Round 12 of AZOP’s championship series races in Gila BendArizona
Written and Photographed By Jonathan Barrett
Dateline: 2018 AZOP Series, Round 12, Gila Bend Grand Prix, November 17-18, 2018
The Arizona Offroad Promotions championship season concluded in Gila Bend, Arizona at round 12 of the year long series. While many of the races were just for fun, there were a few close races in points decided on this one day race.
In the Peewee Bikes, Ryker Jirsa took a second place finish and locked the championship over Colson Skersick in a tight points battle in the 65cc C class. Cooper Skersick locked his championship in the 50cc 7-8 Year Old class. Courtney Curley locked in the 50cc 4-6 Year Old class points.
The Mini Bikes had Jesse Blevins-Heck take the points win in 65cc A, and Marley Kuhn took the 65cc B class and points win. Tate Van Voorst took the 80-150cc A points win and Brett West took the 80-150cc B race win and finished fourth in points. Travis Boyd took second in the race and second in points, with Gunner Deatherage taking third in the race and first in points. Trevor Supalla took the points win in 80-150cc C, with the race being won by Clay Stringer.
In the Big Bikes, Austin Alexander clinched the 125-250cc A championship after a hard crash in practice left him out of the race, but his lead was great enough to keep his spot. Hunter Guiboa took first in the 125-2250cc B race with Tate Van Voorst right behind, but Van Voort would take the season win in points.Kaden Bedlion would take the win in the 125-250cc C race and finish the season third in points, with Taylor Wilson finishing second in the race and first in season points. Tyler Snodgrass took third in the race and second on the season. Gary Peterson took first in the race and in points for Master 50+ A, with Richard Heyer taking the season win in Master 50+ B. Charles Tapp won the Open A race, while Brian Perry Jr. took the points championship with a third place finish. Joe Joe Kalous took the Open B win with Greg Vander Voort taking the season win. Jacob Moraga took the Open C win with Weston Atwater taking the season points win. Wyatt Perry had the Pro points lead well earlier in the season, but that didn’t stop him from taking the overall win with Randall Fuller three minutes behind. Terry Webb took the race and points win in 40+ A, with Jason West taking the race and points win in 40+ B. Nason Benson took the 40+ C championship and Josh Serna took the Vet 30+A season win. Vet 30+ B and C were taken by Duane Hewitt and Tim Finnegan respectively.
In the Peewee Quads, Lane Johnson won the race and the points race in the ATV 50-79cc 4-6 Years Old class. Brendon Turner took first in the ATV 80+cc Beginner race and finished second in points behind Brayden Earlewine, who took second in the race. Landen Johnson and Gabriel Simmons had battled all season in points, and it came down to Johnson’s first place victory to solidify his championship win, followed by Simmons.
In the Mini Quad races, Tyler Tsosie and Carly Senter went 1-2 to finish the season in the same order in points for the 250-400cc class. In the 91-300cc 10-15 Year Old class, Wyatt Rock took a first in the race and third in points, followed by Robert Dearth (6th in points) and Kasey Snyder, who won the championship.
The Big Quads came out and raced through the deep silty track, with Pro racer Andrew Simmons taking the win and a first in points, Koby Dodson taking a second and a third in points, and Erin Simmons taking a third and a second in points. Sportsman rider Nick Helton had a one point margin behind Francisco Lizzaraga going into the race, and came out with a win in both the race and points. Expert Rider Austin Snyder took the win in the race and in points by a 21 point margin. David Ham took the ATC 3-Wheeler championship with his win on the rough course.
The UTV 570’s came out to race on a smaller track, with Riley Hein taking the championship despite not racing, and Grace Vinagro taking second in points and a third in the race. Ellie Koester broke mid race but finished third in the points race. The 170cc UTV’s came out next and TJ Siewers took the win and a seventh place finish in points, Brody Aikins took second and ninth in points, and points winner Lucas Johnson took third place. The Pro UTV’s had plenty of problems this race with all four drivers breaking at some point. Dean Boomer Wheeler, James Moore and Tom Wilson all broke one of their axles, but still finished the race. Tom Wilson would take the championship win. Chase De Sousa Dias took the 900cc win at the track and in the points, and Todd Waling took the 850cc championship. Robert Olander locked down the championship in the 1000cc Non Turbo class, and John Nix took the win at the race. In the 1000 Turbo class, Kali Kinsman took the win in points and third at the race, with Shane Till taking first at the track and second in points.
The 2018 AZOP season brought racers all over the state from the desert of Wickenburg to the Cinder Mountains of Flagstaff. The 2019 season looks to be the biggest and best in its history with more races and more out of state races. More info at AZOPracing.com