Masontown, WV- “Racing is the only sport where if you go out of bounds, there’s a good chance you’re not coming back!” I found that quote written on a t-shirt a while ago and although I’m not sure who said it, I think it is a fairly accurate description of this weekends’ Parts Unlimited Mountaineer Run in Masontown, West Virginia. Marvin’s Mountain Top played host to one of the roughest GNCC courses put together in a long time. Once you entered the woods after the holeshot, your body began to endure endless punishment brought on by rocks, roots, ruts, elevation changes, tight woods, downed trees, and a little bit of mud thrown in. Smiles, pats on the back, and high fives were given out by the loyal West Virginia fans to every racer who rode through the checkered flag on Saturday.
We start off with Slightly Bents youngest racer, Colton White, who ended up 2nd in the Sport 15+ class and an amazing 9th overall. Colton bounced back and forth between 1st and 2nd all day and was leading the final lap when his race came to an emotional finish. With the checkered flag and a class win in sight, the spark plug on Colton’s quad decided it didn’t want to be there any longer and was literally blown from the top on the engine. Joined by his grandfather and a friend, the three of them proceeded to push the quad the last 100 feet to the finish line where he was overtaken by the rider he had battled with all day. Once arriving back to the pit, Colton sat in shock for a few minutes reflecting on what had just taken place, but shock was quickly replaced by a smile when he started to tell the story that only fellow racers can understand. Colton left everything he had on the track, including engine parts, and we are very proud to have him as a member of our team.
Moving along to the old guys we find ourselves way back on the 35+C row with Cliff Vowell and Jason Gautier. Coming off of electrical issues in Ohio, Jason again encountered mechanical problems when his thermostat failed and the quad overheated landing him a 19th place in the class. I spoke with Jason on Sunday and he was already diving head first into the problem preparing for battle at the upcoming Snowshoe race. As for me, I’m still reviewing video to see whether I was 1st or 2nd across the paint line, but either way, I am very satisfied with this weeks’ holeshot. Finishing 11th in the class, my race ended just as exciting as it began with yet another paint trading battle. Coming through the finish line area side by side with another racer, I was overtaken by 0.19 seconds when my quad ended up on two wheels around the final corner. A little bummed at first, I quickly started laughing as numerous race fans came over to thank us for the good show!!
Vet B rider, Dan Webb, has a few people in his sights as he holds on to his 4th place position in the points standings. Dan started this race with an impressive holeshot but as he entered the woods his front tire became entangled in a vine sending him to the back of the pack. Once the vine was removed, a fire was lit and he began a 2 hour long campaign moving through as many riders as he could, landing in 8th place for the day. The upcoming Snowshoe track requires a rider to think quickly, so I would look for some solid results from Dan.
As for our two racers unable to attend, Rusty Repass, will surely be back at Snowshoe to add a little fuel to the fire that’s been raging in the Senior A/B class. Still rehabilitating his thumb, Josh Riley, remains undecided whether or not he will attend the Snowshoe event. His thumb is feeling much better but he is unsure if it’s ready for the rough terrain of West Virginia.
That does it for Slightly Bent Racing from Masontown. Preparations are already being made for the race that kicks off summer at the Snowshoe Mountain Resort in Snowshoe, West Virginia. This race is a personal favorite for many riders because we just can’t believe they let us take over the village. Hopefully Mother Nature treats us well, but I can pretty much guarantee that the mountains of West Virginia won’t go down without a fight! Get some rest and we’ll see what we can bend in two weeks!
Cliff Vowell #294