The third running of the Maxxis EnduroCross came down to a last-lap showdown between Suzuki rider John Dowd and Kawasaki’s Nathan Woods. The two riders rubbed tires, banged elbows on the technical track in the Orleans Arena, and when it was all over, Dowd prevailed.
In a last-ditch attempt to pass Dowd with the checkered flag in sight, Woods crashed after the two touched, but the two-time WORCS Champion got back up to salvage second place.
Third place went to last year’s winner, KTM’s David Knight. The World Enduro Champion got taken out in the first turn and by the time he got into third place be the end of the fourth lap, both Dowd and Woods had opened up a big lead on him, one that not even Knight could make up.
Dowd got the holeshot and led for the first half of the 10-lap race when he washed out over a log and Woods got by him. Dowd followed Woods for a little bit and got back by with about three laps left. Woods, however, stayed right with Dowd and pressured him to the end. The sellout crowd was on its feet as the checkered flag flew.
For winning, Dowd pocketed $10,000 and Woods got $4000. Knight took home $2500.
Fourth place went to Honda rider Eric Rhoten who got into the night’s program after finishing in the top 10 in yesterday’s amateur racing. Rounding out the top five was Matt Karlson, followed by Mexico’s Homer Diaz and National Trials Champion Geoff Aaron, who rode a KTM.
Kawasaki rider Ryan Dudek finished eighth, followed by Nick Mantzoros and Nick Brozovich. Mantzoros rode a trials bike and got in the main after winning his semi, and he got the loudest ovation of the night.
Ryan Hughes, who won the very first EnduroCross race, competed but struggled to keep his bike right side up. He failed to make it through the qualifiers.