EVERY (STUMP) DOG HAS HIS DAY
Despite a ton of rain, a crash in practice, and three other double-A’s gunning for his points lead, Huffy’s Randy Stumpfhauser put on a show in Louisville and rode like the champ that he is.

You can change that #2 on Randy Stumpfhauser’s plate to a #1 for next year.  credit: Keith Mulligan

Although the pits were absolutely wrecked, the track stayed in pretty good shape throughout the downpours. You should have seen how fast those NBL volunteers had that thing covered... one drop and it was blanketed in plastic.  credit: Keith Mulligan

RAIN
This is probably everyone’s least favorite word to hear at a race, especially the Grands. Louisville got pounded with storms Friday night, Saturday morning, and for about an hour on Sunday afternoon, right before the mains. The pits were completely wrecked, the parking was a disaster, and tempers were flaring all weekend. I heard that more than one fight broke out in staging during Friday’s practice sessions and some top guys got DQ’d before the racing ever got started. Things were just as bad in the parking lot; cars were getting stuck left and right, and Keith and I almost blew up our Saturn trying to get it back on pavement. Forget about leaving with anything clean; cars, shoes, bikes... it all got wrecked.

AMATEUR STANDOUTS

Every time I watched one of Matt Beatty’s laps, this is where I’d find him; out front and pulling away. And check out who he’s beating... World #2 Manuel Lopez, who’s no slouch when it comes to first straight pull.  credit: Keith Mulligan

If you’re wondering who the fastest Ams were, then you obviously weren’t paying much attention to 15 Expert, 18-20 Expert, 21-24 Expert, or any of the 16 & Over qualifying because each of these classes had some legit bad asses killing it. Probably the fastest amateur of the weekend was Kovachi’s Matt Beatty. Matt didn’t lose a lap all day (until he spun out in the gate for the 16 & Over Open main) and took home two number one plates in the process; #1 18-20 Expert and #1 18-20 Cruiser. Luckily, he’s one of the few top ams who races both sanctions, so we’ll get to see how he finishes out his season in the ABA before he turns Pro. I can’t say enough good things about this kid; although a lot of people label him as a power rider, I saw him boost just about every jump on the track during the weekend and I can tell you that he’s definitely got some skills.

Next up would have to be Andre Ellison. If there’s anyone out there who doesn’t know that Andre’s a ripper, well, they must either have been living under a rock for the last five or so years... or be pretty new to things. In a stacked 16 & Over Open Main, I watched Andre go from the back of the pack, up to third somewhere in the first turn or second straight, and then win it by a few bikes at the line. Trust us, this kid has the potential to be the next Brian Foster... he’s that good.

CJ had the motowhip flatties wired over the big step down the second strght. Tell us this kid doesn’t have style...  credit: Keith Mulligan

I was stoked to see Mike Moeller racing the Grands... especially since ABA Reno was the same weekend. He’s another one of those kids who’s a pleasure to watch and he definitely didn’t disappoint. He aced his motos in ABA Crupi colors on Saturday, and by Sunday he was winning his main in Dan’s colors. I don’t know how that stuff works, but I do know that Mike’s got some unbelievable pull and plenty of style to go with it. Props, Mike!

The 18-20 Expert Class is stacked with a ton of talent, so I’ve got to call out two more guys who were impressive. Ryan “Z Man” Zielinski and CJ McGuire are both a pleasure to watch ride. Z Man was on it this weekend during the motos and with two moto wins, came within two points of Matt Beatty before the main. I’m not positive on this, but I think he went from being Nat’l #21 last year to Nat’l #2 this year -- and all on flat pedals! Go FPP (Flat Pedal Posse)! CJ McGuire didn’t have a ton of pull this weekend, but made it into all the mains. I’m not sure how he did, but I will definitely remember watching him boost the crap out of that step jump going into the second turn. Man, that kid can jump!

If you took a poll to see who the most bad ass younger amateur is right now, Jeff Upshaw would easily be in the top three... guaranteed.  credit: Keith Mulligan

Jeff Upshaw just continues to get better and better, which seems impossible to me because every time I watch him ride, he already looks like he’s double-A. Tons of style and some good pull kept Jeff up front this weekend. If he didn’t get #1 15 Expert, then I missed something somewhere because I don’t think I ever saw him lose a lap. If he stays amateur for a few more years, I could definitely see him being up for the ABA’s Number One Amateur title.

This guy played a starring role in one of my favorite races of the weekend; Austin McClain (#8) vs. Mike McGonigle (#7) for all the marbles in 21-24 Expert.  credit: Keith Mulligan

21-24 Expert had a great battle between Specialized/Fox’s Austin McClain and Hyper/Hot Wheels’ Mike McGonigle. They each won their motos, and their semi, so everyone would have to wait for the main to see them go head-to-head. I watched from the first turn and couldn’t take my eyes off the track; Austin holeshotted and led pretty much start to finish, but Mike was right behind him. That’s one of those races that’s going to stay with me for awhile...

I have no idea who Fabian Hernandez is, but I dig his bunnyhop-to-pump-down-the-backside style. Third in 17 Cruiser at the Grands is his claim to fame.  credit: Keith Mulligan

Dan’s Comp’s Ramiro Marino perfected his motos, but had to settle for second in 14X behind Warren McDow.  credit: Keith Mulligan

Gonzalo Marino and Mauel Lopez going at it in the motos. Manuel definitely had the better weekend; perfects in his motos and a second in the 18-20 Expert main.  credit: Keith Mulligan

I’ll be honest; I don’t pay much attention to the girl amateurs, but there was one who got my attention more than once this weekend. Ever heard of Amanda Gevings? She’s the girl with the long blonde hair who rides for MCS and pretty much demolishes her class. She had some laps this weekend where she was in another zip code. When she turns pro, she’s going to fit in just fine.

MCS’ William Peters, or “Petey” as everyone affectionately calls him went into the Grands four points shy of being capped out in probably the hardest amateur class the NBL has. Will he go Pro next year or keep working on that elusive #1 plate?  credit: Keith Mulligan

Hyper/Hot Wheels’ Warren McDow had a pretty weird weekend; he went into the Grands capped out in points, but didn’t win a moto all weekend. And although he did win the main, he’ll have to trade that #1 in for a #5. You can be sure it’s going to go right back down again next year.  credit: Keith Mulligan

RJ Scott can throw down with the best of them. He came to Louisville capped out in 12 Expert, but a freak crash in qualifying cost him his shot in the main.  credit: Keith Mulligan

At the beginning of the year, Supercross’ Bill Madden and I joked about how he should be a shoe-in for a top three plate in 35-39 Expert. He ended the year #1, but I think we would both agree now that the class is a lot more serious than what we thought it was going to be early on.  credit: Keith Mulligan

Nick Dipaolo’s one of those guys who mostly races ABA nationals, so I’m not sure a lot of NBL guys knew who he was at the beginning of the weekend... but you can bet that they do now.  credit: Keith Mulligan

SINGLE-A

Bulldog’s Ivo Lacuks and Intense’s Derek Betcher went at it all day long. Ivo won the battle, getting the win for the day, but DB.com won the war, getting the #1 single-A plate. Both these guys are officially double-A now.  credit: 

Gonzalo Marino and Mauel Lopez going at it in the motos. Manuel definitely had the better weekend; perfects in his motos and a second in the 18-20 Expert main.  credit: Keith Mulligan

I’ll be honest; I don’t pay much attention to the girl amateurs, but there was one who got my attention more than once this weekend. Ever heard of Amanda Gevings? She’s the girl with the long blonde hair who rides for MCS and pretty much demolishes her class. She had some laps this weekend where she was in another zip code. When she turns pro, she’s going to fit in just fine.

MCS’ William Peters, or “Petey” as everyone affectionately calls him went into the Grands four points shy of being capped out in probably the hardest amateur class the NBL has. Will he go Pro next year or keep working on that elusive #1 plate?  credit: Keith Mulligan

Hyper/Hot Wheels’ Warren McDow had a pretty weird weekend; he went into the Grands capped out in points, but didn’t win a moto all weekend. And although he did win the main, he’ll have to trade that #1 in for a #5. You can be sure it’s going to go right back down again next year.  credit: Keith Mulligan

RJ Scott can throw down with the best of them. He came to Louisville capped out in 12 Expert, but a freak crash in qualifying cost him his shot in the main.  credit: Keith Mulligan

At the beginning of the year, Supercross’ Bill Madden and I joked about how he should be a shoe-in for a top three plate in 35-39 Expert. He ended the year #1, but I think we would both agree now that the class is a lot more serious than what we thought it was going to be early on.  credit: Keith Mulligan

Nick Dipaolo’s one of those guys who mostly races ABA nationals, so I’m not sure a lot of NBL guys knew who he was at the beginning of the weekend... but you can bet that they do now.  credit: Keith Mulligan

SINGLE-A

Bulldog’s Ivo Lacuks and Intense’s Derek Betcher went at it all day long. Ivo won the battle, getting the win for the day, but DB.com won the war, getting the #1 single-A plate. Both these guys are officially double-A now.  credit: Keith Mulligan

Intense’s Derek Betcher has had the points lead for months now and the Grands would be his last single-A race... after that, it’s on to the big time. He and Ivo Lacuks went head-to-head all weekend, and although Derek got more seconds than he did firsts, his second in the main was plenty for the overall title, which netted him a phat $4,000 check. Throw in the $575 for 2nd at the Grands, plus another hundy for moto money and you know DB.com was leaving Louisville with a HUGE smile on his face. Ivo picked up first place bucks, and his own personal ticket into the double-A ranks as well. Congrats fellas!

Clayborn’s Shane Vincent out front getting his first turn carve on.  credit: Keith Mulligan

DOUBLE-A

Jason Richardson eyes up backside going into the second turn. He rode like the title was on the line every lap, and in doing so, earned himself a spot in one of the hardest mains of the year.  credit: Keith Mulligan

Going into the Grands, four guys had a shot at the title. Obviously Randy Stumpfhauser (leading points), John Purse, Kyle Bennett, and if some really bizarre stuff happened, Jason Richardson mathematically could get it. Pro practice started off Saturday afternoon and was pretty uneventful, except for Randy Stumpfhauser’s crash. Apparently his chain decided to fly off about 20 feet out of the gate, which promptly sent him straight to the ground. Not exactly the start he was looking for. Anyway, after he got his chain all dialed in, he proceeded to wax his first two motos, and left the track Saturday night with nothing but wins. What made things interesting was that Kyle did the same thing; moto wins left and right. Since they never drew each other in the semis, we’d have to wait for the one-lap-no-crap main to see who the fastest man really was.

Sunday’s semi’s saw everyone make it in; Randy and Kyle were golden, as was The Jackal and J-Rich. Matt Pohlkamp was also in, along with Mikey Day, who made some sweet moves in his semi to nail down a transfer spot -- close call Mikey! Robert DeWilde was in, too, along with Jonathan Suarez.

Leading up to the main, the skies were getting darker and darker, and once that first drop fell, Bob Tedesco made the announcement for the double-A main to head to the starting hill, pronto. Within minutes, all eight guys were locked and loaded, and with people still scrambling to get a seat for the final showdown, the gate dropped and the lap for the #1 plate was under way. Down the first straight it looked like Kyle might have holeshotted just a bit, but since Randy had the inside, he was able to carve a sweet line in the first turn and come out up front. And when I say Kyle couldn’t have been any closer, believe me, he couldn’t have been. Going down the second straight, Randy was still winning, but you could tell Kyle was working on something for the second turn. Just when Randy was exiting the turn, his back wheel broke loose, then hooked back up, and in an instant, Kyle was on the ground. I couldn’t tell exactly what happened, but it looked like Randy was making a dive for the inside line towards the amateur section (which they made “mandatory” throughout the entire weekend), and Kyle just high-sided off his back wheel. Just that fast, the race for the title was over. Randy would go on to win the main, and Kyle would head to the hospital to get X-rays on some possibly broken ribs.

A lot of people said over the course of the weekend that it didn’t feel like the Grands; and I think that’s probably true. With the rain and all the crappy weather, it just didn’t feel as hyped up as it normally does. But with 4471 motos and a double-A main that will probably take me the rest of my life to forget, I can’t say I was the least bit disappointed. I got to witness some unbelievable battles and watch some of the best riders in the World throw down for one of racing’s most prestigious titles. If that’s not a kick ass way to spend a weekend, I don’t know what is.

ELITE MEN TOP-TEN FINAL STANDINGS
#1 – Randy Stumpfhauser (Huffy)
#2 – John Purse (Mongoose/Hyundai)
#3 – Kyle Bennett (Nirve)
#4 – Jason Richardson (MCS)
#5 – Robert DeWilde (Giant)
#6 – Matt Pohlkamp (DK/RGXS)
#7 – Jonathan Suarez (Intruder)
#8 – Greg Romero (Redman/Yamaha Waverunner)
#9 – Mikey Day (Staats)
#10 – Neal Wood (S&M)

NATIONAL #1 SUPER CLASS CHAMPION
#1 – Derek Betcher (Answer)

NATIONAL #1 SUPER GIRL’S CHAMPION
#1 – Kim Hayashi (Redline)

0″>Keith Mulligan

Intense’s Derek Betcher has had the points lead for months now and the Grands would be his last single-A race... after that, it’s on to the big time. He and Ivo Lacuks went head-to-head all weekend, and although Derek got more seconds than he did firsts, his second in the main was plenty for the overall title, which netted him a phat $4,000 check. Throw in the $575 for 2nd at the Grands, plus another hundy for moto money and you know DB.com was leaving Louisville with a HUGE smile on his face. Ivo picked up first place bucks, and his own personal ticket into the double-A ranks as well. Congrats fellas!

Clayborn’s Shane Vincent out front getting his first turn carve on.  credit: Keith Mulligan

DOUBLE-A

Jason Richardson eyes up backside going into the second turn. He rode like the title was on the line every lap, and in doing so, earned himself a spot in one of the hardest mains of the year.  credit: Keith Mulligan

Going into the Grands, four guys had a shot at the title. Obviously Randy Stumpfhauser (leading points), John Purse, Kyle Bennett, and if some really bizarre stuff happened, Jason Richardson mathematically could get it. Pro practice started off Saturday afternoon and was pretty uneventful, except for Randy Stumpfhauser’s crash. Apparently his chain decided to fly off about 20 feet out of the gate, which promptly sent him straight to the ground. Not exactly the start he was looking for. Anyway, after he got his chain all dialed in, he proceeded to wax his first two motos, and left the track Saturday night with nothing but wins. What made things interesting was that Kyle did the same thing; moto wins left and right. Since they never drew each other in the semis, we’d have to wait for the one-lap-no-crap main to see who the fastest man really was.

Sunday’s semi’s saw everyone make it in; Randy and Kyle were golden, as was The Jackal and J-Rich. Matt Pohlkamp was also in, along with Mikey Day, who made some sweet moves in his semi to nail down a transfer spot -- close call Mikey! Robert DeWilde was in, too, along with Jonathan Suarez.

Leading up to the main, the skies were getting darker and darker, and once that first drop fell, Bob Tedesco made the announcement for the double-A main to head to the starting hill, pronto. Within minutes, all eight guys were locked and loaded, and with people still scrambling to get a seat for the final showdown, the gate dropped and the lap for the #1 plate was under way. Down the first straight it looked like Kyle might have holeshotted just a bit, but since Randy had the inside, he was able to carve a sweet line in the first turn and come out up front. And when I say Kyle couldn’t have been any closer, believe me, he couldn’t have been. Going down the second straight, Randy was still winning, but you could tell Kyle was working on something for the second turn. Just when Randy was exiting the turn, his back wheel broke loose, then hooked back up, and in an instant, Kyle was on the ground. I couldn’t tell exactly what happened, but it looked like Randy was making a dive for the inside line towards the amateur section (which they made “mandatory” throughout the entire weekend), and Kyle just high-sided off his back wheel. Just that fast, the race for the title was over. Randy would go on to win the main, and Kyle would head to the hospital to get X-rays on some possibly broken ribs.

A lot of people said over the course of the weekend that it didn’t feel like the Grands; and I think that’s probably true. With the rain and all the crappy weather, it just didn’t feel as hyped up as it normally does. But with 471 motos and a double-A main that will probably take me the rest of my life to forget, I can’t say I was the least bit disappointed. I got to witness some unbelievable battles and watch some of the best riders in the World throw down for one of racing’s most prestigious titles. If that’s not a kick ass way to spend a weekend, I don’t know what is.

ELITE MEN TOP-TEN FINAL STANDINGS
#1 – Randy Stumpfhauser (Huffy)
#2 – John Purse (Mongoose/Hyundai)
#3 – Kyle Bennett (Nirve)
#4 – Jason Richardson (MCS)
#5 – Robert DeWilde (Giant)
#6 – Matt Pohlkamp (DK/RGXS)
#7 – Jonathan Suarez (Intruder)
#8 – Greg Romero (Redman/Yamaha Waverunner)
#9 – Mikey Day (Staats)
#10 – Neal Wood (S&M)

NATIONAL #1 SUPER CLASS CHAMPION
#1 – Derek Betcher (Answer)

NATIONAL #1 SUPER GIRL’S CHAMPION
#1 – Kim Hayashi (Redline)

roken ribs.

A lot of people said over the course of the weekend that it didn’t feel like the Grands; and I think that’s probably true. With the rain and all the crappy weather, it just didn’t feel as hyped up as it normally does. But with 471 motos and a double-A main that will probably take me the rest of my life to forget, I can’t say I was the least bit disappointed. I got to witness some unbelievable battles and watch some of the best riders in the World throw down for one of racing’s most prestigious titles. If that’s not a kick ass way to spend a weekend, I don’t know what is.

ELITE MEN TOP-TEN FINAL STANDINGS
#1 – Randy Stumpfhauser (Huffy)
#2 – John Purse (Mongoose/Hyundai)
#3 – Kyle Bennett (Nirve)
#4 – Jason Richardson (MCS)
#5 – Robert DeWilde (Giant)
#6 – Matt Pohlkamp (DK/RGXS)
#7 – Jonathan Suarez (Intruder)
#8 – Greg Romero (Redman/Yamaha Waverunner)
#9 – Mikey Day (Staats)
#10 – Neal Wood (S&M)

NATIONAL #1 SUPER CLASS CHAMPION
#1 – Derek Betcher (Answer)

NATIONAL #1 SUPER GIRL’S CHAMPION
#1 – Kim Hayashi (Redline)