and Justin Posey were all looking to knock him down. With no semis it was straight to the main. One lap no crap for the cash. Out of the gate Posey, Willoughby and Herman were all bar-to-bar. Posey slid underneath and powered out trying to pull Willoughby. Luckily for him, it was just enough and he would get the holeshot by two and a half inches. It hasn’t been that close in a while, but thee was no doubt it was exciting. After that, Willoughby stayed on the inside line through turn two and would start to pull away. While it was certainly close for a minute, Posey would end up settling for second while Sharrah made moves happen and grabbed the final spot.

The Friday night pre-race is in the books and we are ready to roll for tomorrow. With looks of the rain holding off, it should be a beautiful weekend that will make the racing even better. Now, let us all get some shuteye before we pin the throttle tomorrow and as always, check in with us throughout the day for updates and use #bmxattherock for all your posts this weekend. See you at the races! 

 

SATURDAY: 

What a whirlwind of a day we had. At first arrival, overcast skies were looming, but there was no rain in sight for hours. With perfect temps and low humidity, we were ready to go racing!

As the first two qualifying rounds went off, we were pushing hard to try and beat the rain. Unfortunately for us, Mother Nature had plans of her own and it involved a lot of rain. It started with a drizzle and got a little heavier. After about an hour delay, we caught a break and moved straight into the Vet, Women and Men Pro main events.

With the vet’s up first, everyone was ready to get it over with before the next storm cell moved in. We even saw Javier go down in front of his lane to wipe things off. While we don’t think it helped him, he sure had an awesome first straight, but once again it was Cristian Becerine with things in control. Person Pauleto has also been making a big push on the class, even picking up a win at the Super Nationals. For him, he was able to take off in Cristian’s draft and hold on for second and Javier finished across the line in third.

Immediately following we had the ladies on the gate. A quick intro and we were off! Amanda Carr and Felicia Stancil were close until the second obstacle. I am not sure if Felicia slipped, or what happened, but she quickly got shuffled to the back. Carr was gone like a rocket and held off her competition for a big win. 

With more rain rapidly approaching, it was decided to skip past the pro rollout, but the fans were still lining the straightaways cheering on their favorites – complete with rain ponchos and umbrellas. The gate slammed down and Sam “I am” Willoughby took to the wet conditions like a fish to water. There was certainly no worry in his mind and he was there to race. He pulled away with the kiwi Trent Jones right on his tail. As the filed down the last straight Willoughby and Jones would go one and two while Justin Posey and Corben Sharrah were bar banging for third. In the end, Posey grabbed a couple of more dry spots and crossed the line in front to take the overall third.

Luckily for us the pros were done for the day, with the exception of A Pro, and we ran the quarters without issue. At the end of quarters we ran into another small delay, but Mother Nature played nice and let us push through semis and into the mains.

The A Pro class loaded up and it was obvious the hometown hero Tyler Whitfield was the favorite of many. While he has had his ups and downs in 2015, he was fired up and ready to kill it. At the drop of the gate he was out like a rocket, but was trying to find a way past Leo Dos Santos. He would finally get his opportunity in the final turn where he showed his home track lines by railing the top perfectly. He went around and would ride away with the win. Behind his was Layne Gainer from Arizona. He was able to take the inside and get a final push on Dos Santos, who would still end up on the box in third.

After a handful of amateur main events, that would be the end for day one. At 13  Novice the clouds unleashed and the downpour began. That would be all she wrote and we will continue with day one first thing Sunday morning. We will be updating our social media pages throughout the day with all of the important info, and if you are reading this, be sure to be ready to race at 8 AM sharp. See you tomorrow as we are in high hopes for sunshine and BMX! 

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Tags: bmx, USABMX
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