250 Words: TLD Packs ‘em In

250 Words TLD Packs ‘em In

January 20, 2014 5:15pm

For the first two weeks of the season, it was interesting to note that Lucas Oil/Troy Lee Designs Honda rider Cole Seely had led more laps than anyone in the 250 class, only to lose the lead—and the win—on the last lap. He was snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, pushed right out of the winner’s circle by Jason Anderson. To his credit, Cole did not let the back-to-back disappointments get to him, and his wire-to-wire win on Saturday night was a beautiful piece of race craft. He left no doubt in anyone’s mind that he was the fastest man in the 250 class.

While Seely deservedly got most of the attention for his win, he was also part of a bigger success story that played out on Saturday night. The Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil Honda team had four riders in the top ten. Malcolm Stewart earned himself a third-place finish, though he didn’t get to the podium—he was promoted following the penalty given to Anderson for jumping on the red-cross flag. The rookie Shane McElrath had his best night so far, with a solid sixth-place finish, and Jessy Nelson rounded out the top ten.

Cole Seely (left) and Malcolm Stewart both reached the podium in Anaheim. 
Cole Seely (left) and Malcolm Stewart both reached the podium in Anaheim.  Photo: Simon Cudby

 Troy Lee himself was there, and he had to be ecstatic for his riders, team manager Tyler Keefe, and his entire crew. The TLD Honda team has won before, but this was special—it was a celebration of forty years of supercross, which meant a lot of heroes Troy Lee once painted helmets for were there to see his team outperform everyone else. It hasn’t been easy or cheap for Troy to go racing—he has invested in a big team with a lot of riders, mechanics, and technicians—so seeing them all gel over the course of fifteen laps made for a sweet night for all. It also served as another reminder that time is running out on a rebound by preseason favorites Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki and GEICO Honda.