Beau Baron Takes Two SxS Wins at WORCS Opener
Taft, CA – CST’s Beau Baron swept both the Pro Stock and Pro Unlimited class races during the 2016 Rocky Mountain ATV WORCS presented by Maxxis and Dirt Wheels series season opener at Honolulu Hills Raceway. It marked Baron’s first WORCS SXS victory in more than a year. Mystik’s Mickey Thomas claimed a career best second place finish followed by pro rookie, Mike Garnder, rounding out the top three.
With rain showers during the week leading up to the event, the venue was perfect for racing with relatively low dust and great visibility. The natural terrain on the motocross course made for an exciting weekend in California’s oil fields. In addition, WORCS officials split the racers into three classes, allowing the Women’s class to run a full course and full time. The new format also helped to eliminate lapped traffic for the Pro Class drivers.
In the Pro Race, Baron snagged the lead after starting fifth and was never seriously challenged. Meanwhile Ryan Piplic and Pro rookie Mike Gardner tangled at the start, sidelining the defending champion Piplic. Mickey Thomas drove a flawless race to finish second. Gardner was third, ahead of Cody Bradbury and Nick Templeton.
“I took off fifth, I got the lead early and I just ran for the hills,” said Baron. “The CST Tires are awesome. This win is very reassuring that I made the right tire choice. Last year I was having trouble with car setup. We made a few changes with the help of Holz and Sparks and I started fifth instead of eighth or tenth. It makes a big difference when you can start up front.”
Thomas originally had planned to sit out WORCS competition in 2016 to concentrate on racing a truck this year. His surprise appearance paid off as he finished a WORCS career-best second.
Gardner stepped up this year and finished third in his Pro debut. Gardner overcame a crash with Piplic and battled with Thomas throughout the race.
In the Pro Unlimited race, Baron traded the lead several times with Ray Bulloch and Piplic before taking the victory. Bulloch held on for second, followed by Piplic. Jeffrey Obering and Bill Chambers completed the top five.
Bulloch took the lead from Piplic late in the race, but fell to second on the final lap when his car shut off. Interestingly, Bulloch is racing one of the few naturally aspirated cars in a field full of turbochargers.
Piplic took the holeshot at the start and ran a blistering pace. So blistering that his car suffered driveline problems late in the race. He held onto third at the checkered flag.
Ray Bulloch grabbed the holeshot and held the lead from start to finish to secure the Pro Stock class win with Nic Granlund and Codey Rowley battling for the second spot to the end, with Granlund finishing in the second spot, but he was docked one position due to going off the track, which boosted Rowley back into the second spot.
Shelby Anderson stepped up from the 900 Class to run Stock 1000 and won ahead of 15 other competitors. Austin Flowers and Scott Yancey completed the top three.
Danielle Weatherly came out atop a thrilling battle with Sierra Romo in the Women’s race. Jennifer Broughton was third.
The 2016 Rocky Mountain MC World Off-Road Championship Series presented by Maxxis and Dirt Bike season opener provided some intense racing action, and the next round of racing is just three weeks away on January 29-31st at Buffalo Bill’s Casino in Primm, NV for round two.
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