McThoughts: Santa Clara SX|250 West
By Jeff McConkey
The 250 West started back up after a 42-day break. I honestly don’t know how the West 250 racers do it. It’s almost like the season is starting all over again. Add in the fact that they now sit on the sidelines until the finale in Vegas and that has got to be tough for some, while others may actually look forward to it. The regulars finished up front, as usual – there wasn’t anything really crazy going on, except for the crash from Hayden Mellross. Wow, he is a very lucky guy. That terrible situation could not have gone any better. Let’s check out the results and see my thoughts.
1st Cooper Webb: Cooper got a poor start and came through the pack, like usual. Then on lap 11, like usual, Cooper either got warmed up or got sick of getting roosted. He threw down his typical aggressive yet clean pass for the lead and rode off with yet another win. I wish more guys could pass this good, this clean. It’s really impressive.
2nd Zach Osbourne: I feel bad for Zach. I honestly thought he had this win in the bag, but then I remembered that Cooper Webb was racing and that around lap 11 the pass for the lead should happen. Zach looked great in his heat race, and just as good in the main. The sad truth is he just doesn’t have the speed to beat Cooper straight up this season. But does anyone? Either way, great to see Osbourne lead a lot of laps on that pretty white Husky.
3rd Joey Savatgy: Joey started 8th and had a good ride moving forward. Unfortunately, Joey and the rest of the West is dealing with a major problem called Cooper Webb. If you start 8th and want to win, you better hope Webb starts 18th. I think Joey has the tools to possibly win 250 SX title, but it won’t be this season.
4th Christian Craig: Christian was very aggressive and looked good, but his start was terrible. It’s nice to see Christian make it through the entire season healthy, so far. 2016 could be a real building year for Craig and better prepare him for a championship battle in 2017. That is, if he can stay healthy, which he hasn’t in the past.
5th Mitchell Oldenburg: Mitchell started 11th and had a good ride to finish 5th. These are the finishes I expect from him every week. If I would have told you at A1 that Oldenburg would be the most consistent rider on either coast for TLD, you would have told me to lay off the maple syrup.
6th Colt Nichols: Where is this guy going to end up for 2017? Word on social media was that he turned down 200 g’s to race a 450. I think that is the right call for Colt right now. He is going to get a really good 250 ride and make his money on bonuses and keep improving his skills and speed on the smaller bike. Anyway, Colt rode fantastic in the heat race to basically come from last to qualify for the main. Then in the main he pushed forward after starting 13th. He would have had 5th with one more lap.
7th Jordon Smith: Not the result Smith wants, but it’s a finish, and a decent finish. It was announced that Smith has resigned with the Geico Honda team. Smith has crazy speed, now he just needs to polish the little things and put it all together.
8th Kyle Peters: Kyle did what he always does. He put in 15 solid laps and got yet another top 10. I’d still like to see Kyle on a 450 as I don’t see him being a podium guy on a 250.
9th Alex Martin: I don’t know what’s up with poor Alex Martin. He’s on the best equipment in his career, and he just seems to be struggling and having bad luck everywhere. Too much pressure on himself? Only Alex knows.
10th Michael Lieb: Lieb went backwards a little bit, but still a nice top 10 finish for Mr Canvas.
Biggest Stud: You’re not going to not pick Cooper Webb as your stud. Word leaked after the race that Webb had a big crash and didn’t ride for most of the week until race day.
Biggest Dud: The track was my dud. It wasn’t very exciting, and it was TOO short. 11 minutes, 23 seconds for the 250 main. That is pathetic.
Biggest Surprise: No real surprises this week. The top guys finished where they should, but I was really hoping for some magic from Jimmy Decotis. I really wanted to see him get a podium before this is over.
Thanks for reading and I’ll see you in Indy.