The TPJ Fly Racing team travelled to Dallas, TX for the first East coast round of the Monster Energy Supercross series.
The Dallas round of Supercross is a particularly special one for the TPJ Racing team – being Ted Parks’ home race. For the occasion, Ted spent days orchestrating a party for the closest friends and local sponsors of the TPJ Racing team. With the finest smoked meats and a great DJ, friends to TPJ Racing had a great evening kicking off one of the wildest weekends of Supercross yet.
This week, the TPJ Racing team had a full house. Ben Lamay, Dylan Merriam and Chad Cook were racing in the 450 division, and John Short and James Milson were ready to take on the 250 division.
Both Short and Milson were primed and excited for their first race back since injuries sustained during Monster Energy Supercross. Short sustained a wrist injury in 2017 which he dealt with as he finished the 2017 season, and Milson broke his collarbone preparing for 2018 Supercross; both riders decided it best to take time off to recover, and wait to make a comeback at Dallas.
We were very happy to welcome them both back this week.
On Friday morning, Ben Lamay and John Short rolled in for live television opportunities, and got a taste of the track. Later that day, the Race Day Live crew swung by to film a piece on Ted Parks and the TPJ Racing team with Juliana Daniel, which aired Saturday morning on Race Day Live.
On Saturday, the boys were anxious to race and ready to roll.
Our 250 riders were the first to hit qualifying practice. Short initially struggled with a few sections of the track but as he settled in it was clear that he was comfortable and back in race mode. Short was able to make it into the Fast Forty with ease, grabbing 27th overall.
Milson came back to racing a little earlier than the doctor advised, just to get a feel for his progress. While he did not qualify for the evening, Milson was able to gauge what parts of his program need work, and is ready to hit the TPJ Training facility full throttle. Milson finished just one spot outside the Fast Forty.
Our 450 riders were fired up after a somewhat rough few weeks of racing. Lamay came in hot to Dallas and qualified 19th overall, putting him into the night show. Dylan Merriam landed just outside the Fast Forty in 45th position and Cook qualified 47th overall. While not making the night show was a tough pill for Merriam to swallow, we have confidence he will be back in the swing of things soon.
AT&T Stadium was filled to the brim with race fans ready for a great night – they were not disappointed. In heat two of the 250 division, John Short struggled a little to find his rhythm. He was in a stacked heat race and finished just outside of the qualifying range – which fired him up. He came out for the LCQ swinging, a bumpy start had Short finishing lap one near 10th place.
Short’s determination was on fire by the halfway point, in the final two laps he moved from 8th all the way to 2nd place; securing his qualifying position and causing a buzz in the crowd.
When the gate dropped in the 250 main event, a massive pile up into the first turn left several riders down or out – but Short was able to navigate through the chaos, and started the race in 7th. He managed to keep a steady pace but was eventually caught by a few of the factory riders who had gone down in the first turn. While he fought viciously to hold them back, he eventually slipped back to 10th overall, where he remained until the checkered flag dropped.
While Short’s night in Dallas was off to a rocky start, he was able to gather himself and put down a great race – especially being his first one back since 2017. We are looking forward to seeing what else Short is capable of this season as he continues to work and progress.
The 450 class was tense in Dallas as the best riders in the world queued up in the gate. Lots of eyes were glued to Ben Lamay, who has turned heads all season as a part of the TPJ Racing team.
In the heat, Lamay got a mid-pack start and struggled to make up ground on the technical track, but as the laps set in he found his rhythm and began overtaking riders. In the final lap, Lamay was one position from qualifying, but didn’t quite have enough time to make the necessary moves. Despite an incredible performance, he was headed to the LCQ.
In the LCQ, Lamay took the holeshot straight out of the gate – and was unchallenged the entire race. He ran a smooth and clean race, and continued to put distance on the rest of the pack as the race progressed to the finish. In his podium interview, he let the crowd know he was excited for the main event.
After running tons of laps, Ben Lamay lined up on the starting line against the best factory-level riders in the world. When the gate dropped, Ben was swept up into the chaos and did not get the best start.
He was able to regroup and begin to make his way through the pack within the first few laps, making moves on some of the factory riders. As the race dragged on some of the riders began to tire, but Lamay continued to push through the race.
When the dust settled, Ben Lamay finished XX overall. Putting him XX overall in the 450 Championship points standings.
While Dallas may not have been a picture-perfect night for our riders, they showed a lot of guts, and dedication to their craft. As we roll on to Tampa, we look forward to seeing what they improve upon during the week.
This week, we want to give a special thank you to Galfer Performance Brakes USA. With the unusually slippery conditions in Dallas, TPJ Racing riders had full confidence in their braking systems, and were able to push past the conditions toward a great ride. We also want to thank Lucas Oil, whose products have kept our 2018 TPJ Racing race bikes running strong through hundreds of laps.
The TPJ Racing team could not continue to roll on to every round the way that we do without the help of our sponsors and the support of our fans. We are very fortunate to have friends wherever we go, and are extremely thankful.
As we set our sights on the next round of Monster Energy Supercross in Tampa, we look forward for another chance for our athletes to edge closer to their dreams. We hope to see you there!