McThoughts | Parts Canada Walton Pro Open | Super Final
By Jeff McConkey
Photos by Billy Rainford
The first ever Parts Canada Walton Pro Open event went off this past Sunday. The weather from Friday on played havoc on the track. It was amazing to see the entire Walton crew come together and give the racers a great track on Sunday. There was a cool new format and a lot of money up for grabs. Brett Lee and Mark Perrin listened to what the riders wanted, listened to what the fans wanted, and then they went out and delivered. The only problem was the rider attendance. I guess 11 rounds are too much for some guys? Yes, we have injuries, and yes the teams didn’t have the budget to do one more race, but I was shocked we didn’t see more guys just show up in a truck or a van. Anyway, props to the guys that did show and a very big ‘thank you’ to Brett and Mark for trying to do something new. Let’s take a look at the SUPER FINAL results and my thoughts.
1st Kaven Benoit (1st MX1): This was Benoit’s event to lose. He was never challenged at any point and looked to be on cruise control. He’s riding so great right now, and his confidence is high which is a great thing for Team Canada. He is definitely going to be our leader for a long time. The new ‘Captain Canada.’
2nd Brad Nauditt (3rd MX1): I’ve known Brad a long time and this has been the best I have seen him ride yet. He rides the 450 a lot through the week and in the off season. I’d really hope somebody steps up and gets him back here next season on either bike. He showed everyone that even this late in the season that he is not taking it easy. Joey Crown was on a tear late in the super final and Brad responded like a true veteran and brought it home.
3rd Joey Crown (1st MX2): This kid has it. Even after a scary practice crash where he hit a tree and was doubtful to even line up. Joey was the clear cut favourite in the MX2 class and rode away with a pretty easy win. In the Super Final, he got off to a pretty bad start and made a ton of clean passes on a mostly one-lined track. Very impressive.
4th Shawn Maffenbeier (2nd MX2): Shawn traded in his KTM 250f for the weekend and raced his 350 practice bike. He looked really good in the MX1 race, but had a couple mistakes cost him in the Super Final. Time for Maff to rest up for a few and then put the hammer down for Des Nations.
5th Dylan Wright (4th MX1): I’ve seen Dylan ride a 450 once before and I was very impressed. Once again, he didn’t have much time on it, at all — 30 minutes total I believe. He was coming through the pack well, but had 2 crashes. In typical Wright style, he had no give up in him and fought hard right until the end getting Kyle Keast on the last lap, then Davey Fraser in the last corner.
6th Davey Fraser (11th MX1): Davey traded in his 250 2-smoke for a 450 for the entire week at Walton. He looked really good on the bigger bike. He had a great battle with Keast in the Super Final. It was nice to see Davey dig deep and pass Keast back on the final lap. Unfortunately, he had no idea that Wright was that close and Dylan made the $150.00 pass on the last corner.
7th Kyle Keast (6th MX1): Good showing for Keast in his first appearance of the season. Like always, he muscled his away around the track. It looked like he had 5th locked in, until he lost two spots on the final lap.
8th Chandler Lindsay (7th MX1): I had no idea who the #86 was, but I was impressed with his speed. He was catching the number 8 late in the Super Final.
9th Kyle Swanson (9th MX1): Swany’s starts killed him. He had the speed to run around 5th or 6th, but on a very hard track to pass, he just couldn’t get it done. Props to Kyle for sticking around another week and supporting the Walton Event.
10th Jess Pettis (5th MX1): Jess looked great early on in the MX2 moto. He was keeping Crown honest until his bike let go. He was forced to ride his practice bike in the Super Final and just didn’t get the start he needed. Good ride for this young star on the rise. He will be fighting for the odd win next season.
11th Taylor Ciampichini (10th MX1): Solid day for the guy that just can’t stop smiling. Taylor worked his butt off and was rewarded with a fill-in ride. Note to kids…hard work, great attitude and talent will take you places.
12th Westen Wrozyna (2nd MX2): What a ride in the MX2 class for Westen. This guy has had a great East despite some minor set backs. Pretty good for a guy that wasn’t even going to race.
13th Brock Leitner (4th MX2): Brock was the lone rider under the Monster Energy Alpinestars Kawi tent this weekend. He got a good start in the final, but had some issues and finished a respectable 13th. I’m excited to see this guy when he gets more seat time.
14th Jason Burke (18th MX1): This guy is a full-time worker, a full-time family man, and he can still get it done on the track. I love seeing Burke out there having fun with his family.
15th Eric Jeffrey (13th MX1): Solid rides for Eric. His starts weren’t where he needed them to be. He had the speed to be closer to the top 10.
16th Ryeley Gallup (3rd MX2): Great ride for Ryeley in the MX2 class, finishing 3rd. This guy impressed me all season long. I love his style, and he’s a solid dude off the track.
17th Hayden Halstead (11th MX2): Hayden had an off day. He actually hit a fence post at full speed in practice. I would like to see him back on the 450 next season. I think the bike suits his style more.
18th Justin Roney (15th MX1): Justin made the switch to the 450 from the 250 late in the season. He’s a tall, long guy and the bigger bike suits him better. I think we will see him MX1 only next year.
19th TJ Albright (5th MX2): I was excited to see TJ at Walton. I spent a winter at GPF in ’13 and got to see a lot of him. This kid works hard and knows what he wants. Big props for the youngster to have the balls to show up and try his hand at Pro racing.
20th Josh Manz (14th MX1): I don’t know anything about Josh at all, but much respect to the guy stepping up and lining up. I think we had maybe 3 or 4 Intermediate riders line up — pretty pathetic. Glad to see Josh out there racing, he looked to be charging hard all day long.
Biggest Stud: The track crew gets full stud status. They were unbelievable after the most rain in 2 days that I have ever seen. Great job, guys.
Biggest Dud: I know some guys were hurt, others had commitments, but to all of the racers that just didn’t show up, you’re my duds. You don’t get faster by only doing 10 races a year. Just sayin’.
Biggest Surprise: I was shocked to see how good the track turned out.
Thanks for reading, see you in Indiana.