This past weekend the TPJ Racing team headed south for the last California race in the 2019 Supercross season located in San Diego.
On Thursday, the trucks barely had time to park before the skies opened up and drenched everything; making set up a daunting task. The Dirt Wurx crew worked hard to ensure the track was covered before the storm hit, but the damage was done after inches of rain filled the stadium. The additional downpours Saturday only made matters worse.
Due to the scheduled storm the entire day’s events were delayed. Practice which normally starts around noon, didn’t start until 4:45 PM. Each group got 10 minutes to not only learn a brand new track and navigate through the mud and water; but also lay down the fastest times they could in order to make it to the night show. There are mud races and then there is San Diego Supercross 2019; a race that will go down in the history books as one of the gnarly races ever.
Ben Lamay, the Alaskan Assassin, had his best race so far this season even with the rivers, ponds and ruts that covered the track. Ben qualified 17th, then went on to finish 13th in Heat #2. In the LCQ Ben secured the holeshot and never looked back taking the checkered flags after five minutes plus 1 lap. He is the first 450SX rider all year to win 2 LCQ’s. Ben didn’t get the great start he hoped for in the Main Event, and plenty of carnage on the track made it a very difficult race, but he pushed through for a 15th place finish; a season best for him. We expect to see him continue to progress as the season heads East for a few weeks.
Austin Politelli is a fighter and on Saturday he left nothing in the tank as he rode hard in each race trying to secure some additional championship points. He qualified 16th, and was sitting in a transfer spot in his heat race when tip overs and bike problems set in forcing him to the LCQ. Austin started the LCQ in 11th but worked his way through the pack to 5th place; one position out of qualifying for the Main Event. Though he would have liked to be on the starting line for the Main, he was happy with his performance in the nasty conditions and looks forward to being indoors next week in Minneapolis, MN.
Mason Wharton was probably the only rider left smiling after the nights racing was done; his positivity and passion for this sport is incredible. He qualified 30th, and had a fantastic heat race ride which landed him with a 13th place finish. In the LCQ he struggled with the tacky mud and finished 12th. It may not have been the evening he planned but he made the most of it and was just happy to be out there racing. Mason is looking forward to having a few weeks off to recoup and get ready for the first East/West Showdown in Atlanta, Ga.
The rookie, Blaine Silveira was happy to make it through the shortened qualifying by laying down the 38th fastest lap time. In Heat #1, he got a last place start but was able to work his way past a few riders for a 15th place finish. Blaine unfortunately was not able to race the LCQ, but was pleased with his performance for the night. He looks forward to the break as well, and can’t wait to compete again on March 2nd.
We would like to thank ALL of our fabulous sponsors who are as dedicated to the sport as we are. Check them out online by clicking on their names below.
Fly Racing, Karcher, Pirelli, Bike Bandit, Lucas Oil,
3D Designs, Acerbis Plastic , Benning Auto Parts, Bolt , Boyce Excavating , California Coast Plumbers , Carl’s Cycle Sales, Cometic Gaskets, Cylinder Works, DSC Construction , Engine Ice , Extreme Recycling, Fire Safety Services, Galfer, Hot Cams, Magik Graphics, Meade Support Group, Millennium Trailers, Monarch Heavy Haul, MoTool, No Toil, Pivot Works, Randall Reed’s Prestige Ford, Rekluse Clutches, Ryder95, SDG Seats, Tokyo Mods, Torc1 Racing, Vertex Pistons, VP Racing Fuel
Words By: Kendra Keene
Photos By: Brown Dog Wilson