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2009 NAHA Pro Hillclimb Report

  • The Legends of Verticross, Whitlock and Beer race to the top
  • Jason Smith made the history books
Defending Champ Travis Whitlock barley held off a very fast Jason Smith to win the opening round at SkipsPromotions event at Carnegie State Park.  Smith’ time of 15.718 to Whitlocks’ 15.658, was only 6 100ths of a second off, which handed Whitlock the 450 Pro class win. However, the real story was Harold Waddell who showed why he holds the #1 plate in both the 700’s and unlimited classes.  Each time he took the hill he set the day’s fastest time on his first run – he only had to ride twice to take home both National wins.  His early draw helped him break the beams on the virgin ground for each division. He literally stomped both classes with the fastest time of the day a 13.498

Verticross

Skips Promotions introduced a new racing format called Verticross, which is, essentially – drag racing nitro bikes side by side in a hillclimb format. The racing featuring head-to-head eliminations that led to a final winner. A first for the NAHA with a limited number of riders – only 24 riders were invited to qualify.

Of significance was the actual qualifying segment with only the top 8 riders making it to the final – Nitro bikes side by side to the top for the fasted time… it certainly was something to see as the crowd erupted with their approval after each run. SkipsPromotions.com runs a local amateur pro-am Verticross series at Carnegie which produced a local champ Joe Shipman who was riding a borrowed bike from NAHA’s Paul Stoffers; a Service Honda on Nitrous, Shipman lit the crowd up by posting the early qualifying time of 13.4 second run but that’s when the competitive landscape began to take shape.

The top national riders began their qualifying runs and quickly showed the crowd their equipment’s superiority. If you didn’t run anything faster than a 13sec run, you simply did not make the final – this meant you had to get to the top of the 500ft hill in less than 13 seconds.

  • Defending Champ Waddell was unbeatable on his GSXRs
The first run that showed just how stiff the competition would be was Jason Smith who took his XS700 on 100% Nitro up the hill at an amazing 12 seconds flat. If that wasn’t enough, Robie Peterson took his KTM700 up at 12.1. It would be no surprise that these two ended up in the final with Jason Smith winning the coin toss giving him the slightly better lane to become the first rider in history to win a National Verticross Event. Another interesting element of this format was pitting two hillclimb legends head to head. Dusty Beer against Travis Whitlock – Whitlock edged Beer out to advance on and finish out the event in 3rd place.

Open Unlimited

Running on a completely virgin hill (the lanes were changed after the 700’s) helped Waddell lay down his fastest run of the day at 13.498. At the end, the top three featured two new names on the box, Ross Johnson who logged a 14.355 for second place and local rider Joshua Armtrout, who’s 15.383 bested Travis Whitlock’s’ 15.437 to take 3rd.

Another notable in this class:
Two of Frances’ top hillclimb riders came over for the event to compete:
Xavier Boutiton, from Bordeax France, finished 23rd with a 19.902
Darmien Antoine, from LaBresse France, finished 28th with a 21.898

Round 1 Results:
450 Pro


First Name

Last Name

     City

Bike

1st Climb

2nd Climb

Best Climb

Position

Travis

Whitlock

Springville

KTM450

15.658

15.794

15.658

1

Jason

Smith

Farmington

YZ450

15.718

15.925

15.718

2

Joshua

Armtrout

Livermore

CRF450

16.945

15.759

15.759

3

451-700cc

FirstName

LastName

City

Bike

1st Climb

2nd Climb

Best Climb

Position

Harold

Waddell

Omaha NE

GSXR600

13.68

13.68

          1

Travis

Whitlock

Springville UT

KTM580

        15.772

        14.534

        14.534

     2

Jason

Smith

Farmington UT

XS700

14.616

15.597

14.616

3

Open Unlimited


First Name

Last Name

     City

Bike

1st Climb

2nd Climb

Best Climb

Position

Harold

Waddell

Omaha NE

GSXR1340

13.498

13.498

1

Ross

Johnson

Fordville ND

Suz1300

18.472

14.355

14.355

2

Joshua

Armtrout

Livermore

suz1000

327.89

15.383

15.383

3

Round 2 of the Racer X / Malcolm Smith Motorsports 2009 NAHA Pro Hillclimb Series will be held at Glen Helen Raceway, San Bernardino CA.  May 9th and 10th and will include a Verticross round.
For more information check out www.GlenhelenHC.com  

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