I’d been over in late May to this fantabulous new moto-resort in central Indiana they call the “Ironman,” as the freshly designed course was blessed by eight hundred (or so) frisky amateur MX personnel. They were attempting to get a ticket to Loretta Lynn’s, by qualifying at this very difficult regional event. (We didn’t make it, boo-hoo.) This time, it’s mid-August and I was back- to witness the mighty moto mayhem that a colorful round of your Lucas Oils Pro Motocrosss Championships presents – this episode being the Indiana Ironman version – brought to you by Thor.  And, apparently, the weatherman.

I suppose I should have been paying more attention to the Weather Channel, or moto websites or something, because I was ill-prepared for the muck and rain that we arrived to Saturday morning in Crawfordsville, Indiana. We’d stayed the night in the sparkling metropolis of Indianapolis, not just because I demand a fancy hotel, but also because all the decent beds were gone in C’Ville. On the forty-five minute haul through J.C.Mellencamp’s farms and pastures, we kept noticing gas prices dipping from the $3.50 range, down to a very-excitable $3.09 just outside Crawfordsville, where we filled up my buddy’s flashy new 2015 Volvo (Ooh, ahhh!) and, of course, once we go into town, found petrol in the $2.85 range (DAMN!). Also, as we neared the track, the skies went from cloudy blue to grayish-angry. It was sprinkling by the time we entered through somebody’s well-kept backyard, and cruised into pro pit parking (fancy people, renta-cars and silver-spooners). As usual, Dean Wilson pulled up in his rental-rooster right as we pulled in, which has happened at three or four other Nationals of recent – and is starting to freak me out.

Rain went from a sprinkle to a steady splashing, as we rummaged through the car seeking boots, jackets and umbrellas. Naturally, I’d forgotten a jacket, so I hustled over to a vendor and purchased a too-small $35 baby-blue event hoodie – that is as soft as it is fashionable.

Yamaha-mounted Jeremy Martin, who started off the season in mind-blowing fashion at Glen Helen, turned his red, number 19 plate into a 2014 #1 – as he wrapped up the title with a steady second in moto one of the 250’s – behind the amazing ride of Jessy Nelson and his #50 Honda. Rumors have Jessy practicing and hanging with Cianciarulo and Roczen, so…..

Celebrity watch at the Ironman? 7’4” former center of the Indiana Pacers – “Dutch-Boy In The Paint” – Rik Smits, was lounging about in the moistened infield, enjoying his favorite sport. Also, former Team Suzuki teenage phenoms – Ben Riddle and Greg “Golden Boy” Rand were seen clinging to the wet fences…
How mucky was the track ? Nobody, NO…..body would venture out for the parade lap – in the 250 or 450 class. Not one guy. Nobody. ‘Twas weirdorama. Never seen that before. Ever.

Pretty sure Weston Peick didn’t even ride in the timed practice sessions, perhaps just took a provisional? I did watch Christophe Pourcel in the first practice simply ride about on mostly the water truck roads, quietly observing the slippery scenes.

Lots of DNFs, many riders pulled off with dead engines, broken chains, overheated and overmudded – it was interesting to see, but at this new, exciting track, we would have done with less moistness. Mother Nature overdid it. Saturated the place. Great equalizer? Nope, great mudfest. Thanks, Ma.

Rumors have this new Indiana locale as the last stop on the 2015 tour – so please make plans to attend this gala Midwest Moto festival.

Ryan Sipes? Third in moto 2 of 450s? Not shabby for a retired motocrosser gone woods racing….
It is a bit tricky to view at this circuit, you must move a bit to get great eyefuls – high on infield in front of the start is a sweet spot.

That glass enclosed VIP booth above the start got far less action than I expected….

How do you let the entire 450 pack get to the first turn – then run them down in the mud, to get in the top-ten? Ask Muscle Milk Honda’s Freddy Noren.

Ohio’s #531 Todd Krieg scored his first points and qualified 5th in the first muddy timed practice. Salute!
There were only about 12 gates that DIDN’T lead you into a foot deep of swampy brownie mix (moist kind).

Since the LL Regional in June – the track has been altered slightly in spots – with a foot or two of topsoil, sand, sawdust and grasshopper cadavers – mixed into the batter…

The new pro-section is going to be insane, it’s a shame it could NOT be exploited for its worth due to the muck and slime...
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