Newbury Park, CA - The 2009 AMA Monster Energy Supercross series headed due north-west up to the Indianapolis Lucas Oil Stadium. It was a red letter day for all that is MDK/Warthog, as the Warthog Nation set records on qualifying riders into the mains. Of the 15 members of the Warthog Nation that hit the track in Indy, eight of them made their main events. Never before in AMA racing have so many riders from one organization staked their claim to the final races of the night.
The new Lucas Oil Stadium was impressive -- very high tech and functional -- as was the Mike Larocco/DirtWurx designed and built track. The throng of MDK/Warthog riders took to the track like pigs to mud. Riding for the Warthog Racing Academy (WRA) on big bikes were #917 Eric Sorby and #71 Justin Sipes. In the small engine class, WRA was represented by #336 Dennis Jonan, #374 Cody Gilmore, #96 Tyler Wharton, # 831 Ryan Smith, #198 Jacob Saylor, #566 Logan Martin, and #309 Spencer Dally. Rounding out Warthog-mania was the Warthog Racing Team Captain Heath Voss, and our major Warthog Nation partner MotoConcepts Racing, who provided #979 Ben Coisy, #911 Tyler Bowes, #651 Daniel McCoy, and #719 Vince Friese to the Warthog Line-up. Last but not least was the Warthog Nation rider who has the most years of seniority as member of the Warthog Racing program, renaissance rocking man #125 Daniel Blair.
All 15 riders made timed qualifying look easy. Despite a deep field of over 60 riders in the Lites class, all 10 riders qualified for the 40 man night show. Another way to look at it is that riders from the Warthog Nation made up 25% of the Lites class, quite an impressive feat for the team. In the Supercross class, all five riders made it to the show, comprising 15% of the heat race. Top qualifiers from our group included Ben Coisy, Tyler Bowers, Eric Sorby, Heath Voss, Daniel Blair, and Vince Friese, Dennis Jonon, and Cody Gilmore.
Lites heat #1 saw Jacob Saylor put on a solid ride to finish 6th and punch his ticket to the main. Tyler Wharton and Cody Gilmore weren’t so lucky; each crashed while battling for a qualifying position and were relegated to the always brutal LCQ.
The second Lites heat saw Daniel Blair score an excellent 5th place finish after battling with Vince Friese, who finished 6th. Ryan Smith put in the ride of a lifetime to capture the final transfer position. This would be Ryan’s first main event ever in Supercross, not counting the drubbing he put on Travis Pastrana in Puerto Rico a few weeks back.
The first heat for the big bikes didn’t go well for the team. Only Justin Sipes was in the race and after a strong start on his lone KTM that put him in position for a qualifying spot, Justin through it away with an unfortunate crash. It would be on to the LCQ for Justin and his KTM.
The next heat was stacked with Warthogs, as there were 4 riders from the Warthog Nation in the heat. In turned out to be a great heat for the team, as Coisy placed a season high 4th, Tyler Bowers a season high 6th, and Heath Voss took 8th place, making it three for four. Aussie Daniel McCoy, the odd man out, put in a determined ride to finish 11th, but in the sport of Supercross, much like with boomerangs, a miss is as good as a mile.
It was on to the Last Chance Qualifiers for seven of the boys. In the Lites class, Tyler Wharton made the most of it, motoring into the final transfer spot, flambéing such talent as Jason Thomas and Matt Goerke. Good job Tyler, you long haired hippie-freak! The rest of the guys weren’t so lucky – bad starts ruined the day for Dennis Jonon, Cody Gilmore, Spencer Dally, and Logan Martin.
The mains on the planes were clearly for the most insane, as the Mike Larocco-designed track was not built with small yamsquatches (paging Chris Parsons) in mind. No, indeed this track would take every ounce of testosterone one could muster to navigate quickly and correctly.
The Lites main first start defined the term “cluster….” Only seven riders made it out of the first turn in one piece, which quickly led to a Nico Izzi lead annulling red flag. Then debate can go on forever as to the necessity of the red flag, given that waylaid corner was cleared in less than 30 seconds. We trust AMA Official Jeff Canfield completely so we’ll stick with his decision on it, although Nico Izzi may not be feeling quite so magnanimous about the situation.
The restart led to drastically changed fortunes for most everybody. Pourcel and Stroupe led the way with Izzi now mired in the pack. Warthog Nation member Daniel Blair was putting on a riding clinic, and worked his way from outside the top ten into an eventual 7th. Vince Friese gated reasonably well, battled strong the whole time, and wound up in 11th place. This was Vince’s second main since graduating up to the MotoConcepts/Warthog Nation team. WRA riders Tyler Wharton and Jacob Saylor didn’t fare all that well after taking a few breaks to inspect the quality of the Indy dirt, up close and personal. Ryan Smith, racing his first main gutted out a 14th place finish, which is very respectable for his first time out.
The big bike main was outstanding as James Stewart and Chad Reed put on a great show. Meanwhile back further in the back where the Warthogs roam, Ben Coisy was putting on the ride of his life. The MotoConcepts/Warthog Nation rider rode a brilliant race to finish 6th place, that against a very stacked field. Bravo for Ben. Heath Voss lived up to his number while finishing 13th after an almost last place start. Heath still leads the Privateer of the Year race over Nick Wey and Ben Coisy, who after his stellar run at Indy, is trailing Heath by only 8 points. Seventeen year-old Tyler Bowers, a recent graduate of the Warthog Racing Academy, continues to impress, again making the main and showing flashes of brilliance. Look for Tyler to break the Top Ten before this season is over.
DeCal Works and the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute (MMI) deserve big kudos, as Ron Joynt and his team worked tirelessly to get the WRA graphics complete in time for the race and Terry Emig and the gang at MMI keep sending us outstanding students and graduates, without who we would never be able to display the technical excellence WRA and its racers aspire to.
This season would not be possible without our committed and actively engaged sponsor/partner group. For 2009, we have teamed up with the following entities: MDK Motorsports, MDK Speed, DeCal Works, Smooth Industries, Motorcycle Mechanics Institute (MMI), P-LoK, MotoConcepts, Transworld Motocross, LocoMX.com, Vanquish MX, DT1 Air Filters, MXResultz.com, Devol Engineering, Liquid Performance, LongShot Racing, CP Pistons, VP Fuel, Dunlop, The Plumber Inc., MB2 Raceway, Edgile Consulting, MX Sports, Vortex, MotionPro, Dana K Business Parks, The Whitaker Wellness Institute, Atlantic Promotions, NXTAgency, Kardy Photography, Relentless Media, MotoTees, RacerX Illustrated, Dirt Rider Magazine, Motocross Action Magazine, MartialMoto, Honolulu Hills Raceway, L&M Racing, and Fire and Police MX.
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!!