As always, the Daytona International Speedway presented a demanding track; one that would soon separate the best from the rest. The track was long and sandy and strength sapping. The weather was just perfect, a complete reversal from last year’s deluge.
The pack of MDK/Warthog riders were there ready to strut their stuff. Riding for the Warthog Racing Academy (WRA) on big bikes was the lone #71 of Justin Sipes. Justin is sacking up and racing in the Premier Class, which is stacked to the gills with talent. He certainly isn’t afraid of the steepest competition in the world. In the small engine class, WRA was represented by #336 Dennis Jonan, #374 Cody Gilmore, #96 Tyler Wharton, # 831 Ryan Smith, #198 Jacob Saylor, #566 Logan Martin, and #309 Spencer Dally. Joining WRA this week is the highly talented #811 Josh Lichtle, beginning what we believe will be a very successful comeback. Also, old WRA hand #80 Tyler Bright and his Arenacross teammate #445 Chad Wages joined the WRA Sounder for the rest of the year. Special guest and legend Barry Carsten also rode for MDK/Warthog Racing after DeCal Works turned around graphics in a jiffy (In case you’re wondering, a jiffy is the time it takes for light to travel one fermi, which equals the size of a nucleon; One fermi is 10−15 m, so a jiffy is about 3 × 10−29 seconds). DeCal Works is that fast.
Plenty of recent and older Warthog Nation graduates were also on hand to do battle in the name of the Warthog and Power to the Privateer racer. As always, Warthog Racing Team Captain Heath Voss and Leader of the Privateer of the Year race was on hand, as well as our sister team and our #1 Warthog Nation partner MotoConcepts Racing, who represented the Warthog movement with graduates #979 Ben Coisy, #911 Tyler Bowes, #651 Daniel McCoy, and #719 Vince Friese.
A big Warthog hug and kiss to veteran #125 Daniel Blair, who has been an integral part of the Warthog Nation since its very inception. He was witness to the Warthog Racing equivalent of the Big Bang in 2003. And Daniel’s perseverance, hard work, and talent have finally landed him a factory-supported ride on the Geico Powersports Honda. Daniel, it must feel great to prove all the naysayers wrong and that your supporters were indeed right.
Of the 18 riders of the Warthog Nation, 16 made it through timed qualifying, some just barely. It wasn’t pretty, but we’ll take it! Like last week in Indy, there was a deep field of over 60 riders in the Lites class; 10 of 12 riders qualified for the 40 man night show. For the second week in a row, the Warthog Nation made up 25% of the Lites class, which is mind-boggling in some respects. In the Supercross class, all five riders made it again to the big show; they ended up comprising 15% of the heat races. Top qualifying Warthogs included Tyler Bowers, Heath Voss, Josh Lichtle, Daniel Blair, Vince Friese, Spencer Dally, and Jacob Saylor.
Lites heat #1 saw Josh Lichtle lay wood to the tough Daytona track and qualified 4th in his first race back. Wow!! Dennis Jonon, working on his own comeback, just missed with a 10th. The Warthog himself predicts the main for Dennis in New Orleans. The rest of the gang struggled, thus punching their ticket to the toughest race of the night, the Lites LCQ.
The second Lites heat saw Daniel Blair score an excellent 4th place finish after battling for awhile with Vince Friese, who finished 7th. The rest of the guys from WRA would be relegated to the LCQ.
The first heat for the big bikes didn’t go half bad for the Warthog Nation riders, as Heath Voss finished 6th and Ben Coisy, who placed 9th, grabbing the final transfer spot after holding off Timmy Ferry, Davi Millsaps, and Nick Wey. Justin Sipes didn’t have his best race ever so he too was destined to the LCQ.
Heat #2 was stacked with talent, which made qualifying extremely difficult. 17 year-old vunderkind and recent WRA graduate (now on MotoConcepts Racing) Tyler Bowers was more than up to the challenge, as he held off the likes of Broc Hepler and Mike Brown to qualify 6th. The rest of the Warthog riders prepared for loaded LCQ.
It was on to the Last Chance Qualifiers (LCQ) for 12 of the modern-day Warthog-inspired Gladiators. The LCQs turned out to be the Warthog Nation equivalent of Napoleon’s Waterloo, as the guys went 0 for 12. They’ll have better results next week for sure.
In the Lites main, Daniel Blair finished 11th, Vince Friese 14th, and Josh Lichtle 17th. Lichtle was well up in the top ten before getting caught up in the Austin Stroupe imbroglio, which saw Josh in last place before he got going again. However, Josh showed us more than flashes of brilliance; he’s the real deal!! The big bike main saw Bowers and Voss get great starts after bypassing the carnage of the now infamous James Stewart crash. Coisy was not so lucky as he ended up at the back of the pack. They finished 14th, 15th, and 17th, respectively. And still a great performance for a bunch of Warthog-loving privateers against factory riders and resources. ’Taint easy to make the big bike main nowadays, no sir!!
It is with a heavy heart that Warthog Racing announces the retirement of Eric Sorby from full-time racing. Eric, who answers to the nickname of “Soreballs”, has been a favorite of both Warthog Racing and the fans alike, as he always left everything he had on the track. Known for his “take no prisoners” riding style, Eric has been racing in the US since 2002, this after winning the French Supercross Championship in 2001. During his career in the US, he rode for the world-famous Pro Circuit team, he regularly made the podium in the Lites class, and he made more main events in the Supercross class than anyone can count. He even led many laps of main events in the Supercross class, an accomplishment that only a handful of riders can claim. Eric was always fun to talk to in the pits and wholeheartedly supported the Warthog Racing program from the beginning. The sport will miss Eric Sorby without a doubt. A tip of the Warthog’s tusk to Eric “Soreballs” Sorby. So next time you do a tank slapper and wonder if you can still sire children, remember the French phenomenon named “Soreballs” that gave it all he had to excel in the World’s best motorsport.
Said Scott Kandel, Chief Altruistic Officer, Warthog Racing, “Soreballs” was a breath of fresh air for US motocross. He definitely did it his way, which is something Warthog Racing has always respected. It was an honor to help him during his final year. If he’d ever like to come back, he has a lifetime home with Warthog Racing. Eric Sorby, we salute you!!”
This season would not be possible without our committed and actively engaged sponsor/partner group. For 2009, we have teamed up with the following entities: MDK Motorsports, MDK Speed, DeCal Works, Smooth Industries, Motorcycle Mechanics Institute (MMI), P-LoK, MotoConcepts, Transworld Motocross, LocoMX.com, Vanquish MX, DT1 Air Filters, MXResultz.com, Devol Engineering, Liquid Performance, LongShot Racing, CP Pistons, VP Fuel, Dunlop, The Plumber Inc., MB2 Raceway, Edgile Consulting, MX Sports, Vortex, MotionPro, Dana K Business Parks, The Whitaker Wellness Institute, Atlantic Promotions, NXTAgency, Kardy Photography, Relentless Media, MotoTees, RacerX Illustrated, Dirt Rider Magazine, Motocross Action Magazine, MartialMoto, Honolulu Hills Raceway, L&M Racing, and Fire and Police MX.
With this fine group, anything is possible. And special thanks to Feld Motor Sports. Because of their full support, dozens of privateers get the opportunity to live their dreams.
Take care and we’ll see you at the races!!
About Warthog Racing:
Warthog Racing (WR) is a unique company formed to better the sport of motocross. WR is comprised of two distinct entities: the not for profit Warthog Racing Academy, created to conceptualize, fund, and execute meaningful programs aimed directly at supporting the privateers; and Warthog Enterprises (WE), which focuses on merchandise and entertainment products. The WR website is at www.WarthogRacing.com
About MDK Motorsports and MDK Speed Equipment:
MDK Motorsports, LLC and MDK Speed Equipment, LLC are privately held companies and part of the MDK brand family of motocross related products and services. With 30 years of experience in Aerospace Engineering and a passion for high performance 4-stroke motocross bikes, MDK Speed Equipment delivers technology and products that have not been previously available to the general public.
AS 9003 aerospace manufacturing protocols are used, along with countless hours of dyno, flow bench, and track testing to enable MDK SE to provide products and services that deliver great performance and durability. MDK Motorsports and MDK Speed Equipment are located in San Jose, California. For more information go to www.MDKMoto.com or www.MDKSpeed.com
About DeCal Works:
Founded in 1989 by Ron and Janeen Joynt, DeCal Works has been the industry leader in pre-printed backgrounds and custom graphics for over 19 years. With a passion for racing, DeCal Works has since its early days, focused all its attention in supporting amateur and privateers riders.
“DeCal Works, The Original” www.decalmx.com
About Smooth Industries:
Smooth Industries LLC is the leader in Officially Licensed Motocross apparel and accessories using images and the likeness of the sports biggest names including Jeremy McGrath, Travis Pastrana, Chad Reed, Ryan Villopoto, Kevin Windham, Monster Pro Circuit Kawasaki, Rockstar Makita Suzuki and more. It is our goal to provide quality motocross themed products for fans of all ages, giving them fresh and innovative designs to express their passion for not only their favorite riders and teams but the sport itself in hopes of continuing to aid in the overall growth of the sport of motocross. For more information, please visit our website at www.SmoothIndustries.com
About Synergy Racing Technologies:
Synergy Racing Technologies is a group of sponsors and individuals whose mission is to: conceptualize, fund, and execute meaningful programs aimed directly at supporting the Privateers thus helping to progress the sport we love. SRT is focused on providing their riders with the best platform to succeed while making optimal use of race team resources to maximize sponsorship value.
MotoConcepts is a Pacific Northwest Manufacturer of innovative and unique Motorsports accessories designed for the professional and recreational rider. MotoConcepts is proud to partner with top motocross companies like MDK Speed, Warthog Racing, Smooth Industries, and DeCal Works to help support the MCRMX team. For more information visit www.MotoConcepts.com