Sam Boyd Stadium is about 20 minutes outside the bright lights and high rollers of the Las Vegas strip but Saturday night it will shine as bright as the neon lights as the Monster Energy Cup comes to town.
Taking over for the defunct US Open the MEC began in 2011 with Ryan Villopoto taking all 3 motos and the $1 million grand prize. 2012 saw Justin Barcia take the win followed by James Stewart in 2013, Davi Millsaps in 2014 and Ken Roczen last season in 2015. A rider must win all 3 motos to take the million dollar grand prize and so far only Villopoto completed that feat. Who will win in 2016? Ken Roczen on his new Honda, Eli Tomac? What about Chad Reed or Ryan Dungey. All I know for sure is Saturday night will feature great racing action.
Aside from the 3 moto MEC class there are also 3 additional classes competing for their time in the spotlight. And this is where I’d like to point out several “local” racers competing. Riders I’ll be keeping an eye on.
In the Super Mini class I’ll be keeping an eye on #351, Kawasaki mounted Jack Rogers. The Maryland native spends a lot of time competing in the Northeast and frequents Raceway Park.
In the Amateur All-Stars class, my eyes will be on NJ’s own #40 Brandon Hartranft. Brandon cleaned up a couple of weeks ago at the Vurb Classic and was a podium finisher 2 weeks ago at the Kawasaki Race of Champions so he is surely one of the top contenders. #91 Justin Cooper is another local racer that should be a force to be reckoned with Saturday night. The Yamaha rider from New York State has been on a tear lately winning 4 classes at Baja Brawl, both pro classes at the 2-Stroke Shootout, both pro classes at KROC and both pro classes last week at the Big Bucks Shootout. It would be great to see Justin add an Amateur All-Stars victory to his already successful 2016.
Rounding out the special events is the KTM Jr Supercross challenge and NJ racer Jaden Palmer is participating. Jaden won an event earlier this year and should be a favorite on Saturday night.
How to watch the Monster Energy Cup. Follow the instructions here.
So check it out Saturday and cheer the local riders on.
It was announced this week that Josh Hill will be racing the new Alta Electric Bike at the Red Bull Straight Rhythm on Saturday, October 22. This marks the first time we’ll see a former Supercross winner competing on an electric powered machine.
Red Bull Press Release: Electricity to Hit Red Bull Straight Rhythm
Checking out the video in the release is very impressive as it seems the bike is more than capable, and Josh Hill, although retired, still goes pretty good on a bike.
How do you think he’ll do?
Is this the future of motocross/supercross?
As always the ideas expressed above are my own and I make no claims to the success or failure of implementing them. They are suggestions to make you think. Please vet all ideas against your business plan before implementing them.
The Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross National series was in Maryland last weekend at Budd’s Creek Motocross Park in Mechanicsville, MD.
Here are how the NJ Motocrossers did.
Dakota Kessler – Farmingdale, NJ – 36th fastest in timed qualifying (39-30) 38th overall
Luke Renzland- Hewitt, NJ-13th fastest in timed qualifying
Chris Duymich- Millstone Township, NJ – 60th fastest in timed qualifying
Jeremy Smith – Marmora, NJ- 23rd fastest in timed qualifying (27-28) 29th overall
Joey Peters – Asbury, NJ – 40th fastest in timed qualifying
Mike Giovanniello – Manville, NJ – 43rd fastest in timed qualifying
Anthony Roth – Cedar Run, NJ – 63rd fastest in timed qualifying
Dan Callahan – Franklinville, MD – 81st fastest in timed qualifying
Great job guys!
NJ racers at the Unadilla National MX.
Luke Renzland- Hewitt, NJ (12-13) 13th overall
Dakota Kessler – Farmingdale, NJ – 45th in timed qualifying
Sean Koeller – Lafayette, NJ – 73rd in timed qualifying
Joey Peters – Asbury, NJ (25-24) 27th overall
Jeremy Smith – Marmora, NJ (29-32) 34th overall
Anthony Roth – Cedar Run, NJ – 71st in timed qualifying
NJ Motocross racers results.
Brandon Hartranft, Brick, NJ – Open Pro Sport (10-6-7) 7th overall & 250A (12-5-DNS) 29th overall
Michael Hartensveld, Ringwood, NJ – 250A (33-29-27) 28th overall
Sal Cusimano, West Creek, NJ – 250B Limited (23-33-26) 30th overall
Ryder Fox, Wantage, NJ – 250C (24-5-3) 5th overall
Tyler Carr, Howell, NJ -250C Limited (36-28-38) 35th overall
Cory Carsten, Bayville, NJ- 450B (4-5-7) 4th overall & 450B Limited (26-22-9) 16th overall
Adam Blessing, Toms River, NJ – Junior 25+ (11-9-13) 7th overall
Barry Carsten, Bayville, NJ – Junior 25+ (12-10-12) 9th overall & Senior 40+ (3-3-4) 3rd overall
Wayne Powers, Keyport, NJ – Senior 45+ (21-10-10) 13th overall
Frank Tussel, Scotch Plains, NJ – Senior 45+ (23-23-21) 23rd overall & Masters 50+ (14-12-8) 9th overall
William Sargent, West Milford, NJ – Masters 50+ (31-28-34) 32nd overall
Jaden Palmer, Hammonton, NJ- 51cc 7-8 Limited (1-5-2) 2nd overall
Canyon Richards, Egg Harbor Twp. NJ – 51cc 7-8 Limited (37-28-21) 30th overall
This article originally appeared on my other site NJMotocross.com
Earlier this season we had to stretch a bit to record the success of NJ racers, but now as the series moves East we have an opportunity to focus more on NJ natives and NJ based racers. On to Mt Morris Pennsylvania and the High Point National.
Due west of New Jersey is the second longest running track on the national tour, second only to Red Bud, MI and over the years many NJ racers took the drive for national glory.
450 class – 2016 saw the return of Jeremy Smith (Marmora, NJ) and Joey Peters (Asbury, NJ) to the national tour. Smith finished up high school and will be making another run at points this summer, and despite a broken down truck the morning of the race Peters came out to show some speed. Both riders made the 40 man main event with Smith scoring the 15th fastest time in the morning qualifying session. He topped riders like Phil Nicoletti, Andrew Short and Justin Brayton with this great time. Smith finished 25th overall with 22-28 moto scores and Peters finished 33rd overall with 37-25 moto finishes. Look for these riders to improve as the series continues it’s East Coast swing over the next couple of weeks.
250 class- Rock River Cycle Trader Yamaha’s Luke Renzland (Hewitt, NJ) showed speed in the morning qualifying with a 15th fastest lap and went on to score 40-21 moto finishes for 32nd overall. Making his AMA Pro Motocross debut at Mt Morris was Mike Giovanniello (Manville, NJ). Mike has been the dominant Expert rider at Raceway Park recently and the #474 made a run at the top 40 in morning qualifying. Unfortunately, Mike was a little off the pace and could only manage 58th fastest, missing the main motos. Look for Mike to come back swinging at a couple more “local” nationals this summer and I’m sure he’ll get in soon.
The series continues this weekend in Tennessee followed by Michigan and then the return of “The Wick” in Massachusetts.
Jeremy Smith was 15th fastest in qualifying at Mt Morris. (Scott Lukaitis photo from KROC 2015)