Sponsored by Huffy, 1-800-COLLECT, Airwalk, Saturn
Story by James Ayres
Photos by Keith Mulligan
Primm, Nevada definitely was not your typical NBL national; with its casinos, roller coasters, shopping malls, and Las Vegas just 30 minutes away, there was always some action somewhere. Whether it was dropping big bets on the roulette tables or checking out the DK Dirt Circuit jumping contest, Primm was one of the few nationals where you didn’t have to look far for fun.
Like most indoor nationals, the track was packed into a tight “M” shape, and the comment: “If you blink, you’ll miss something,” was often heard. Lap times for the pros were approximately 20 seconds, with each straightaway taking about five seconds to get down. Because the pit area was outside (no bikes were allowed inside the arena’s stands), most people felt it was harder to sit outside for 12 hours in 100 degree heat than race in the air conditioned area.
From Long Shots to Hole Shots
If there was one thing about Primm that stood out, it was the fact that some “underdogs” put on incredible performances. During Saturday’s Pro motos and semis, Huffy’s Randy Stumphauser was going fast and stayed consistent enough to make the cut. DK/1-800-COLLECT’s Neal Wood went down hard in the rhythm during the motos and tweaked his knee, but with a lot of determination and some Alleve for the pain, he went on to win his semi. Both Thomas Allier and Danny Nelson made the cut along with Dale Holmes, Brian Foster, Christophe Leveque and Erik Abbadessa.
Saturday’s first two pro mains looked to be another GT/Powerlite show. Thomas Allier had two points with Danny Nelson and Dale Holmes tied for second with seven points. Going into the third pro main, Neal was back in fourth with eight points and looked like a long shot for the win. Thomas would have to get dead last and Neal would have to finish first. When the gate dropped, the odds quickly changed. From the inside, Neal got his best start of the weekend, pulled everyone down the first straight, and opened up his lead from there. Thomas was stuck in the back of the pack battling with Standard’s Eric Abbadessa. Neal stayed strong through the rhythm and crossed the line for the last pro main win. Thomas, meanwhile, was still trying to get by Erik and they both crashed out of the last turn. The longshot had happened; Neal had won the last main and Thomas had gotten last. Dale stayed near the front to finish second overall.
Sunday saw the “Team Green” duo (DK/1-800-COLLECT) out in front again and going fast in the qualifying rounds. Both Robbie and Neal made it to “The Show” and many wondered if a double was in the cards for Neal. With Danny and Thomas going faster every lap, the pressure was on. All three mains had Thomas out front, with Neal and Robbie stuck in traffic. They may have finished seventh and eighth in class, but Pro Open was another story with Robbie coming in right behind Allier for the second and Neal behind him for the third. Randy established himself as “Mr. Consistent” and got the third behind Thomas and Danny. Schwinn’s Brian Foster was in there also with a fifth in class and a fourth in Open.
Always Bet On…
Tank Carter, Kyle Jensen and Matt Fowler to double in class and cruiser as well as Chad Hernaez winning 117 Expert and an incredibly hard 16 & Over Open class. Bubba Harris and Bubba Griffiths will always come through with wins in 13 Expert and 9 Expert. You also can’t go wrong putting your money on Fox’s Dwayne Taylor. He won 25-29 Expert on Sunday and could be found out front just about anytime that he was on the track.
No Such Thing as a Sure Bet Who could have predicted Jamie Lilly not winning Super Girls? After perfects in her motos, Jamie looked like her usual unstoppable self, but ran into some bad luck Saturday in the Super Girl main. MRC’s Heather Bruns got the win on Saturday, but by Sunday, Jamie was back on top. And just when you least expected it, Bubba Harris got second in the mixed 12-13, 14-15 Open main. Chris Davern was the guy who put the brakes on “Mr. Unstoppable” and will definitely be a name to remember. Mike Hanner was ripping it up in Super Class and just missed a win on Saturday behind Cristian Becerine.
Some people left Primm as big winners, others left a little less lucky. Regardless of the amount of money you took home, one thing was for sure; Danny Nelson and Thomas Allier won’t be the only ones we’ll be seeing huge things from. With Randy Stumphauser healthy again, Neal Wood focused on training hard and living clean (see sidebar), and Robbie Miranda’s 100% dedication to BMX, we’re betting South Park’s going to be one of the best races of the year.
Check the links to see the results from the race.