March 20, 2007
Newbury Park, CA. Jacob Saylor grabbed the holeshot in the Last Chance Qualifier on his MDK/Lucas Oil/Yamaha YZ450F and never looked back, posting a stunning victory over a stacked field of riders in round 11 of the Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series, held at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida.
Saylor’s outstanding win was made sweeter when the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute (MMI) “Top Tech Award” of $500.00 was awarded to his mechanic, Todd Williams, a graduate of MMI who working this event as an intern. In a unique and mutually beneficial collaboration, each week MMI provides the team with 5 intern technicians, chosen from among their best graduates and students. The program is definitely working well, as several of the interns have since been hired by DeCal Works/Hog Haven riders.
All eyes were on Ricky Carmichael as the first heat started with Saylor buried way back in the pack. Carmichael, who retired from SX following Orlando race, won the heat handily, with Saylor unable to move into a qualifying position. Antonio Balbi joined Saylor in the LCQ, where he just missed the cut. The whole team is pulling for the likeable Brazilian can put his bike into a main again soon.
Jacob’s stable mate on the front side of the awesome MDK/Lucas Oil/Yamaha hauler, Kyle Tobin, was suffering the effects of being severely ill during the week and was unable to continue his recent hot streak. The 18 year-old rookie failed to earn any points, dropping him to just one point outside of the top twenty overall in the series, with 3 rounds remaining.
Five riders qualified for the night program, including 4 from the DeCal Works Hog Haven. Zach Ames, Dave Ginolfi, Balbi, and Geddy Karrle may not have joined Saylor in Ricky Carmichael’s last Supercross Main Event, but it’s a safe bet that someday they’ll tell their grandkids they were a part of the show on the night that the Greatest of All Time said goodbye to Supercross.
On behalf of every privateer who dined at an Outback instead of a Burger King, slept in a hotel instead of their van, or was able to buy enough gas to get to the next race, WWR thanks Ricky Carmichael for his unwavering support. No rider in history has done more to support his fellow competitors or given back more to the sport than RC. Five years ago, he and Fox Racing’s Scott Taylor listened as we pitched our mission to help the privateers, and they “got it” immediately. He and Taylor befriended WWR and have been behind us ever since.
Since that meeting five years ago, Wonder Warthog Racing and the Team Warthog Foundation have generated over $300,000, with every dollar paid out directly to the privateers through our various programs. Without the support of Live Nation, the elite riders who contribute gear for our auctions, the companies that sponsor them, our generous sponsors, devoted volunteers, as well as the fans and collectors who support our auctions…without all of them we’d have folded our tent long ago. But if it hadn’t been for Ricky Carmichael’s vision and trust, we would have never had a tent to fold.
Ricky, we salute you. Congratulations on both your Supercross career and your new career as a father. See you at Hangtown!
Special thanks to www.CheapHousePayments.com for providing the housing for the team for the Florida rounds of the series.
The next stop on the 2007 Hog Haven Tour will be Saturday, March 24th at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, home of the Brickyard. Hog Haven apparel can be purchased at the LiveNation merchandise trailer in the pits or at www.SmoothIndustries.com. All WWR proceeds go towards funding their privateer support programs. Drop in to visit the entire team at www.WonderWarthogRacing.com