Saddlemen

Webb Wins EnduroCross Finale but Haaker Takes the Championship!

| 20 November 2016 8:49 am

AMA EnduroCross Championship Series
Round 8: Ford Idaho Center

Courtesy of TEN/The Enthusiast Network
Photos by Adam Booth
ONTARIO, CA, NOV. 19, 2016

Colton Haaker took second at the Ontario finale, but that was enough to take his first AMA EnduroCross Championship. It was also Husqvarna’s first EnduroCross Championship.

Colton Haaker took second at the Ontario finale, but that was enough to take his first AMA EnduroCross Championship. It was also Husqvarna’s first EnduroCross Championship.

Husqvarna’s Colton Haaker earned the 2016 AMA EnduroCross Championship with a second-place finish, behind KTM’s Cody Webb, at the season-ending race in Ontario, California. It was the first AMA title for Haaker, who had a strong season, with five wins and three second-place finishes. SRT Racing-backed Cory Graffunder had a great night en route to finishing third in the race on his KTM.

Ty Tremaine rode his RPM KTM to a fifth-place finish on the night to move past Mike Brown for third in the overall championship. He also earned his third consecutive EnduroCross Junior Championship for riders 21 and under.

In the Women’s class, Canada’s Shelby Turner sealed the championship with a second-place finish. She also had a dominant season, winning six of the eight events.

The evening got started with Webb and Haaker squaring off in the first heat race. Webb took the win and the bonus point to keep the pressure on for the title.

Tremaine came out on top of a multirider battle to win heat two, over Ty Cullins and Max Gerston. That point would prove critical, as he ultimately beat Brown for third in the championship by a single point.

Another youngster, Noah Kepple, took his first-ever Pro heat-race win in group three. And this was after he played the national anthem on his guitar during the evening’s opening ceremonies.

When the top two finishers form the three heat races came back out for the evening hot lap, Webb barely edged out Haaker for the fast time to take another bonus point and first gate pick for the main event.

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Despite the second gate pick, Haaker blasted out of the first turn to take the $500 Nexen Tire Holeshot Award and the lead. Haaker led the pack across the line on lap one, but then Webb took the lead on lap two, and the two championship contenders stayed close for a few laps before Haaker started to go into championship-conservation mode, which seemed to lead to a few mistakes. That allowed Webb to stretch out a solid lead and eventually to take a comfortable win, his third of the season.

Cody Webb took a dominant win in Ontario, but it wasn’t enough to take his third championship – though it did contribute to KTM taking the manufacturers’ championship.

Cody Webb took a dominant win in Ontario, but it wasn’t enough to take his third championship – though it did contribute to KTM taking the manufacturers’ championship.

Haaker’s crashes kept the championship battle interesting, as he needed at least a seventh-place finish to lock up the title. However, in the end, Haaker held on for second to earn the championship with a nine-point lead.

Colton Haaker (center), Cody Webb (left) and Ty Tremaine (right) took first through third, respectively, in the 2016 EnduroCross Championship.

Colton Haaker (center), Cody Webb (left) and Ty Tremaine (right) took first through third, respectively, in the 2016 EnduroCross Championship.

“Winning the championship is awesome, even though I crashed a few more times tonight than I wanted to,” Haaker said. “Really, nobody would expect me to come out here and charge with so much on the line, but I’m always trying to push myself, and I did that tonight. It’s what pushes me, and it worked out for the championship, even though going hard had me crash a few more times than I wanted.”

“I was determined to try and lap everyone,” Webb said. “I felt good tonight, and Colton was starting to crack under pressure a bit, and I was ready to make a statement to end the year with this win. A few little things went wrong this year and I let the championship slip away. Colton was so solid, and I couldn’t chip away at his points lead this year. I’m really happy I got a convincing win tonight and look forward to carrying the momentum into next season.”

The battle for the final podium spot was intense, and Graffunder managed to take the position. Beta’s Ty Cullins put in another strong ride to take fourth, the best-ever finish for the teenager. Tremaine rounded out the top five on his KTM.

Cory Graffunder (118) raced the Baja 1000 on Friday and then came to Ontario and finished third in the Pro main event.

Cory Graffunder (118) raced the Baja 1000 on Friday and then came to Ontario and finished third in the Pro main event.

“The race was pretty exciting tonight, because somehow I got a good start from the back row and came out fifth by turn two,” Graffunder said, “and after that, I had a good battle with Tremaine, [going] back and forth a few times, and I had one scary moment where I jumped into the water pit and landed on an upright log that shot me off the track; I didn’t crash, but it was intense. After that, it was smooth sailing. The key tonight was being smooth in the matrix. I got back into the United States after racing the Baja 1000 at about midnight, and I’ve ridden more than 1,200 miles in the last week or so. I’m pretty tired.”

“I couldn’t be happier to win the Junior Championship for the third year in a row and to finish third in the points for the year,” Tremaine said. “It was really hard fought, and racing with Mike Brown for the third position in the championship – man, I don’t even know what to say! But I moved into third tonight by one point, and I couldn’t be happier.”

Ty Tremaine won his third consecutive EnduroCross Junior Championship, and he also finished third in the overall championship – an amazing accomplishment for the 20-year-old racer.

Ty Tremaine won his third consecutive EnduroCross Junior Championship, and he also finished third in the overall championship – an amazing accomplishment for the 20-year-old racer.

Kepple capped off the season with a solid sixth-place finish. Geoff Aaron finished seventh on his Gas Gas. Kyle Redmond rode his Beta to an eighth for the night. Nick Thompson took ninth on his KTM. Brown rounded out the top 10 on his Husqvarna.

Gerston, Trystan Hart and Eric Rhoten finished 11th through 13th in the main, respectively.

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Morgan Tanke rode her Beta to the Ontario Women’s main-event win, over Canada’s Shelby Turner, but it was not enough to take over the championship. Turner held on for the championship, with 194 points to Tanke’s 176.

Shelby Turner (50) dominated the Women’s championship in 2016. She won six of the eight main events.

Shelby Turner (50) dominated the Women’s championship in 2016. She won six of the eight main events.

Rachel Gutish held on for third in the Women’s championship, despite sitting out the final round with a knee injury. Tarah Geiger rounded out the podium for the Ontario final on her Honda.

Shelby Turner (center) won her first Women’s EnduroCross championship. Morgan Tanke (left) took the Ontario win and second overall in the championship. Rachael Gutish finished third in the championship.

Shelby Turner (center) won her first Women’s EnduroCross championship. Morgan Tanke (left) took the Ontario win and second overall in the championship. Rachael Gutish finished third in the championship.

For the EnduroCross support classes – Amateur, Vet and TrialsCross – the Ontario event is the AMA Grand Championship, with number-one plates on the line.

Dustin McCarthy took an exciting win in the Amateur class on his Yamaha, just ahead of KTM-mounted Tyler Kinkade and Honda rider Spenser Wilton.

In the Vet class, Stephen Foord had a good battle with Kurt Nicoll. Foord was riding a Beta and Nicoll was riding an Alta Electric bike. Jason Gitchel rounded out the podium on his KTM.

In the TrialsCross class, Kyle Larson and Shad Petersen took first and second, respectively, on their Betas. Brian Martinson rounded out the podium on his Gas Gas.

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The Ontario EnduroCross finals is scheduled to air on the CBS Sports Network on Sunday, December 4. For CBS Sports Network information, please visit www.cbssportsnetwork.com.

For more information, visit www.endurocross.com.

Ford Idaho Center
Ontario, California
Results: November 19, 2016 (Round 8 of 8)

ENDUROCROSS MAIN: 1. Cody Webb (KTM); 2. Colton Haaker (Hsq); 3. Cory Graffunder (KTM); 4. Ty Cullins (Bet); 5. Ty Tremaine (KTM); 6. Noah Kepple (KTM); 7. Geoff Aaron (GG); 8. Kyle Redmond (Bet); 9. Nick Thompson (KTM); 10. Mike Brown (Hsq); 11. Max Gerston (Bet); 12. Trystan Hart (Hsq); 13. Eric Rhoten (Yam).

2016 AMA EnduroCross Championship Final Points Standings: 1. Colton Haaker (201); 2. Cody Webb (192); 3. Ty Tremaine (127); 4. Mike Brown (126); 5. Kyle Redmond (116); 6. Cory Graffunder (111); 7. Max Gerston (104); 8. Noah Kepple (100); 9. Trystan Hart (97); 10. Geoff Aaron (90).

WOMEN: 1. Morgan Tanke (Bet); 2. Shelby Turner (KTM); 3. Tarah Geiger (Hon).

AM: 1. Dustin McCarthy (Yam); 2. Tyler Kinkade (KTM); 3. Spenser Wilton (Hon).

VET: 1. Stephen Foord (Bet); 2. Kurt Nicoll (Alt); 3. Jason Gitchel (KTM).

TRIALSCROSS: 1. Kyle Larson (Bet); 2. Shad Petersen (Bet); 3. Brian Martinson (GG).

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