WORCS Racing – Round 7 – Glen Helen MX – Pro ATV Race Report
Maxxis’ Beau Baron Wins, Dustin Nelson & Josh Frederick Podium
Devore, CA – MCR/Maxxis Tires’ Beau Baron topped the podium at Glen Helen Raceway for round number seven of the 2011 WORCS series while Yamaha’s Dustin Nelson charged hard for a solid second and Can-Am/Motoworks’ Josh Frederick closed in on the points lead by taking third. After racing in the woods of Washougal for round number six, it was back to the desert for the WORCS racers as Glen Helen was the hosting facility for round number seven. Sunny skies and very warm temperatures were on hand, but unlike previous rounds at Glen Helen, there was fairly little dust for racers to deal with.
Going into this round, it was a do or die situation for MCR/Maxxis Tires’ Beau Baron. If he did not take the win, he would be completely out of the running for the pro points championship. Baron was not about to let his chance just slip away and he made an incredible charge to the top of the pro podium.
Baron was in the top five off the start and held down the number three position for five laps before making the pass on both David Haagsma, and leader Jeremie Warnia, to take over the number one spot. “I was out front and there was a Pro-am guy, Grant Mitchell, in front of me and he ended up flipping over right in front of me and getting pinned under his quad. He was yelling for help so I couldn’t just leave him there so I stopped and tried to get him out, but it was pretty tough. Then Josh Frederick caught up and I asked him to help and we were both able to get him out. We both made sure he was ok and clear of the track before we took off again.
Josh is a good guy and I’m glad he stopped and helped, but it was kind of bad for him because everyone caught up to us and when Josh had to pit, it cost him second place,” explained Baron, who had pitted the lap prior to the incident and was able to keep his lead.
Baron put down fast and consistent lap times and held the lead for the remaining four laps to take the pro class win and keep him in the running for the championship. Baron will have his work cut out for him as he will have to win the remaining two rounds if he wants clench the championship and run the number one plate for 2012.
“It’s definitely going to be tough, but I’m going to go out there and give it everything I have and hopefully be in it until the very end. And with a little luck, maybe take back the number one plate,” said Baron.
Yamaha’s Dustin Nelson considers Glen Helen his home track and it showed as he charged his way to a podium finish. Nelson was just outside of the top five off the start but kept a steady and consistent pace and began picking off riders. Nelson, who is known for his exceptional motocross skills, and just took the 2011 Quad X Pro Championship just last week, was one of only two racers to take a huge uphill jump that allowed him to make up time on his competition.Nelson’s advantage had him moving through traffic quickly and the bottleneck caused by Grant Mitchell’s crash, allowed Nelson to close the gap on the leaders and move into third when Frederick stopped for fuel. In the final lap, Nelson was pressuring David Haagsma for second and was able to get by when Haagsma made a mistake and fell back.
“David was riding really good so I just stayed close and was waiting for him to make a mistake; and when he did I was able to get by,” said Nelson. From there, Nelson cruised to the checkered flag to take second place on the pro podium. “I felt pretty good out there and I’m glad to finish on the podium. With Josh (Row) out for the rest of the season I’m going to be trying even harder to represent our team out there and have good finishes,” Nelson said.
Can-Am/Motoworks’ Josh Frederick took the win at Washougal, which allowed him to close the points gap on his teammate and points leader, Jeremie Warnia; and Frederick was determined to close it even further at Glen Helen. Frederick was inside the top five off the line and was holding down a solid fourth place for a few laps and recorded the fastest lap time of the race in lap four with a time of 11:12.387. His fast lap times helped him move into second place in lap six, but Frederick’s position would not last.
“When we came into the Pro section, one of the Pro-am racers, Grant Mitchell had crashed and was stuck under his quad. He couldn’t get out so me and a couple other racers stopped and helped him. Stopping like that let everyone else catch up, and when I had to stop for gas in the next lap, several people got by me. I just put my head down and I was able to get back into fourth and then in the last lap, I got by David Haagsma when he made a mistake,” explained Frederick, who would end his day in the number three spot on the pro podium.
Frederick’s podium finish now has him only a couple of points off the lead with the one throw away race that the pro class is allowed for this year. “I think I’m about three points down with the throw away, so I really want to win the last two races so I can keep the number one plate for the Can-Am/Motoworks team,” stated Frederick.
MCR/Maxxis Tire’s David Haagsma was looking good as he grabbed the pro class holeshot. Haagsma charged hard, but he had plenty of company as Jeremie Warnia and Beau Baron were hot on his heels.Haagsma led for one lap before falling back to second. Haagsma fell back to third for a couple of laps, but remounted a charge and took back second when leader, Warnia encountered some issues, allowing Haagsma to take back second place.
Haagsma looked smooth and confident, but veteran racer Dustin Nelson was pressuring him in the final lap and Haagsma would end up making a mistake that would cost him two positions, putting him in fourth at the checkered flag. Haagsma has finished in the top five, five out of seven rounds this season and is currently fifth in pro points.
Can-Am/Motoworks’ Jeremie Warnia was looking good early in the race as he charged off the start in second and took over the lead in the second lap. Warnia was holding a solid lead, but Beau Baron closed in and Warnia would fall to second in lap five.
In the next lap, Warnia encountered issues and had to pull off the track for a tire change that cost him several positions. Warnia tried to remount a charge, but lost too much time and would have to settle for a fifth place finish. Warnia is still holding the pro points lead, but his fifth place finish this round allowed his teammate Josh Frederick to close in and Warnia will have to be in top form for the final two rounds if he is to hold off both Frederick and Beau Baron and take his first ever WORCS Pro Championship.
Yokely Racing’s Jarrod McClure was in the top ten off the start and worked his way past Dillon Zimmerman and Robbie Mitchell to finish in a respectable sixth place. McClure is currently sixth in points and will have to finish ahead of David Haagsma in the final two rounds if he is to end his season in the top five.
Dillon Zimmerman rode a solid and consistent race as he was in the top ten off the start and moved into seventh place. Zimmerman stayed the course and would take a seventh place finish at the checkered flag.
Robbie Mitchell made the switch to a Honda 450R and was looking good. Along with Dustin Nelson, Mitchell was the only other racer to clear the huge uphill jump, which had him in the top five off the start. Mitchell would eventually fall back after battling with Josh Frederick and Dustin Nelson and end his day in eighth place.
Mike Cafro started outside of the top ten, but worked his way into the number nine position before reaching the checkered flag, while Tim Shelman would round out the top ten in the Pro class.
Absent from this round was Dustin Nelson’s teammate, Josh Row. Row will be out for the rest of the season as he recovers from dual shoulder surgery. Row has been suffering with shoulder injuries all season long, but has put in a good run in spite of it and is expected to return to the Yamaha team and the WORCS series in top form next season.
In the Pro-am class, Cody Mitchell grabbed the holeshot, but his lead would not last as Collins Webster made the pass early in an uphill section. Mitchell would eventually finish in fifth and Webster would hold the lead for the rest of the race to take the Pro-am win.
Chase Thomas worked his way up to take the second spot on the Pro-am podium, while Keith Johnson charged hard to finish in third.
In the Class One SxS races, Beau Baron took his third win of the season, giving seasoned SxS racers, such as William Yokely, who took the number two spot on the Class One podium, a run for their money. Ryan Piplic held on for a third place finish, while Andrew Berry came from the back of the pack to take fourth, with Scott Kiger rounding out the top five.
Round number eight of the 2011 WORCS series will head to Race Town 395 in Adelanto, CA on October 21st – 23rd where the points chase will be heating up between the Can-Am/Motoworks team’s Josh Frederick and Jeremie Warnia, and MCR/Maxxis Tire’s Beau Baron as they will be battling it out for the top of the podium in hopes of closing in on the 2011 WORCS Pro Championship.