McThoughts | Dallas SX | 450 Class
By Jeff McConkey
Photos by Billy Rainford
Anything can happen in SX, and that is part of the attraction. The last two weekends, Eli Tomac looked like he wouldn’t lose another race this season. Fast forward to Saturday night in Arlington and Tomac made a big mistake and once again looked human. You can’t blame the crash on Eli completely, he just lost the front end, but even if he didn’t crash I honestly feel the win streak was over at 2.
Marvin Musquin got out front and rode a perfect 20 minutes plus 1 lap. I don’t think anyone was upset seeing the likeable Frenchman collect his first career 450 victory. He’s just too nice of a guy. Ryan Dungey turned an awful start into a nice 4th place finish and now leads the championship hunt by 18 points over race winner Musquin.
The track looked pretty sketchy, and very slippery, and probably had the most “pit stops” I have ever seen. Here are the results and my thoughts on the night’s action.
1st Marvin Musquin: Congratulations, Marvin! Technically, you should be a two-time 450 SX winner, but we’re not going to talk about Atlanta 2016. After two disappointing 9th place finishes, Marvin got his first premier class holeshot and win. They say he’s the fastest at the practice track, and maybe it’s going to carry over to race day.
2nd Cole Seely: Great ride for Cole. When he gets a decent start, you can almost guarantee a podium or at least a top 5. Like I’ve said before, there’s a lot of pressure with Roczen gone, and a brand new bike for Honda. Cole looks to be responding to that well and sits 3rd in points with 107 points.
3rd Jason Anderson: The night wasn’t looking good for Anderson after his heat race bike dismount and flip, but it definitely got much better. He rode well, and finally looks like himself. He now sits 5th in points with 85 after being DQ’d at round 3.
4th Ryan Dungey: Dungey had a terrible start and it wasn’t looking good at all. But champions don’t flip out, and he put his head down and made the best of it. When you are fighting for a championship, it is your bad races that will either win it for you or lose it. I feel this is the round that sealed the 2017 450 SX Championship for Ryan Dungey.
5th Dean Wilson: Dean had a great main event. He got a good start and made it work. I was very impressed with how well and long he held off Dungey for 4th. He wasn’t out of control and looked very good. Note to other riders…if you actually put in the hard work, it pays off to bet on yourself and spend some of your own money and go racing. Dean Wilson is proof.
6th Broc Tickle: Tickle’s best ride of the season. It was a bit of a gift with everyone running into technical issues and pulling in for pit stops. I honestly thought this result would have been last week in the ruts. Broc has now slid himself into the top 10 in points with 55 points after 6 races.
7th Jake Weimer: It’s nice to see Jake rewarded with a top 10 ride. He was visibly pissed off that he had to go to the LCQ and I don’t blame him. Looks like we will be seeing Jake north of the border for the CMRC Rockstar Energy Nationals this summer. It will be interesting to see where he fits in. I’m going to say he finishes with the #5.
8th Davi Millsaps: Another solid ride for Davi. They have him listed as 21st off the start. He’s been very good all season and I can see a top 5 ride coming very soon. He is 6th in points with 83.
9th Justin Bogle: Justin looked good in his heat race, but went backwards hard in the main. I personally just don’t see him as a 450 factory guy yet.
10th Malcolm Stewart: Malcolm needed a good result like this to build off of. His speed is good, and he’s been a beast in the whoops like always, he just needs some consistent finishes and build his confidence.
Biggest Stud: I have to give Marvin stud status. Like I said earlier, he should now be a two-time winner.
Biggest Dud: I’m going to go with the track as my dud for a few reasons. First, I’m not a fan of the day races. SX is a Saturday night ritual in my mind. With it being mid-day, and the many windows in the Arlington Stadium, the sunlight was an issue, and made some sections very dangerous. Second, the track looked very slippery and in my opinion didn’t allow the guys to really charge and race in some sections. I think it could have been better.
Biggest Surprise: I was shocked with all of the guys pulling into the mechanics area for repairs.
See you next week in Minneapolis.