Hot night of Racing at Megacross!!

By Dave Henry 9-17-2011 Rnd 8

 Round 8 of the Megacross Shootout series treated everyone to much cooler temperatures and perfect racing conditions.  While the weather may have been cool, the racing action was HOT as usual.   

One of the hottest classes of the night was Open A.  14 racers lined up and it appeared that 14 may be the magic number as Kevin Markwardt (14) pulled the holeshot on his #14 Honda.  As they completed lap 1 of the 7 lap main it was Markwardt holding down the lead over Kyle White on his BWR backed Honda, Rock River Powersports backed Tommy Hofmaster(110), TZR, Decal Works backed Scott Zont and Illinois Powersports backed Justin Kelly.  Could this be the night that someone knocks Hofmaster off the top spot of the box?  As they completed lap 2, Markwardt was still holding down the lead, but Hofmaster had worked his way around Kyle White into 2nd, with White now in 3rd, Zont in 4th and Vaughn Mays rounding out the top 5.  Lap 3 would see the same top 5 come across the stripe.  Lap 4 is where things really started the get HOT.  Hofmaster was catching Markwardt and as the two entered the back straight they were separated by only two bike lengths.  As they completed lap 4 they were nose to tail at the line.  Lap 5 saw Hofmaster and Markwardt go back and forth as they came across the start straight and into the left hander.  First it was Hofmaster to the inside and into the lead, then in the next turn, Markwardt dove under to take the lead back.  They came across the announcers stand table top side by side and the crowd was on their feet.  What were they going to do as they came side by side into the S turns at the finish line?  Would they hold position?  Markwardt had his eye on the inside line and was ready to rail the nice line that was there, while Hofmaster was blazing around the outside hoping to find an edge in the next turn.  Markwardt is in the rut and railing…but he is leaned too far to the inside and is down!  Hofmaster now has the lead and as lap 5 finishes, White is back in 2nd, Zont in 3rd, Mays in 4th, Kelly in 5th and Markwardt back to 6th.  What a heartbreaker for Markwardt.  He was flying and appeared that he may have had what it took to knock Hofmaster off the top of the box.  The final 2 laps would hold in check and as the checkered flag flew, it was Hofmaster, once again taking the win.  Rounding out the podium was Kyle White and Scott Zont.  

250A saw many of the same racers as Open A and the racing was just as hot.  Pulling the holeshot was Tommy Hofmaster on his Rock River Powersports YZ250 2 stroke.  Following Tommy around the first turn in a close 2nd was BWR Honda mounted Kyle White.  At the end of lap one it was Hofmaster, followed by White, Maxx Malatia, Scott Zont and Vaughn Mays.  At several different times during the main the racing was hot and heavy between 3rd, 4th and 5th as Malatia, Zont and Mays battled back and forth to see who would come away with the final step on the podium.  In the end, it was Hofmaster with the win, with Kyle White turning in an awesome ride and keeping Tommy honest the whole time.  Malatia would hold off Zont for 3rd and Mays crossed the line in 5th.  

In the B classes Eric Utech(111) has been a man on a mission lately.  He is getting faster and faster each race, but still running into consistency issues as he comes to terms with his ever increasing speed.  The first B class main of the night, was Open B.  You could tell that Utech was gunning for the victory right out of the gate, because he pulled a monster holeshot.  Utech was not backing off at all, as he was running a furious pace out there on his YZ450.  As the racers made their way around the track on lap 2, Utech was building a nice lead, but then fell victim to his arch enemy, his self.  After the set of whoops that come after the back straight away, Utech would run it so high on the berm that he power slip his back wheel over the top of the berm and was literally stuck on top of the berm teetering back and forth.  He was trying all he could to get his bike off the top of the berm, but was not having any luck at all.  By the time he was back on the track and lap 2 was in the books, it was Ricki Williams in the lead, followed closely by Robert Dixon and Kyle Somner.  Utech would cross the line in 6th.  As the 2nd half of the race went on, we all witnessed a great battle between Williams and Dixon as they went back and forth.  Williams was doing all he could to hold off Dixon and in the end as they crossed the finish line for the final time, it was Williams with the win.  Dixon would finish 2nd and Utech fought his way back to 3rd.  That was an exciting race!

 In 250B it was Utech on his Yamaha, neck and neck with Jody Walker on his Honda for the holeshot.  As the two worked their way through lap 1 it was Walker with the lead as they went down the back straight.  As they crossed the line to complete lap 1, it was Walker out front, followed closely by Utech, Mark Mannce in 3rd and Kyle Poska in 4th.  As Walker and Utech went through the first set of whoops, Utech dove to the inside to gain a small advantage on Walker, but Walker held off his charge with the better, inside line going into the next turn.  At the line to complete lap 2, it was once again, Walker, followed by Utech, Mannce and Poska.  You could tell that Jody Walker was feeling the heat from Utech and he was going to do all he could to stay out front.  As he came into the whoops on lap 3, he blitzed through them, with the front wheel never touching the ground once.  However, that is when and where it went all wrong.  He has so much speed as he approached the next jump before the left hand turn, that he went down.  Utech was now in the lead.  As the racers completed lap 3, it was Utech, followed by Mannce, Poska, Jake Cook and Conner Robinson.  Mannce would put on a small charge in the final 2 laps, but it was Utech with the win.  Mannce would come across the line in 2nd, with Poska rounding out the podium.  Walker would end up with a DNF, but he definitely had the speed for the win.

In the C classes, the first up was 250C.  Drew Jackson, (70)son of famous IL racer Junior Jackson, was in the house and had a nice holeshot in the works, but pushed wide in the first turn.  Coming out with the lead, was Lucas Hayes on his Kawasaki.  Lucas is the son of longtime racer and fast Senior, Dave Hayes.  As the 23 racers crossed the line to complete lap one, it was Hayes in the lead, followed by Kody Smith and Nick Campbell.  As the race went on, Smith was doing all he could to catch and pass Hayes through the midway part of the race.  As the white flag flew, it was Hayes, now stretching it out with a 3 second lead over Smith. Another 3 seconds back in 3rd was Jake Cinkus on his Venning Motosports backed Honda.  As the checkered flag came out, it was Hayes taking the win, Smith in 2nd, Cinkus 3rd and Drew Jackson coming home in 4th. 

In Open C, Kody Smith would seek revenge on the competition, and revenge it was.  Out in the lead, with the holeshot was Smith on his Honda.  As the racers completed lap one, it was Smith, followed by Steve Bookhouse in 2nd, Andrew Magiera in 3rd and Drew Jackson in 4th.  Lap 2 would see Jackson on his KTM put on a nice charge and work his way from 4th to 2nd.  At the white flag, it was Smith with a 5 second lead over Jackson in 2nd and Bookhouse in 3rd.  As Smith cruised around on the final lap, he played it safe and brought home the win.  Coming across 3 seconds back in 2nd was Drew Jackson.  There was a nice battle at the end for the final step on the box, with Bookhouse and Grant Bodner battling hard to the line.  In the final turn, they would bump, but Brookhouse hung on to 3rd. 

The “plus” classes at Megacross are always stacked and this night was no different.  Plus 25 A&B went off the line together with what looked like the Open A main.  Hofmaster, Markwardt, Justin Kelly and several other top riders out there to battle it out.  Hofmaster had the holeshot, with Kelly right on his heels.  Markwardt was flying up on Hofmaster and trying all he could to figure out a way around him.  From lap 3 to the end, Tommy would hold his ground, with about a 2 second lead most of the time and come home with the win.  Markwardt would come home in 2nd and Kelly in 3rd.  The Plus 25 B win went to Matt Bristol on his Yamaha. 

In 30+ B/C the battle for the top was once again going to be decided between Jesse Keith and Brandon Boggio.  22 racers lined up in 30 B/C, all hoping to get a chance to do battle with the top 2 in the class.  The holeshot was too close to call, with both Keith and Boggio, side by side around turn 1.  As they completed lap 1 it was Keith with a small lead over Boggio in 2nd, Kyle Bounds in 3rd and Michael Monn in 4th.  Lap 2 would see the top 3 hold form, with Brian Pederson now moving into 4th.  The second half of the race would see Keith hold a comfortable lead over Boggio with the battle for 3rd between Bounds and Pederson heating up.  At the finish it was Keith with the win and Boggio in 2nd.  Bounds and Pederson would exit the last turn side by side, with Bounds squeaking out 3rd at the stripe. 

Plus 30A racers would once again have to deal with the speed and talent of Tommy Hofmaster.  Tommy was off the line like a rocket and never looked back.  The battle for 2nd was a good one between Burton “Turbo” Lavens and Nate Eslinger.  Lavens would hang onto 2nd for the entire race and Eslinger would finish 3rd.  With that win, that made it a perfect 4 for 4 for Hofmaster on the night.

In Plus 35, there is always a nice battle between Lavens, Dave Hayes and Tim Damron.  The holeshot was a neck and neck battle between Lavens and Hayes, but Lavens on his Yamaha emerged with the lead and that was all she wrote.  Turbo never looked back, as he gradually built his lead from 5 bikes in the beginning, to about 3 seconds at the end.  A nice battle shaped up between Damron on his YZ250F and Hayes on his KX450, but it was Damron pulling out 2nd place by 2 seconds over Hayes. 

Plus 40 would see Steve Perkins pull the holeshot and be closely followed by Dave Hayes.  At the end of lap 1, it was Perkins holding down the lead, followed by Hayes, “The Rev” Larry Dean Bank, and Troy Quest.  Lap 2 would see Hayes pick up the pace and hone in on Perkins.  The two raced neck and neck for a time and at the end of lap 3, it was Hayes with the lead.  Hayes would go on for the win, with “The Rev putting on a nice battle with Perkins for the number two spot.  In the end, Perkins held onto 2nd and “The Rev” Larry Dean Bank finished 3rd. 

14-24 B/C is another class at Megacross that provides a way for the top B/C riders to battle it out.  With the holeshot was Kyle Somner on his Kawasaki.  Somners lead would be short lived, as a freight train of racers were on the move.  At the end of lap 1, Somner had fallen back to 4th, behind Tony Spizzirri in 3rd, Colton Beard in 2nd and Jody Walker (162)holding down the lead.  On lap 2, Walker would once again start blitzing the whoops after the finish line and looked to pull away.  Spizzirri wasn’t going to let him run away, as he began blitzing the whoops also and kept it close.  The second half of the race would see Spizzirri pull up side by side with Walker and try every move he could to get around the Honda mounted racer.  In the end however, Walker was able to hang on for the win.  Spizzirri would bring home 2nd and Beard was 3rd.

2 strokes always come out in full force at Megacross, and the 125 class once again proved to be not only a very entertaining race, but a very fast one also.  Pulling the holeshot was Robbie Hyson on his KTM.  Hyson was followed closely on lap 1 by Paul Gerke on his BWR Honda CR125.  Gerke has been out all year due to knee surgery and this was his 1st race in 2011 at Megacross.  Gerke is your reigning District 17 125 class champion and although this was his first outing of the year, he was not about cruise around.  As the race progressed, Hyson was pulling a commanding lead, with Gerke, Matt Mellott, Tony Spizzirri and Conner Robinson all battling for the spots after Robbie.  Gerke would hold down 2nd until the white flag came out.  He then gave way to Tony Spizzirri who had his Sunrise Powersports CR125 just singing around the track.  As they crossed the line at the checkers, it was Hyson, followed by Spizzirri.  Robinson made his way into 3rd in the last turn as he found a way around Gerke.    Matt Mellott would come home in 5th.

Super Mini would see RCR Kawasaki backed Jordan Mackiewicz hold off a battle from KTM mounted Kyle Nelson on lap one and put in a great showing for the win.  Neslon would come home in 2nd, followed by RJ Mackenzie in 3rd.

In 85 Jr/Sr, they went off the line together and it was RJ Mackenzie with the holeshot.  At the end of lap one, it was Mackenzie with the lead, but 85 Jr racer Dylan Boyd was all over him.  You could tell that Jr racer Boyd wanted to prove something, racing against the Sr guys.  On lap 2, as he was pushing for the lead, he bobbled and fell back to 3rd, behind Mackenzie and Yamaha mounted Noah Taylor.  However, after the lap 2 bobble, Boyd had cleaned out the cobwebs and was on the move once again.  He flew around Taylor down the back straight away and finished lap 3 in 2nd behind Mackenzie.  Lap 4 would see him continue the charge and dive to the lead after he crossed the start straight.  At the end of lap 4, it was now Boyd holding down the number 1 spot, with Mackenzie in 2nd and Taylor in 3rd.  As the checkers flew it was Boyd with the win in 85 Jr and overall in the race.  Mackenzie took the win in 85 Sr.

65 Jr saw a dominating performance by Scotty Scamen.  He blitzed around the outside of his competition on the holeshot and never looked back.  Garrett Ward was on the move and worked his way up to 3rd, but was not able to hold down the spot for the entire race.  Ethan Etes and Conner Burger put on a great battle for 2nd, with Burger holding it down at the end.  The finish would go, Scamen followed by Burger and Etes.

50 4-8 witnessed 16 racers line up to do battle and coming out with the holeshot was Ryder Schnowske.  Ryder was followed closely by Kevin Huddleston and the two would soon pull way out from the rest of the field.  Schnowske would cruise home for the win with Huddleston coming across in 2nd and Ian Murphy finishing in 3rd.  Schnowske would also bring home the win in 50 Jr.

50 Sr saw Kash Schnowske pull the holeshot and the KTM mounted racer was flying.  Schnowske was clearing all 3 of the back straight away table tops with ease as he motored away for the win.  Joe Quest would come home in 2nd and Collin Nodurft would finish in 3rd. 

Quads also show up to battle at Megacross in big numbers.  Round 8 of the Megacross Shootout series saw a total of 19 Quads ready to do battle in either the A, B or C class.

Quad A was dominated by Justin Medine on his Yamaha.  Justin pulled the holeshot and never looked back.  Quad B Devin Krontz took home the win on his Honda.  In Quad C, it was once again, Ted Loomis on his retro Honda 250 2 stroke quad with the holeshot and going on to take the win in convincing fashion.  Eli Lois would come home 2nd and Aaron Maier would round out the podium.

Megacross isn’t just about the “boys” either.  If you are a “lady” racer and want to battle it out with the top competition in the area, Megacross is the place to be.  Pulling the holeshot, was mutli-time Loretta Lynn’s racer April Roper on her Honda.  The race saw a total of 8 racers battle it out, with Roper pulling away each lap and motoring home by 9 seconds for the win.  Coming across in 2nd was Alyssa Hailing and rounding out the podium was Kayla Miller.

Well, there you have it folks.  Another spectacular night of racing at the Megacross Shootout Series.  Nearly 300 entries were treated with great weather, a free T-Shirt from Megacross and good purse and plaques as always.  Hofmaster dominated once again, Lavens shows to be building up his endurance after that nasty shoulder injury last year.  Lavens is already planning for the 2012 season as he recently picked up a 2012 Kawasaki 450 and will be ready for battle on his Service Kawasaki/Borelli suspension backed ride.  The B and C classes were stacked as always.  Round 9 of the Shootout series will be on October 1st, with District 17 Bonus points and Honda/Husky contingency.  The series will come to an end for 2011 on October 15th with the Megacross Championship race and extra points towards the series totals.  Hope to see you there. Don’t forget the season ends with the new addition, GP racing comes to Fox Valley Off Road and both series join for that final event.  GP……not moto, not woods, but a blend of all the fun stuff in a less classes longer motos format.  It’s going to rock~! October 30th !!!