Whibley wails to wet Waukon win

Mark Kariya | June 9, 2008

Team FMF/Suzuki Off-road’s Paul Whibley continued to dominate the woods racing scene by rolling to an unquestioned victory at the very wet Maxxis Coyote Cross-country National, round four in the Parts Unlimited Off-road Motorcycle and ATV Nationals, in Waukon, Iowa. Tornados the day before as well as a weekend deluge let up just before the start, but halfway through the event, the skies opened up again, confirming the flash flood warnings and transforming one trickle of a creek into a torrent that swept at least one bike downstream.

None of that seemed to matter to Whibley, however. After winning his second consecutive series race and stretching his series points lead, Whibley observed, “I guess I’m more comfortable in this wet than the dust.”

Whibley and his RG3/Maxima/Moose-sponsored RM-Z450 chased YZ250 racers Aaron Wegner and Trey Verardo into the first turn, with Wegner taking the $200 Vemar Helmets Holeshot Award, but by the end of the grass track section, Whibley was in front to stay.

Teammate Jimmy Jarrett switched from his usual RM250 to his Works Connection/VP Racing Fuels/Moose RM-Z450 and quickly slotted himself into second, but he seemed powerless to prevent Whibley from slowly disappearing and settled for his second straight runner-up finish, taking that spot in points as well.

Brian Garrahan found himself a bit outgunned on his little “Karate Kid,” his Valli Construction/Maxxis/Answer YZ250F, but what he lost in the long field sections, he got back in the woods sections that, though rerouted and shortened due to the conditions, remained very challenging. Garrahan would end up third, the final racer to complete 10 laps.

Husaberg’s Nick Fahringer reveled in the conditions and claimed fourth on his Pirelli/Castrol/Moose FE450e, his best series finish to date. Storm Lake Honda.com/Bachman Family Racing Team’s Cooper Bailey recovered from a poor start and steadily picked off riders the rest of the race to end up fifth on his Fusion Graphics/Fastway/Moose CRF450R, the only other rider to complete nine laps.

Wegner splashed around to finish sixth ahead of motocrosser Dennis Stapleton, who’d raced a local supercross in California the day before. Storm Lake Honda.com/Bachman Family Racing Team’s Aaron Branham rode to eighth ahead of Adam Bonneur who ended up drowning his Fun Mart Cycles YZ250 on the last lap while Shane Klimek rounded out the top 10 on his self-sponsored YZ250

Mark Kariya | Contributor

Kariya spends way too much time in the desert, but we’re glad he does as he’s the man who gets us our coverage of all things sandy.