WORCS Racing – Round 9 – Speed World MX – Pro ATV Race Report
Yamaha’s Dustin Nelson Wins, Can-Am’s Jeremie Warnia Takes Championship
2011 WORCS ATV Racing
Round #9 – Speed World MX
November 13, 2011
Surprize, AZ – Yamaha/Golden West Cycle’s Dustin Nelson took his first win of the season at the final round of the 2011 WORCS series, but Can-Am/Motoworks’ Jeremie Warnia claimed the Pro ATV Championship after joining Nelson on the podium in second place, while Josh Frederick found himself in the runner up spot for the championship after finishing in third.
Going into the final round, it was a battle between Can-Am/Motoworks teammates, Josh Frederick and Jeremie Warnia, for the 2011 WORCS Pro ATV Championship. The pair was tied for the points lead heading into the final round, so it was a winner-take-all situation; giving the championship to whomever would bring home the better finish. After round eight, both racers were determined to win, making for an intense final round.
Track conditions at Speedworld MX were anything but typical as rain showers were forecast for the day. Rain had fallen overnight into the morning, which made for a slick and muddy track, which prompted the pros to decide against running the normal parade lap to check out the track before the start of the race. Getting out front early was going to be crucial in the muddy conditions, and veteran racer Dustin Nelson was well aware of that as he lined up for the final WORCS pro ATV race of the year.
Yamaha’s Dustin Nelson, who is known for his excellent starting abilities, didn’t disappoint at the final round of the season, as he grabbed the holeshot and pulled away. “It was a huge holeshot; probably my best start all year,” said Nelson.
Nelson held his lead for several laps and in lap four, he had a 16 second lead over the competition. Nelson, however, came under fire from Jeremie Warnia and fell back to the number two spot after having to stop in the pits, which allowed Warnia to close in and get by when Nelson got hung up in some mud. Nelson was not about to give up without a fight and shadowed Warnia closely. “I knew if I stayed close, I would be able to get the lead back when he stopped to pit,” Nelson explained.
Nelson waited patiently and was able to take back the lead just before going into the eighth lap and began to pull away from Warnia once again. At the nine lap mark, Nelson had pulled a 25 second lead over Warnia and was still almost a minute ahead of Josh Frederick. Nelson kept extending his lead and took the win for the final round of the 2011 season, allowing him to finish in fourth in series points.
“It was kind of a relief. I always feel like I should be a contender to win and I have just had some bad luck this season and it has been frustrating. Now being able to win, I feel like I have a little bit of momentum going for next season and I’m hoping to that it carries over and I can be on top of the podium regularly,” said Nelson, who will be returning to the WORCS series next season for the Yamaha/Golden West Cycle’s team.
Can-Am/Motoworks’ Jeremie Warnia was hungry for his first WORCS Pro ATV Championship and was looking strong and fast in Saturday’s practice as he scored the fastest lap times, making him a favorite for a win during Sunday’s main event.
Warnia was looking solid as he shot off the start and soon checked into the number two spot behind Dustin Nelson. Warnia was not content to just play follow the leader, however, and took over the lead in lap six after Nelson pitted for fuel. Warnia lead was short lived because once he pitted for fuel, Nelson reclaimed the number one spot. Although Warnia wanted win the final round, he knew all that he had to do to take his first ever WORCS Pro ATV Championship was to finish ahead of his teammate, Josh Frederick, and he did just that, as he crossed the finish line in the number two spot, securing the championship.
“I am so happy! Everyone has helped me a lot. It has been a long year and I have to say thanks to everyone. Today was great for me. I got a good start and I just tried to ride my best. I have been training hard and trying to do my best and I finally got a championship and I am very, very happy!” stated Warnia.
“It feels great to be able to take two championships this year. Jeremie and Josh did an excellent job this year. We are really excited and really want to prove to everyone that the DS450 is a durable and reliable machine and we will win on it,” said Motoworks team owner, Johnny Leach.
Can-Am/Motoworks’ Josh Frederick wasn’t about to let his current championship status slip away even after a less than desirable start, he began to move forward after the five lap mark. Frederick put the hammer down and worked his way into third place by lap six. “The start was everything today and I just didn’t get the start I needed. I was able to get up to third, but then I wasn’t able to close that gap after that,” Frederick explained.
Frederick was still holding down the number three spot going into lap eight, but the wet and muddy conditions had already taken their toll on him and he was not able to overtake Warnia. “I went out there and gave it everything I had and finished on the podium. It’s not exactly where I wanted to be, but I am ok with it. I am disappointed I didn’t get the championship, but I am really happy for Jeremie and him winning the championship is good for our team,” said Frederick.
MCR/Maxxis Tire’s David Haagsma was outside of the top five off the start, but kept the hammer down and moved into the number four spot after just five laps. Haagsma was looking fast and consistent at the midway point and was still hold steady in fourth.
Haagsma kept his fast and steady pace to hang on for a fourth place finish right behind Josh Frederick at the finish line, and Haagsma claimed fifth overall in pro points in his pro rookie year, so he will surely be one to watch for in 2012.
Can-Am/Motoworks’ Dillon Zimmerman was just inside the top ten going into the first lap and kept a steady pace, working his way up through traffic. Zimmerman moved into the number six spot at the midway points and in the final lap was able to make his way up to fifth place and hold it all the way to the checkered flag. Zimmerman, who was tied for points with Jarrod McClure going into the final round was able to break that tie and take sixth place in series points.
“This was kind of a tough season for me with being injured earlier, but I still finished well. I’m really hoping to stay with Motoworks next season. I have been racing the WORCS series since I was 14, so it feels like this is the series I should be racing and I hope I will be staying here,” said Zimmerman.
Yamaha mounted Justin Waters came from a top ten start and worked his way forward. Water’s moved into seventh at the midway point of the race and in the final lap took over the number six spot to finish in sixth ion his class. Water’s finish also allowed him to slip by Mike Cafro in the points chase and claim ninth in points.
Robbie Mitchell got off to a good start in the top five and held down the number four spot for two laps before falling back to eleventh after stalling out after a close encounter with Josh Frederick. Mitchell was finally able to get his quad going again after changing out the air filter and kept going. Mitchell worked his way back into seventh place before crossing the finish line.
National Guard/Yokely Racing’s Jarrod McClure got off to a decent start in the top five and put in a hard charge until the final lap when he fell back to the number eight spot after a mechanical issue in the final lap. Despite missing round number eight, McClure was still able to finish in seventh in the pro points chase.
Unfortunately McClure will only be racing occasionally next year. “We’ll be out for a couple of rounds next year. I had a pretty good season here and it’s been a lot of fun, so I’m looking forward to coming back for at least a couple of rounds,” stated McClure.
John Shafe started out in the top ten, but fell back after the first lap. Shafe remounted a charge and was able to move back into the top ten before crossing the finish line.
Tim Shelman was outside of the top ten on the start and was making progress as he moved into the number nine spot, but mechanical issues ended things early for him, putting him in tenth place in the pro class.
MCR/Maxxis Tire’s Mike Cafro sacrificed his race after Beau Baron encountered issues. Cafro was running in the number ten spot, but pulled into the pits when he saw Baron had a mechanical issue, giving him an eleventh place finish.
MCR/Maxxis Tire’s Beau Baron, who was holding down the number three spot in the points chase, was also looking good as he came off the start and was holding strong in the number three spot. Baron had even caught up to Jeremie Warnia and was challenging him for second, but fell back in lap six due to an engine failure that left him sitting on the side of the track waiting for a tow back to the pits.
MCR/Maxxis Tire’s team manager, Mike Cafro pulled into the pits to help Baron, but they would not be able to get Baron back on the track, ending things for him after just six laps. Baron was still able to finish in third in points despite his misfortune for the final round.
In the Pro-am ranks, Collins Webster wrapped up the 2011 WORCS Pro-am championship and topped the podium after a hard fought battle, while Keith Johnson joined Webster on the podium in second and Cody Mitchell finished in third.
The 2011 WORCS season has come to an end and a new champion has been crowned, but racers will not have much time to relax as the 2012 WORCS season picks back up on January 20th – 22nd at Glen Helen Raceway.