Vital MX Pit Bits: Ironman

Stacyc was the sponsor for the Ironman National, and we're behind anything that helps get kids started on two wheels. We didn't get out to see the demo area in action, but heard it was popular with the groms.

As usual, Team USA uses press day at the final National of the season as a dress rehearsal for the upcoming MXoN. Our crew this time around includes Jason Anderson (MXGP), Justin Cooper (MX2), and Team Captain Zach Osborne (Open).

It's a Yamaha sandwich, along with the pair of Huskys.

Why so serious?

The Team USA bikes.

The Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna squad is already busy building up bikes to ship over, and as usual, when they go to Europe, they'll be getting support from the IceOne Husky crew.

While Jason isn't particularly fond of running the number 13, we suggested that he incorporate it into Team Fr13d, and that seemed to make it a little more palatable.



We've seen some complaints about the black on Justin Cooper's bike, especially when compared to the white of the Husqvarnas. We're not sure why people don't realize it's the same as the regular team look, but with the red, white, and blue incorporated into it.

Justin was the only rider at Ironman with a custom helmet, but you can expect the two Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna riders to have a more patriotic version of their usual all-black design for the race.

Justin Cooper is pumped to go represent Team USA.



Zach Osborne and Jason Anderson will head over plenty early for the race, and will be followed a week later by Justin Cooper.

The unity and commitment that this team is showing to the event is admirable. Some people may look at it as a B team, but we certainly don't.



After a dozen years behind the wheel, Scott Slocum, the truck driver of the Supercross and MX series rig was retiring, so the whole race crew came out to send him off...and set him up with a new toolbox.

Duke Finch also retired following the race. Besides being the MX and SX series Manager for a good long stretch, he's been officiating at races for nearly 50 years. While he is retiring, we hear he'll be lining up for a GNCC race the 70+ class.

The Team Honda HRC crew had a get-together on Friday night before the race to wish Cole Seely farewell after his announcement earlier this season that he'd be retiring.

This caricature of Cole was cool.

This cake underwent some heavy-duty testing to make sure it was up to HRC specs.

The GEICO Honda guys were also represented, wishing a fond farewell to RJ Hampshire, who'd been with them from his amateur days up through the Ironman race.

RJ's trainer will probably cringe at the sight of this. It'll be okay.

We like seeing some of the tricks that the teams use to help speed up their time in the pits. The Monster Energy Kawasaki guys use this block to quickly check that the chain adjustment is within spec.

If you hear a squeak while the Monster Energy Kawasaki guys are torquing rear axles, it's not for lack of grease. It's that ti axles and the corresponding ti axle nut threads don't particularly like each other.

How deep and wet was the track on Saturday morning? Enough so that some riders (like Michael Mosiman) were experimenting with Dunlop's mud/sand tires for the first round of qualifying.

Another time-saver? Chris Loredo uses an angle-finder on his phone to help get Jason Anderson's controls close. He did mention that no matter what, Jason will change them.

Jordan Bailey finished up his 250 season in 15th overall.

How about a friendly game of cornhole on Friday night before the races?

Eli Tomac had tons of fan support in the crowd at Ironman.

In our post-race interview with Eli, we mentioned lots of silliness at the race. This was one of things we were talking about. It did make Eli laugh heartily while on the podium, though.

We found Eli's biggest fan.

The new/retro Shift gear was cool. We had some Fro flashbacks while seeing this on the track.

Canadian 250 champ, Dylan Wright, put on a good show in qualifying, with the 13th fastest spot.

Unfortunately for Dylan, it looked like a crash in the first moto put a damper on his day.

Lee McCollum doing a little flex-bombing behind Alex Martin. Yep, that's new Answer gear on Alex.

As a bonus for the fans at Ironman, the final round of the ATV MX Nationals was held on Friday before the race. There's none of the casual stroll off the track for their 30-second girl.

The battle for the title came down to a two-rider shootout between Wienen Motorsports/Maxxis/ Yamaha's Chad Wienen from Phoenix Racing Honda/Maxxis/Elka's Joel Hetrick.

Yeah, these guys get some serious air. Joel Hetrick grabbed the first moto win, setting him up well for the final moto.

Wienen congratulating Hetrick after the first moto win.

The final moto featured a big battle up front between Chad Wienen and Thomas Brown.

In the end, Chad Wienen nabbed the overall for the day, but he was three points shy of Joel Hetrick in the title chase.

This makes the second number one plate for Hetrick. He'd also won it in '17.

As we've seen recently, Ryan Sipes will ride just about anything, anytime, and anywhere. He decided mid-week before the Ironman race to come out and contest the 125 All-Star race.

Ryan had a slight lead as they headed down the start straight.

Floridian Jack Chambers had the lead as they headed in fourth turn. (Sipes was railing the outside of the turn to the right here).

Wyatt Liebeck also took a turn up front, and Ryan spent a couple laps trailing him.

Sipes waiting (and stalking).

Mike Brown was the victim of a bad start, and while he was working through the pack rapidly, he could only make it back to 15th place.

Was Sipes stoked on his win? You bet.

Here's your 125 podium, with Ryan Sipes, Wyatt Liebeck, and Jack Chambers.

We're not sure where Martin Davalos lands for next season...and from the chats we've had with him, neither is he. Here's hoping that he finds a spot on a 450 roster.

Matt Winters will follow along with Shane McElrath to Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha. It'll be his second stint there.

How about a blast of style before we go? Dean Wilson knows how to dispense some.

Marvin Musquin is a frequent styler. Here's hoping that he heals up quickly after his crash in the second 450 moto.

Jason Anderson getting scrubby out there.

Justin Bogle getting uppity over the Red Bull Skyscraper.

Benny Bloss says it's time to go, so we'll wrap up this season's worth of Pit Bits.

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