Casey Hinson and Tevin Tapia compete in Salt Lake City main event during Monster Energy AMA Supercross This marks the first time Shea Racing has placed two riders into a main SALT LAKE CITY – As the snow fell at Rice-Eccles Stadium, Team Violation1.com/Shea Racing/Travisa/National Switchgear, powered by Munn Racing KTM, prepared for the penultimate round of Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship. After the main event checkers flew, it marked the first time in the team’s three-year history that two of its riders competed in the same main event. This was a major accomplishment for any independent team during the most competitive season in the series’ history. Team athletes Casey Hinson and Tevin Tapia finished 16th and 18th, respectively, in the 250cc Lites West Region main event.
Snow began to fall in Salt Lake City, Utah on Friday, April 29, making riders and teams wonder if the track would retain its form or become a soupy mess the following day for AMA Supercross. True to form, the Dirt Wurx crew made extreme preparations leading up to the race so that the snow would minimally affect the course. The open-air Rice-Eccles Stadium provided the scenario for a night of racing on April 30, and the snow had minimal impact.
Supercross Lites heat race one was the first to the line. Team Violation1.com/Shea Racing/Travisa/National Switchgear’s Tapia on his #70 KTM 250 SX-F race bike lined up on the gate for only his second race of the year. Ready for battle, he shot off the line thanks to his Eleven 10 Mods/DR.D-powered motor. Throughout the heat, Tapia rode his own race in order to make an effort to move into a main event transfer position. However, time ran out. As Tapia crossed the finish line on the final lap, he was in eleventh place. He headed back to the Shea Racing pit to prepare for the LCQ.
Ready to redeem himself after a practice crash at the previous round in Seattle that resulted in him not racing, Hinson was lined up for heat number two. He suffered no injuries in Seattle; however as a precaution he was held from racing since his helmet had severe damage. Here in Utah, Hinson pulled a great start on his KTM 250 SX-F breathed by DT-1 Filters. Throughout the race he battled for a transfer spot in the top nine. As the checkers flew on lap six, Hinson made a direct transfer to the main with an eighth place. This marked Hinson’s sixth main event appearance out of the eight West Region rounds.
With adjustments to his bike, Shea Racing’s Tapia was lined up for the LCQ. The four-lap dash was all about getting not only a good, but a great start. Tapia got an excellent start and was quickly in fourth to take advantage of one of the two transfer spots. He battled with the second place rider the rest of the way, swapping positions as the LCQ wore on. Tapia was not about to relent on his quest to make two main events out of the two AMA Supercross races he competed in this year. At the finish, he had the advantage and crossed the line in second on his Munn Racing-dealer supported KTM 250 SX-F.
Team Violation1.com/Shea Racing/Travisa/National Switchgear athletes Hinson and Tapia went to the line for the AMA Supercross Lites West Region main event. It marked a race that saw the team representing Austrian brand KTM along with the factory-backed rider of Ken Roczen.
Both Hinson and Tapia had mid pack starts in the Lites main. Since these athletes competed in prior main events, the nerves were not as intense; though the excitement to be two of the fastest Lites Supercross riders in the world on this night was high. Hinson and Tapia in their FLY Racing Evolution gear rode smooth, clean and calculated. As the laps were counted off, Hinson had a better go of it, battling to get into the top 15. Meanwhile, Tapia was feeling the effects of his endurance level due to the early season wrist injury. Though he was riding determined. When all was said-and-done at the end of lap 15, Hinson crossed the line in 16th place and Tapia finished 19th.
“This is like winning a championship for us tonight,” said Tim Shea, team manager. “Our independent team competing with two riders against a number of factory-supported teams in Salt Lake City is a dream realized. As we built a larger team this season, this was one of our goals. It’s unfortunate that Tevin had to leave the race. He’s done great for us after he came back from the wrist injury having not ridden for two months. Once his endurance returns, the field better watch out. Casey is always on it and I am happy for him that he got another main event finish. With snow falling, it was difficult for us to anticipate the track but the Dirt Wurx crew did an awesome job and our mechanics had the bikes dialed.”
The entire Shea Racing team is heading to Las Vegas, Nevada this week for the final round of Monster Energy AMA Supercross. Both the East Region and West Region athletes and their mechanics will be there to compete. It will be the first-time ever in the series’ history that each region will have its final round at Las Vegas, in addition to the Dave Coombs Sr. East/West Shootout. The race format will have the top 20 qualifiers from each region go to their respective 15-lap main events. Then, the shootout will take the top 9 from each main and an LCQ will determine the final two spots.
Shea added, “We have to thank National Switchgear and Travisa for taking a risk on our team this season. They have been awesome partners. We are happy to reward them and KTM with two riders in the main in Utah. The industry has supported us this year in a big way. We thank each and every sponsor and Feld Motor Sports as we get ready for the final round in Vegas.”
Team Violation1.com/Shea Racing/Travisa/National Switchgear, powered by Munn Racing KTM, heads to round 17 of Monster Energy AMA Supercross on Saturday, May 7 at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is the final round that will include Lites East Region and Lites West Region finals and the Dave Coombs Sr. Shootout pitting the top 20 riders from each series. Fans come out to see athletes Tevin Tapia #70 (West), Ricky Renner #90 (East), Vernon McKiddie #129 (East) and Casey Hinson #149 (West) in their FLY Racing Evolution gear and Violation Goggles on DeCal Works-emblazoned KTM 250 SX-F race bikes. During the pit party stop by the team’s purple and yellow semi hauler to meet the riders and the Violation Goggles girls. The race will be broadcast live on SPEED TV at 10 p.m. EST on Saturday, May 7 and the series wrap-up show will air on Sunday, May 8 at 2 p.m. EST on CBS. Keep posted to the team at www.sheamoto.com.