Megacross serves up another great night of racing
July 9th by Dave Henry
photos by Brett Wilkinson, and
After fighting with Mother Nature for the better part of the last 2 seasons, she decided to give Team Megacross a break for the 7/9 round of the Megacross Shootout series. However the track prep wasn’t any easier. This time, instead of pumping water off the track and scraping mud, Team Megacross was up till midnight the night before the event and back at it early the day of the event in order to make sure the track had enough moisture to make for great track conditions. One thing you can count on with Team Megacross, is no matter what Mother Nature provides them, they will put in as many hours as it takes to make sure the riders and the fans experience some of the best racing the Midwest has to offer.
Speaking of great racing, once again, well over 300 racers from all over the Midwest came to battle it out for their piece of the Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki and Husqvarna contingency. On this night, the pot of gold belonged to Freeport, WI native Tommy Hofmaster. Hofmaster, on his Rock River Powersports Yamaha’s walked away with wins in Open A, 25+ A and 30+ A and a hard fought 2nd in 250A.
In 250A, the racing was intense right out of the gate, with a battle for the holeshot between a pair of Honda riders. Decal MX backed Jonathon Six and White Knuckle, RG3 backed Kevin Markwardt were side by side all the way to the first turn. As they came out of turn one, it was Markwardt with the holeshot and Six on the ground. By the time Six was back up and running he was in last, with a ton of ground to make up. As the riders crossed the finish line to complete lap 1, it was Markwardt out front, followed by Rock River Yamaha rider Hofmaster on his YZ 250 2 stroke and Scott Zont, (923) on his Decal MX backed Honda. Within 2 laps, Six was on the move and had worked his way up from last to 5th. As they started lap 3, Hofmaster was neck and neck with Markwardt and it looked like the battle was on. However, Markwardt was on it this night and wasn’t going to be denied. Hofmaster , pushing hard to real in Markwardt the next lap, went down in the bowl turn right before the “double, double, step-up” and left the door wide open for a great battle for 2nd place to brew. As the white flag came out, you could throw a blanket over 2nd, 3rd and 4th. Hofmaster dove under Scot Zont for 2nd and Jonathan Six had worked his way around Zont as well and was now in 3rd. When the checkers came out, it was Kevin Markwardt taking the win over Hofmaster, Six and Zont. What a great last lap. How many tracks in the Midwest can say they see great battles between former Arenacross champions and riders that line up on the starting gate at rounds of the Lucas Oil AMA Motocross Nationals ? Megacross can!!
Great racing doesn’t just take place in the “A” classes at Megacross. 16 riders lined up to do battle in the 50cc 4-8 year old class. Pulling the holeshot was Oaklawn IL native Kevin Huddleston Jr. on his Cobra, with Ian Murphy on his Cobra close by. As they completed lap 1, Kevin Huddleston Jr (244). was opening up a good lead and KTM mounted Lolito Eguia had worked his way into 2nd ahead of Murphy. As the race progressed Eguia on his KTM was closing in on Huddleston Jr. on his Cobra, with Murphy on his Cobra and Luke Jackson on his Cobra having a great battle for 3rd. As the checkered flag fell, it was Kevin Huddleston Jr taking the win over Eguia in 2nd and Luke Jackson (454) making his way to the podium in 3rd. Huddleston Jr. thanked his sponsor “DAD” for helping him get where he is today and said that one of his keys to success is “at the holeshot, I don’t like anyone till the race is over!!!”
Quad C proved to be a great race in a different way, as Ted Loomis, on his “old school” Honda 2 stroke TRX-250R was “BRAAAPing” his way to a dominating performance. As he rounded the last corner, Loomis could smell the victory and all of us fans could enjoy the sweet smell of his 2 stroke Quad. Finishing in 2nd was Aaron Maier on his Suzuki and rounding out the podium was Brandon Chapman on his Yamaha.
In Stadium racing, you expect the racing to be close, and it may take some bar banging to get where you need to be. NASCAR, says “rubbings racing” and in the 19 rider 30+ B/C main, the NASCAR phrase held true as racers did what they thought they needed to do to work their way to the front. The racing was hot and heavy right from the drop of the gate as Zeno Molteni on his Kawasaki grabbed the holeshot over Jesse Keith on his Honda. However, in the 2nd corner, right before the whoops, Keith would take the lead and from that point the battle was on. As the racers completed the first couple of laps Molteni was trying everything he could to get around Keith and Brandon Boggio was closing in on this battle in 3rd. As the race was midway through lap 3, Molteni decided he had done enough following and it was game on. At the end of the straight-a-way that crosses the starting line, Molteni dove hard to the inside of the left hand bowl turn and rode Keith high on the berm with what some might call the “Italian elbow”. As they exited the turn, Molteni was in the lead. As they came in and out of the next 2 bowl turns, Keith was all over Molteni and was going to do what he needed to do in order to move back in front. However, that is where it went all wrong for both riders. Coming into the right hand S turns towards the finish line, the 2 riders got together again, only this time they both hit the ground. Coming out of this battle on top, was Honda mounted Brandon Boggio. When the checkers flew, it was Boggio taking the win, followed by Brandon Peterson and Adam Fusinetti.
In Open A, Illinois Powersports backed Kawasaki rider Justin Kelly pulled the holeshot with Tommy Hofmaster (110) right on his rear fender. As the field entered the first set of whoops, Hofmaster turned on the afterburners on his Rock River Powersports backed Yamaha YZ450 and flew through all 7 whoops on his rear wheel and put himself into the lead. As the bikes completed lap 1 of the 7 lap main, it was Hofmaster out front, followed by Markwardt and Six. As the race progressed, Hofmaster was out front with a comfortable lead, but the battle was brewing for 2nd place. Six (673) was fighting off a charge from Markwardt (171), Zont and Kelly. As the group hit the bowl turn entering the “double’double’step-up”, Six pushed too hard and washed the front wheel out on his Honda. As the other riders navigated around the downed Six, it was Markwardt that prevailed into 2nd and clear from the rest. However, the battling was not over, as Justin Kelly and Scot Zont (923) battled for rights to the last step on the podium. As they made their way around the last turn and up the face of the finish line tabletop, it was Zont taking over 3rd from Kelly. As the white flag came out Hofmaster was way out front and on cruise control. At the finish, it was Hofmaster taking the win, with Markwardt in 2nd and Scott Zont taking 3rd.
Finishing up the evening of racing was a fantastic Open C main event. 21 racers lined up to do battle, and when the gate dropped the holeshot went to Ryme Sullivan on his Honda followed closely by Matt Hefel on his Yamaha. Hefel quickly moved into the lead and at the end of lap 1 the order was Hefel, followed by Kody Smith, Ryme Sullivan and Nate Hornung. As the race progressed through the middle laps, Hefel was building a nice lead with Smith holding onto to 2nd and Steve Brookhouse working his way into 3rd. As the leader Hefel was making his way towards the white flag, he was beginning to get into lapped traffic. He approached a group of lappers in the bowl turn before the tabletop at the announcers stand and could not make it through without trouble. Hefel is down!!, your leader is down. By the time Hefel was back up and going on his Yamaha, Honda mounted Kody Smith was in the lead as the white flag came out. The final lap would prove to be a battle as Smith did everything he could to hold off Hefel, and Hefel did ever he could to keep the pressure on Smith. As the 2 came out of the same bowl turn that claimed Hefel one lap earlier, Hefel and Smith were side by side over the tabletop and heading towards the S turns before the finish line. Lappers once again would come into play as Smith and Hefel tried to navigate the final turn on the track. Smith went high on the berm and Hefel low, trying to leave the lappers in the middle. Hefel would have a slight advantage heading toward the face of the finish line tabletop, but could not keep the real wheel under him. Hefel slid sideways up the face of the jump and lost all momentum. Kody Smith on the outside, powered up the finish line jump for the WIN. What a great finish to the race and a great night of racing.
Another stand out performance of the night that can’t go without mentioning went to Chase Sexton (486) on his Rock River Powersports Yamaha. Chase took home double class wins in the 85 Jr and 85 9-13. Sexton’s performance in 85 Jr was so dominant, that after being part of the 2nd drop of the gate behind 85 Sr, that by the end of the combined moto he had worked his way all the way up to 4th out of the combined moto.
The top riders in the Midwest will head to Megacross in the coming weeks to once again do battle for their stake in the Megacross Championship Series. The series continues on July 23rd and will hold 5 more rounds after that as the season comes to a close on October 15th. Remember, this year your best 8 out of 10 finishes will count for the overall series. So if you have missed any rounds so far, don’t sweat it. Get to Megacross on July 23rd and be part of some of the best competition the Midwest has to offer in Stadium Motocross.