View From The Floor: Looking for the Luck of the Irish

With St. Patrick's Day last weekend, there were definitely some riders looking for a bit o' luck in St. Louis. Bubba Pauli had his green gear on, plus a horseshoe butt patch.

There's gotta be a four-leaf clover in there somewhere. (That's Bryce Stewart.)

450 series points leader Jason Anderson has been both lucky and good so far this season, mostly avoiding the pitfalls that have hampered some of his competition. Oh, that view? We took a stroll onto the catwalk above the stadium floor for a bit of pre-race and racing action.

The view up there is pretty amazing...though for GuyB, it's all about moving methodically, and making sure there are no loose items that could fall. It's a long way down.Austin Forkner grabbed the holeshot in this heat race.

Sean Cantrell takes a peek back at Luke Renzland over the finish line jump. They finished sixth (Renzland), and seventh (Cantrell) in their heat.

Okay, back to floor level for 250 heat two. Zach Osborne motored through the pack (including going by Yamalube Star Racing Yamaha's replacement rider, Thomas Ramette), on the way to a heat win. No luck required.

Being that we were in the hometown of Budweiser, a Dilly Dilly butt patch seemed appropriate for Jeremy Martin. (He said he had to Google it.)

Kyle Peters almost had a heat race win...before Zach Osborne got by him. Kyle has settled in nicely on the Autotrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing 250.

Tyler Bowers led a portion of the first 450 heat race before a little too much front brake dropped him on his head.

Christian Craig playing nice, even after Broc Tickle cut a hard inside line in this corner.

This could be a photo of Dean Wilson leading the first 450 heat after Bowers went down, but it's also a reference photo to show how many guys eventual winner Justin Brayton had to get by on his way to the front.

Okay, this one's all of Dean...and maybe a little of a new flavor of the Fox goggles that'll land in shops this week.

The split start didn't seem to bother the riders too much, partly because they had a long straight, and a wide sweeping first turn to use. It was weird to see two distinct groups of riders making their way there, though.

Jason Anderson could have made life a little rough for early leader Blake Baggett in the second 450 heat race, but he settled nicely into the inside groove shortly after this shot was taken.

There's Bubba Pauli again, trying to spread the luck while cheering on Mathew Weakley.

The starter hits the button to drop the gate on the 450 LCQ.

Unfortunately, Austin Forkner's horseshoe was upside-down (yeah, we know that's the Gateway Arch), and the main event on his home turf didn't exactly go to plan.

Zach Osborne checking out his Oakley goggles before the 250 main.

When the gate dropped for the 250 main, it was Jeremy Martin, Martin Davalos, Austin Forkner, and Zach Osborne leading the charge.

Forkner got the early jump, and these guys were going for it.

Martin Davalos was doing well, running as high as third before a pair of crashes (one in the right-hander at the end of the start straight, and another really ugly one where he went over the berm at the end of the whoop section) left him in 22nd spot.

Jeremy Martin was good for second in St. Louis. We're looking forward to seeing the meeting of both coasts in Indy, for the first of the two East/West Shootouts.

Jordon Smith followed up his win at Daytona with a third in St. Louis.

Zach Osborne was starting to pressure Austin Forkner at mid-race, and Austin took an unfortunate trip over the bars. Add in another tangle with a lapped rider later in the main, and he was fifth for the night.

If Zach looks a little off here, it's because he hit the same hole in the dragonback that got Austin Forkner. Riders universally love the dirt in St. Louis, but soft spots in the jump here were catching a few of them by surprise.

Michael Mosiman got his best finish of the season so far (an eighth) in St. Louis. Brandon Hartranft (114) got by him, and ended up in sixth.

We got in a quick post-race chat with Michael Mosiman, which you can listen to by clicking the start button below.

Kyle Peters just missed the podium, finishing in fourth spot.

Want to listen in to a post-race chat with Kyle Peters? Click the start button below to listen to Saturday's fourth-place finisher in the 250s.

By grabbing the win in St. Louis, Zach doubled his total for the season, and moves eight points in front of Austin Forkner in the 250 East title chase. The East/West Shootout next weekend provides some opportunity, but also some hazard, as where the riders from each coast finish could make for some odd gaps in the points.

After the race, while waiting for the podium activities to finish up, Zach Osborne grabbed his mechanic's headset to pass along some tips to Jason Anderson's mechanic, as they were already sitting on the line for their main.

Eli Tomac ripping a holeshot of the velcro-like dirt in the Dome With No Name...er, the Dome at America's Center. This was the closest that any of his competition would be to him for the rest of the night.

Malcolm Stewart went down hard between lanes in his heat race, and popped his shoulder out...and then back in when he got up. He said it felt like he'd hit something hard, like concrete. He had to go through the LCQ, and a tenth was a solid finish, considering that he wasn't prime.

Another home-stater, Benny Bloss, under the watchful eye of one of the Alpinestars Mobile Medical crew.

Blake Baggett was sixth this weekend, but showed more speed than we've seen recently.

Jason Anderson hucking a small section. He didn't have the speed to go after Eli here, but swallowed his pride, and will wait for other opportunities. He said afterwards that he wants to win more races this season, and not back into the championship.

In addition to the quad, and the triple-triple-section that he'd been doing all day, he also added this non-triple triple section for much of the main. Asking around the pits on what the difference in safety is now versus the old days, a lot of veteran team personnel will mention that back in the day if you goofed up a section, you pretty much messed up the whole lane. Now, a big fat handful of throttle will get you back in rhythm...or clear a section that probably was never intended to be a triple.

Marvin Musquin has been a little off his game for the past couple weeks, but was still solid for the podium in STL.

Eli straight up spanked everyone in St. Louis...and nearly did the same thing last weekend. When he clicks into this mode, he's on another level. That's why more than a few people thought he'd be well on his way to a championship at this point. Unfortunately, he's still about 60 points down to Jason Anderson.

Sometimes post-races handshakes are sincere. This one seemed a little awkward, though.

Here's your 450 podium. Tomac, Anderson, and Musquin had the rest of the field covered in St. Louis...and that wasn't luck.


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