2015 Super Nationals Race Report
Words and Images By: Jason McGuire
The Super Nationals in Desoto, TX kicked off the third stop of the 2015 USA BMX Pro Series in exciting fashion after a crazy night of Elite Men and Women’s racing.
Since last year’s event, an annual stop for the pros, Metroplex BMX went through a bit of an overhaul on the track. They completely replaced the third straight, which has now made this track even more of a wide open and pinned to win style of course. Watching the Elite riders throughout practice was pretty awe-inspiring, as the track does not have many areas to slow them up. Having the best riders in the world going full-speed for the entirety of the lap, all while trying to pass can get pretty dicey.
The Elite Women had a decent showing with 13 ladies making the lineup. However, Alise Post, Felicia Stancil and Brooke Crain all chose to sit this one out as they are heading over seas next week to kick off their foreign racing season. The main battle throughout the night was between J&R’s Amanda Carr and Dale Holmes Racing’s Dani George. Those two went back and forth in all qualifying rounds and into the main event. With the dough on the line, Amanda Carr took the early lead and the $250 Answer Holeshot award. It looked as if Carr had it locked up, but in the last turn Dani George made a perfect high~low to swoop under Carr, followed by an immediate door slam that would secure George her first win of the year. A special shout out to Hyper’s Shealan Reno grabbed her first career pro podium with a solid third place finish.
Elite Men was once again a big hit with the crowd as 29 of the world’s fastest BMX racers lined up to battle it out. In the early qualifying rounds, Anthony Dean and Joris Daudet were looking faster than ever! The World Champ Sam Willoughby was lurking though and is always a threat any time he clips in. Prophecy’s Joey Bradford also made an appearance, but couldn’t find a way to make the main event. The big news came in the first semi when Willoughby had gate issues and quickly found himself searching for a transfer spot. Unfortunately it was too little too late and he could never make up the ground needed. Is their something in his water? That marks the second time this season that Willoughby has failed to make the main – certainly a rare occurrence. In the main, with Dean and Daudet ready to rock, Nic Long, David Herman, Logan Collins and Steven Cisar were searching to keep them off the box. Down the first straight Dean connected with Kenny Gustafson, the only rookie to make the elite showdown, which than caused a collision that sent both Gustafson and Logan Collins to the ground. Daudet had checked out with Long in tow. Dean would get back on it and hold on to the third spot. Daudet, Long and Dean have shown some great results early in the year and there is no doubt these three are early favorites to take the title. However, the year is long and the world champ is ready to take back the title he lost to Strombergs.
Friday night pro racing was once again a solid hit and the racing was over the top with excitement and adrenaline. The energy with all of the racers and in the pits is high, and with a solid projection for tomorrow, the Super Nationals should once again be a race you should not miss! Check back with us tomorrow for all of the action recapped in our race report and as always tune it to the live audiocast tomorrow at usabmx.com/webcast!
For the first time in five years, both myself and everyone else at the Super Nationals were able to wear short-sleeved shirts and shorts. Mother Nature blessed us with one of the nicest days I have ever been a part of during my trips to Metroplex BMX for this event. While the weather outside of the covered track was warming throughout the day, the racers turned up the heat even more as they battled all day with hopes of making their main events and taking home the win.
When it comes to the A Pro class, there is no doubting that it is the most stacked it has been in over a decade. Taking a win in the current class is a big accomplishment, and there is no better way to do it than in front of your home state crowd. That is exactly what Redline’s Hunter Pelham accomplished. Out of the gate Pelham had the fire in his eyes and the nose of his German Shorthair Pointer, Dale. All he could see and smell was the finish line and after scorching into turn one unscathed, his smoothness and bike handling skills were enough to seal the deal. All of Metroplex BMX erupted in cheers as Pelham crossed the line. This was a big win for Pelham and to do it in front of the home crowd and family was just the cherry on top.
With the news of the Vet Pro payouts being reverted back to last year’s pay table, a solid crop of veterans signed up to see who was going to take the cash. SE’s Javier Colombo was on point all day long and looked as if he was going to have the win on lock going into the mains. When the gate dropped Javier found himself mid-pack as they entered turn one. Colombo put in everything he had, but it was Brazil’s Person Pauletto that was running away with the lead. Down the final straight Colombo was able to slide past Larry Dardini, but fell short of Pauletto and had to settle for second.
In the Women’s Elite main event, there was more passing going on than during the Bristol nighttime Nascar race. For the second day in a row, J&R’s Amanda Carr found herself with an early lead after Dani George had troubles getting out of the gate. George was back in action heading into the first turn, but went down during her pass attempt – taking Shealen Reno with her. Now Kristen Bob was in hot pursuit of Carr and caught her just in time to slide underneath in turn two and shut the door on the way out. Bob now had the lead and Carr was being swallowed up by the competition. However, the rookie Kelsey Van Ogle was on the hunt and down the last straight showed her North West pull, sliding by Bob and taking the first win of her pro career. The win makes Van Ogle only the fourth rookie to win a women’s pro event in the past decade.
When it comes to the AA class, the name Sam Willoughby is one of the most touted in the group. Yesterday the World Champion had a rough go, and during qualifying today it looked as if that was past him and he was ready to blow by the comp. The main event lineup was set and out of the gate Joris Daudet looked like he had a shot of nitrous on his back wheel. The Frenchman was checking out, but Willoughby was all over his back wheel. Before SW91 knew it, there was carnage heading his way from underneath, which took him to the ground – ending another opportunity for redemption. The race continued and Daudet had left the building with the win. Following him up was Anthony Dean for Dale Holme’s Racing and rounding out the top three, grabbing a podium slot for the first time in his elite career, was Ssquared’s Maliek Byndloss. The Elite competition was on a whole new level this weekend and the title chase, while still young, is a wide-open battle.
The final day of elite action and day one of amateur action finished off with a ton of big wins for riders in search of them. Day two is set to be even better for all the attention lying on the amateur, A Pro and Vet classes. We will have the complete update for you tomorrow night after the last gate drops. Be sure to listen to all of the action at usabmx.com/webcast and as always check our social media outlets for updates throughout the day.
The final day of the Super Nationals could not have been any more perfect than it turned out. The Elites were off for the day so we kicked off the main events with one-lap-no-crap of bar banging, metal scraping action.
The A Pro class had a good rookie battle brewing with Kalvin Davis, Jordan Miranda, Kenneth Gustafson and Hunter Pelham. Out of the gate it was shaping out with the crowd favorite Hunter Pelham to take the holeshot, but Doublecross rider Kenny G. had other plans. Kenny cut to the inside; Hunter went for the follow but then got swooped again and held high as more riders shuffled past him. After that, Kenny was gone and the other rookies could not catch him with the remaining real estate. Once again the rookie class impressed all and although Kenny has proven to be one of the most dominant of the group, the others are not far behind.
After finishing with a tough second place yesterday, SE’s Javier Colombo was back in full force and ready to attack with every ounce of his body. From the beginning, Javier was checking out and proving why he has the number one plate strapped to his bars, but not enough to slow the attack as Factory YESS rider Yo Thatch was on his tail with every move. Those two would finish one and two with J&R’s Domingos Lammoglia rounded out the final step on the box.
With amateur action being the main focus of the day as the Elites had packed up on headed out, there were some stand out finishes that went down with each and every class. First was with the 13-14 Girl Crusier class. Supercross BMX’s Anna Johnson has had a rough couple of nationals, but after rebounding with a solid showing at the Carolina Nationals, she was bound and determined to pick up some more solid wins. She was able to do just that today and grabbed a win over a tough competitor in Answer~Rennen’s Bailey Brannen. Hopefully the recent performance is enough of a confidence booster to bolster her further into the season and set her up nicely for another NAG #1 and National #1 title run.
The Full Tilt Bike crew had quite a strong showing for a race that is thousands of miles away from the frozen tundra of Minnesota. Needless to say, their bones lost the frost quite rapidly and the guys were ready to start racking up some podium finishes. One of those came in 10 Cruiser where Cyrus “The Virus” Mattson and Reed Larson took control of the show. The two showed some impressive teamwork, and plenty of speed and skill to overcome the other six riders to finish first and second respectively. Both of these young kids have a long future ahead of them and to be a bit cheesy, Cyrus unleashed the virus on his competition with that win!
Every now and then, your team just has one of those days where nothing is working and you want to go hide in the trailer and shred your team sheet. Unfortunately for the Hostile Elite crew, today was that day. It seemed like every time they had a rider on the track they were finding themselves on the ground either from their own mistakes or just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Luckily for them, not every rider had the bad luck. The Sinclair sisters Jaycie and Hailey were able to pull off the good ol’ one two punch on their competition in 12 Girls. This would be the second day in a row for the sisters to make this happen and it definitely seems to have an effect. What is even better is when they are talking to one another on the track mid-race. I recall at previous events one yelling at the other to “go, go, go!” as they tried to pull away from their competitors. This day would have Jaycie taking the win, followed by Hailey after a last minute move in the final turn on Fast Signs Racing’s Lexis Colby.
As we have heard so many times before, welcome to expertville! Now what do we have to do in order to make this a real word so I can ditch the squiggly red line underneath it? Real word or not, the experts have their on ‘ville and put on quite a show in each and every class. Today, the 17-18 Expert class had one of the best battles between the leaders all weekend. Haro~Promax’s Cameron Moore had been unstoppable all weekend long and after one of the best gates I have seen him get, I thought it was going to be another solid win for him today. However, Black Box Industries rider Josh Banuelos had other plans. While sitting in second down the first two straights, Joshy B. found a hole in turn two and went for it. It closed quickly and he was able to get an elbow into Moore, which sent him flying off the track, clipping a fence and sending him straight over the bars. Unfortunately that move also blew Banuelos a clip and Moore’s teammate Walker Finch cruised by for the pass. The two would fight for the last straight and a half, but Finch was able to power away and take home a huge win. Once again this is one of the most exhilarating classes in USA BMX racing – never disappointing with a lame race. These dudes are at major points of their careers and every finish matters. I have little doubt that these guys will be ready to do whatever it takes to win no matter the circumstances – the title may even come out of this class come November.
The 2015 USA BMX Super Nationals turned out to be one for the history books. Not just because of the racing, but the weather as well. In all seriousness, the sun shined and the racers put their hearts into every lap. There were winners and losers, but at the end of the day it was another wonderful event. Now we hit a weeklong break in the action as we prepare to head up to the Great Northwest and invade Redmond, OR for the Great Northwest Nationals. That is one of the best indoor events of the year, so make sure that you do not miss it! Thank you to all of those who came out and joined us this weekend. 2015 is off to one heck of a start!