Newbury Park, CA - The 2009 AMA Monster Energy Supercross series traveled south again from St. Louis, MO to the Jacksonville, FL, where Florida begins. The weather forecast looked ominous; many thought the race was going to be a total mud bath. But Mother Nature has taken a shining to Supercross this year with the results being perfect weather for race day. Someone upstairs must have been looking out for the MDK/Warthog Racing Academy (WRA), as the team had its greatest race to date.
The East Coast Lites sounder (which means a group of Warthogs) of MDK/WRA riders were here for their final race of the series. There was a lot on the line for many of these riders as several were within striking distance of their best season ever. Darrell Saldana, WRA’s Race Director, had assembled a truly inspiring Lites team for the East Coast swing. Surprisingly in a most positive way, this close knit group of racers accomplished something that should go down in the record books. Riding for the MDK/WRA on big engine bikes were #80 Tyler Bright, one of WRA’s favorite all around kid, and #930 Tom Parsons, Yamsquatch’s younger and better looking brother. In the little engine class, WRA was represented by #336 Dennis Jonon, #374 Cody Gilmore, #96 Tyler Wharton, # 831 Ryan Smith, #198 Jacob Saylor, #566 Logan Martin, #309 Spencer Dally, and #811 Josh Lichtle.Ben Coisy, #911 Tyler Bowers, and #719 Vince Friese.
And let’s not forget about 2009’s comeback kid, #125 Daniel Blair. Daniel proved a lot this season and proved his fans right and left his naysayers befuddled and eating crow. Daniel Blair, the entire Warthog Nation salutes you.
Of the 14 riders of the Warthog Nation, all made it through timed qualifying with ease. For the sixth week in a row, the Warthog Nation made up 25% of the Lites class, which is a record that won’t easily be broken. In the Supercross class, both riders made it again to the big show. they ended up comprising 10% of the heat races. Top qualifying Warthogs included Heath Voss, Ben Coisy, Daniel Blair, Cody “Happy” Gilmore, Vince Friese, Josh Lichtle, and Spencer Dally.
Lites heat #1 saw the single best WRA race to date. Tyler Wharton finished an amazing 4th, Spencer Dally, backed up his strong performance in St. Louis with a stellar 5th, and Cody Gilmore, easily the most inspiring rider in the sport today, finished 7th to take the express train to the main event. Logan Martin and Ryan Smith didn’t quite make the cut so their express train had a destination of the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ).
Tyler Wharton’s 4th place finish in the heat was otherworldly. Earlier in the day, Tyler’s race bike grenaded and it seemed as though Tyler was done for the day as spare motors are a luxury few privateers can afford. However, Chris Parsons, MDK/WRA’s Vice President of Driving the Truck, Setting Everything Up, Working like a Madman Day and Night, had a bright idea. It was “Let’s ask the other teams if they have a bike available for Tyler use”. This was possible because the MDK/WRA program allows riders to race any brand of bike they’d like. So Chris and other canvassed the pits. When things looked bleak, the man we call Chris “Yamsquatch” Parsons, looked across from the MDK/WRA to see the light – in the form of the controversial and enigmatic Jason Lawrence of the Boost Mobile / AMPM / Monster Energy / team. The man they call J-LAW didn’t hesitate; he insisted that Tyler run his factory quality Yamaha 250F for the day. Tyler was game and so was Jason and the deal was done. It turns out that Tyler Wharton had never ridden a Yamaha before. After 15 minutes of the second practice/time qualifier on a bike he’d only seen on TV, Tyler got a great start and rode the borrowed bike to his best finish ever in a Supercross heat, a studly 4th. Jason showed great generosity to Tyler and that we all respect. Thank you Jason!!Daniel Blair cruised in with a 5th while Vince Friese rode a great race to finish 4th. Jacob Saylor finished 10th, which is the worst place to finish – so close and yet so far. It was on to the LCQ for him.
The first heat for the big bikes was not encouraging as Tyler Bowers finished the dreaded 10th place and so, a stacked LCQ was waiting for him. Also headed to the LCQ were Tyler Bright and Tom Parsons. In the second big bike heat, Coisy and Voss qualified easily, punching out a 5th and 7th.
The Lites LCQ was next and this week Jacob Saylor was up to the task, almost holeshoting then running a strong 2nd. In the Supercross LCQ, Tyler Bowers was hauling and had the final transfer spot apparently sown up but an inopportune stall ruined Tyler’s night.
It was then when the Warthog Racing brain trust began to ponder whether any other team in the history of the sport had put six riders into the Lites main. After a further investigation of results archives, the team realized that they had set a record that was unlikely to broken. Thirty percent of the main field came directly from MDK/WRA. When including the Warthog Nation, the number jumps to forty percent of the field. There were more Warthog riders in the mains than can be comprehended by the human mind, it seems.
Next up was the Lites main, where the “WRA 6” had exceedingly bad starts. Josh Lichtle put in a great ride to finish a career best 13th, while the rest of the guys finished further back in the back. Still, their accomplishments can’t be denied. WRA East Coast Lites we salute you!!
Said Scott Kandel, Chief Altruistic Officer, Warthog Racing, “It‘s cool to do something different. . . and accomplish something that can only be achieved because of that difference. With a big team like ours, it’s possible to get six guys in one main. We had great talent in our East Coast Lites program so I’m not surprised of an outcome like this. And did I mention I really liked all the kids and parents we had for the East Coast Lites portion of the series. To a man (or woman), they were all outstanding individuals.
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