Muddy First Day at Ponca City NMA Grand Nats

Shan Moore | July 29, 2004

A steady rain yesterday turned the first day of action at the 29th Annual Ponca City Grand National Amateur MX Championships into a mudfest and presented an especially tough challenge for the smaller-wheeled minis that represent the biggest part of the event’s draw. However, with the rain came unseasonably cool temperatures, which was somewhat of a consolation for the 2300 entries, considering last year’s contestants suffered through 100 degree temperatures and unbearable humidity.

By early afternoon a heavier rain forced race officials to postpone the remainder of Wednesday’s program after only 19 of the day’s scheduled 48 motos were completed. Deep ruts in the turns made it almost impossible for the PeeWee classes to finish a lap.

Pre-race favorites Zach Osborne, Ryan Villopoto and Eli Tomac laid the groundwork needed to capture GNC titles by posting first-moto wins in their respective races before the heavy rains moved in.

“There were super deep ruts, but it was pretty slick,” said Zach Osborne after winning one of the 85 Open motos. “I had to carry my bike around, and it’s pretty bad when you have to carry your bike.” Final motos and runoffs will conclude on Saturday, after which most of the contingent will travel to Tennessee for the Loretta Lynn’s event.

Shan Moore | Contributing Editor

Moore covers all facets of off-road racing for Cycle News – from AMA Supercross and Motocross to GNCC and National Hare Scrambles events.