Beau Baron Wins Pro ATV Season Opener at Honolulu Hills
Taft, CA (1/19/2014) – The first round of the 2014 Rocky Mountain ATV MC WORCS Series presented by Motoworks and Dirtwheels kicked off this weekend at Honolulu Hills Raceway in Taft, California. Defending Champion Beau Baron would earn the first win of the season in the Pro Class followed by Josh Row and Dillon Zimmerman.
It was a beautiful weekend in Taft, California with sunny skies and temperatures in the low 80’s. Although the state of California is under a severer water drought, the WORCS crew did a nice job of keeping the track watered to help cut down on the dust.
Defending WORCS Pro ATV Champion Beau Baron got off to a mid pack start and would make his way up to third place by the end of lap one. It wasn’t until after running into an issue with his tear offs and making a quick pit stop to adjust his suspension that he made the charge into second place and began reeling in the leader Josh Row. Baron would eventually catch Row and was able to make the pass for the lead on lap nine.
“I got off to a fifth place start in the ATV race and started picking off guys left and right and then got stuck behind Collins (Webster) for a couple laps, and right off the bat when I got behind him, he hit a big water hole and all the water went right under all of my tear-offs, so I dumped all fourteen tear-offs. I got into the pits and got some fresh goggles and softened up my suspension and the ATV really started settling down and I was able to get rid of my arm pump and keep charging as hard as I could. I was finally able to catch up to Row and run him down and take the lead and the win. I’m just super stoked I could take the win today for me and the team and everyone who supports us” explained Baron on his win
Earning a well-deserved second place finish in the Pro Class was Josh Row. For 2104, Row made the switch back to a Honda 450R after two years aboard a Factory Yamaha ride. Row looked very comfortable aboard his 417 Motorsports Honda as he would take over the lead from Dustin Nelson just a few turns into the race. Josh Row secured the lead until the last two laps when Beau Baron made the pass to take over the number one spot.
“The Honda is really good and it’s different being on a new ATV and with my own program, but this first round went exactly how I wanted it to go. It was a surprise for me to get out front immediately and it was an ideal situation but it was only my third or fourth time on the track with that quad and it was just really awesome to go big with these guys,” stated Row
Can-Am’s Dillon Zimmerman rounded out the Pro Class podium at Honolulu Hills WORCS. Chasing David Haagsma for nearly half the race, Zimmerman was able finally make the pass on lap six to take over third place where he would remain until the checkered flag waved.
“The Can-Am was phenomenal and we got it handling better than ever, the whole geometry of the quad is great! Third place was great for the first race of the season, it feels great to be up on the podium” said Zimmerman
Yamaha’s Dustin Nelson grabbed the early lead by grabbing the Holeshot aboard his Moto-Xperts powered Yamaha YFZ450R. Although Nelson would round the first turn in the lead, disaster would strike just a few turns later when he landed off a jump and his seat would fly off. Quickly scrambling to put back on his seat, Nelson lost his lead and would climb aboard his machine just as the Pro-Am Class was released from the starting gate. Unfortunately, Nelson would once again loose his seat just a few minutes later, but this time he would correctly fix the issue and began the hard charge towards the front of the Pro Class. Impressively, Nelson was able to make up enough time in the ten-lap race to secure fourth place.
“I was pretty stoked on the Holeshot, a big thanks to Moto-Xperts, this weekend was the first time we’ve ran their engine and I’m very excited for this year with their power behind us with the Dubach exhaust helping with power. The ATV just ripped with the DWT Tires putting power to the ground” explained Dustin Nelson
Maxxis’ David Haagsma would start the 2014 season by rounding out the top five in pro class. Haagsma ran into his fair share of issues from the beginning by getting a bad start then later experienced fatigue from the shocks not being dialed in enough, which kept him from contending or a podium finish.
“The Pro ATV race wasn’t good for me at all at the start, I spun a lot and everyone blew passed me. They watered so much the first lap that I went through all of my tear offs and had to back off a bit. I still ended up with a fifth place, and I’m not happy with that but the next time will be a whole different story,” said David Haagsma of his fifth place finish
Utah native, Robbie Mitchell, battled for a top five position all day. Mitchell would run in seventh place for the first two laps, then he would move into fifth place. With two laps remaining, Mitchell would loose one position to David Haagsma and would cross the finish in sixth.
Collins Webster & Garrin Fuller would round out the final two spots in the Pro Class finishing seventh and eighth respectively.
In the Pro-Am Class, defending Pro-Am Class Champion Grant Mitchell got off to a great start by grabbing the Holeshot on his Sparks Racing Honda 450R. Unfortunately, his lead would be cut short as he would run into issues early into the race.
With Grant Mitchell falling back, it opened up the lead for Matt Hancock and David Flores to do battle for position. Flores charged his way to the front by the second lap to take the lead, which he held for the remaining eight laps to earn his first Pro-Am win of the season.
2013 WORCS Open A Class Champion Matt Hancock briefly held onto the lead between lap one and two but he fell back to second at the end of lap two. Hancock would remain in second for the remaining laps on his H&M Motorsports Honda 450R until the finish.
Moving up from the Youth Class ranks, Alex Ortiz made an impressive showing at WORCS round one by securing the final spot on the Pro-Am Podium in third.
After an exciting first round, the 2014 Rocky Mountain ATV MC WORCS Series presented by Motoworks and Dirtwheels will make its second stop of the ten round series at Buffalo Bills Casino in Primm, NV on February 7-9.