Thor United States Mega Series
FMF Southern All-Stars MX Tour
Fly Racing Southern Classic Championship Series
American Suzuki B.I.G. (Best In Georgia) Championship MX Series
North Georgia Spring Classic Series
Rounds 2/1/1/1/1: Lazy River Motocross Ranch
Story and Photos by Gary Crider
DALTON, GA, MARCH 20, 2011
Excitement ran high in the 250 and 450 cc A divisions as Loretta Lynn legend Kevin Walker lined up against a formidable array of much younger riders at Lazy River Motocross Ranch. When the day was done, Walker had won two of the four hard-fought motos, earning the gold in both classes. The event was the kick-off round for three of the Southeast’s most prestigious MX race series (SAS, SCCS, and the B.I.G.), as well as round two of the United States Mega Series. It was also a points-paying AMA Pro-Am event. And it should also be noted that the day coincided with the spring equinox, which was marked by appropriately warm and pleasant weather conditions. More than 400 entries were on hand, representing 12 states.
The day’s program offered a virtual bonanza of series points. Here’s a rundown of the five different series on the agenda: On top, of course, is the venerable U.S. Mega Series, which, in its 25th year, is possibly the longest-running MX series in the region. Joining the Mega Series under Sam Gammon’s Victory Sports banner for the first time this year is the B.I.G. (Best In Georgia) Championship Series. Founded by Pecan Valley promoter Ron Twilley, the B.I.G. Series is now in its fourth year. The Southern All-Stars MX Tour (SAS) is also a member of the Victory Sports family. Celebrating its ninth season this year, the SAS series was originally created by Lazy River’s Vickie Roberts. This will be year six for the Southern Classic Championship Series (SCCS), which runs under Allen McWilliams’ RPM Sports banner, with events in Georgia and Alabama. And fresh out of the gate this year is the North Georgia Spring Classic (NGSC) Series, recently created by the promoters at Calhoun Motosports.
Calling the action in the A and B divisions, track announcer Gary Avans had plenty to shout about, as Kevin Walker and Jake Baumert raced hard all day, taking three class wins apiece. There were plenty of other great performances during the day as well: Gage Linville dominated both of his 50cc classes, and he also seemed comfortable aboard his new 65cc mount, taking the silver in the 65 (7-9) class; Mason Beasley looked faster than ever en route to victory in the 9-13 and 12-15 divisions of 85cc racing; and Justin Mullins fired off a string of holeshots and nailed down perfect scores in the large 250 and 450cc C classes.
In the opening motos of both the 250 and 450cc A contests, Fly/ Renthal/ FMF-backed Cameron Stone looked unbeatable as he moved up to post convincing moto wins. Soon after the start of the second 450cc moto, however, Stone was charging through traffic when he re-injured his knee, sidelining him for the day.
With Stone out of contention, the 450cc A contest narrowed down to a close match between Kevin Walker and Sean Cunningham. In their first-moto dice, SYD Racing’s Cunningham had the edge, and he finished in second position, behind Stone and ahead of Yamaha/ Fox/ Michelin-backed Walker.
Walker grabbed the initial lead in moto two, while Cunningham got under way in about fifth. Cunningham soon moved up to second and began closing the gap on Walker. On the final lap, Cunningham had latched on to Walker’s bike’s rear fender, but Walker seemed unfazed and he held on for the moto win. Fittingly, the final result was a points tie, with Walker (3-1) getting the nod over Cunningham (2-2). Bluegrass Steel’s Jon Boruff earned the bronze via his 4-4 tally.
Moto one of the 250cc A contest started out as a three-way fight, with Ohio’s Daniel Herrlein leading the charge, ahead of Tyler Horne and Cameron Stone. By the end of lap number four, Stone had battled his way past both Horne and Herrlein to nail down the moto win. Horne later DNFed with a blown engine, while Herrlein cruised to a second-place finish, over Walker.
The final 250cc A match featured a moto-long, winner-take-all duel between the 17-year-old Herrlein and the 41-year-old Walker. Herrlein’s CRF showed the way from the start, while Walker’s two-stroke YZ followed closely on every lap. Walker seemed to be playing a waiting game, and on the final lap he slipped past Herrlein for the moto win. Walker’s 3-1 tally was good for the gold, over Herrlein (2-2). Texas resident Brandon Glenn (5-3) completed the podium lineup.
Walker, who has more than a dozen Loretta Lynn titles to his name, also won the day’s Over 35 contest, taking both moto wins, ahead of Kris Swaney and Jeff Shields. Walker was the winner of the Over 35 division in both the Mega and SAS series in 2010. He looks poised to repeat in 2011!
Kentucky’s Jake Baumert left no doubters in his wake as he surged to the wins in the 250cc B, 450cc B and Collegeboy (14-24) classes, posting 2-1, 1-1 and 1-1 scores, respectively. Canton, Georgia, resident Colby Mullins came close to matching Baumert’s pace but, after taking just one of the moto wins, Mullins had to settle for the silver in all three of these classes.
Colby’s cousin Justin Mullins took an early lead in all four of the 250 and 450cc C motos and never looked back, carding perfect scores in both classes. Carson Cook went 2-2 in the 250 contest but ran into trouble in the 450 class, ending up with a 2-DNF score.
The Schoolboy One division featured a pleasing variety of 125cc two-stroke machinery. Tennessee resident and 2010 Mega Series class champion Logan McConnell put his Yamaha on top with a pair of convincing moto wins. Aboard a Kawasaki, Alabama’s Tanner Carr (3-2) claimed the silver in a points tie over KTM jockey Peyton Wells (2-3) of Virginia. Georgians Tyler Beene and Aaron Clarke rounded out the top five, both aboard Suzuki machinery. Notably, Aaron Okrzesik (pronounced “O-kress-ick”) made his big-bike debut on this day, turning in a respectable top-10 finish.
Gage Linville ran away with both 50cc Open moto wins, leaving Mason Humphrey and Stewart Covington to battle for the runner-up honors. Moto one saw Covington hold second spot all the way, while Humphrey followed closely, hoping for a mistake from Covington, which never came.
In moto two, however, Covington crashed at the start, effectively handing the silver to Humphrey (3-2). Covington made an impressive charge through traffic and finished in fourth spot. Covington’s 2-4 score earned the bronze, over Rider Mattox (5-3).
Linville returned in the 65cc (7-9) division, in which he posted a solid 2-2 score, behind Jackson Turpin (1-1). Tennessee’s Eli Ebmeyer was third in this class.
The 50cc Shaft/Multispeed class saw a close contest for the win, as Andrew Turner kept his Yamaha on the gas, beating Zander Frady’s KTM to the flag both times. Wyatt Turpin and Zach Cannon were battling for the bronze and, on the last lap of the final moto, Turpin got past Cannon to finish in third spot. The result was a points tie, with Turpin (5-3) getting the nod over Cannon (4-4).
In the 65cc Unlimited class, SAS defending champion Riley Ward won both motos. Kalen Cook was second in moto one, but a DNF in moto two knocked him out of contention. Gage McBee (3-2) and Timmy Zupancic rounded out the podium.
Tristan Smith was perfect in the 65cc (10-11) class, over Ward, Cook and Zupancic.
Action in the 85cc (9-13) division was fast-paced, as defending B.I.G. Series champion Mason Beasley gassed his Yamaha to a perfect score, ahead of Suzuki-mounted Matthew Hale (2-2). Aaron Okrzesik, who won the 2010 SAS Series in this class, earned the final podium step via his 5-3 finishes.
Now 12 years old, Beasley moves up this season to compete in the 85cc (12-15) class. He got the 12-15 campaign off to a good start on this day, posting a pair of convincing moto wins. Landon Gentry (2-2) took the silver, over Okrzesik (3-4).
One of the standout performers among the age-plus divisions was Greg Tysor. In the Over 40 contest, the 51-year-old Tysor matched wheels with 42-year-old Thomas Willett. Though Willett hounded Tysor throughout both motos, Tyson held steady for the wins, over Willett (2-2).
Tysor returned to win both Over 50 motos, ahead of Corey Salerno (2-2) and 2010 Mega Series winner Greg Quador (3-3).
Speeds in the ATV Expert division were impressive. Hendersonville, North Carolina’s Neal McGrath gassed his Suzuki to both moto wins, with lap times consistently under the two-minute mark.
Lazy River Motocross Ranch
Results: March 20, 2011 (Rounds 2/1/1/1/1)
50 SHAFT/MULTISPEED (4-8): 1. Andrew Turner (Yam); 2. Zander Frady (KTM); 3. Wyatt Turpin (Hon); 4. Zach Cannon (Yam); 5. Bry Davis (Yam).
50 STOCK (4-6): 1. Kyle Smith (KTM); 2. Rider Mattox (Cob); 3. Zander Frady (Cob); 4. Zach Cannon (KTM); 5. Chandler Rice (Yam).
50 STOCK (7-8): 1. Gage Linville (Cob); 2. Crockett Myers (Cob); 3. Graysen Merkel (KTM); 4. Stewart Covington (Cob); 5. Mason Humphrey (Cob).
50 OPEN STOCK (4-8): 1. Gage Linville (Cob); 2. Mason Humphrey (Cob); 3. Stewart Covington (Cob); 4. Rider Mattox (Cob); 5. Hunter Craig (Cob).
65 BEG (6-11): 1. Eli Ebmeyer (KTM); 2. Crocket Myers (KTM); 3. Conner Watts (Kaw); 4. Kyle Smith (KTM); 5. Dylan Cantrell (Kaw).
65 (7-9): 1. Jackson Turpin (Cob); 2. Gage Linville (KTM); 3. Eli Ebmeyer (KTM); 4. Lucas Gasche (KTM); 5. Luke Mullins (KTM).
65 (10-11): 1. Tristan Smith (KTM); 2. Riley Ward (KTM); 3. Kalen Cook (KTM); 4. Timmy Zupancic (KTM); 5. Jase Thompson (Kaw).
65 UNLIMITED (7-11): 1. Riley Ward (KTM); 2. Gage McBee (Cob); 3. Timmy Zupancic (KTM); 4. Lucas Gasche (KTM); 5. Grayson Thompson (KTM).
85 BEG (9-15): 1. Trent Welchel (Kaw); 2. Jarrett Green (Hon); 3. Jalen Price (Suz); 4. Andrew Wright (Kaw); 5. Jacob Cross (Kaw).
85 (9-11): 1. Blake Ashley (Suz); 2. Matthew Hale (Suz); 3. Tristan Smith (Yam); 4. Jackson Turpin (Cob); 5. Garrett Thompson (Kaw).
85 (9-13): 1. Mason Beasley (Yam); 2. Matthew Hale (Suz): 3. Aaron Okrzesik (Kaw); 4. Blake Ashley (Suz); 5. Garrett Thompson (Kaw).
85 (12-15): 1. Mason Beasley (Yam); 2. Landon Gentry (Suz); 3. Aaron Okrzesik (Kaw); 4. Jesse Raleigh (KTM); 5. Hunter Vick (Suz).
SUPERMINI (12-16): 1. Tanner Carr (Kaw); 2. Landon Gentry (Suz); 3. Jesse Raleigh (KTM); 4. Carson Ledford (Kaw); 5. Westley Lester (Suz).
2-STROKE AM: 1. Peyton Wells (KTM); 2. Bryan Chesnee (Yam); 3. Hunter Glenn (Yam); 4. Joseph McInturff (Yam); 5. Ian Daniel (KTM).
4-STROKE AM: 1. Levi Smith (Suz); 2. Logan Lawson (Hon); 3. Rick Walker Jr. (Hon); 4. Ryan Rowe (Yam).
250 D: 1. Trey Northrop (Hon); 2. Joshua Vick (Suz); 3. D’Andre Wiggins (Suz); 4. Chaise Bazzell (Kaw); 5. Dakota Myers (Yam).
250 C: 1. Justin Mullins (Kaw); 2. Carson Cook (Yam); 3. Robert Youell (Suz); 4. Dallas Honea (Kaw); 5. Kyle Gibson (KTM).
250 B: 1. Jake Baumert (Kaw); 2. Colby Mullins (Kaw); 3. Logan McConnell (Yam); 4. Will Allen (Yam); 5. Benjamin Lee (Suz).
250 A/PRO: 1. Kevin Walker (Yam); 2. Daniel Herrlein (Hon); 3. Brandon Glenn (Kaw); 4. Alix Freeman (Suz); 5. Luca Nastrini (Hon).
450 D: 1. Tyler Davis (Suz); 2. Blake Chandler (Kaw); 3. Jeffrey Youmans (Hon); 4. Brian Bradburn (Yam); 5. Justin Miller (Yam).
450 C: 1. Justin Mullins (Kaw); 2. Evan Roberts (Yam); 3. Brady Lee (KTM); 4. Dallas Honea (Kaw); 5. Justin Sparks (Hon).
450 B: 1. Jake Baumert (Kaw); 2. Colby Mullins (Kaw); 3. Christopher Beeler (Yam); 4. Benjamin Thomas (Yam); 5. Justin Parmer (Kaw).
450 A/PRO: 1. Kevin Walker (Yam); 2. Sean Cunningham (Yam); 3. Jon Boruff (Kaw); 4. Brandon Glenn (Kaw); 5. Daniel Rucker (Kaw).
UNLIMITED C/D: 1. Alec Dalrymple (Hon); 2. Canaan Davidson (Kaw); 3. Joshua Douglas (Hon); 4. Matthew Buckner (Kaw); 5. Garrett Willett (Yam).
GIRLS (7-11): 1. Elizabeth Dietz (Yam); 2. Chloe Gionti (Kaw).
GIRLS (12-15): 1. Mariah McNeill (Hon); 2. Raven Moore (KTM).
WOMEN (12+): 1. Jessica Coates (Yam); 2. Mariah McNeill (Hon); 3. Lindsay Griffin (Kaw); 4. Sherrie Watts (Hon); 5. Tammy Mattox (KTM).
SCHOOLBOY 1 (12-16): 1. Logan McConnell (Yam); 2. Tanner Carr (Kaw); 3. Peyton Wells (KTM); 4. Tyler Beene (Suz); 5. Aaron Clarke (Suz).
SCHOOLBOY 2 (14-16): 1. Tanner Carr (Kaw); 2. Kramer Bolton (KTM); 3. Patrick Key (Hon); 4. Jeffrey Ward (KTM); 5. Thomas Nicholls (Suz).
COLLEGEBOY (14-24): 1. Jake Baumert (Kaw); 2. Colby Mullins (Kaw); 3. Daniel Rucker (Kaw); 4. Justin Parmer (Kaw); 5. Josh Burdett (Yam).
25+ AM: 1. Jack Brooks (Suz); 2. Jeff Shields (Hon); 3. Christopher Kelly (Hon); 4. Allen Mullins (Kaw); 5. Neil Hale (Kaw).
25+ EX: 1. Jon Boruff (Kaw); 2. Kris Swaney (Kaw); 3. Steven Odom (Kaw); 4. Anthony Bennett (Suz).
30+ AM: 1. Chad Murphy (Kaw); 2. Jack Brooks (Suz); 3. Chad Anderson (Kaw); 4. Trey Hall (Hon); 5. Christopher Kelly (Hon).
35+: 1. Kevin Walker (Yam); 2. Kris Swaney (Kaw); 3. Jeff Shields (Hon); 4. Trey Hall (Hon); 5. Chad Anderson (Kaw).
40+: 1. Greg Tysor (Yam); 2. Thomas Willett (Yam); 3. Gary Billings (Yam); 4. Edward Johnson (Hon); 5. Michael Hooks (KTM).
45+: 1. Donald Skiles (Kaw); 2. Edward Johnson (Hon); 3. Mark Thompson (Hon); 4. Earl Spellman (Hon); 5. Max Searan (Yam).
50+: 1. Greg Tysor (Yam); 2. Corey Salerno (Kaw); 3. Gregory Quador (Yam); 4. Randall Wolfe (Yam).
55+: 1. Randall Wolfe (Yam).
ATV 90 YOUTH: 1. Wyatt Luther (APX).
ATV NOV: 1. Charles Miller (Hon).
ATV INT: 1. Clay Gaylor (Hon); 2. Dustin Cooke (Hon); 3. Dustin Morgan (Hon); 4. William Thomas (Can).
ATV EX: 1. Neal McGrath (Suz); 2. Andrew Spence (Suz); 3. T.J. Bradley (Hon); 4. Matthew Cash (KTM); 5. Matt Quarles (Yam).