Quadcross Northwest Final Rounds at Washougal

Posted by quad75 on Friday Sep 19, 2014 Under 2014, News
Holeshot! I am out front!

Stoked on this new Klim gear! I’ll have a couple reviews on it soon!

The QXNW season wrapped up on September 6 and 7 at Washougal MX in Washington. Washougal is an iconic track for the Northwest and the rest of the nation. It features some killer elevation changes, beautiful scenery, and sections that are fun and challenging. Washougal is a favorite among riders and a personal favorite of mine. In fact, it is where I first raced the Pro class on my 250R at a WORCS in 2002. The racing this year  has been really great for Quadcross Northwest and Washougal is the perfect place to cap off the season.  While I struggled a little over the weekend, I had a great time and decent finishes both days. I can’t complain. I would say it was successful weekend of racing!

Saturday: We had a mishap requiring us to get to the track late – Saturday morning. All season I have been racing my desert pre-runner. With help from Ed Teixeira, I put some spacers on the rear shock to make it more moto friendly. His a-arms work in any environment and I have complete faith in them, so that wasn’t an issue during the year. My Fox shocks are easily adjustable for a variety of conditions, but the rear sprung Fox I have on this bike has a ton of up-travel for soaking up the rough desert. The spacers worked, but it’s not an ideal set-up! I had my MX bike 90% together and ready for the weekend when I encountered an electrical problem. Without enough time to troubleshoot it, I serviced my desert bike and took off the MX shock. Saturday morning we arrived at the track and the first thing I needed to do was swap the rear shock before practice. I parked, unloaded, and with help from Troy Oestreich, swapped my rear shock in record time and put on a new K&N filter. I went out for practice to get a feel for the track, which sometimes suffers from over-watering when it comes to quad weekends and then ends up dusty by the end of the day.

When I came back from practice I debated on running ProAm or Production A in addition to the Vet A class. I waited until my second practice to decide. I hadn’t ridden since the WORCS race almost a month prior, but I had been consistently working out. After my second practice, I decided against a second class. I was not feeling that good on the bike and the last thing I needed was to wreck. I always feel like a sissy when I don’t run two classes, but safety is important, especially now that I have a son!

10700554_10152396356732087_2811209711927458939_oMy first moto I got a mid-pack start. The Vet A guys are no slouches and with the big doggers like Keith Marx and Scooter Wingerd in the mix it gave more promise than usual. There’s a lot of great competition in that class and it’s been great racing every time I’ve gone out with them and this time we had nearly a full gate! We headed up Horsepower Hill and I was lamenting a little about my MX bike. It’s a kick in the ass to pin it up this hill and would have been so much more fun on a purpose built LED motor! I can’t commend Arlan enough for his work. My desert bike has been solid all year and my Rekluse clutch really helps get the power out. I should note that I use Wiseco pistons. Unless they fail, a piston isn’t mentioned much, but I have been a Wiseco rider for a long time because I have had great success with them in all my bikes over the years from WORCS to Baja championships. I recommend them to everyone! Anyway, on to my moto…

I had made a few passes putting me closer to the front, but still had maybe another spot to go to get a podium position. When we came down from the step-up, corner, step-down (where the new Washougal lettering on the hill is) there was an unusual obstacle. The race prior to ours a rider had taken out a water faucet, so for their remaining lap, our gate line up, and until we arrived here on our first lap, the water has been pouring out of the broken pipe. The result being a large swamp in our path. Unfortunately for me, I took a chance and ended up spinning out, facing the wrong way, and stuck behind a wall essentially. I promptly went from podium to last. These kind of mishaps light a fire under my butt though. Once I recovered I was down about a half a lap and charged and charged. Thank you Ryno Power for the supplements! In the remaining 4 laps I overtook a few guys, but it wasn’t enough to get on the podium. I finished 6th.

My second moto I was really looking to do better all around. I lined up on the gate determined and focused and when the gate dropped I powered through with the holeshot! I had the whole field on my tail and led up Horsepower Hill, down the Ski jump, through the new split line, down the hill, up the table, into the right hand turn before the triple and – that’s where I had my second issue of the day. Turns out electrical would be a problem on both bikes. My bike died in the corner and the whole field passed me while I tried to kick it. It finally started after disconnecting  my kill switch and I took off, though the rest of the field had gone up and down the hill again and half of them were already through the whoop section and across the transponder.  Again, I got a little fired up. When my bike started I took off with a fire and thinking “Sweet! Two motos in a row I get to start nearly a half a lap down!”  Again, bad luck set me pretty far back, but I’m not one to just goof off when the chips are down. I put my head down and did what I could to regain some spots. I managed to climb to 7th place before the checkers. Not the day I wanted.

One of my best sponsors, PitTraffic.com, organized a potluck for the evening to celebrate the season we’ve had up here. It was a great community event. I volunteered to make carbonara. When I was racing in Baja I became friends with several locals, including my friend Stefano Caputo. An Italian now living in San Felipe. Stefano had some of us over for dinner at his house one evening while we were there and showed me how to make carbonara. While I can’t duplicate the magic he made in the kitchen that evening, I do a pretty decent job. The potluck was a hit, and my gluten-free carbonara was good enough to get a shoutout from the announcer, Kevin Hynes, on Sunday morning! Even though my motos didn’t go as planned, the evening was spent with great people.



My son loves the races! Here he is coaching me on what to do with the throttle!

Sunday: I woke up early. 5am to be exact. But that was for a diaper change for my son, Loic. I took a 2 hour nap after that and got up to a brisk morning. It was again supposed to be hot weather (90) and I was looking to redeem myself from the day before. I’m not sure if it was the carb loading carbonara the night before (or maybe all the bacon that goes into it) but I was feeling pretty good about the day. I went out for practice and felt really good, so I signed up for Vet A and Production A. I was pretty torn up from the day before, but that’s no excuse! Production A is the first moto of the day, so I got my Klim gear on (look for a review of this gear on quad75.com soon!) and headed to the line. I knew it would be a challenge. Production A is filled with young men that could be my own kids!

In the first moto I got a decent start, being in 3rd place heading up Horsepower Hill. I thought for sure I was going to get passed going up the hill since the kids that ride this class are competitive and come prepared with both skill and horsepower to compete in this class.  I held on and had a pretty good gap ahead of 4th place, but first place had a pretty big (and getting bigger) gap on second, and second had a decent gap on me. I held onto 3rd for a bit until I got yarded up Horsepower Hill by 4th.  3rd and 4th made a little gap on me at first then I eventually was able to close in on them by the last lap, as they were battling.  I actually was able to show them each a tire on different occasions as they swapped back and forth.  In fact I nearly made a pass for 3rd the last time through the whoops before the finish but ran out of real-estate and got forced off the track.  Overall I felt pretty good about the race. Production A has a lot of fast guys and it was fun to mix it up with them! I had a few motos before Vet A, so I headed to my pit to check on my baby and get refueled with some Ryno Power protein (chocolate, of course).

In Vet A I was looking to redeem myself! I got a good start, 3rd around the first corner. The man to beat in this class, when he shows up, is Scooter Wingerd.  Scooter is a great MXer and a pretty fun guy. He had pretty much put on a clinic for us old guys the day prior and I was hoping to try and hang with him on this day.  He made quick work to the front of the pack, and I ended up coming to a halt when the rider behind me put his front tires between my  left rear tires as we were entering the second corner.  My quad was locked up with the one behind me as the rest of the field headed up Horsepower Hill.  I put on a charge once again, thinking “It’s a good thing I like racing at this track, because I sure have been putting myself in position to do a lot of it this weekend!”  I caught the back of the pack near the beginning of the second lap and went to work.  I pretty much knew every passing lane by this time due to the fact that I had to figure them all out on the day before.  I actually was able to wade my way through the entire field up to second (although there were a couple of notables missing from this day’s line up).  Scooter had a decent gap on the field at this point and no laps remained. Scooter-Three World-Zero!  Such is life. I was happy with a second place finish.  I would attempt to get the top spot on the next moto.  I got back to the pits feeling pretty good about that moto.  It would be a short break and then back on the track for Production A.

10703884_10152396383592087_5045080424531598930_oMy second Production A moto went a lot like the first, but my start wasn’t as good. I ended up in second to last through the first few turns. I knew that without a good start it was going to be really hard to get up front, but I don’t get discouraged I just ride harder! I ended up in 4th again which I think is pretty good. I almost got a podium spot, but my 4-4 didn’t beat the 5-3 of the other guy, so I finished the day just shy of getting some hardware. I’m not sad about that at all. I had a great race with some of the fastest guys in the Northwest at Washougal. Hard to ask more than that.

My second vet moto was my last chance to try to get the overall. Last. Chance. Last. Race. When the gate dropped I got the great hookup I needed from my Maxxis tires and got the holeshot! Scooter was right behind me as was the rest of the field. Barring any mishaps I was pretty sure I could win. I was pretty worn out by this point in the weekend, but the reality is that’s what I came for because I love to race. Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment when it comes to quads.  The whoops ate me up and Scooter demonstrated the proper way to execute them as made his pass on me.  The other shock I had would have been great for this section…but only this section. Each lap I lost a little bit of time here and that was really disappointing for me.  The rest of the course he helped clean up my laps by showing me some fast lines.   I kept him honest but I had nothing for him come time for the checkers. At least I held it together for the silver spot on the podium.  After the race Scooter said, “I’m glad we at least had one straight up moto for the weekend” and I totally agree.  After the moto, I told him “Thanks for the lesson. At least now we know!”   Seriously though great racing! Not ideal, obviously, but I am happy with that finish. Second place out of a stacked class of fast guys is nothing to be disappointed about!

Washougal is a great venue for racing and Quadcross Northwest are great promoters. Everything runs on time (unless injury delays the schedule), the staff is very professional, they have killer logo’d apparel, and the competition is great and getting deeper all the time. Overall it was a great way to end the season and I am looking forward to racing it again next year. Due to the birth of my son, I missed three weekends (6 rounds) and didn’t qualify for a year end championship, but finished 5th in the points, with a podium every race except the Saturday of this weekend. I feel like that’s a pretty successful season. Hopefully I can finish out the year with some XC races and then get ready for next season during this winter.


Thank you to all my sponsors for their support! I am fortunate to have so many people behind me! My wife Megan, son Loic, Maxxis Tires, Klim, Fox Shox, Teixeira Tech, Rekluse, LED Performance, Precision Racing Products, Wiseco Piston, Trail Tech, HMF, Fullbore Innovations, 100% Goggles, UPP, CBR, Ryno Power, IMS, Pro Armor, Spider Grips, Maxima, Asterisk, Quad Tech, K&N Filters, Shorai Power, Sunstar, Spider Graphix, Galfer, Powermadd, Quad75.Com, Waterwell Developing & Surveys, & PitTraffic.com


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