Nic Granlund Sweeps Glen Helen WORCS
Devore, CA – Nic Granlund made history during the Rocky Mountain ATV MC WORCS Series presented by Maxxis and Dirt Wheels SXS events at Glen Helen Raceway winning both the Pro and Pro Stock races in a Yamaha YXZ 1000. His victory in the Pro class was the first for the Yamaha SXS. Ryan Piplic finished second in Pro, ahead of David Haagsma, Beau Baron and Jake Shirey.
WORCS officials ran the Pro Production race on Saturday, followed by the Pro Stock race on Sunday, a reversal from previous events. Both days were hot with temperatures approaching 100 degrees at the green flag. The track featured Glen Helen’s renowned motocross track, as well as several other obstacles, including an endurocross section and narrow off road areas.
In the Pro race, Granlund ran away with the race from the second row. Piplic charged out of the gate from the front row. Hobbled by a wrist injury, he held off Haagsma to finish first, physically, but Granlund won on adjusted time.
“Starting on the second row, I was a little worried because the track is fast, but a little tight,” said Granlund. “On the second lap I was behind Randy Romo coming up the face of a big jump and he checked up. I came in a few feet short on the landing, and it knocked the wind out of me. It broke my seat and it took me a half a lap to get back. The next lap, Romo got a flat tire and I got past him. Then I just started driving hard.”
Piplic has a torn ligament in one of his wrists, but still took the holeshot. Despite driving one handed, he managed to hold off a charging Haagsma to finish second. “Haagsma started pushing us really hard so I had to start taking off,” said Piplic. “On the last lap, Granlund was catching up to us, and I was having enough trouble getting past people with my wrist. The lapped traffic played a huge role today. When it comes down to the points scheme, I’m happy to come with a few points gained.”
The event featured a new flagman for the start and Haagsma misjudged the wave of the green flag. Despite the slow start, he was quickly up to Piplic and the two battled for most of the race. His third-place finish allows him to pad his points lead going into the summer break. Interestingly, Haagsma has driven a naturally aspirated car in every race this season and has only finished off the podium once in Pro.
Baron was happy to score another finish in what has become a battle in the points. Despite being several positions out of the lead, he is still eyeing the Pro championship.
In Pro Stock, Hancock just made the start of the race after a last-minute shock change. The change worked as he grabbed the holeshot. Sierra Romo and Bradbury tangled in the Talladega turn on the first lap, sending both flipping down the hill. Fortunately for Bradbury his car was undamaged and he got back into the race. Romo sustained a concussion and retired from the event.
Hancock led for several laps before losing his brakes. Granlund took over the lead and held on to score his second victory of the weekend. Hancock overcame a career of bad luck at Glen Helen to finish second. Baron was fourth and took the points lead after Ray Bulloch had issues with his transmission due to contact with Granlund. Bradbury charged back to finish third, but was penalized 30 seconds for the first-lap crash and was scored fourth. Shelby Anderson finished fifth.
“I was pushing Matt and trying to stay out of his roost,” said Granlund. “I was right on him when we go into the lappers and then he made a small mistake and I took the lead. It was a great weekend. I’m just super stoked. I’m surprised there aren’t more Yamahas out there. We have them running well.”
Hancock has had a difficult season in his Polaris and has had an even more difficult time in his career at Glen Helen. The podium may be just what Hancock needs to finish out the season strong.
Baron was running third when Bradbury caught up to him. Wisely looking at the points picture, Baron let Bradbury go, and later, Bradbury was penalized 30 seconds for his first roll over at the start, which boosted Baron to third. His finish, combined with Bulloch’s DNF puts Baron into the points lead with just two races left in the season.
Bradbury showed grit and toughness to come back from the hard crash at the start and come back to finish in third physically, but a 30 second penalty applied afterwards dropped him back to a fourth place finish. The factory Polaris driver was amazed at how much punishment his RZR took during his run.
“I got bumped a little bit and it was one of those racing incidents; I hope Sierra is OK,” said Bradbury. “Once I got back going I put my head down and ran that thing as hard as I could. It was a tough car today. Congrats to Nic and Matt. They had a good day.”
The WORCS Series now heads into its summer break before returning to action September 8-10 at Glen Helen Raceway.