McThoughts | Phoenix SX | 250 Class | Presented by Shot Race Gear
By Jeff McConkey
Photos by Billy Rainford
It wasn’t looking good for the red plate holder early on at Round 4 in Phoenix, Arizona. #38 Shane McElrath had been the picture of consistency. Back to back wins followed by a 3rd place in the first 3 rounds, and it looked like a run straight to the title for Shane. But wait, #46 Justin Hill who came into the season a little behind the eight ball, has caught up speed real fast. The previous 2 weekends, Hill has stepped it up and at times looked to be a clear-cut winner in the speed department. We can’t forget preseason favourite #23 Aaron Plessinger. He has everything going for him except the starts. Plessinger will need a win very soon, or he can say goodbye to the 2017 West title. #30 Martin Davalos had a little Instagram drama going into the 4th round, and it looks like it may have gotten to him a little bit. Let’s take a look at the results and my thoughts.
1st Justin Hill: Justin Hill is just so hot right now. He raced his teammate clean and rode great to get by him, then raced his ex teammate just as clean for the win. His fitness and speed look great, and I think he could have run that pace for another 5 laps, at least. He’s slowly been chipping away at McElrath’s lead, and will have the red plate shortly. He only trails the leader McElrath by 4 points.
2nd Shane McElrath: Shane had some serious issues early on in the night show. He dug deep and made it happen in the LCQ, and somehow was able to pull a real good start with a crappy gate pick. He’s been the most consistent guy so far, and that’s why he leads the 250 West.
3rd Austin Forkner: It took the super rookie longer than I thought to get his first podium, but it’s not going to stop here. He looked good out front, and will continue to get better.
4th Aaron Plessinger: The starts are killing this guy. He has passed more riders than anyone in the West, but he sits 10 points out of the lead in 3rd for the championship. He has looked great at all 4 rounds, but the starts are going to be his downfall. He’s still not out of it, but he needs a win bad.
5th Martin Davalos: ‘The Snapchat Casanova’ had a solid night in Phoenix; I haven’t been real impressed with him this season. He hasn’t been bad, but he looks like he’s getting stale out there. I’m willing to bet that his results will suffer when the shit hits the fan from his off-the-track adventures. Good luck, Martin.
6th Dan Reardon: I think Reardon is having a great season. For a replacement rider, you really couldn’t ask for much more. The guy looks as fit as a race horse, and his starts have been very good early on. I see him moving past Davalos in the next few weeks.
7th Josh Hansen: Real good ride for Hanny. I know he doesn’t like the small bike, as it doesn’t suit his style, but he’s making it work pretty good. When speaking to his mechanic, Robbie Feder, he mentioned if they could find a 450 Husky demo bike, the 450 class in Toronto sounded like fun. Hey, Victoria Hett… Know of any?
8th Jimmy Decotis: Poor Jimmy seems to be going backwards. His starts have been great, but his finishes have been average at best. In a weak 250 West, I feel Jimmy should and needs to be around 5th on his good nights, and an 8th has got to be his bad nights.
9th Phil Nicoletti: I just haven’t been real pumped on Phil in the 250 class. I think he’s a way better 450 guy. He just doesn’t look like he’s enjoying himself out there.
10th Cole Martinez: Nice ride for Cole. In this not-so-stacked West coast, I could see him beating his career best 8th before the end of the season.
Biggest Stud: Hill has been on fire as of late and gets my stud again.
Biggest Dud: Martin Davalos is my dud. No, not from his performance on the track, but for his actions on Snapchat. The thread has been taken down long ago, but long story short, Martin got caught by a boyfriend asking for nudes on Snapchat. I’m sure his team and wife are real happy.
Biggest Surprise: I thought Jeremy Martin was going to be a top 3 guy at worst, with some bad races here and there, but this season has been a huge disappointment.
Thanks for reading, see you next week.