McThoughts: 250 East Round 1 – Atlanta
By Jeff McConkey
Round 1 of the 2016 250 East Coast SX series went off on Saturday night in Atlanta, Georgia. The track looked good, but I was honestly expecting bigger whoops. I feel the East may be a little bit more stacked this season compared to the West. Top 10’s aren’t going to be easy with all of this talent. Let’s take a look at the results, and my thoughts.
1st Martin Davalos: I bag on poor Martin a lot, but I’ve always respected his speed and talent. I’m just disappointed that this is his 11th year in the 250 class. Yes, 11th. Anyway, Martin rode a flawless race and took the checkers. He rides into Daytona with the red plate. And, dang, those Huskys look great with the red plate!
2nd Malcolm Stewart: Malcolm was very aggressive and looked great all day. From the very first moment I saw Malcolm on the track, he impressed me. I’ve never seen him look so aggressive and so good. He would have won if it wasn’t for a not-so-great flagging job going into the sand. Even after the crash, if we would have had one more lap, Malcolm would have won.
3rd Aaron Plessinger: This guy is fun to watch. From 9th to 3rd is no fluke. Plessinger had a great ride and is still my pick for the East Championship.
4th Jeremy Martin: Jeremy wasn’t bad, but Jeremy was great, either. He had a solid ride, but if he wants to compete with the top guys he needs to start better than 12th. He is very much still a championship guy.
5th Justin Hill: What a ride for Hill. They had him in 21st off the start. Justin’s fantastic ride in Atlanta saved his title chances, and just showed everyone that he is still a contender.
6th R.J. Hampshire: Seeing R.J out there racing has got to make you smile after that scary crash at Redbull Straight Rhythm. I was afraid we wouldn’t see him again. He followed all of the proper steps for recovery and had a very nice ride for 6th.
7th Darryn Durham: Durham looked good all day and shot off the line like a rocket. It looked like he may have been over riding a little bit, but who cares. The guy has been hurt non-stop over the last few years, so this is a great ride for him. He should be inside the top 5 very soon.
8th Tyler Bowers: Tyler looked good early in the day. He had a little bad luck, but it won’t be long for him to be fighting for podiums.
9th Alex Frye: Great ride for the rookie. He is flying a little under the radar, and I think that is good. He will be one of the 3-digit numbers that everyone is asking “who’s that?”
10th Jimmy Albertson: Jimmy has some serious skill, but I honestly didn’t expect him to do this well. He doesn’t have a 250 body and he has been on a 450 forever. I’m pretty impressed with his ride.
Biggest Stud: Malcolm Stewart is my stud. He was the most impressive guy all day / night. If he can continue to get starts, I don’t know if anyone can match his speed, straight up.
Biggest Dud: Shane McElrath. Not the guy himself, but I’m disappointed that we didn’t get to see what he could do. He looked good all day, and with that start, I thought he had a podium.
Biggest Surprise: I feel bad, but Jimmy Albertson really surprised me. I doubted him and he rode great and proved me wrong. Sorry, Jimmy.