The GEICO Powersports AMA EnduroCross Series, presented by E3 Spark Plugs kicked off in Las Vegas, Nevada yesterday with Taddy Blazusiak of the factory KTM squad firing the first shot of the season. Blazusiak took the $750 Girardi Wealth Management holeshot award, and though he was given some stiff competition in the early laps of the race in the form of Christini KTM rider Geoff Aaron, Blazusiak eventually pulled away to take the big win.
Aaron, of the GEICO Powersports team, held on to take second in the main event followed by ZipTy Husqvarna rider Cory Graffunder, who duked it out with Mike Brown and Justin Soule for the final podium spot.
Scorching desert temperatures soared as high as 114 degrees in Sin City, giving riders more to battle than just the track and each other. But the blazing heat didn’t take anything away from the excitement on the course, which dealt out some surprising results. Perhaps the biggest upset of the night was Traxxas Kawasaki rider Ricky Dietrich’s failure to qualify for the main event. The former EnduroCross champion sat in the last qualifying spot in the LCQ heading into the last lap, but the transfer slipped through his fingers when he fumbled in a rock section and slipped back to third. Touted as one of the main contenders for the 2010 championship, Dietrich unfortunately had to watch the main event from the sidelines.
Another upset on the night was seeing last year’s Junior Champion Colton Haaker also not qualifying for the main. The Lucas Oil Kawasaki rider threw a chain in his heat race, and his night continued to unravel from there. A sub par finish in his Semi didn’t even allow Haaker to line up for the LCQ.
In the main event, Blazusiak grabbed the holeshot but it was Christini AWD-mounted Geoff Aaron who led the way in the early laps. Aaron was looking smooth out front, but it wasn’t long before Blazusiak was all over his rear wheel. A rock turn proved to be Aaron’s Achilles heel as multiple fumbles in the section allowed Blazusiak to gain the advantage. The two went back and forth a handful of times before Blazusiak secured the lead and proceeded to check out for the win.
Behind the KTM-mounted pair, a battle for third between Brown, Soule and Graffunder got the crowd going. Kyle Redmond, Gary Sutherlin and Cody Webb also joined in the fight at times. Webb looked as though he had secured the point before crashing in the water section, handing third over to Graffunder, who also had a fumble. But Graffunder battled back to get his ZipTy Husky on the podium. Brown and Soule rounded out the top five.
2010 Las Vegas EnduroCross Expert Class results:
1. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM)
2. Geoff Aaron (Chr)
3. Cory Graffunder (Hsq)
4. Mike Brown (KTM)
5. Justin Soule (Kaw)
6. Gary Sutherlin (Kaw)
7. Kyle Redmond (Kaw)
8. Jamie Lanza (Kaw)
9. Destry Abbott (Kaw)
10. Cody Webb (Gas)
11. Kevin Rookstool (KTM)