Brayton showed up in Vegas determined to put his up and down motocross season behind him and prove to moto fans everywhere that he is a podium threat not only at the US Open, but in the upcoming Supercross Series as well.
Practice went great for Brayton who had solid top five lap times consistently throughout each session. The night show kicked off with an eight-man Super Pole event where the top eight contenders compete against each other for the fastest single lap time. Brayton finished 3rd in the Super Pole with a time of 43.68 behind the 2nd place ride of Chad Reed with a 43.03 and the 1st place contender James Stewart who ran a 42.64.
Brayton did not have long to rest as he was up first in heat #1. He got a 5th place start and managed to push himself into second before passing the green flag. Still on the first lap, he passed for the lead and never looked back the remainder of the eight lap heat. He took the win, followed by Josh Hill and Michael Byrne.
After taking the heat race win, Brayton had a great gate pick for the main, lining up third from the inside. He got a good jump and pushed his way into 5th around the first turn. He quickly closed in and made the pass on Kyle Chisholm for 4th and then began to gain on the 3rd place ride of Chris Blose. He caught and passed Blose on lap five for 3rd position. A mistake by Brayton on lap 9 gave Andrew Short room to make a pass moving Brayton back to 4th. Brayton stayed close, and together he and Short began to close on the 2nd place ride of Ivan Tedesco.
A couple laps later and Brayton and Short had caught up to Tedesco. Short moved in toward Tedesco to make a pass which resulted in both riders crashing. Brayton tried desperately to avoid the pile up but was too close to them at the time and got caught behind them. When he finally unstuck himself he regained his 4th position now behind Hill who got by during the incident.
An error with the white flag forced all riders to go an extra lap which switched up the podium positions slightly (later overturned by AMA ruling). Hill managed to pass Tedesco to secure 2nd behind James Stewart while Tedesco finished 3rd and Brayton held on for a hard earned 4th overall. “I wish I didn’t get stuck behind Andrew and Ivan because I had second place handed to me – I just couldn’t get out quick enough,” commented Brayton. “I like this race and I am happy with my overall finish I just hope to be on the podium tomorrow night.”
The popular Supercross Half-time Show, the KTM Junior Supercross Challenge (KJSC), had the winners from each Supercross KJSC event compete at the US Open. The #3 bike of Miles MacDonald finished 1st followed by #16 Derek Drake and #12 Dawson Evitts.
Another unique race held at the US Open is the 85 Invitational, in which the top twelve riders from the 12-13 Stock 85cc class at the Loretta Lynn’ Amateur National come to Vegas to compete against each other on the Supercross course. KTM rider Kody Kamm pulled the holeshot and led the first four laps before he was passed by Austin Politelli. A slight mistake in a rhythm section allowed the hard-charging Joey Savatgy to pass for 2nd but Kamm held on to finish 3rd overall landing a spot on the podium.