Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Edge of Summer pays out big for Nicoletti.

Just an average Saturday night in mid Michigan. Gamblers take to Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort looking to win big. Though it was outside where the stakes were high and top names in motocross showed up for their shot at $10,000. The third annual Edge of Summer event put on some very good racing.

Pro podium: Cunningham, Nicoletti,  Weimer | Photo: Michael Flavell
The event took place over the weekend of September 9-11 just outside the casino. I was expecting a mudder as the area was pounded with heavy rain through the week and during the day of the event. Just hours before the 6:00 practice, the sun would come out and the RedBud MX track crew would work their magic to provide perfect racing conditions. The air was a little cold but the racing would heat things up.

The Saturday night program offered five classes. 50cc, Supermini, A/B Allstar, Vet Pro and the Pro class. Braydon Johnson from Florida took the 50 class win, Supermini was won by Carter Biese of Wisconsin. Local boy Joey Crown would dominate the Allstars and it'd be RCH test rider Ivan Tedesco winning the Vet pro that many thought would go to Ricky Carmichael.

What we all came to see, did not disappoint. The pro class was deep in talent and some made long last minute drives for their chance at the cash. Payout was BIG. $10K for the win. 2nd=$8500, 3rd=$6500, 4th=$5000, 5th=$4000, 6th=$3000, 7th=$2000, 8th=$1000. The heat races got started with a win by Texan, Kyle Cunningham on his Motorcycle Superstore Suzuki. Heat two went to RCH|Soaring Eagle|Jimmy John's own Jake Weimer. The top 8 would transfer directly to the main while the rest would go to an LCQ. The last chance would be won by Michigan's Marshal Weltin. Weltin had great speed all night but a few bobbles held him back.

Gared Steinke. Known as Stank Dog. The two-stroke specialist would show up on a KTM four-stroke and make good by taking the last payout spot. He may not have been on the 125 but the fans still showed their love. Gared's pit area was crowded all night and people flocked to the fence for a chance at a high five every time he'd ride on or off of the track. This guy doesn't stop smiling and should be an example to all that this sport is fun at all levels.

Darryn Durham. This guy had fans pacing the fence near the rhythm section after the finish. A few rollers leading to a 50 foot table followed by about 8 large rollers. Durham was launching from the table into the third roller and jumping out. It was HUGE. A quick video can be seen on my Instagram @killercustomz. Weimer and Cunningham would be the only others to jump this during the main event.

Rider: Durham | Photo: Michael Flavell
Nick Wey. He showed up in a sprinter van and set up shop next to his buddies at Mandingo Pickles. The Michigan native didn't have to travel far from his Dewitt home for a night full of racing. After taking part in opening ceremonies Wey would race both the Vet Pro and Pro classes. He'd come out swinging in Vet with a heat race win over Ricky Carmichael. That performance would be followed up with a 2nd in his Pro heat. He'd sit out the Vet main and just miss the money by finishing 9th in the Pro main event. Michigan fans were excited to see their mafia boss racing back home.

Rider: Wey | Photo: Michael Flavell
The main event. When the field was set it looked to be anyone's race. Gavin Faith and Daniel Herrlein are Arenacross champs. The entire Motorcycle Superstore team made the trip and made the main. When the gate dropped it'd be the JGR Yamaha of Phil Nicoletti getting out front and getting an early gap. Durham challenged early but would be caught quick by the number 12 of Weimer. Florida's Kyle Chisholm was aggressive early to get towards the front and Cunningham would make a hard charge from the back of the pack. He'd be the fastest guy on the track this night but as time ran out on the 10 lap main he'd only get to 3rd. Nicoletti was able to hold off the push behind him and as he crossed the finish line he'd make the motion of making it rain!

The podium was filled with emotion. Nicoletti celebrating with his mechanic and smiles from ear to ear. Meanwhile, Weimer sat on the steps with a look of knowing he just ran out of time. He wanted it bad. Cunningham looked spent. He left it all on the track and looked to be the most impressive rider of the night. His run from near last to 3rd was very solid.

Take a look at these results. The pro class was stacked with big names and some privateers cashing in on some well earned money.

Pro Results
1. Phil Nicoletti
2. Jake Weimer
3. Kyle Cunningham
4. Darryn Durham
5. Kyle Chisholm
6. Jimmy Albertson
7. Daniel Herrlein
8. Gared Steinke
9. Nick Wey
10. Josh Osby
11. Marshal Weltin
12. Cameron Mcadoo
13. Joey Crown
14. Jacob Williamson
15. Scott Champion
16. Jerry Lorenz
17. Logan Karnow
18. Austin Haught
19. Gavin Faith
20. Austin Wagner

Keep your eye out for the 2017 event info to be released. This is a don't miss event that offers everything from gambling, a top notch resort and some very intense racing. Thank you to the Ritchie family and the RedBud MX staff along with all those involved from Soaring Eagle and RCH. See ya next year.

-Kyle Pesci

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