The TPJ Racing team made their way to Mechanicsville, MD for round 11 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship at Budds Creek Motocross Park.
In the days leading up to the race, there were talks of potential rain storms and another mudder like we experienced last weekend at Unadilla. While some riders look forward to the rain, a large majority prefer to race without it. The skies never opened up, but mother nature provided extreme temperatures and humidity that added to the intensity of the day’s events. If racing against the best of the best for 2 thirty minute plus 2 lap motos wasn’t hard enough, try doing it in these severe weather conditions. Thank you to Karcher Pressure Washers for providing the team with a much needed “cool down” station this weekend.
Mason Wharton was one of the riders looking forward to another round of mud races; unfortunately a 9th in the 250MX consolation race meant he wouldn’t get to race during the main motos of the day. Wharton has had an incredible rookie season, and looks forward to the last round and some much needed rest before starting his training for the upcoming 2019 Supercross season.
Jimmy Weeks has proved time and again that he has the speed and motivation to compete at the professional level; this weekend was no different. After qualifying 30th for the day; Weeks went on to place 26th and 22nd in moto 1 and 2 respectively. Weeks finished out the day in 26th place; he currently sits 30th in the 250MX points standing with 17 overall points. Weeks looks forward to Ironman this weekend, and hopes to secure a top 20 finish.
Carson Tickle put in another solid day of racing at Budds Creek. After qualifying 31st for the day, he picked up the pace and put in two of his best moto’s on this track to date. Tickle went 26th/24th in moto’s 1 & 2 for another 25th place overall finish in the 450MX class. With one round left, he hopes to finish strong and gain a few points along the way.
John Short, who has only competed for half the season, is proving that he can compete on a bigger bike and hang with the best of his current class. Short qualified 22nd in the 450MX class and proceeded to take a 21st moto 1 and a 14th in moto 2. He rounded out the day with a 19th overall finish, and moved into 34th overall with 20 solid points.
It’s no secret that Dylan Merriam has experienced some challenges this season, while he may have been knocked him down a time or two he keeps getting up, learning and progressing. From grabbing a holeshot last week, to finishing within the top ten in the 450MX class this weekend, I’d say Merriam has turned his luck around. He qualified 17th for the day and proceeded to cross finish line in 12th and 10th in motos 1 & 2. Merriam finished 9th overall for the day, securing 20 additional points. He sits in 15th place overall for the season with 95 points. Can he move himself even higher up the leader board at the final round next weekend? Only time will tell, best of luck DM.
It’s been one incredible season for the entire TPJ Racing team so far, and we cannot wait to see how things end up with the final gate drop next weekend at Ironman.
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Photos by: BrownDog Wilson and CycleDump.com
Words by: Kendra Keene