CORONA, CA - Monster Energy/Andrews/Yamaha's Jason Thomas made it three straight podium finishes on the 13-round 2008 Can-Am Grand Nationals Cross Country Series tour, this past weekend placing 2nd overall in the XC2 class on a perfect October day spent racing at the series' penultimate round in St. Clairsville, Ohio.
Thomas led a contingent of Monster Energy/Andrews/Yamaha racers out of the gate to open the race and actually led the race himself early. Flanked by teammates Dave Snyder and Dustin Gibson, 5th and 6th, respectively, at the start, Thomas was in what team owner Fred Andrews called a "heated" battle for the lead with Scott Watkins.
At the first fuel stop Gibson had fallen back a bit, thanks in part to a 101-degree temperature he was suffering due to illness, along with getting stuck in a mud hole. Snyder then pulled into the pits with brake problems, pretty much putting an end to his podium chances as well.
But Thomas was still dogging the race leader Watkins, and would take the lead in spectacular fashion soon after the two lap sign came out when he passed Watkins at the mud hole. Leading coming through the pits, Thomas had Watkins right on his tail in one of the closer finishes of the year for the Monster Energy-backed racers. Unfortunately for Thomas, a mistake would cost him the win, but his effort was nothing short of excellent on the day.
"I was close and stalled it with a few turns to go," said the dejected Thomas, who had to overcome some arm pump to fight his way to the lead. "That's racing."
And though Gibson finished just outside the top ten in the XC2 class (11th), he still remains in 2nd place in the overall season standings. "I had a temperature all week and gave it all I had," he said. "I tangled with a lapper and got stuck in a sink hole beside the track. Worked hard to get out, but it took way too long."
Snyder would end up 17th overall.
Next up for the Monster Energy/Andrews/Yamaha GNCC race team is the final round of the series in Crawfordsville, Ind., Oct 25th.
Monster Energy supports the sport. Be it GNCCs, EnduroCross, insane distance jumping, MX, MotoGP, road racing, supermoto, off-road, FMX, skate, MTB, wake, mini bikes, surf, snow, BMX - name it - the athletes are rockin' Monster Energy more than anything these days. Check out all the types - Original Monster Energy, Monster Lo-Carb, Monster Assault, Monster Khaos, Monster's fruit juice hybrid dubbed "M-80," the party-friendly MIXXD and the ground-breaking Java Monster premium coffee & cream drink line supercharged with our Monster Energy blend. Fred Andrews' boys dig 'em - so will you. On the 'Net at www.monsterarmy.com and www.monsterenergy.com