The two Arlington races we’ve seen so far have been pretty interesting. Not amazing racing by any means (at least in the 450SX class), but the series has really turned after two of three Texas races. We shall dive into this some more.
Hey, we had a long track! Amazing! I think both of these Arlington tracks haven’t been the best I’ve ever seen. Arlington 1 scored high on the creativity scale but not so much on the racing scale. Arlington 2 was a lot of follow the leaders around, although it was more “racey” than I thought it was upon first viewing. Here’s the thing, I understand that we are under extraordinary times when it comes to the series this year. No fans, or limited fans, make it that we see small trophies and tracks that I think could use more dirt. Dirt is extremely expensive, and I figure budgets are cut this year. I’ve been thinking this for a while now and in talking with the managers and riders, they tend to agree with me.
I don’t remember ever seeing such short tracks before this year and with the help of my buddy Clinton Fowler, it turns out I was right. Obviously Daytona is a long track so we’re removing that race from the list. The low, 50-second lap times we saw at Arlington 2 marked the first time we’ve had a track in the 50’s. That’s amazing and proof to me that we are seeing less dirt than usual. The jumps aren’t as high, in some cases we have obstacles that are missing, or there are some rollers in there instead of jumps, and lots of extra floor space.
Last year in football stadiums like Atlanta and Tampa, we saw low 50’s lap times. This year? Not so much. In my opinion, higher lap times make for better and safer tracks. The fewer laps a track has the less wear and tear on the obstacles. Makes sense right?
My buddy Clinton pulled some times from the last few years. Check it out.
It’s really the last two years that we’ve seen so many races in the 40’s. I really think it’s the amount of dirt that’s being brought into the stadiums. It’s the most expensive part of the track from what I hear and I think we’re seeing some costs cut. Make the jumps bigger, make lap times longer, and I think we’ll have better (and safer) racing!
Let’s look at the results shall we?
1st | #41 Hunter Lawrence | Wesley Chapel, FL | Honda CRF250R
Wow. What a win for Hunter, and the third straight 250SX in which we’ve seen a first-time winner. Nutty, right? And with Cameron McAdoo’s penalty Lawrence gets the points lead! Yay for Hunter, who’s a good dude and fully deserving of this little spotlight on him. He’s been through some stuff since that MXoN ride on a Suzuki in England! What a pass for the lead also, right? That was cool. If you’re Honda and you’ve taken Hunter and Jett in and brought this 250F program inside the truck (forced to with GEICO going kaput) you have to be stoked on the potential and results of the two brothers. I still like Justin Cooper to figure this shit out and take this title, but Hunter’s been in title fights before in MX2, he’s got experience, and he’s only going to get better at SX. So, yeah, this could be really happening here.
2nd | #47 Jalek Swoll | Belleview, FL | Husqvarna FC 250
Swoll’s finish, I feel, is a little under the radar here, right? Great work for the kid to get on the box—he’s been good all year. He doesn’t make a lot of mistakes, there’s not a lot of flash to him but he gets good starts and he puts himself in a good position to do good things. I’m happy for Swoll and I’m even happier that he thanked Tim Ferry on the podium. Timmy doesn’t work with him anymore but he still appreciates and acknowledges what Ferry has done for him in the past. Bobby Hewitt also must be proud of what Jalek’s done here.
3rd | #56 Kyle Peters | Greensboro, NC | Honda CRF250R
Yeah KP! Look at this ride! Great ride for Kyle and congrats to him and his team in getting his third career podium (and the team’s first). You know, Kyle was on the PulpMX Show last Monday and said he wants to get on the podium. I’d be lying if I said that I thought he could, at least this year with this field, but hey man, he did it. Showed me what was up, right?
4th | #48 Garrett Marchbanks | Coalville, UT | Yamaha YZ250F
Marchbanks was good, he was 11th after lap one, and rode himself up into this spot. I thought he was going to get Peters at one point before his charge kind of hit the wall. Still, he should be stoked on this ride.
5th | #32 Justin Cooper | Menifee, CA | Yamaha YZ250F
Uhhh, look I’m not about to hit the panic button here but I’m looking in the drawer for it. Like, I just want to see where it is. NOT going to use it but just checking things out. Where have his starts gone? Where did the Steady-Eddie performance from Cooper go? He’s crashing and he’s getting terrible starts. Yeah, he’s qualified fastest for all four races but these finishes and mistakes are SO not Justin Cooper-like, right? But even with all that, he’s two points out of the lead. Nothing is f**ked here Donnie.
6th | #35 Mitchell Harrison | Murrieta, CA | Honda CRF250R
Harrison led five laps! That’s pretty awesome, right? He looked really good too. Yeah, he dropped back a bit, but this is a start for Harrison and I was thinking to myself, “When was the last time Harrison led a SX?” It’s been a while, right?
7th | #80 Jordon Smith | Ochlocknee, GA | Kawasaki KX250
Look man, it’s a result! He and Pro Circuit should take it and move on.
8th | #60 Chris Blose | Phoenix, AZ | GasGas MC 250F
Zombie had a quiet race out there. He started just outside the top five and settled for this eighth. Good solid work for the vet.
9th | #91 Nate Thrasher | Livingston, TN |Yamaha YZ250F
Thrasher was better all day long—every practice, in his heat, and in the main event. I don’t know what was said or done to the bike from Arlington 1, but he was mucho better and it showed in the main event. It’s got to be a relief for the rookie to log a decent finish. It’s not great but it’s a start. As far as his teammate, Jarrett Frye, well his bike broke in the heat while he was in qualifying position and then he couldn’t get anything done in the LCQ. A DNQ for a Star Yamaha rider is not good ICYWW. But yeah, good for Thrasher.
10th | #31 Cameron McAdoo | Sioux City, IA | Kawasaki KX250
RAM IT jumped 85 feet on a 67-foot triple in the second lap of practice, couldn’t make the turn and then FMX’d his way right straight onto the elevated turn corner. That was sweet. In the main he was working his way up all methodical and stuff when he crashed in those whoops. I don’t know why he thought he could just grab his bike and brapppp off a bunch of the track either. I'll just write that practice crash off, and I don’t consider a crash in the whoops (where a whole bunch of other riders also crashed) a sign that the old “Wackers” is back. He still looks great.
11th | #150 Seth Hammaker | Temecula, CA | Kawasaki KX250
Hammaker crashed in the main and, like Daytona, had to fight his way up to this spot. Seth’s probably like “Last week I won and now I’m 11th”- yep, pro SX moves fast huh, Sethro? I’m still stoked on this kid’s potential though. He looks great and he won his heat and stuff.
12th | # 72 Coty Schock | Dover, DE | Honda CRF250R
Schock’s had crashes in his heats the last two rounds which have led to two LCQ’s in a row, which leads to bad gate picks, which leads to bad starts, which leads to his last two races. Schock’s still been the shock of the series and good for him.
13th | #75 Ty Masterpool | Paradise, TX | GasGas MC 250F
Ty was terrible at Orlando 2 and then better at Daytona, but that’s outdoor-ish so we knew that he would be better there. But hey, he’s slowly getting better over the last two Arlington races also. Maybe there’s something here after all. His older brother Jake has been having a terrible SX season and this weekend crashed heavily for what seemed to be like the 32nd time.
14th | #69 Robbie Wageman | Newhall, CA | Yamaha YZ250F
Wageman was good again, it was weird to see him not in the main the other race, that’s for sure. Also, I like the look of the team’s bikes. That is all.
15th | #68 Jace Owen Mattoon, IL | Yamaha YZ250F
I didn’t really notice Owen out there much to be honest but this is a good result for him and the team. The ClubMX team would be repping really well with Marchbanks and Owen and if Joey Crown was healthy they have the chance to have three racers in the top ten.
16th | #50 Enzo Lopes | Huntersville, NC | Honda CRF250R
Lopes jumped back into 250SX for the first time since the first round of 250SX East Region when he crashed in practice. Because he didn’t line up for night show, he was able to switch coasts. He looked good out there considering he does not have much time on the bike since coming back from injury. So, yeah, a main is good and he can build from here.
17th | #464 Dominique Thury | Schneeberg, Germany | Yamaha YZ250F
Thury was ballsy in the LCQ when, all alone in second and on the verge of his first ever main event, he went for a pass on Schock and came very close to him. Like, bro, what are you doing? But he made it stick and got the win and the interview on the jumbotron!
18th | #201 Cedric Soubeyras | Venasque, France | GasGas MC 250F
Where is the Soubs I’ve seen for the past ten years? I mean, he’s in the main that’s good, but he’s not been near the top ten once and the Soubs that I know would usually be. Maybe he needs his two-stroke back?
19th | #39 Carson Mumford | Simi Valley, CA | Honda CRF250R
I love Mumfy—he’s a rad dude and I’m stoked he made the main at Arlington 2. Partly because I picked him in PulpMX Fantasy, but mostly because I want the best for him. I thought both in his heat and in the main, he looked tired. Maybe he had something else going on out there but lots of seat bouncing and losing the pack of riders in front of him. But hey, getting into the main is a good thing for him as he’s somehow missed two out of the first four.
20th | #220 Ramyller Alves | Coconut Creek, FL | Husqvarna FC 250
Bad crash for Alves in the main event. He looked to be out cold and I thought there might be a red flag for him late in the main. Thankfully he got up. Alves and Jordan Bailey have been the only guys in the mains that aren’t on a team of some sort, so it’s been impressive to see them in the main.
21st | #66 Jordan Bailey | Orlando, FL | Yamaha YZ250F
Bailey crashed on the first or second lap and looked like he got the wind knocked out of him. When I watch Jordan ride, I always think he looks really good on a bike, and fast as well, but something with his race craft doesn’t always add up. Lots of mistakes from a guy who looks that good.
22nd | #67 Stilez Robertson | Murrieta, CA | Husqvarna FC 250
Bummer for Stilez, who hurt his foot in the heat and couldn’t make the start of the main. Word is he should be ready to race this Saturday but yeah, sucks for Robertson. He’s really had some highs (podium at Daytona) and lows in his rookie season (jumping onto Jeremy Martin then this), huh? No word on if Bobby Pizza was going to get his spot or not when he didn’t show for main.
1st | #2 Cooper Webb | Newport, NC | KTM 450 SX-F
What can you say about Webb? His wagon is running at full steam right now and he’s on a roll. He looks to be in complete control and his ability to make adjustments in the main is phenomenal. I can’t see how anyone can stop him from getting this Arlington sweep, as well as this title. Somehow he turned 16 points down to 12 points up in what seemed like two races. Great work for him and the KTM team.
2nd | #1 Eli Tomac | Cortez, CO | Kawasaki KX450
I thought Tomac was getting ready to make a run at Webb near the end of the race. He was better in the whoops and he was jumping three onto the tabletop as well. It seemed that when Eli would lose time, he could make it up pretty quickly. So that got me thinking he was setting Webb up for a pass late. But then, like I wrote last week, Webb adapted and got better (insane ability to do that, BTW) and Tomac made a mistake coming into the whoops. That was all she wrote. BUT, Tomac got a start! Amazing! Now, was it the long start straight or was it something Kawi and Tomac found? Tune in this Saturday folks!
3rd | #94 Ken Roczen | Clermont, FL | Honda CRF450R
Well, Roczen needed a HUGE STATEMENT at Arlington 2. At least that’s what we “experts” said before the race and well, this wasn’t really it. He started in third but he was right behind Webb and Tomac. By the end of the race he was eight seconds back with Webb taking it a bit easy on the last lap at that. So he lost five points to Webb in the title chase and sweet Jesus, this thing turns fast, huh? Ok, Arlington 3 is a HUGE STATEMENT race for Roczen and this time, I mean it.
4th | #51 Justin Barcia | Greenville, FL | GasGas MC 450F
Twelfth to fourth for Barcia at Arlington 2, and that was an impressive ride for sure. Again, it wasn’t easy to pass out there but he was on it all race long. With this track, I’d love to have seen what Barcia and Jason Anderson could’ve done with a holeshot, that would’ve been great.
5th | #23 Chase Sexton | Clermont, FL | Honda CRF450R
Couple of quiet races for Sexton in Arlington, but at the same time a couple of steady races as well. Starts up front, doesn’t make any big mistakes, and he’s learning all at the same time. Good progress from Chase.
6th | #7 Aaron Plessinger | Hamilton, OH | Yamaha YZ450F
AP won a heat and then moved up in the main event to this spot. Look, it’s been three races since he and the team found “something” with the bike and he’s been better. It’s hard to make drastic improvements in the middle of a series but AP’s done just that, which is remarkable, really. It’s a contract year for Aaron also and I’d say he’s done just about enough already to get re-signed over there at Star Yamaha.
7th | #21 Jason Anderson | Rio Rancho, NM | Husqvarna FC 450
Anderson’s passed 17 riders or more the last two main events in getting a third and then this seventh. He’s been very good the last little while and not many people would say the last two tracks have been good for passing, which makes Anderson’s performance even more impressive. Anderson caught Ferrandis on Tuesday from a ways back, then something happened and he lost three or four seconds. No worries, he caught back up to the #14 and pulled away by quite a bit by the end. Very good couple of Arlington races for the #21.
8th | #14 Dylan Ferrandis | Lake Elsinore, CA | Yamaha YZ450F
Ferrandis crashed out of Arlington 1 so you weren’t sure if he’d be ready to go by Arlington 2, right? But he was, and he was pretty good out there. Late in the race he had a couple of really bad laps so I imagine the pace caught up to him as well as being banged up.
9th | #36 Martin Davalos | Tallahassee, FL | KTM 450 SX-F
Marty has strung together two good races in a row and has been inside the top ten. The curse has been lifted! He’s back to being Marty!
10th | #15 Dean Wilson | Murrieta, CA | Husqvarna FC 450
Ah man! After a great Arlington 1, Dean was back in the LCQ this week after his wheel broke on the last lap of the heat. He’s really gotta be wondering what black cat he crossed lately. So knowing that gate pick and knowing the track wasn’t ideal for passing, I’d say this tenth was pretty good right? His tweet about what A-Ray said to him before the LCQ was great.
11th | #17 Joey Savatgy | Clermont, FL | KTM 450 SX-F
Savatgy crashed out there at some point and was 16th early in the race, so not so bad, right? He got his teammate Bogle on the last lap which had to probably cause them both to laugh about it back at the truck.
12th | #19 Justin Bogle | Edmond, OK | KTM 450 SX-F
Quiet night for Bogle, although I did see some whips and leg swag from him during practice, which means he was having fun. For Bogle to be around the top ten is a good thing from where he started the year out.
13th | #27 Malcolm Stewart | Haines City, FL | Yamaha YZ450F
For nine rounds, Mookie was the rock of the 450 class and Marty was crashing his brains out. It was something to see indeed, but now, two weeks in a row, Malcolm has gone flying off the track with crashes and Marty has been super solid inside the top ten. Transfer of power?
14th | #40 Vince Friese | Menifee, CA | Honda CRF450R
I didn’t notice Vince out there much to be honest but a 14th is a good result. He was having a really rough time around the “Barcia” stuff with crashes and whatnot, but he seems like he’s calmed down.
15th | #11 Kyle Chisholm | Valrico, FL | Yamaha YZ450F
Look, I’m as tired as you guys are of Chiz Chizzing. BUT THAT’S WHAT HE DOES. That’s two good races in a row for Kyle, who hasn’t missed a main in a long time. I didn’t see him do any cool transfers out there though so he must not have felt that great.
16th | #34 Max Anstie | Murrieta, CA | Suzuki RM-Z450
Mad Max is steady out there. He doesn’t make a lot of noise and he hasn’t gotten a start in a heat or main that I can remember. But he’s hanging in there, putting it close to the top 15 and making every main event. And yeah, I’m definitely in the category of dudes who thought teammate Brandon Hartranft was going to be WAY better than Anstie in SX.
17th | # 20 Broc Tickle | Holly, MI | Honda CRF450R
Tickle is beat up badly but he’s trying to tough it out. The MCR team lost Benny Bloss after he crashed late in qualifying and Shane McElrath hasn’t been able to race the last two races due to back issues. The team had such solid results from Malcolm Stewart and Justin Brayton the last couple of years but this year, not so much. Ahhhh, the ups and downs of racing!
18th | #280 Cade Clason | Tucson, AZ | Kawasaki KX450
As chronicled in our latest podcast, Daniel Blair and I have come up with the nickname of “Infant Chiz” for Cade. He’s just been riding himself into mains a whole bunch here. He’s not Chiz yet, let’s calm down, but he’s an “Infant Chiz,” right? He took down his buddy Alex Ray as well in the LCQ, and then claimed that it was for Ray taking him out LAST YEAR IN DAYTONA. I’m not sure that can even be a thing.
19th | #44 Tyler Bowers | Lake Elsinore, CA | Kawasaki KX450
Good for the Bear to get into the mains lately after jumping into the series at Orlando 1. I like the Bear, he’s good people. I’d like to see him do more “Bear” things out there though. He’s usually more exciting than he’s been lately.
20th | #81 Justin Starling | Deland, FL | KTM 450 SX-F
Starling’s been good lately, much better than earlier in the year when he couldn’t do much and I was picking him in PulpMX Fantasy. But yeah, I’m not mad at that or anything. Therapy bills have been sent to Mr. Starling.
21st | #85 Kevin Moranz | Topeka, KS | KTM 450 SX-F
Moranz’s starts are ridiculous. Seriously, they’re so good. But hey, last time I checked the start is part of the race and like Vince Friese, why are we mad at a guy who can start great? Anyhoo, Moranz’s bike blew up out there and he waited until the end to push his bike across the line. The guys at KTM hooked him up with a brand new motor this week though. Props to them for that.
22nd | #848 Joan Cros | Manlleu, BC | Kawasaki KX450
Yeah for Cros! He made his first ever main event in two years. The Spaniard was stuck over there when the series picked up for the seven Salt Lake City races last year but he was getting close last year before the pause. This year I don’t think he’s been as good but this week he was. Yeah, he got totally luck to get in when Dean Wilson’s rear wheel exploded on the last lap, and he got in but he was close to Bowers in ninth, so whatever, he was good. Congrats to Joan! His bike broke (I think) in the main event so that’s not so good. Maybe his bike was wondering what the hell was going on when it was out there for more than ten minutes?
Thanks for reading. We’re onto Arlington 3 everyone! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to chat about this or anything else.