The TPJ Racing team made their way to New Berlin, NY for the 10th round of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship at Unadilla MX.
Fun Fact: Unadilla is the longest continuous running AMA Pro Motocross facility in the United States.
Historically, Unadilla is known for having rock filled dirt that is not only difficult to navigate but also quite dangerous if you find yourself at the back of the pack. This year riders had to battle each other, the naturally tough terrain and the uncontrollable elements. A massive rain storm flooded the track and left most of the course under a thick layer of soupy mud causing many riders to wipe out on and off the race track.
Unadilla by the numbers:
5 TPJ Racing riders signed up, 4 qualified for racing, 2 had top 20 finishes, and 1 snagged the Motosport.com Holeshot.
In less than ideal conditions, Dylan Merriam launched his Yamaha YZ450F off the start in moto 1 and crossed the holeshot line a full bike length ahead of the field; he finished the race in 15th place. There is no doubt that his Pirelli tires played a big part in gaining him the traction needed to holeshot. Merriam was 19th overall for the day.
Carson Tickle had brother Colton on hand as his mechanic this weekend, and it seemed to pay off. Tickle snagged another top 25 moto finish, and was happy to leave ‘Dilla with a running bike and no injuries. His bike took a beating, but the Engine Ice Coolant helped reduce operating temperatures and kept him going for two 30 minute plus two lap motos. With two rounds left he hopes to secure some top 20 finishes and some additional points.
John Short suffered a high speed crash during first practice and decided to skip racing for the day in order to rest up. With only a few laps under his belt, Short still qualified for the day 34th overall. We hope to see him back for Budds Creek.
Mud races; you either love them or hate them. Jimmy Weeks has been waiting all season long for a “mudder”, and he finally got his wish at Unadilla. Weeks started off moto 1 running within the top 5, he put in an impressive ride finishing 13th. In moto 2, he found himself a victim of the mud. After crashing and working to get his bike unstuck, he had faded to the back of the pack where he finished 34th. Weeks was 16th overall for the 250MX class, a season best finish so far.
Mason Wharton took to Instagram to describe his Unadilla experience, “#Unadilla 18 was fun…until it poured!”. Wharton, who didn’t qualify for the main races of the day, was all smiles knowing he’s making progress each week. He looks forward to the final two rounds and hopes to qualify and secure top 30 finishes at both.
The entire TPJ Racing crew would like to thank DSC Construction for reimbursing Merriam and Weeks their entry fee for their top 20 finishes. It’s sponsors like you that allow us to support privateers on their professional journey.
Thank you to Engine Ice for providing us with a product that keeps our bikes running cool and smooth during brutal mud battles like we experienced this weekend. We appreciate your support and constant encouragement.
Thank you to all of our amazing sponsors who make The Professional Journey Racing team possible. FLY Racing, Karcher Presure Washers, Lucas Oil, Boyce Excavating, Carl’s Cycle Sales, AllClear ID, Cometic Gaskets, Vertex, Hot Cams, Rekluse, Scott, Acerbis, Motool, Yoshimura, Mika, Magik Graphics, Galfer, Cylinder works, Bolt, MotoSeat, Tokyo Mods, VP Racing Fuel, No Toil, and California Coast Plumbers, inc.
See you at Budds Creek! Be Sure to stop by the TPJ Racing tents and say hello to the team.
Photos by: CycleDump.com (unless otherwise noted)
Words by: Kendra Keene