The TPJ Fly Racing team travelled to San Diego, CA from Oakland to compete at Petco Park as a part of the Monster Energy Supercross series.
This week, we were excited to hear the announcement that Fly Racing will be coming on as the newest sponsor for Monster Energy Supercross in 2019. Ted Parks and the TPJ crew have been partners with Fly Racing/WPS for several years, and we were delighted and proud of their newest accomplishment. We look forward to seeing Supercross stadiums everywhere promoting WPS/Fly Racing in 2019.
Dylan Merriam and Ben Lamay were invited to be a part of the press ride on Friday morning. Riding beside the likes of Justin Brayton and Eli Tomac, the boys showed their skills for local television stations, and promoted TPJ Racing and their sponsors.
Come game day, Dylan Merriam, Dalton Oxborrow, Chad Cook and Ben Lamay were ready to roll.
Cook and Oxborrow each missed the night show by only a few spots, but both Lamay and Merriam were ever to overcome the unique track conditions and tough competition to qualify in the top 40.
When the sun went down, the night show kicked off with the national anthem. This week, in honor of military appreciation, Ted Parks was invited back to be a part of the flag ceremony. He took his role very seriously, and the crowd cheered in response to seeing Ted hold the flag again.
When the first 450 heat gate dropped, Merriam was off to a shaky start, but managed to claw back some ground and make a few passes. While his charge was fired up, he was not able to make up the necessary positions to get him straight into the night show, sending him to the LCQ.
In the second 450 heat, Ben Lamay got off to a great start, running in seventh. As the riders came through the rhythm section, Justin Bogle came short of a landing, throwing off the rhythm – and putting him right in Lamay’s path. Lamay landed on Bogle, and both riders went tumbling on to the concrete.
Unfortunately, Bogle’s injuries kept him from finishing the race. While this was an incident out of Ben’s hands, both Lamay and the TPJ Racing team are keeping Justin Bogle and the JGRMX team in our thoughts, and wish him a quick recovery. We hope that anyone who encounters professional motocross racing respects the risk these riders face, and the strength they carry.
Somehow, Lamay managed to make it out of this incident unscathed. But his shift lever took some serious damage. A red flag restart and a bad start for Lamay forced him into the LCQ.
The TPJ Crew rushed into action to get Lamay’s bike back on track for the LCQ, and he narrowly made it back to the line in time. Despite the whirlwind leading up the LCQ, Lamay kept his head on straight, and lead the race from start to finish. Giving him some well-deserved national television time, and showing the world his skills.
While the cameras focused on Lamay leading the race, Merriam made passes from the back of the pack trying to nab the final qualifying position. Despite putting in full effort, he fell just short of making the main event.
As the final gate drop of the night rolled around, the best riders in the world converged on one corner – sending several riders tumbling into the dirt – including Ken Roczen and Eli Tomac. Lamay managed to avoid the mess and began focusing on the riders in front of him. He started the race off near the rear of the pack. As the track started to take its toll on the athletes, Lamay pushed through the chaos, making his way all the way up to 15th overall, and staying there until the flag came down.
After one of the craziest nights so far, we are very proud of our athletes and their ability to overcome challenges, and keep their heads on straight. It takes a special kind of athlete to push through and continue to improve as an underdog in this sport.
We want to extend a special thank you to Karcher this week – the dusty conditions here at Petco Park left our bikes looking sad. But with a quick trip to the Karcher pressure wash station, our bikes looked like new in between every moto.
We also want to extend a thank you to DSC Construction, who not only was on site supporting our athletes, but refunded the entry fees of our main event qualifiers.
Our lengthy list of sponsors make it possible four our athletes to continue to progress each week.
With San Diego in the books, the TPJ Racing team is excited to head back home to Dallas for the next round. We are looking forward to seeing lots of TPJ Racing fans at the next round.
PHOTOS/WORDS: Anna Glennon