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AZOP Racers Head to Gila Bend to Play in the Mud

2019 AZOP Rowley White RV Series, Round 12, Gila Bend, AZ December 7-8, 2019

Story & photos by: Miller Truby

With most of the class championships for the 2019 AZOP Rowley White RV Series having been awarded after the previous race in Lake Havasu, the series pulled into Gila Bend at the beginning of December intending to finish off the remaining points races for the trucks and buggies with a bang. There were 5 classes potentially up for grabs on Sunday and a track designed to punish heavy vehicles, the opportunities were plentiful for those in position to gain points and positions. Unusual weather for central Arizona brought a significant amount of rain in the days before the race – which was sponsored by Nash Powersports and Arizona Differential – and left some massive puddles (some of which were better described as ponds) strewn around the course. While the standing water would prove problematic for several vehicles, the rain also tamped down the infamous Gila Bend silt beds which are normally the major concern for this race.

The hare scramble-style weekend began with perfect weather and clear skies for Saturday’s early races, but the inches of rain that had fallen in days prior forced AZOP staff to run the peewee races on a makeshift course to avoid the deep water on the regular infield section of the track. The non-points races for the various bike and quad classes were hotly-contested considering there was nothing beyond pride and a little bit of cash on the line. As the Saturday races finished up the skies clouded over and a light rain fell most of the night, adding to the mud and standing water as the UTV’s and Truck/Buggy classes took to the line for practice. Needless to say, attrition was heavy, with several vehicles being forced to call it a day after only a few practice laps. The UTV classes were also non-points for this race, but that didn’t stop drivers from throwing their cars through the water and mud at full-send speeds, which resulted in more than half the field retiring in the first half of the race. The Trucks and Buggies didn’t fare much better, with every vehicle except one being forced to come off the course at one point or another, either to retire or the make repairs. The exception to that was Savannah Wyllie who managed to finish 12 laps and take the overall win in her first race ever – beating out pro buggies and class 14 trucks while driving a Limited Sportsman buggy!

With the season championships now completed across all classes, here is the list of the Truck and Buggy class champions:

2019 Truck/Buggy Class Championships

1450 Sportsman: 1st Place: Tyler Davis – 2nd Place: Rich McClellan

Open Buggy Sportsman: 1st Place: James Hopper

Limited Buggy Sportsman: 1st Place: Eric Pruett

Class 10 Pro: 1st Place: Conner McMullen

Limited Buggy Pro: 1st Place: Kyle McMullen

A huge congratulations from the entire AZOP family to all those competitors who finished on the podium in their respective season championships!

The final race of the season will be the annual AZOP XMAS Grand Prix at Canyon Motorsports Park in Peoria, AZ. The one-day event will feature exhibition races for Bikes, Quads, and UTV’s December 21st. Registration is open now!

As always AZOP would like to thank all of the sponsors, staff, volunteers, racers, and spectators for making this another successful and fun weekend of racing.  For full race results, videos, and photos or to find out about upcoming events go to www.azopracing.com.

Saturday Motorcycle Results

Big Bikes

Pro: 1.) #188 Wyatt Perry 2.) #151 Mike Villegas Open A: 1.) #824 James Clark 2.) #399 Charles Tapp 3.) #17 Bryce Johnston Open B: 1.) #255 Cody Perry 2.) #415 Tate Van Voorst Open C: 1.) #800 Jacob Moraga 2.) #727 JaeQon Peterson 3.) #13 Kyle Benninghoff Vet 30+ C: 1.) #79 Keith Tobin 2.) #4 Alex Soto Senior 40+ C: 1.) #315 Jason West Master 50+ A: 1.) #59 Gary Peterson Super Senior 60+: 1.) #489 Chuck Stevenson

Pee Wee Bikes

Pee Wee 50cc 4-6 years: 1.) #14 Colton Rademacher 2.) #214 Lariat Lawrence Pee Wee 65cc C: 1.) #988 William Carer 2.) #311 Kyle Gillette

Mini Bikes

Mini 80-150cc A: 1.) #168 Samuel Campbell Mini 80-150cc B: 1.) #21 Marley Kuhn 2.) #48 Danny Baca Mini 80-150cc C: 1.) #71 Danny Carter 2.) #99 Talan Raper

Saturday Quad/ATC Results

Big Quads/ATCs

Expert: 1.) #22 Daniel Fernandez 2.) #799 Sergio Fernandez Sportsman: 1.) #99 Luis Moreno 2.) #359 Carson Estelle

Pee Wee Quads

Pee Wee 80cc Beginner: 1.) #88 Tyler Wade 2.) #200 Cutter Gehrts 3.) #1124 Cain Llamas Pee Wee 50-79cc 4-6 Years: 1.) #89 Zane Gehrts 2.) #711 Kyle Wade 3.) #120 Travis Meza

Sunday UTV Results

Big UTVs

Unlimited Turbo: 1.) #74 Luis Fernandez 2.) #821 Michael Mack 3.) #1212 Tobias Gavin 1000cc Non-Turbo: 1.) #1912 Timothy Kern 2.) #314 Katin Ladin 3.) #1969 Tim Sullivan

570cc UTVs

570cc: 1.) #14 Ryan Bedoya 2.) #17 Vincent Riccitelli

170cc UTVs

170cc: 1.) #116 Erik Alvidrez 2.) #124 Zoe Easton 3.) #69 Jaemison Dewole

Sunday Truck/Buggy Results

Buggies

Open Buggy Pro: 1.) #1025 Billy Tsakiris Open Buggy Sportsman: 1.) #531 James Hopper Limited Buggy Sportsman: 1.) #1621 Savannah Wyllie 2.) #1333 Eric Pruett II Class 1450 Sportsman: 1.) #1495 Tyler Davis 2.) #1471 Roman Ramirez 3.) #1477 Rich McClellan