The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship made its way back to the land of 10,000 lakes this past weekend for round 8 at Spring Creek MX Park. Summer storms plagued the weekend resulting in a single short practice/qualifying session and no consolation race. The weather also caused a delay in the start of the main Moto’s of the day; meaning riders, teams and fans were on stand by until it was deemed safe to race.
In the 250MX class TPJ Transport rider Kevin Moranz #346 put his skills on display as he powered through the mud to claim 17th overall. With his brother stepping in as his mechanic for the weekend the inspiration was flowing from start to finish. Moranz went 12 – 21 and secured an additional 9 Series Points. He currently sits in 26th place.
Zane Merritt #291 experienced some highs and lows with a career best finish in Moto 1 and a gnarly first turn crash in Moto 2. In the first Moto, he ran in 8th for most of the race but a few slips in the mud pushed him back to 13th; not the result he hoped for but still a career best. In Moto 2, he got clipped by another downed riders bike and went flying. He is sore but okay and looks forward to the rest of the season.
In the 250MX class transport rider Blake Taylor #340 and in the 450MX class, team riders Cody Briner #254, Dawson Chesnut #499 and Tanner Myers #591 didn’t make it past qualifying but it wasn’t for a lack of effort. Each of them gave it 100% and left nothing in the tank after the shortened qualifying round. Blake was 41st overall, Cody was 56th, Dawson was 47th and Tanner was 48th. All in all great progress was made by each of them. (In the images below, team owner Ted Parks is filling in for Cody.)
450MX transport riders Deven Raper #447, Lorenzo Lucurcio #56 and Taiki Koga #929 made it through qualifying with scores of 35th, 27th and 28th respectively. Deven went 30-38 for 35th overall. Lorenzo went 21-15 for 19th overall and gained 6 Series points. And, Taiki went 19-34 for 24th overall and gained 2 additional points.
Matt Hubert #647 sat in 30th coming out of qualifying and went on to a 35th place finish in Moto 1 and a 25th in Moto 2. Matt was 32nd overall in the class for the weekend. He currently sits in 35th place in the series with 5 points.
Dylan Merriam #54 returned to racing after being off for the past few weeks due to an injury sustained at Thunder Valley. He was happy to be back on the bike and at the races but after the days outcome I’m sure it’s a race he’d rather forget. In Moto 2, coming over the “Chad-a-Pult” (the jump that was made famous by Chad Reed’s crash in 2011), Dylan and Ben Lamay #41 both hit a hidden kicker and launched over the jump separate from their motorcycles. Both riders are okay but have voiced their frustration with the track conditions. Dylan went DNF-30 for a 38th overall finish and Ben Lamay went 20-37 for a 25th overall finish. Ben secured an additional 1 point and currently sits in 17th place in the Series Standing.
Jimmy Weeks #700 had a day riddled with crashes but he was able to overcome the odds and put up results that gained him additional Championship points. In Moto 1, he went from nearly last place on the first lap to finish out 18th. He came back in Moto 2 “ready for redemption” but a crash towards the end of the Moto caused him to DNF. Weeks was 22nd overall for the day and gained 3 points; he now sits in 29th in the Series.
The top story of the weekend has to be that of 450MX rider John Short #63 having a career best ride; finishing an impressive 7th overall in his class. Short conquered the elements and the infamous Millville Whoops to finish 6th and 7th in Moto’s 1 & 2 respectively. Short gained 28 points and moved his way into 15th place overall in the Series standings.
Spring Creek by the Numbers
The entire TPJ Racing team would like to thank our family of sponsors for their continued support and encouragement each week. Together we make dreams comes true.
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Photo Credit: Brown Dog Wilson ( @browndogwilson)
Written by: Kendra Keene