Round 5 of AMRA’s championship series lands in Buckeye, Arizona
This is a race report provided by AMRA/Story and Photos by Jonathan Barrett
2018-2019 AMRA Series, Round 5, Arizona Cycle Park, January 6, 2019
The Arizona Motorcycle Riders Association (AMRA) Arizona Offroad Championship Series landed in Buckeye, Arizona for the annual Buckeye Hare Scrambles, hosted by club OHV85 at Arizona Cycle Park.
The course was a half-and-half split between the motocross track and the desert behind the track. With rain the day before and a cool, cloudy 55-degree race day, the racers had mostly prime dirt to race on, and a cool breeze to keep body temperatures down. First up, the mini and Supermini racers took to the muddy track.
The Superminis were first off the line in the Fly Racing Mini Series with Chase Haynes taking the early lead, with Samuel Campbell and Dominic Craighill closely behind. These three would battle across the challenging mud with third-place Campbell taking the lead by lap two and keeping it for one more lap before running into issues and ending his race on lap four.
That left Craighill and Haynes to battle it out for the rest of the race, with Jonathan Kirat taking third place behind them. The race would finish with Craighill taking a dominant win over Haynes by six minutes, with Kirat finishing one lap down. Representing the youth women, Jenna Janson showed a strong early performance before a technical malfunction ended her race early.
Ruffin Dodson would take the win in 85cc 12-14 with a third overall, with Keegan Hardy taking second and sixth overall, and Jeremiah Campbell taking third and eighth overall. Jace Vogt and Jackson Powell would battle all race in the 85cc 9-11 class, finishing first and second, respectively. In the stacked 65cc 10-11 class, Alex Nelson took the early lead but came off track with technical difficulties, leaving Jon Nordling and Jesse Blevins-Heck to duke it out for the rest of the race, with Colton Calmes falling closely in third. As the checkered flag came out, it was Nordling taking the win five minutes ahead of Heck with Calmes finishing close behind her. Nordling would take fifth overall.
The PeeWees would come second on the day, with the ever dominant Deegan Fox taking first place early and holding it all race in the 65cc 7-9 class, and taking first overall. Marley Kuhn would take second in class and overall, with Bryce Petrie taking third. Kyle Riddle won his 50cc 7-8 class and Tagret Wasson, son of Beta factory rider Joe Wasson, would win his 50cc 4-6 class. The mud was better than it was for the minis, but it still proved to be a great challenge for the youth, as it claimed six bikes before the checkers would come out.
The Big Bikes would come out after a brief bit of sunshine to a relatively primed track in the MotoCity Offroad Championship. The C race was first, with Open C first off the line and Brian Craze taking the holeshot. by the end of lap one, Kenny Bates would take the lead and hold it for three more laps until he was passed by Kevin Bradley, who would take home the win.
Bates and David Tavares would round out the Open C podium. The 250C group was next, with Kaden Bedlion taking the holeshot and early lead, until Craig Johnson took over first for lap one. By lap two, Tanner Ehly would take the lead for two laps, until falling back into the pack.
Johnson would have the top spot again for three laps until finally Bedlion sealed the victory with two laps to go. Bedlion would take second overall, Johnson would take third overall, and third-placed Colton Edwards would take third in class and seventh overall. With a small class in the 200C line, Cole Dilley proved that skill conquers size, taking first and the overall win on a Yamaha 200.
Justin Martin, Vincent Chavez and Garrett Anderson took the top three spots of 30+C, and Joe “Rockstar” Kamai took the win in 40+C ahead of Chris Bouchard and Bill Hendricks. Trevor Turner, Thomas Brown and Michael Perry took top three in 50+C and Mark Koenig put a dominant performance in 60+C.
The women of C class dominated the rough course, with Catalina Springstroh taking the win, and Brea Core and Tracy Evans taking second and third. Case Anderson put on a show in C youth, finishing first in class and fourth overall on an 85cc. Dominic Craighill and Alex Trapp would take second and third, respectively.
The AA/A/B race had a massive turnout with 140 bikes ready to race. AA Pro were the first off the line, with Factory Beta’s Mason Ottersberg taking the holeshot ahead of Beta teammate Joe Wasson and Rick Emerson. The Beta teammates would battle it out all race, staying within seconds of each other. Wasson was able to pull away as he and Ottersberg began to run into lapped traffic. AZ Dirtbike Training’s Ryan Wells had a rough start but quickly made his way up to third position, pushing hard to catch the rear fender of Ottersberg, but finishing three minutes behind and rounding out the podium.
“I held my pace and rode a conservative race, trying to be smooth and not make any mistakes,” overall winner Joe Wasson stated after the race.
“I had a great start and got the holeshot and lead for roughly half a lap, then me and my teammate joe started dicing it for the next half hour until running into lapped traffic” Ottersberg said about his second-place finish.
Following the race, Ryan Wells said, “Line choices were important in the beginning, I made a few mistakes and the Beta boys were on it!”
Ottersberg would win the AAA Insurance Holeshot award and stand on the second spot alongside his girlfriend and supporter, while Wasson had his wife and son celebrating the win alongside him.
Following the AA line was Open A, with GasGas Support rider James Flynn battling with Nick Fouts half the race until taking the lead and holding it until the finish. Robert Russell held third all race and rounded out the top three. In 250A, Casey Davis-Henning and DJ Weber battled all race, trading positions every two or three laps, with Davis-Henning taking the win, Weber in third and Blake Donatelli taking third.
Jake Wussow and Kyler Heimer battled in the 200A class, with Wussow taking the win. Jeti Pifer, Todd Jarman and Wayne Dickert took the top three in 30+A, and Phillip Carlin, Paul Jones and Joe Mcneil taking the top three in 40+A. Kenneth Kozlik, Steve Reiswig and Hans Bindels took top three in 50+A.
The B class was just as fierce in competition, with Nathan Berger taking the win in Open B, followed by Lance Buttery and Jack Geise. In 250A, Cole Cherick was on the top step, ahead of Endurocross Women’s runner-up Shelby Turner and Drake Hacker.
The 200B class had Collier Martinez, Michael Maclean and Jonathan Buchanan taking top three; 30+B had Sean Davy, Joseph Brown and Jeff Baker on the podium; 40+B had Steve Keller, Shawn Barney and Joe Kertesz in the top three; 50+B saw Scott Boek, David Vogt and JB Stuart on top; and, finally, Mike McDaniel and Allen Poore took the top spots in 60+B.
The round five stop of the MotoCity Championship Series and Round 4 stop of the Fly Racing Mini Series proved to be a challenge for all, with the mud in the morning and the deep sand in the afternoon. Arizona Cycle Park hosted the race well, with OHV85 keeping everyone safe on course. Next stop is at Mile Maker 4 in Wickenburg on January 19-20.
For more information about Arizona Motorcycle Riders Association (AMRA), visit AMRARacing.com