Photo Report | Ironman MX AMA National | OTSFF

Photos and Captions by Billy Rainford

This Photo Report is brought to you by OTSFF.

We made the drive to Indiana this past weekend to catch the final round of the 2017 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship at Ironman MX. Canadian #2 MX2 rider, Dylan Wright, was set to race his second of 2 late season AMA races and we didn’t want to miss it.

Wright raced the week before at Budds Creek and finished a very respectable 13-13 for 13th overall. He went into the last round hoping to repeat or improve upon that performance. Racing can be fickle and Dylan spent the day charging through the 250 pack off the start in both motos.

As his dad, Bill Wright, told us, “Dylan is here to learn.” Coming from the back of the pack t4aches you as much about racing as it does about yourself. Dylan didn’t give up and fought hard the entire time to earn 19th overall after 20-18 motos.

To add to the story, currently second in the MX2 MXGP points, #784 Jeffrey Herlings lined up in preparation for the MXGP of USA next weekend at WW Ranch in Florida. How would he fair against the AMA regulars? Well, I’m sure you all know how it went by now, but here’s a closer look at the sunny and warm day to end another exciting season of outdoor moto.

250 Class

The Pro Circuit gang in their cool ‘golf cart.’

Joey Crown qualified well but his day would be one they’d rather forget. Matt Crown would be busy on the pit board, though…

The TLD KTM crew.

I wonder if he’s looking at video of ME today?

 

Of course, our first stop had to be Dylan Wright’s pit where we found his proud mom, Natalie, displaying her 2018 shirt.

Dylan’s mechanic, Kyle Ward, made the trip to Indiana with them this week.

I made the drive from London with Redemption Racing’s Josh Snider and we hung out in their pit quite a bit. Thanks for the hospitality, gang.

Kyle makes sure he has everything he needs before the two of them head down to the start. And I think I left my empty coffee cup hanging around…

Dylan beside our old friends Matt and #335 Joey Crown. The two riders would see an awful lot of each other on this day.

Dylan was the first one down to the gate for moto 1 but then some extra bike work forced them to be 30 seconds late for 2nd moto staging and they were sent to the end of the line for last gate pick.

#421 Jesse Kirchmeyer from New York could be found hanging out at the Canadian Nationals this summer. He finished 33rd (33-30) in the 250 class.

#904 Jarett Pesci from Michigan raced RJ’s and finished 9th in MX2. He was 28th (26-28).

#335 Joey Crown did not have the final day he was hoping for. He and Dylan Wright found each other at the back of the pack early in both motos.

It did make for some of the best pit board photos ever, though. Sorry, guys.Joey ended up 22nd (21-19).

#105 Steven Clarke from the UK finished 20th with 17-39 motos.

#223 Dylan Wright looked good as he headed into the first turn in moto 1, but got taken out and came around way at the back. It was actually Joey who got taken out and then his bike got in Dylan’s way.

Dylan worked his way up in moto 1 only to have troubles and have to do it all over again. He managed to work his way up to 20th at the checkered flag.

With a bunch of bike work to do between motos, they were 30 seconds late to staging for moto 2 and had last gate pick.

Dylan started from one gate inside the far outside of the line.

He did his best to get to the inside in turn 1…

…but these guys don’t just move over for you and he was forced off the track.

As the rest of the riders headed out, Dylan came around 30 seconds behind 39th place. He had a lot of work to do.

He didn’t give up and had the announcers talking about him quite a bit. The best quote I heard was, “Wright has now dispatched of over half the field!”

He made his way up to 18th at the flag for 19th overall (20-18).

It was a great day, despite what the results say. Watch for Dylan to be in the woods this weekend at the Gopher Dunes Sprint Enduro against Colton Facciotti and the rest of the GDR team.

#23 Aaron Plessinger won here last year and was looking good.

Unfortunately, he injured his hand in moto 2 and was forced out. 4-40 motos gave him 14th overall.

He was pretty bummed.

That’s rookie Pro #191 Justin Cooper.

He had to come from the back in moto 1 for 16th and then took 7th in moto 2 for 11th.

 

#74 Bradley Taft broke into the top 10 with 7-13 motos.

It was good to see #46 Justin Hill in action. He finished 9th (11-9).

#129 Sean Cantrell and Dylan Wright saw a lot of each other in qualifying. Cantrell finished up in 8th with 6-12 motos.

#31 RJ Hampshire’s 12-5 motos put him 7th.

Young Chase Sexton showed he’s ready for the big leagues.

10-6 gave him 6th.

#6 Jeremy Martin led the first lap of moto 1 but messed up on lap 2 and finished 8th. He came back with a solid second moto with a 3rd for 4th overall.

I love catching pit board signs like this…especially when the rider does exactly what he’s told for his first-ever Pro outdoor podium.

His 3-4 motos gave him that final spot on the podium.

Colt Nichols at the podium after moto 2.

#36 Adam Cianciarulo led a bunch of the first moto and took 2nd.

He got out front early in moto 2 but lost the lead on lap 2 and finished 2-2 for 2nd.

He and #16 Zach Osborne looked like they were enjoying putting on a great show for the crowd.

Ever since AC was little, he’d win a race, ride off the track, look for his dad, and go over what he could have done better. It still happens at this level when he gets 2nd in a Pro moto.

Karcher has a big presence at the races with their wash bays. Great idea, both for the riders and as promotion.#outsidethebox

Osborne really had no reason to be nervous.

Osborne clinched the title last week and really didn’t have to push like he did.

Nobody told him and he went 1-1 for the overall.

Zach was head and shoulders above the crowd this year.

AC was pumped to finish the season strong and take 3rd in the series.

Mitch Payton was pretty happy too.

The 250 Ironman MX podium: Zach Osborne (1-1), Adam Cianciarulo (2-2), Colt Nichols (3-4).

450 Class

The big news in the 450 class was obviously the appearance of #784 Jeffrey Herlings from Holland.

 

Herlings lined up beside 450 points leader #3 Eli Tomac in moto 1.

Dean Wilson was looking to continue his strong late-summer season.

Insert “Not monkeying around!” joke in here…

That’s Cade Clason’s old mechanic, Nick, getting #70 Dakota Alix’s gate ready.

Marvin and Frankie keeping cool at the line.

Canadian Nationals competitor, #11 Kyle Chisholm, prepping his gate.

Davey Coombs and off-road legend, Fred Andrews.

Our buddy Seth Rarick just hanging out and looking cool.

#2 Cooper Webb sad because he doesn’t have a portable fan sponsor…

#68 Heath Harrison happy because he thinks I have some sort of pull to get him a ride up in Canada for 2018. There, that’s the extent of my influence, Heath…

#14 Cole Seely takes the portable fan thing to a new level, yet still fails to get the hair play that Herlings managed.

Why does he ignore me when I ask him to play the guitar riff from La Grange?? (Google it, Bowker!)

Some pretty solid skill and $$$ lined up beside each other for moto 1.

OK, let’s go racing!

Everyone was half expecting some fireworks off the start when Herlings and Musquin bookended points leader Eli Tomac. Eli managed to get the jump and avoid any shenanigans.

Remember #975 Jake Loberg from racing in Canada? He finished 37th (37-34).

#37 Phil Nicoletti heading back to the pits. He finished 19th after going 14-38. I didn’t see what happened, but he disappeared after lap 2.

#70 Dakota Alix put consistent 17-18 motos together for 18th, but it’s not a top 10 like he’s expecting.

#11 Kyle Chisholm finished 16th (18-16).

#34 Benny ‘Too Tall’ Bloss (the kids don’t remember…) had a great first moto up in 8th but then the rails came off on lap 13 in the second moto and he was forced out with 28th for 15th.

#40 Freddy Noren was looking great early in the day and finished 13th in moto 1. He went from last to 15th in moto 2 for 14th overall.

#81 Henry Miller looks good in the 450 class. He had a solid day and finished 13th (16-12).

For starters, #51 Justin Barcia did this to the other side on the next lap. #ambiwhipstrous He finished the day 11th (10-13).

#15 Dean Wilson getting over the front in practice.

Dean wasn’t feeling well and ended up in the Asterisk Medical Unit at the end of the day. He went 12-10 for 10th and now needs to get ready for the MXON and Team UK.

#19 Justin Bogle is a fun dude to watch ride. He broke into the top 10 with 11-9 motos for 9th.

I missed the shot of #48 Christian Craig putting his 450 upside down on the massive step down. He was good at Ironman MX and finished 9-7 for 8th.

#32 Weston Peick powers his bike to 7th (7-8).

#3 Eli Tomac did what he had to do to win the title. He looked like he wanted to fight Herlings for the win in moto 1 and even said he “let [his] ego get in the way” in moto 1.

He finished 5-6 for 6th.

And took the championship with a point to his dad, John Tomac, and the fans.

#2 Cooper Webb looked strong and finished the season with 6-5 motos for 5th.He and Eli swapped moto results and tied in score.

#14 Cole Seely leaning into the corner before the finish line. He finished 4-4 and just missed the podium.

#4 Blake Baggett is already in and out of the hospital after surgery and finished 3-3 for 3rd.

He finished the season just 2 points out of 2nd and took 3rd.

#25 Marvin Musquin was solid, like always. He finished 2-2 and was leading the 2nd moto until he lost control and the lead with just 2 laps remaining.

He was pretty bummed at throwing away the overall but it didn’t make a difference in the series standings. He was 2nd.

Anyone gonna call #784 Jeffrey Herlings soft for padding his arms?

You go to races like these in hopes of witnessing a special day. Herlings gave us that memory in the second moto.

He must be on cloud 9 this week, after going from last to 1st in that 2nd moto. He put on a clinic out there.

Herlings wheelying away from Musquin.

It probably wasn’t easy.

It will be interesting to see how he does in Florida this week at the MXGP of USA at WW Ranch.

I was impressed with how generous the partisan crowd was. Nobody could give him any ‘Euro grief’ after a ride like that!

450 podium: Jeffrey Herlings (1-1), Marvin Musquin (2-2), Blake Baggett (3-3).

Some celebration shots:

Some pit board shots:

OK, it’s time to catch our breath, clean up the poop, and head to Florida for the MXGP of USA (I’d still prefer to call it the USGP…). See you at the races…