“The adversity kept me warmed up, and fired up, for the entire evening.”
For a rider with as much talent as Eli Tomac, there weren’t many who could predict the story of ups and downs in which he has portrayed thus far. The same rider that starched the field by over a minute, just a few years ago, is now the competitor who, at times, can be battling in the latter half of the top ten. On multiple occasions this year, it’s as though something in Tomac’s corner has been just a tick or two off; yet the round of Nashville, would provide a clean slate for the Kawasaki rider to embark on. In the qualification rounds of practice, Tomac was proving that he would be a true contender to deal with; throwing down some of the fastest times seen by anyone in the respective field. And after going back to the semi to make subtle changes to the machine, they would line up for the heat race ready to go. Getting out to an uncharacteristically good start, it was as though Tomac had visualized this entire process, just moments before. Every move was calculated, yet never dwelled upon. Split second reactions were coupled with cat-like reflexes, helping establish a bit of a gap over the rest of the field. However, it was during the mid-portion of the race, in which a catastrophe would strike. Coming down the start straight, and into the left-bend thereafter, the bike would begin to malfunction. With traces of smoke seeping from out of the engine casing, Tomac would have no choice but to look down with dismay. He would then be forced to the LCQ. After working his way through the first few laps of this event, Tomac would work his way around Austin Poitelli, eventually winning the sector. But here’s where it would all seem to change, as Tomac’s attitude never wavered from an engulfment of positivity. Rather than be discouraged by where he was starting from, Tomac blitzed his way to the front, contending for the lead in the early stages. He would slowly but surely work his way forward, with only Cooper Webb in front. The urge, and pure itch that compiled deep within his veins, had to be cured; and that was only by moving into the lead, something that he did on lap nine. And although smoke would continue to seep out again in this particular portion of racing, Tomac’s vision would never look down. He would continue to hone in on what he truly wanted, and that was pure victory. Throwing a spectacular whip across the finish line, Tomac couldn’t help but be joyous with glee upon the podium.
“I saw some of Eli’s lines, and tried to latch onto him as best as I could.”
Building off the momentum he accrued earlier in the 2019 season, Blake Baggett seems to be coming to terms with his true ability in the realm of Supercross. An outdoor specialist, especially in the days of his 250 career, many in the industry would put the number four as merely an afterthought, when discussing contenders for the premier class. But if you had the chance to meet Blake personally, you understand that he’s been accustomed to winning and being at the front of the field, since his inception as a motocross racer. Therefore, when placed onto this extraordinary team, on the brightest stage in the sport, you would be keen to believe that he would rise to the occasion. Every race thus far in 2019, he’s continued to build, hoping to become a mainstay at the front for the rest of his career. And with unchartered territory being present in Nashville, what better place than to set the record straight, than with a stellar crowd on hand. Excelling throughout the likes of practice, he was absolutely obliterating this relatively blue-grooved track; reminding him of his native West Coast soil, that’s all too familiar with. Keeping the pace throughout the series of laps, he would replicate a heat race per se, with the bundle of circuits that were presented. Holding true to his character, he would continue to elevate as the night wore on; waiting to showcase his best performances when it mattered most. The heat race would be a congregation of exceptional talent, where he would hover right around the top five for a good portion of the race. Squaring up berms when necessary, he was toying with both skipping and jumping combinations, as the laps would continue to accumulate. Just behind Dean Wilson, he would reside in fifth for the final flag. Itching at the chance for redemption in the main event. With chaos happening all around, Baggett would slowly work his way forward, with riders like Marvin Musquin and Ken Roczen falling victim to this Nashville course. And with Eli Tomac making his way ahead with the lead, he would keep his focus fixated on Cooper Webb. Stalking the number two to the best of his ability, the tandem of KTM riders would go back and forth; with Baggett making the move on lap eighteen! Finishing second, he couldn’t have been more pleased with how well he rode.
“It was a tough day for me today.”
Still holding that lucrative red number plate, the young-gun of Cooper Webb wanted to become the first ever winner in this inaugural Nissan Titan stadium event. He’d won at numerous other venues throughout the course of his career, both open domes and roofed-coliseums alike. However, there was something different about the city of Nashville; a place where the fans were enthusiastic like no other, and the town would welcome stars like Webb, with open arms. You could tell how well he was feeling throughout the likes of practice, where it was though there was an immense synchronization between both he and the motorcycle. Accruing few mistakes, he would remain relatively unblemished, by the time the final flag would be thrown. And after encountering trouble on the first lap of the heat race (being taken out by Mike Alessi), the red flag of the sector would have him lining up again, with a chance to redo his previous woes and troubles. Taking a backseat to Eli Tomac at the beginning, he would snatch up the lead whenever trouble would overtake the Kawasaki. But it was though the storm of green wave would continue to try and drown his sorrows; with Joey Savatgy making the pass to the lead, as the checkered flag would fly. He would correct all previous mistakes, with an immaculate lead in the early going of the main event. This sight had become familiar to him, and you could tell he was comfortable setting the pace for the rest of the field. Yet once again, that familiar green bean would come into his peripheral view, this time, taking the lead for good. He would do his best to hold onto Tomac, but there was simply no stopping the kid from Colorado. He couldn’t compete with the number three, and had Blake Baggett to deal with in the meantime. Doing all he could to hold off the fellow Orange Brigade member, Webb would lose the spot on lap eighteen. Continuing to dig, he knew that he couldn’t afford the swing, if he lost too many more spots. The KTM would be pegged for all its worth, as the track would really begin to deteriorate. Yet the former champion, would find it in his tank to conserve; doing what was needed to be granted the points lead yet again. Now, going into the round of Denver, he truly would understand that every position would be critical, in his chase for the title.
With charisma and character as great as they come, Dean Wilson provides a bit of rare comedic persona to a rather serious sport. Viewing his social media outlets, you’re quick to find out that he loves cracking jokes, playing pranks, and performing various skits for all the world to see. A fan favorite in all aspects, you know that he truly understands what brings revenue and attention to he and his sponsors; that of fan engagement, creating a positive relationship with customers and attendants alike. After running scorching times throughout practice, putting together a performance that few others could display, it would then be time for the opening ceremonies. And where many of the riders in his respective tier, would come out to amplified music, pumping up the crowd; Wilson would blitz out of the stadium tunnel armed in Cowboy attire, equipped with a hat and piece of straw in his mouth nonetheless. Couple that, with country music blaring across the speakers, and you could’ve guessed the crowd would adore the efforts of the number fifteen. They would continue to rally as he barreled into heat number two, just inside the top five as the laps would begin to accumulate. Battling with Blake Baggett to the best of his abilities, he would hold off the number four for quite sometime, doing his best to keep the KTM at bay. Squaring up the majority of the bowl turns, slicing under instead of carrying momentum through the ruts, had him holding down the fourth place ride in a steadfast manner. Staying here, he would look forward to the main event to come. Fourth off the line, he would quickly shuffle his way into second, while the likes of Tomac and Musquin encountering troubles of their own. He wouldn’t flicker at the thought of others, keeping his vision glued to the foreground in front of him. Being overtaken by the likes of Cooper Webb, Eli Tomac, and Blake Baggett, Wilson knew he would have to hold off the next rider in line; that of Zach Osborne. He couldn’t let his teammate overtake him, otherwise a bit of mental confidence would be swayed to the other side semi. Sticking with the pace that needed to be carried, he would portray an effort for the ages. Hanging onto fourth, Wilson would be beyond happy with how well this night would conclude, always excited for the rounds to come.
Throughout the week leading up to the event, many team owners and configurators alike were monitoring the weather with close regard. As ever since the opening few rounds on the West Coast, no one in the field seems to take mother nature likely; as a true dampening effect can not only deter the riders momentum on the track, but their respective positioning within point standing as well. They would play with certain tire combinations, and be of much relief when seeing that the majority of rain had cleared the area. And luckily, no accompanying humidity would cast over the area, with sunny skies of much delight providing a blanket of refreshing aura around the stadium. Zach Osborne felt comfortable regardless, knowing that he had a skillset that could adapt to whatever racing surface he was put on. And it would be reflected in his times, as no matter what practice session, he would be within the midst of the front. Keeping his nose to the grindstone, he would walk to the line for the heat race confident that he could get the job done. Never shying away from holeshot contention, he would pinpoint the most inside location possible within the first corner; guarding this line like his life depended on it. Keeping the majority of the pack behind him, he wouldn’t look back; although he could sense that Dean Wilson was hot on his tail. Whipping the chassis to the right over the “SX” triple, he would portray a sense of relaxation, while guiding the motorcycle around this treacherous track. The laps would then fade away, and he knew he would be able to give absolutely one hundred percent around this short burst of raceway. Keeping a brilliant pace from start to finish, he would take home the fourth spot. The main event was now here, and he attempted to seize the moment immediately. Dashing around this track, he would begin to gravitate toward the outside of the raceway, knowing that the ruts within the middle portions of berms and turns alike, were beginning to thicken. Hitting the diminishing point of return, you could see him square up the corner as he sprinted toward the collapsed gate ahead. With laps beginning to fade away, he could feel the sense of being from behind, that of Marvin Musquin; and he was closing in fast. He would then recap the spinning of miles on the road-bike, the laps logged at the practice track, when he wanted to just throw in the towel; and it would cause him to persevere, surviving in the fifth place position as the night would conclude.
All along the street of Broadway, just outside of Nissan Stadium, you could see thousands partying the night away. A vacation of sorts, the city of Nashville has become one of the largest tourist attractions in all of America; letting many forget the confines of the work week, and drink to the happy times of the weekend. But for few, especially on this particular weekend in April, the trip to “Country Music USA” was strictly business; especially for that of Marvin Musquin. He’d been within an arm’s reach of the championship for sometime now, and although the actual title may be out of grasp; a run at a solid position for overall standing was definitely not out of the question. Fighting for income, job security, and overall pride of finishing well, he knew the round of Nashville would be critical in his final surge to the finale. Therefore, his facial expression beneath the shell of his helmet was as stoic as ever; eyeing the likes of the 250 riders as he sat aboard the start straight for practice. Understanding the task at hand, he hoped to set a feverish pace from the moment he clicked the bike into gear. Therefore unlike many riders, he wouldn’t take a lap of any caution; launching as many jumps as possible within the first few go-arounds. His number quickly sat in the opening slots of the Monster Energy tower, something he would glance over at as the laps continued to fade by. He would watch the points leader in front, studying the craft like an apprentice fighting for his job. He wanted to catch every single detail, in order to transcend solid results for the heat race. And boy with the studying pay off, as his pace in the beginning of the moto was beyond solid. Running laptimes near the leader, he would continue to carry on the torch for the team, lighting up Nissan Stadium for all of Nashville to see. Blitzing the outside line throughout the whoop section, he felt his chassis could sustain any amount of impact or abuse in which he put on it; feeling no fear as he dashed toward an eighth place performance; something he hoped to rebound from, leaving the mistakes and crashes behind. The main event was now upon him, and the curtain call of performances would ensue. Battling with Cooper Webb early on, he couldn’t let the pressure of his peer deter him from accomplishing what was at stake; yet a crash would put him deep within the field. He understood the risk of conquering the triple combination in the last rhythm prior to the finish, but went with it anyway; clicking into third gear with absolutely no remorse. His efforts would be compensated, fending off all competition, prior to the checkered flag; sixth place would be his, after charging miraculously through the pack.
As the Tennessee Titans season has come and gone, many in the area are wondering just as to what, is going to fill the likes of Nissan Stadium for portions of spring and summer. With Bridgestone Arena always appearing to have festivities going on around the corner, the canvas of the NFL’s home turf appears to remain vacant for a majority of the time. Enter Monster Energy Supercross, with riders like Cole Seely yearning to fly through the air, defying all likes of gravitational law. Walking the track on press day, he noticed as to just how steep some of these lips were; in particular the “SX” triple in the far corner. Wedged just after the finish line, he knew critical passes could be made, throughout the course of the evening. Therefore, when scouting the tracks throughout the initial portions of practice, you could see him varying up his attempts, making a run at the seventy-plus feet of a launch-pad. Sweeping completely outside, followed by the slashing from outside-in, allowed him to prepare for when competition would be knocking at his door. Keeping the bike moving in forward fashion, he would continue to walk his way up the qualifying sheet, all the while his mechanic relaying the circuit times with black sharpie, upon the pit-board. They had a relationship that embodied tons of trust, and you could see it when he would begin to switch up his lines; doing just as his team had suggested. They carried the momentum into the heat race, where he would gravitate toward the lead early. Keeping his throttle arm perpendicular to the ground below, he was stabbing the clutch with all of his might, fighting to keep the RPM’s up. Mimicking the handling of a 250 2-stroke in some regard, their gearing for the rear wheel would be nothing short of a fourteen, fifty-two tooth combo. With the 450 absolutely flying beneath him, he would cross the final stripe in second. The timer was then counting down, as the main event would begin. With a multitude of flags waving in constant rotation, the lap traffic would begin to accumulate quickly. He knew he would have to methodical in his pattern of operation, otherwise Ken Roczen would overtake him. He would hold onto the seventh place position with a death-defying grip, jumping over this sea of tabletop’s with a close regard to his flight path. He would blitz the final few circuits, leaving absolutely nothing on the table. Seventh at the line, he could walk away knowing he’d done all he could.
Filling up the gas tank with ever so potent race fuel, Ken Roczen took a second to take a look around and be embodied with this crisp Southern air. Unlike the smog and dust storms of the West Coast, this town of Nashville stilled housed the rural spirit and cleanliness, with an urban feel captivating it all. You could see the enthusiasm he possessed, when watching him through the autograph lines; signing and greeting fans with an array of positive words and handshake. Making time to take hundreds of pictures, his team would notify him that it was time to climb aboard the motorcycle. Heading out from underneath the semi canopy, he would make sure to give as many high-fives as possible, on his way onto the raceway. Waving at a few of his friends in the stands, he would then flip the switch into pure aggression, and unleash fury on the track. He looked to absolutely demolish the whoops on the first go-around, never letting the moguls win the war of fear in which waged in his mind. He found the toughest, steepest portions of track around the course; and simply upshifted, welcoming the trenches of this Nashville circuit with open arms. Once all would conclude, he would be anxiously waiting for the gate to rise. Like a procession of bulls waiting to be unleashed into the stadium floor, the pack of 450’s roared behind these respective metal brackets. Each rider couldn’t wait to display their antics in front of all these newfound fans, and he looked to configure a cunning display early. Three-in to the opening rhythm combination, you could see him shift his bodyweight forward, doing his best to set the front end down prior to landing. Tapping the rear brake when needed, the angle of his sub-frame would land in the meat of the transition; eagerly anticipating another vault shortly thereafter. Residing to a storied lead, he would conclude the race in this manner; never once looking back. The main event would then be underway, where the leaders of the field looked get out front early. He would hope to latch onto the coattails of Joey Savatgy, the composition of their respective plastic seemingly melting together. However, disaster would then strike; with the two colliding after the whoops! Up and over the berm, he had to face adversity, remounting back on the motorcycle. He wasn’t backing down, even after many in the field would fatigue at halfway. His mechanic would relay signals of prolonging effort, telling him just to endure a bit more and fight forward, with the end in sight. Eighth place at the line, he’d accumulated a solid sum of points, once the final flag had flown.
Eyeing the parameters of the course during track walk, Justin Bogle couldn’t help but marvel at all of the options this track could provide. With rhythm lanes running a some-odd hundred yards down the course of the sideline, the options looked to be endless; as long as one was willing to leave the idea of fear in the rearview. Sitting on the line prior to the commencement of practice, you could tell that he was beginning to enter his zone. A trance of pure focus, letting nothing rattle or waver the confidence in which was beginning to engulf him. Arms crossed, sitting on the mid-seat in a casual manner, he would ponder all of the possibilities that could happen next; it was then, in which he would strap on the goggles, and fire up the engine beneath. Waiting for the cue from the referee, he would be ushered down the start straight like planes on a runway. Getting ready to take flight, he would jump through the opening rhythm lane, attempting to piece together as many triple combinations as possible. Going through the series of left handed turns, his right foot would drag the rear brake ever so slightly, putting a tad bit of drag on the chassis. Reaping the dividends of his subtle antics, he would come across the finish line double knowing that he exceeded expectations. Rolling to the line for the heat race, he would then lock in the holeshot device; getting the canister ready to fire as he propelled forward. Riders were beginning to dart each and every way, but he knew he must remain poised and calm; otherwise disaster would ensue. Jumping from right to left on the far “SX” triple, he seemed to be landing his foot out, hoping to provide just a millisecond of a gap between he and Justin Hill. It would work, as they came across the line, and he would captivate the team with his performance, finishing third. For the main event, he wanted to display an encore of sorts; leaving the fans in standing ovation once all would conclude. Understanding that this was a twenty-minute race, and marathon of racing sequences, he would slowly but surely try to gap Tyler Bowers. Through a matter of hard-work, patience, and effort, his lead over the competition behind him would garner enough to sustain ninth. Yearning for that ever so lucrative single digit spot, he would take ninth overall.
Heading into the round of Nashville, many riders on the tour were curious to venture into unchartered territory. A new city on the totality of rounds, many in the field wanted to make a solid impression on the faithful of Tennessee, with a solid performance. Tyler Bowers felt adequately repaired upon arrival to the grounds of stadium, knowing he had everything needed to put his best foot forward. Revving the engine on the line for practice, his fuel mixture and EFI setting were working in an optimal manner, with the seventy-degree temperatures surrounding him. Blistering down the start straight, it was all he could do to keep the front wheel down; as the tire tread of the rear wheel was clinching mother earth beneath with all of its might. With spokes spinning in constant rotation, he looked to engrave the motorcycle into the pre-constructed bowl turns; leaving no room for error as he scurried around the tuff block covers. Keeping the bike shifting through the transmission soundly, no hiccups would be displayed on his part. And he could walk away from this specific sector of qualifying with his head held high, understanding that he’d be ready for the night show. The gate would then collapse for all of Nashville to see, with the field absolutely diving into turn number one. Attempting to push his front fender to the front of the pack, he would surge in the opening rhythm lanes; shifting and displaying a character of rarity. Keeping his path open, he would be on the lookout for a multitude of lines, beginning to see a few of the inside grooves wide open. This little bit of effort, would be what was surging him forward ahead of Ben Lamay, leaving no question remaining as to what type of performance was to come in the main event. Finishing eighth, he looked forward to closing in on the latter stages of racing. With twenty-two of the top competitors in his immediate surroundings, he would to his best to establish his presence early. Never taking no for an answer, he would be resilient in his quest to intrude on the parade of those in front of him. With this Southeastern clay beginning to break apart, his footpegs would begin to etch into the soil beneath; carving ruts deeper and deeper as every lap would transcend. Leaving nothing else in the tank, he would cross the line in exceptional tenth overall.
“It’s been a struggle to get back to this point in my career, after such devastating injuries.”
Say what you want about Martin Davalos, but the fact of the matter is, he’s put in critical rides at absolutely pivotal moments throughout the course of his career. Just when it seems as though he’s on the fringe of losing a ride, or not living up to expectations, the Ecuadorian prevails, walking away with an astonishing performance. And that’s exactly what the Nashville Supercross would provide, a new platform, in a city with no troubled past. All throughout practice, Davalos looked extremely sound aboard his Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki; nailing each of these challenging rhythm sections with ease. Couple that, with his downright jaw-dropping ability to blitz these whoop sections, and everyone in his corner would feel as though a strong performance would come. He would carry a heap of confidence into the heat race, where he would be placed behind his respective metal bracket. He would get out to an early lead, absolutely nailing the jump out of the gate. Shifting through the gearbox, once he had a fender in front of the rest of the field, he would simply cut to the left, diving for the inside of the first turn. With riders like Alex Martin and Justin Cooper behind, he knew he wouldn’t be able to slack; understanding that riders of that caliber could easily reach up and steal the win right out from under him. Hitting the “SX” triple with the inside foot out, he would land into the next corner, ready to absolutely launch into the following rhythm lane. With bundles of triple combinations beginning to ensue, his performance in this short sprint, would be one of significant memory. Taking the checkered flag, there was no doubt that he would be a contender for the main event. Coming off the line, he was in the midst of the lead, along with Chase Sexton and Justin Cooper. With the three contenders bundled up, Davalos would literally slip through the smallest of cracks, just prior to the first whoop section; with Cooper and Sexton going down. It was then, that one of the brightest performances in Davalos’ career would be portrayed; with the Kawasaki rider riding an unblemished main event from here on out. Stretching the lead to insurmountable strides, Davalos would go onto lead every single lap of this main event. Nothing could top his feeling of happiness when on the line, knowing that he’d shown his true worth under these bright lights.
“First off, I had an awesome start; which I was really happy about.”
The “Robin to the Batman” or the “Bridesmaid to the Bride”, is a tale that Chase Sexton is all too familiar with. A rider hailing from Illinois, who’s absolutely filled with talent, professionalism, and raw grit to the core, has been on the cusp of numerous wins throughout his short professional career. But there’s been one, bit of an asterisk, creating a bit of a blockade in his route to sweeping championship series’; and that’s the number twenty-four, of Austin Forkner. Nearly conjoined at the hip throughout their entirety of motorcycle competition, Sexton has been just behind Austin on numerous occasions; as the two would absolutely terrorize and blitz the field. And the same idea would continue into the 2019 season, where it looked as though Chase Sexton, narrowly edging out on the win at every round, would come up a tad bit short once the series would conclude. That is, until the round of Nashville. Where Austin Forkner would slam to the ground unreasonably hard in the midst of practice, forcing him out of competition for the rest of the night. And it was though the doors would then be opened for Sexton, a rider who’d placed the fastest laptime of the day, regardless of class. He came into the heat race absolutely filled with positive emotion, truly realizing this was the little glimmer of light needed, to make a run at the championship. He would then display a captivating performance to all in the crowd, hitting each and every section with mistake free drive and timing. Never showing one ounce of nervousness or stage fright, Sexton would continue to pursue forward, although out front with a hefty lead. Putting a stamp on the race, he would whip the chassis into the wind over the finish line, eager for the main event. Getting out to a great start, he seemed to have it all figured out; until that of Justin Cooper, would run the machine of his, into the shroud of Sexton. With both going down, in a frantic panic, Sexton would put on a performance well beyond his years. Methodically, picking riders off one by one, he would work his way into second by the final few laps; and catching Martin Davalos. Yet the Pro Circuit rider had stayed out of trouble, doing enough to claim the win. Disappointed in what could have been, Sexton looked to capitalize even more at the next round of the series.
“I got off to a great start as well, for the main event.”
Although a smooth, silent styled rider when aboard the motorcycle, the Yamaha rider of Justin Cooper has a bit more “fight” to him, than what meets the eye. A soft-spoken rider on the podium, he has the ability to flip the switch, truly going for the jugular of the competition when necessary. And no episode would be more true to the aforementioned, than the event of Nashville. It was here, when an unexpected twist would shed new light on the series; with a seriously unfortunate injury on behalf of Austin Forkner. With Forkner seemingly running away with series, many knew it would take something of this magnitude, to truly let anyone else come within a realistic grasp of the title. However, the practice crash that would occur to that of Forkner, would place him on the sidelines for the duration of the evening. So, for riders of Justin Cooper’s status, a boost of morale would then be holstered. Looking strong throughout the day, he would come into the night show after presenting astonishing laptimes to all in attendance. Coming into the heat race, he hoped to set a tone of brilliance early; getting out to as clean of a start as possible. He would come around near the fourth place ride, making his way into the top three quickly. But it was then that lap traffic would quickly begin to amount, creating a log-jam of sorts throughout this ultra technical Nashville circuit. Main lines were beginning to develop throughout both whoop sections, with the shorter section being a portion of hopping and rhythmic tapping. He would begin to close in on Alex Martin, truly neck and neck for the latter half of the moto. Doing all he could to get his wheel ahead of the Suzuki, he would be just a hair short at the line; residing in third once all was said and done. The main event though, was a place where he could seize the opportunity at hand; but Cooper would be just a tad to aggressive in the early going. Surging forward for the lead, he would literally run straight into Chase Sexton just before the first set of whoops. Unfortunately, both would go down, with Cooper doing his best to get up. Fighting, clawing, and scrapping with every ounce of his being, he would be swift in his path to the front; composed under the pressure that would continue to rise. Hitting the finish line on the last lap, he had worked his way all the way to third, gaining substantial points, and being in serious contention for the heat race.
With a resurgence of sorts throughout the last few years or so, Kyle Peters has traveled far and wide to keep his dreams of professionalism alive. Whether it’s on the continent of North America, or traveling to the land of Australia, he’s willing to go the extra mile to accomplish what needs to be done. Shape, size, or brand of machine doesn’t seem to matter, as Peters has ridden a plethora of manufactured pieces over the years, garnering solid results regardless of what he’s on. A shoe-in for a near-holeshot over the course of the evening, you best believe that Peters will be at the front, in one sector of racing or the other. The story would ring true as he walked into the floor of Nashville, embracing the aura of his Southern originality. Hailing from North Carolina, he felt very acclimated to the atmosphere upon arrival to the stadium, having a visualization of success as the night would fall. Looking strong throughout practice, he would see the unfortunate circumstance of Austin Forkner crashing to the ground. However, along with many other racers, he took it as a chance to capitalize and push forward with a legitimate contender off of the leaderboard. He would get off to a strong start for the heat race, nailing the surplus of rhythm lanes with serious poise and skill. All would seem to be well, until a washout in the left-hander before the whoops, would have him nearly run over! However, he would quickly regain composure, and hop back aboard the number fifty-five Suzuki. Putting on a charge for the ages, he would absolutely shred these bowl turns, looking as clean as ever in his white answer racing uniform. Moving into the top ten, he would take seventh once all would conclude. But the main event, would be a repercussion of his persistency and effort, taking fifth on the opening lap. As Chase Sexton and Justin Cooper would come to a collision course, Peters would be a recipient of a top three position. He would hound Mitchell Falk, the rookie, who was beginning show signs of fatigue. Peters, the veteran, would pounce before the tenth lap, overtaking the KTM. But the duo of Cooper and Sexton would come back to haunt him, where the two series contenders would move forward. Peters, being pushed back to fourth, would walk away with one of his best finishes to date. Leaving all in the JGR camp extremely excited.
Slowly but surely working his way further up the leaderboard of the top ten, Brandon Hartranft came into Nashville looking to increase his stock, aboard his finely-tuned Yamaha 250f. A rider of taller stature, his ability to maneuver and jockey the machine is apparent, from the moment he sets tread on the track for practice. It was much the same here in Nashville, as a dusty start to the day, had many of the machines skating around the concrete floor. Hartranft would attack the track with clear intent, showing the soil of Titan Stadium absolutely no mercy. Piecing all three of these very technical rhythm sections, he would try a multitude of lines, before the session would come to a close. He would store tons of momentum within the respective lobes of his brain, flourishing on the idea that he would excel as the night went on. Ninth on the opening lap of the heat race, he knew he would have his work cut out for him in order to advance. Dodging and weaving near the lip of the SX triple, he had to be careful as many riders would check up in front of him. Throwing caution to the wind, he would soar into the stratosphere, understanding that moves at this point in the event would be critical. Blitzing the far left side of the whoops before the finish, he would steadily creep into a more optimal position. The laps would wade on, yet Hartranft’s effort never wavered. Moving up to sixth on the final lap, he knew he had a place in the main event, upon landing of the finish line. With many riders undergoing serious crashes throughout the day, he knew his focus must be on a one hundred percent effort, in order to stay upright. He would take aim toward the front, fourth place off of the line. He was a staple at this point in the race, working his way into podium contention in the early going! With Davalos out front, Sexton and Cooper encountering problems, and only Mitchell Falk between, Hartranft was ecstatic. But as the laps would continue to accumulate, he knew that the likes of Kyle Peters would be trying to jockey around. Overtaking Falk in the process, Peters would move around, all the while Cooper and Sexton doing the same. Hartranft, although showing a bit of fatigue, dug deep into his toolbox, pulling out every ounce of battle-tested will he had. Fifth place at the line, he would leave Nashville with one of his best performances of his career.
When looking into the definition of what a true “Titan” is, you see that it’s a gladiator who embodies the feeling of going out on his shield, so to speak. A warrior willing to lay it all on the line for the task at hand, giving one hundred percent effort regardless of the circumstances around him. It’s something that captivates the city of Nashville, and the fans that which support this NFL team. Mitchell Oldenburg feels as though he embraces the aforementioned, and that much more when aboard the motorcycle. He strives to put it all on the line, coming across the finish line either aboard the bike, or pushing it across with his own will power. And he vowed to do the same for this round of Nashville; leaving all in attendance gazing at him with eye of respect and gratitude. He would toy with a series of lines for practice, never wanting to get complacent in the main line of racing action; just in case, problems were to arise later on in the evening, he would have a bit of ammunition within his back pocket. Carrying forward in wayward fashion, he would continue to group together solid circuit’s; some two and three at a time. Satisfied with the end result, he and mechanic would roll back to the pit area, to reassess and address their issues before the night show. He would then barrel off the start for the heat race, knowing that the laps within this particular event were critical, in getting a solid seat for the main event. Hitting the whoop section right through the middle, he knew that this line would eventually become too cupped out, due to the shear number of bikes attempting to ride the line every lap. Piecing it together, he would steadily pull from Josh Osby behind him, leaving the competitor a bit frustrated as to just how hard it was to catch and make the pass. He would finish fourth. The main event was now upon him, and he would turn his abilities into a full on sprint in the beginning. Looking to baffle all of the opposition that neared him, his lines would be rather unorthodox in the early going. It would prevail, as his laptimes would continue to surge, yet much of the field was falling backwards. Residing near the sixth place spot, after falling in the left-handed sweeper, he knew he would have to fend off Kyle Cunningham to the best of his ability. Never taking no for an answer, he would assert both body and machine into the sixth place ride, residing here until the race would be ended. Satisfied, he would only look to move forward from here on out.
As the NFL Draft approaches here in the coming days, the hottest of prospects, coaches, and team owners alike are flocking towards the city of Nashville, Tennessee. It is here, where the best in the class of 2019 are coming to be selected; all in aspirations of being selected number one, destined for lucrative contracts and Super Bowl rings galore. And the vibe seems to be translating over to this round of Supercross as well, with the majority of manufacturing executives here in attendance, scouting the round for upcoming talent. Kyle Cunningham hoped to throw his name in the hat for potential rides in 2019, landing a ride and security for the future. He knew eyes would be upon him from the moment his tread laid into this raceway, so it was a full-fledged charge to the top of the leaderboard. When looking ahead, gazing with his eyes penetrating into the foregrounds, he would simply reiterate to himself just how bad he wanted this; followed by a procession of shifting up, and throttling the bike as hard as he could. At times, he would have to white-knuckle the machine; catching himself taking big gulps of air into the diaphragm. Honing in on the idea of relaxation, he would begin to steadily climb, as the sessions came to a close. He would thump his chest as the thirty-second board would go up for the main, realizing he had to take in the actuality of the moment. Scorching down the start line, he would remain poised throughout the opening laps; doing his best not to let the moment influence his body’s release of adrenaline. Hitting the finish line section two wide, he would dart for the inside; keeping the main race groove all too himself, instead of John Short behind. Hanging on to the fourth place ride, he was anxious for the opportunity of the main event. Hitting the multitude of tabletops on the first lap, he had to be careful not to swap or zig-zag on a lane such as this; otherwise disaster could strike. Running the inside of the berm adjacent to the starting gate, he would do his best to limit his touch-downs, in the following section of jumps. Doing as many three-piece combinations as possible, he would head into the following whoop section on consecutive circuits, with Ryan Sipes right behind him. He could feel the pace from the back amounting, but knew he must be resilient in his efforts toward the front. Unleashing all of his energy on the last lap, he would take the checkered flag in a solid seventh place position.
With a bit of a brief layoff, many in the 250 East Coast series took a bit of time to relax, and dabble into a bit of outdoors. Being as though, a change of pace and day-to-day routine, can be of wellness to the mind and body. However, there were those certain few, who wanted to hone in on this particular genre further and further; drilling home technique and a sound effort, prior to the conclusion of the series. And that would include Ryan Sipes who could be found blitzing whoops, dumping the clutch, and amounting numerous laps aboard the practice track, aspiring to reside this series in an ascending manner. Therefore, he felt fresh when coming to the round of Nashville, immediately beginning to pick up what the track had to offer, for the first few laps of practice. Never one to hesitate, he was pulling the trigger on many combination long before a majority of the field; hoping to surpass many as an outlier, leaving the mean and median of the group to the wayside. He would continue to click off a series of sprinting efforts in consecutive fashion, leaving nothing else on the table as he rolled back into the pit area. Seeing the roster-board as to just which heat he would be placed in, he awaited in the tunnel with a clasping of the hands. He couldn’t wait to get on this technical track, and shot out like a cannon once the gate would actually fall. Portraying an effort that was as tough and rugged as anyone else, he was making passes with authority on the first lap; nearly passing riders by the handful before the green flag. Residing around the second place mark, he knew he would have to guard the majority of the insides, otherwise the momentum from his opponent could force him onto the concrete floor. Luckily, he would develop into a widely statured combatant, stingy with the second position; where he would reside. Leaving no stone unturned, he would absolutely dive for the inside of the first corner once the main event would commence. He would become engulfed in a fume of race fuel, tasting the dust of his opponents between the teeth. However, it would only motivate him to drive, where he would ring the neck of the throttle tube in his right hand. Slicing and dicing through the field, you could see him shift up before the whoop section twice, hitting the moguls in fourth gear! Clipping the tops with the front end first, he would volley past the likes of Mitchell Falk. Doing enough to solidify the eighth place ride, he would finish here as the checkered flag rang out.
As the outdoor season rapidly approaches, and this particular portion of the Supercross series continues to wind down; it’s easy for many riders to fall into the mode of “next year” writing off these last particular rounds. However, it can be these select races, like the one here in Nashville, Tennessee, that can leave a lasting impression on a team owner. It’s provides a residual notion, that can be logged into memory banks for the duration of the summer, and that’s exactly how Mitchell Falk approached it. Understanding that this particular platform was as great as any, he came into practice hoping to start the day on a positive note. Taking a few laps to pace the track and field around, he would begin to click it into gear around the halfway point; knowing that it all takes was one particular fast circuit, to put him into the night show in a solid manner. Getting his timing down rather quickly, the compression of the shock would sent him catapulting throughout the air; only to descend from, at times, twenty feet in the air. Eyeing his landing like the true pilot that he is, he would encounter no turbulence throughout the course of practice rounds. Firing up the engine of the 250 for the heat race, all systems were go as he flipped multiple ignition switches, and adjusted the play of the clutch. The rotors were already beginning to heat up, even though it was only the first few laps of action. Hearing the hiss and ping of the brake pads against the metal, was a true indication of just how fast he was circling this Nashville layout; leaving riders like Brandon Hartranft behind, and scrounging for position. He would put his full effort into this heat race, walking away with fifth place, back to the pit area. The main event would then come to life, and the fans would be on their feet, letting the area of downtown Nashville roar. Helping to enthuse the sea of excitement, he could be found triple-tripling in the middle rhythm section, looking to duck underneath the competition in the following bowl turn. Sliding the rear wheel around many of these particular berms, he would convey a riding style of “all-in” as the laps would begin to accumulate. His heroic efforts of the podium were imminent at first; absolutely displaying substantial effort in the top three. But it was though fatigue would begin to set it, and positions would continue to drop. And then with the white flag out, he knew a single digit finish could be of substantial earning; he would have it, succeeding in ninth place.
With riders like Austin Forkner seemingly taking the series by storm, it’s easy for many in the background to become overshadowed, per se. Where the number twenty-four is lighting up headlines week after week, it’s easy to become fixated on his demolishing of the competition; however there are those who are creating spectacular results and blossoming in their own right. Enter Alex Martin, a man who’s ever so steadily worked his way up to the front of the field, and been a mainstay each and every weekend, to garner solid results. Coming into the round of Nashville, he wanted to reach the top ten; putting himself into another tier of solidified prospects, on this East Coast series. He began to gel with the track immediately, planting the chassis of the 250f everywhere he wanted to. You could see him stand up for a good portion of the course, and almost synchronize himself to the mid-portion of the seat in the apex of the turn, bracing himself for the riveting impact of the next section. Keeping a close eye on the aforementioned Pro Circuit rider, he looked to seek knowledge from the red plate holder; absorbing all that he could, in hopes for succession in the night to come. The heat race would then follow, and a clashing of titans would ensue. Sheering and clanging of titanium footpegs would be conjoined with a scraping of shrouds, where each rider was yearning for the lucrative ticket to the main event. He had an excellent line in the turn facing the start straight, squaring up the section in the process. Residing in second, he would steadily inch away from the competition behind; keeping his eye on the prize at the finish line. He would stay here, once all was said and done. For the main event, the two separate pieces of heat race qualifiers would be solidified in the middle, with the winner putting their stake in the ground as king. Residing in twelfth on lap one, it was a matter of enduring the chaos of the first couple laps; knowing that any mistake here would be crucial. Hitting the finish line in style, he would dart immediately to the following inside left-hander; hoping to seal the deal from Jordan Bailey. Moving into the tenth place spot, all of his energy sources within the body would begin to deplete; yet his ability of keeping the task at hand steadfast, was something that captivated all in attendance. Tenth at the line, he could walk away knowing he’d given a solid effort.