Recap: Budds Creek National Amateur Day
2019 Budds Creek National Weekend Amateur Motocross Report
Held in conjunction with the 30th running of the GEICO Motorcycle Budds Creek National, the 2019 Budds Creek Amateur Motocross Days took place on August 16-18 at Budds Creek Motocross Park in Mechanicsville, Maryland, as over 300 amateur entries making up 25 classes braved 100-degree temperatures to do battle for prizes and contingency.
MX Sports Pro Racing’s expanded amateur racing program for the 2019 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship allows competitors from all over the country to race during the National weekend at all 12 rounds on the schedule, which will undoubtedly help the continued growth of the amateur racing component of the world’s most prestigious off-road motorcycle racing series.
One of the highlights of the weekend was the 125cc All Star Series race, which took place on Saturday, in between the pro races. Forty riders filled the starting grid as Triangle Cycles Yamaha rider Mason Gonzalez took an impressive win ahead of Chase Zentzer (KTM) and Christopher Blackmer (YAM). The 125 All-Star race has been growing in popularity and is now one of the main features of weekend.
In 2019, every Pro National Motocross will feature the special 125cc All Star Series, which was created to provide an opportunity for the manufacturers that still make 125 two-strokes to showcase these bikes. The 125 class fills a huge gap between 85’s and 250’s, so MX Sports is helping to fill the void by making 125 two-strokes as part of the pro afternoons.
Vincent Luhovey Jr. (SUZ) was among a handful of riders to win more than one class, and the Pennsylvania rider came away with victories in the 250 A and Open A divisions, posting 1-1 moto scores in each class to earn the “W”s.
In the first 250 A moto, Luhovey demonstrated his intentions in the first turn when he made an aggressive pass on Yamaha-mounted Brandon Scharer.
“I was second off the start and then we came into the first corner and I kind of took the line away,” said Luhovey. “After that, I just kept my head down. They were on me for about a lap or two and then I slowly just kept pulling away.”
Once in the lead, Luhovey rode a consistent race to claim a relatively easy win on his 250 RM. Meanwhile, Matthew Burkeen (Yam) passed Scharer to take second.
Scharer grabbed the holeshot once again in the second moto, and led the way until Luhovey made a pass on lap two to take the lead.
“I made an inside pass on ‘Henry Hill” to get around him,” said Luhovey. “After that, I just pulled away and rode safe.”
Scharer finished second this time with Burkeen in third. Luhovey took the overall win with a 1-1 moto tally, while Scharer finished second (2-1) and Burkeen third. (1-2).
In the Open A division, Luhovey was fourth off the start and moved into second place halfway into the lap. Meanwhile, Yamaha-mounted Jason McConnell Jr. was out front with no intentions of giving up the lead.
“I was just trying to be patient,” said Luhovey. “I was trying to find a place to pass and I was taking different lines and everything.”
On the last lap, McConnell went wide after Henry Hill, giving Luhovey enough room to block him in the final turn and take the win.
“He kept taking the outside every lap, and I charged into the turn thinking that maybe I could make it, but he was a little bit too far ahead on that lap,” said Luhovey. “The last lap was my last resort. Before Henry Hill I pinned it for everything I had. I made sure I was as close to him as possible. That way whenever I took this chance I had the best chance for being as close as I could. When we came down that ant hill I wasn’t sure until I got over it. Then I realized I’m like beside him already and I didn’t even take the line yet. So once I sunk in that line, it just happened so perfect. I just took the line away. I cut across. I was pumped on just getting that last turn pass.”
Luhovey held on for the moto win ahead of McConnell.
In the second moto, Luhovey was second off the line behind Timmy Crosby (Yam), with McConnell just behind in third. Crosby crashed in the first moto and finished 14th, so Luhovey knew he could stay right where he was at and still take the overall win.
At the finish it was Crosby in first with Luhovey in second and McConnell in third, giving Luhovey the overall win with a 1-2 score. McConnell finished second overall with a 2-3 performance, and Kawasaki-mounted Jacob Rose was third overall with a 4-4 moto tally.
Another multi-class winner was Forsyth, Georgia rider Jackson Gray, who won the Open B and College B/C (14-24) class on a Husqvarna.
Gray went 1-1 to win the College B/C (14-24) class ahead of Christopher Blackmon (3-2) and Alex Ballestero (5-3). In the Open B class, Gray won both motos, beating out a pair of second place moto finishes by Caleb Pruett (Hon) and two third place finishes by Yamaha-mounted Tyler Haines.
Michigan rider Cayden Switzer (HQV), took the win in the Supermini (12-16) class, going 1-1 to beat out Braden Hintenberger (3-2) and James Harrison (2-3).
Switzer also dominated the Schoolboy 1 (12-16) division with a 1-1 performance. Gabriel Goettler went 3-2 for second overall, with Garrett Bulmer finishing third overall with a consistent 4-4 finish.
Another Michigan rider Gatlin Combs parlayed a 2-1 performance into the overall win in the 250B division, beating out Caleb Pruett’s 3-2 and Christopher Blackmon’s 1-5.
Chase Yentzer (KTM) swept both motos of the Schoolboy 2 (14-16) 250cc MAX class to take the overall win ahead of Gatlin Comb’s 2-2 and Nathan Murphy’s 3-3.
Other winners included Travis Randanella (250 C and Open C); Christian Blackmon (125 B/C); Brandon Scharer (Junior 25+); Nathani3l Kronk (Vet 30+ B/C); Laina Randolph (Women); Leland Jones (51cc 4-6 Stock); and Braxtyn Mes (51cc 7-8 Stock).