ATLANTA — KTM’s Taddy Blazusiak came out on top of an epic battle with Beta USA, GEICO rider Cody Webb to win the first GEICO AMA EnduroCross race held in Atlanta.
The racing inside the beautiful Gwinnett Center Arena was exciting all night long and the main event had the crowd on their feet as Blazusiak and Webb traded the lead several times.
Blazusiak took the lead for good on lap twelve of fifteen. Webb held off Colton Haaker on the Rockstar Lucas Oil JCR Honda.
The top six qualifiers do a hot lap against the clock during the evening show to earn their gate picks and another championship point for the fastest qualifier. To make it even more interesting, Girardi Wealth Management put up a $2,000 cash prize for the hot lap winner.
The battle was an epic one as Blazusiak set a fast time but was outdone by Haaker. Webb was the last rider to go and he narrowly missed the fast time and barely saved a big crash as he endowed off the finish line. So Haaker took the first pick, point and $2,000.
In the main event, Blazusiak took the $500 Nexen Tire Holeshot award and was followed closely by Webb and Geoff Aaron. Blazusiak led the first three laps with Webb pressuring him the whole time. Webb made his first pass for the lead on lap four and proceeded to open a large gap that grew to nine seconds before some lapped riders held him up and Blazusiak closed back in. Blazusiak passed for the lead briefly on lap nine but Webb passed him back then opened the lead back up to 12 seconds. Webb made a few small mistakes and then got held up to allow Blazusiak to close back in by lap 12. Blazusiak passed for the lead when Webb could not clear a large double and then pulled away for the win on the last three laps.
“I am happy with my start but then I made a few mistakes and Cody got by me” said Blazusiak. “Fifteen laps felt like two forty five minute motos back to back out there on that track so it was great to come out with the win.”
Webb was a little disappointed with second but happy to ride well after injuring his shoulder during the hot lap.
“I was feeling really good but every lap, I was catching lappers in the rock turn” Webb said. “It was a good night for the circumstances. I am hurting from that Hot Lap and can barely lift my shoulder.”
Haaker closed in on Webb and made several attempts to pass for second on the last lap but always slipped up as he got close. “I was back with a bunch of riders that were crashing all over the place and I finally closed in on the leaders but then I fell several times,” said Haaker. “That’s what makes EnduroCross exciting and I am glad I could help put on a good show.”
FMF KTM’s Taylor Robert held third for much of the race but slipped back to fourth. Aaron had a solid race to finish fifth on his KTM. Kyle Redmond finished sixth on another KTM. Beta’s Max Gerson was seventh. RPM KTM’s Ty Tremaine finished eighth, Wally Palmer rode his Christini to ninth and Bobby Prochau finished tenth on his KTM
Blazusiak moved from third to first in the championship but has just a single point lead over Webb and two point lead over Haaker.