With ideal conditions in the 50-degree range greeting the Monster Energy-backed racers aboard the Yamahas, both Thomas and teammate Dustin Gibson got things going early with a couple powerful starts that had each racer in a top five position heading into the woods early in the contest.
Looking to continue the team's streak of podium finishes in all but one GNCC so far this spring/summer/fall, Monster Energy/Yamaha/Fred Andrews racing's Thomas had his YZ250F up into 3rd place by the end of the first lap, though Gibson ended up making a wrong turn and came out a bit back (8th place) after the first lap.
By the gas stop Thomas was solidly in 3rd place and Gibson, looking to keep himself in the overall podium championship points chase, pushed 'er a bit too hard and crashed in the woods. Moments later Thomas was able to make a run on 2nd place with one lap to go, taking over that position for a bit - until a crash late in the race relegated him back to 3rd place.
While Thomas held onto 3rd - giving the Monster Energy/Yamaha/Fred Andrews team 12 out of 13 podium finishes (something no other XC2 team could match - teammate Dave Snyder had charged up from back in the pack to pull off a top ten (9th) finish for the squad. And Gibson would eventually make the top 15 (13th) and preserved his spot on the overall season podium.
"I crashed on the second lap and broke my front fender off," said Thomas. "It was hard to ride without it. But my dad had flown all the way over from England for this race and I wanted to be on the podium today for him."
Added Gibson: "I crashed hard and I think I broke my foot. I had to get points today to finish 2nd on the year."
Overall Gibson held onto the 2nd o/a spot in the XC2 class, while Josh Weisenfels placed 9th after being in 5th place for much of the season, then suffering a setback with a shoulder injury. Thomas, who only competed in six races (five podiums), would also make the top ten for the Monster Energy/Yamaha/Fred Andrews team - giving the program three racers in the XC2 class' top ten. And Snyder would place 14th, which put every guy on the team in the top 15 overall.
"Thanks again to Monster for all the help this year," said Andrews. "This was our best season ever and were pumped to have Monster on board with us."
Monster Energy supports the sport. Be off road, it insane distance jumping, MX, MotoGP, road racing, supermoto, enduro, 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. Dustin Gibson, Josh Weisenfels, Jason Thomas and Dave Snyder dig 'em - so will you. On the 'Net at www.monsterarmy.com and www.monsterenergy.com.