Taddy Blazusiak (center), Cody Webb (right) and Colton Haaker (left) celebrate on the Atlanta podium. Photography by Drew Ruiz

After an exciting back-and-forth battle for the win, KTM’s Taddy Blazusiak came out on top to win the very first GEICO AMA EnduroCross race held in Atlanta, Geogia, August 23. It wasn’t until the 12th of 15 laps that Blazusiak took control and held on to take the victory over Beta USA/GEICO’s Cody Webb at the Gwinnett Center Arena.

Rockstar Lucas Oil/JCR Honda’s Honda finished a close third to round out the Atlanta podium. These were the same riders who won their respective heat races earlier in the evening.

The top six qualifiers do a Hot Lap against the clock during the evening show to earn their gate picks and another championship point for the fastest qualifier. To make it even more interesting, Girardi Wealth Management put up a $2,000 cash prize for the hot-lap winner. The battle was an epic one as Blazusiak set a fast time but was outdone by Haaker. Webb was the last rider to go and he narrowly missed the fast time and barely saved a big crash as he endowed off the finish line. So Haaker took the first pick, point and the $2,000.

In the main event, Blazusiak took the $500 Nexen Tire Holeshot award and was followed closely by Webb and Geoff Aaron. Blazusiak led the first three laps with Webb pressuring him the whole time. Webb made his first pass for the lead on lap four and proceeded to open a large gap that grew to nine seconds before some lapped riders held him up and Blazusiak closed back in. Blazusiak passed for the lead briefly on lap 9 but Webb passed him back then opened the lead back up to 12 seconds. Webb made a few small mistakes and then got held up to allow Blazusiak to close back in by lap 12. Blazusiak passed for the lead when Webb could not clear a large double and then pulled away for the win on the last three laps.

“I am happy with my start but then I made a few mistakes and Cody got by me,” said Blazusiak. “Fifteen laps felt like two 45-minute motos back to back out there on that track so it was great to come out with the win”.

Webb was a little disappointed with second but happy to ride well after injuring his shoulder during the hot lap. “I was feeling really good but every lap, I was catching lappers in the rock turn,” Webb said. “It was a good night for the circumstances. I am hurting from that Hot Lap and can barely lift my shoulder.”

Haaker closed in on Webb and made several attempts to pass for second on the last lap but always slipped up as he got close. “I was back with a bunch of riders that were crashing all over the place, and I finally closed in on the leaders but then I fell several times,” said Haaker. “That’s what makes EnduroCross exciting and I am glad I could help put on a good show.”

FMF KTM’s Taylor Robert held third for much of the race but slipped back to fourth. Aaron had a solid race to finish fifth on his KTM. Kyle Redmond finished sixth on another KTM. Beta’s Max Gerson was seventh. RPM KTM’s Ty Tremaine finished eighth, Wally Palmer rode his Christini to ninth and Bobby Prochau finished 10th on his KTM

Blazusiak moved from third to first in the championship but has just a single point lead over Webb and two point lead over Haaker.

The Women’s class was also an exciting race as Australia’s Kristie McKinnon took the lead late in the race and held on for the win despite stalling her bike in the Matrix on the last lap. Canada’s Lexi Pechout took second on her Sherco and Rachael Gutish rounded out the podium on her KTM.

The evening also included a host of support classes for amateur, vet and trials competitors. Ty Cullins took the win over Cooper Abbott and Aaron Thistle. Cullen also won the TrialsCross class with Emanual Angius taking second over Michael Salsman. Nathan Brown took the win in the Vet 35 class over Wayne Dickert and Byron Faulkner.

RESULTS

August 23, 2014

GEICO AMA EnduroCross Series

Expert Main:

1.  Taddy Blazusiak    KTM

2.  Cody Webb        Beta

3.  Colton Haaker    Honda

4.  Taylor Robert    KTM

5.  Geoff Aaron        KTM

6.  Kyle Redmond    KTM

7.  Max Gerstson    Beta

8.  Ty Tremaine        KTM

9.  Wally Palmer    Christini

10. Bobby Prochnau    KTM

11. Ricky Russell    Yamaha

12. Destry Abbott    Kawasaki

13. Mike Brown        Husqvarna

Women’s Main Event:

1.  Kristie McKinnon    Christini

2.  Lexi Pechout        Sherco

3.  Rachel Gutish    KTM

4.  Melissa Harten    Gas Gas

5.  Chantelle Bykerk    KTM

6.  Rily Ellinger        KTM

7.  Morgan Tanke    KTM

8.  Tarah Geiger    KTM

9.  Brooke Cosner    KTM

10. Veronica Whitesell    Beta

 

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