Every year racers from all around gather at a small border town in Southern Nevada. Why? For the biggest supermoto race in the USA; Stateline Supermoto Challenge! It’s held at Buffalo Bill’s Casino in Primm, Nevada. The great folks at WHR Motorsports always set up a great track that is a hit with racers and spectators alike. The track is never the same from one year to the next, but always gives a challenge and something more to experience other than your average track. The asphalt section twists and winds its way through the back parking lot of the casino where it transitions to a freshly built dirt section, just beyond that. This time around, the dirt featured some great berms, tables, and nice 40+ foot double jump that exited back to the asphalt. The event is also home to the Anthony Hart Memorial Pro class. Since 2009, the pro class has been raced in the honor of the late #141 Tony Hart, who lost his life racing the sport he loved. His father Tom “Pop” Hart was always passionate about his family and racing. So to honor Tony, he jumped in to support Stateline Challenge. The event has been made even better with his help, including the ever-growing pro purse.
For 2014, the event was set for April 10-13. With the Pro purse jumping to $10k, there was sure to be some great racing. The class was stacking up with great riders including Steve Drew, Joey Pascarella, Brandon Case, Sean Butterman, Matt Stewart, with more to sign up on the morning of the race. With Stateline being so close to round one of the AMA National Supermoto series, many racers were anxious to race hard and make sure they were ready for the National series that would start the following weekend in Lake Havasu, AZ!
If you’re going to race at Stateline, you better get some practice in! Thursday and Friday are practice days with the always-enjoyable team race on Friday evening. Each team consists of two riders, or if you you’re feeling strong enough; you can iron-man the whole race yourself. There was a big group of racers this year! Pro and amateur teams gridded up together for what would be an hour long race. The highlight would have to go to Brandon Ward, for starting in 18th and making his way to race leader. He would then trade off with his teammate Tim Weig who held the race for most of the next session until an unfortunate crash in the dirt that sidelined him with a broken collar bone. Ward then jumped back in to finish the race, making up a lost lap and finishing amazingly in third place. Bjorn Jorgensen and Patrick Sullivan took second with Timmy Valasquez and Cory Edmisten taking the win!
On Saturday, the Novice class would race with 2 qualifiers and end up with the largest grid of the weekend. Mike Surratt led for the first lap but John Lyles of Bakersfield, CA soon made his way to first and held it for the win. One class that everyone looks forward to, whether watching or racing, is Vet 35! Always a top finisher in the class, Scott Hoffman continued to show his skill and held first for the entire race. Donnie bales finished second with Chris Morgan finishing in third after a battle with Mark Hopkins part way through the race. In the SM Lites Pro class, Sean Butterman would sweep the heat and main aboard his Husqvarna.
Sunday brought with it more than just racing. The weather decided it would share some wind with us throughout the day. It got so windy that jumping became hazardous and even the tough blocks that marked the course started blowing away! Thanks to the quick acting of the WHR crew, the wild blocks were wrangled and racing continued. Brok McCallister snapped some footage of the worst part of the windstorm, check it out:
The Beginner class was filled with riders new to supermoto and a few that had their first race or two under their belt, so there was an interesting mix of fresh riders. The Beginner podium was topped with Tyler Smotherman, followed closely by Kevin McCoy and Dustin Acroix. Another exciting class is the Pro Quad class. This year Quad attendance was a little slim due to conflicting events, but there were still enough there to put on a show. They slide through corners like nobody’s business! Russell Mcwhorter of Russell, WA took first with Shawn Bigham in second, and Garrick Lastra in third.
As Sunday’s racing continued; the day neared 1:41pm. This time every year, generators shut off and racing stops. Not long before the Tony Hart Memorial Pro race, racers and fans gather. At 1:41pm, there is a moment of silence for the #141. It’s a moment to reflect on memories with Tony and to be thankful we’re all there with our friends, continuing on his legacy.
The Pro races followed up the tail end of the day. Going into it, many were excited to see how things would pan out. Joey Pascarella had just topped division-1 heat earlier in the day with Brandon Case taking the division-2 heat. The pro main started with a crash in the first turn, resulting in a red flag. On the restart of the main, Joey was able to get a good start and keep everyone behind, but those behind him were racing hard. Second place was a hard battle fought between Timmy V and Brandon Case, that is, until Gage McCallister caught up and found his pace. Gage started to jump into the mix as did Ryan Kearns.
Timmy V ended up in fifth with Kearns jumping into a solid fourth place finish. Case finished in third place. Gage made incredible ground working his way up to second place but not enough to get past his Intents Racing Teammate Joey Pascarella, who kept his lead and stayed out front for the checkered flag in the 2014 Anthony Hart Memorial Pro class.
From California to South Dakota, and Washington down to New Mexico; people came from all around to be a part of Stateline Supermoto Challenge. It was a great one in 2014, will you be there for 2015?
Results of the Anthony Hart Memorial Pro Class:
Joey Pascarella Gage McCallister Steve Drew Ryan Kearns Tim Valasquez Brandon Ward Sean Butterman Jake Thompson Matt Stewart Brandon Case Bjorn Jorgensen Chris Morgan Christian Olgan Djamil Sakhri Austin Pecoraro Bronson Pierce Corey Edmisten Jeff Rydalch Phillip Markos John Lyles Cole Cares Josh Serne Cal Collins
A huge thanks to Tim Weig for all the Photos!