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250 Words: Las Vegas

By Aaron Hansel

The Dave Coombs East-West Shootout in Las Vegas is not a points race. By the time the seventeenth and final round of the series rolls around, both Lites titles are decided and the riders are usually already focused on the upcoming outdoor season. In the days leading up to the Shootout, riders often try to play it cool, but when it comes time to race, all that feigned indifference goes out the window.

  • It was a good weekend for Mitch Payton and company in Vegas.
In the past, the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki team has sometimes had a rough go of this race, but from the first heat to the final lap of the main, the team laid down more domination than a Chuck Norris roundhouse kick. It started when the Scottish-born Dean Wilson won his heat race, much to the delight of his kilt-wearing fan section. Jake Weimer followed suit in his heat, taking the win ahead of teammate Josh Hansen. In the main, Weimer took his second holeshot of the night, followed by teammates Christophe Pourcel and Wilson. GEICO Powersports Honda rider Trey Canard was a close fourth, but his chances of winning the race ended when he went down in a corner while Hansen was passing him.

For the rest of the race, the crowd got to see what a practice day at the Pro Circuit test track might be like, as all four riders battled closely with one another. Hansen, Pourcel, and Wilson each took turns holding second, third, and fourth, but at the end it was Weimer who came out on top, followed by Hansen and Pourcel. Wilson took fourth after coughing up two positions on the last lap but still managed to finish nearly ten seconds ahead of Justin Barcia.

After the race, a Pro Circuit celebration commenced, with Hansen launching a few post-race triples while Lites champs Weimer and Pourcel rode around the perimeter saluting the crowd. Pourcel even threw his helmet into the crowd before finally exiting the track.

It was an exciting finale, and the fact that Weimer, Pourcel, and Canard will all be racing in the premier class next year is reason enough to start counting the days until the 2011 season. Only eight months to go.
 

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