In one of the wilder finishes in GEICO Powersports AMA EnduroCross, presented by E3 Spark Plugs, history, KTMâ€™s Taddy Blazusiak beat defending EnduroCross champ Ricky Dietrich (Monster/Kawasaki) over the giant tires finish line in a photo finish that, depending on where you were sitting in Vegasâ€™ Orleans Arena, could have gone either way. â€œItâ€™s all about racing and thatâ€™s why I love it,â€ said an elated Blazusiak from the podium. â€œIf my goal was not to win I could stay at home.â€
Any one of four racers, including KTMâ€™s Mike Brown and Kawasaki-mounted Colton Haaker, could have won tonightâ€™s Expert class main event. Amazingly, during the last couple laps of the final each one of the aforementioned racers did lead for a time. And Dietrichâ€™s charge to the giant finish tires to catch Blazusiak will be the stuff of legend as GEICO EnduroCross continues to gain momentum with its often impossible-to-believe racing action.
â€œI just rolled my eyes into the back of my head and absolutely pinned it,â€ said Dietrich of his charge to the checkers. Moments earlier Brown had the lead. â€œTruth? I didnâ€™t even know I was in 1st place,â€ admitted Brown after wading through the crashes, passes and throw-aways to the third and final podium spot behind Dietrich and Blazusiak.
Pulling the $500 Girardi Holeshot Award, Blazusiak raced out to an early lead, properly navigating such features as the E3 Spark Plugs Rock Quarry Corner and the Monster Energy Matrix â€“ a series of off-set logs with bridged boards bolted in-between. Dietrich, whoâ€™s been splitting time between the Lucas Oil MX Nationals and WORCS, caught and briefly passed Blazusiak early, only to bobble and allow Blazusiak to go up by four seconds. And just when fans thought that Blazusiak, Dietrich and Haaker would settle in for a 1-2-3 finish in the eight-lap main, all heck broke loose when Blazusiak dive bombed his KTM into the Maxxis Water Hole and went for an untimely swim! Haaker quickly took the lead, only to auger in moments later and bend his bars/clutch lever. Brown would then take over the lead, only to be passed by Dietrich as the white flag flew. And the Orleans Arena was going bananas!
With the race his to lose, Dietrich did just that â€“ putting his Monster/Kawasaki KX250F on its side while crossing a seemingly simple single log section. â€œIt came down to who made the last mistake and I threw it away,â€ said a completely spent and disgusted Dietrich. â€œThat was an awesome race,â€ said Dietrich. But there was still more to come. With Blazusiak back in the lead, he would crash down the side of one of the two Moose Racing Rock Mountains as Dietrich blitzed back towards him. And in one final burst of adrenaline that will no doubt have the packed house returning for the second Orleans round later in November (21st), Dietrich caught Blazusiak at the final giant tire crossing finish line and, well, youâ€™ll just have to check out the finish when it airs on TV. Stay tuned to www.endurocross.com air times and channel!
Results: Round one of the GEICO EnduroCross Series at the Orleans Arena
Place Name Bike
1st Taddy Blazusiak KTM
2nd Ricky Dietrich Monster/Kawasaki
3rd Mike Brown KTM
4th Geoff Aaron KTM
5th Colton Haaker Kawasaki
6th Kyle Redmond KTM
7th Corey Graffunder KTM
8th Jamie Lanza Kawasaki
9th Damon Huffman Monster/Kawasaki
10th Destry Abbott Monster/Kawasaki
Next up on the GEICO EnduroCross series opener is the Guthrie, Okla. , round at the Lazy E Arena, Aug. 15.