The Western Regional 250SX Class delivered unbelievable drama and action but the winner of the night was Rookie Nate Thrasher. It was his second-ever career win after his first victory one week prior at the same venue. Making the first place finish even more dramatic, for the second time Thrasher had to qualify for the Main Event through the Last Chance Qualifier. In both cases the Yamaha rider won the LCQ then went on to win the Main Event in convincing fashion.
Earning second and significantly stretching out his points lead, Justin Cooper grabbed the holeshot and looked on his way to the win but a crash and injured rider on the track brought out the red flags for a re-start. Cooper duplicated his incredible start and put his Yamaha up front again on the re-start but lost the lead to his teammate in the early laps. Cooper rode steady and unchallenged in second to stretch his lead in the championship chase to 20 with one round remaining in the division.
Heading into the race, much of the focus was around Cameron McAdoo, whose dramatic crash and courageous ride on Tuesday night had him in intense physical recovery for three days. His final race in Atlanta started out bad; he had a huge crash in qualifying after separating from his bike off the face of a triple jump. He was clearly affected with soreness and pain in his heat race, dropping outside of a transfer position before picking up his pace and reaching seventh place for a spot in the Main Event.
When the gate dropped for the Main Event, Cameron came together with another rider in a low rhythm section and while recovering from that got hit in the back of the head by another rider's rear wheel as he jumped nearly completely over McAdoo. McAdoo remounted but one rider was down on the track, necessitating a full restart for the second time in a 250SX Class Main Event in the past two rounds.
In the re-start, McAdoo jumped out with a sixth place start, but less than three minutes into the 15-minute plus one lap Main Event he ran into the back of teammate Seth Hammaker when Hammaker made a mistake in the whoops. The crash also collected Pierce Brown. That set McAdoo back to eleventh, but his troubles weren't over. Less than five minutes into the race Garrett Marchbanks aggressively rode under McAdoo in a bermed corner and sent both riders down to the ground. Their bikes locked together and McAdoo finally remounted in 17th position. The Kawasaki rider was able to advance four positions to earn a very hard-fought 13th place finish, putting him 22 points down in the title hunt, and dropping him from second to third in the standings.
Another 2021 race winner, Australian Hunter Lawrence, ran into some troubles of his own when he went off the track and over a Tuff Blox, throwing him to the ground on the opening lap. Lawrence got to work climbing back through the pack from 18th place; he salvaged an impressive fourth place finish on the night.
The series next heads to Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City for the penultimate 450SX Class event and Round eight of the Eastern Regional 250SX Class on Saturday, April 24th.
Then one week later, at the same venue, the final round of the season to determine three championships with a 450SX race and the 250SX East/West Showdown.
450SX Class Results
1. Cooper Webb, Newport N.C., KTM
2. Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Honda
3. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki
4. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha
5. Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., GASGAS
6. Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha
7. Dylan Ferrandis, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Yamaha
8. Dean Wilson, Murrieta, Calif., Husqvarna
9. Marvin Musquin, Corona, Calif., KTM
10. Chase Sexton, Clermont, Fla., Honda
450SX Class Championship Standings
1. Cooper Webb, Newport N.C., KTM (339)
2. Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Honda (323)
3. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (299)
4. Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., GASGAS (264)
5. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha (234)
6. Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.Mex., Husqvarna (223)
7. Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha (209)
8. Dylan Ferrandis, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Yamaha (199)
9. Marvin Musquin, Corona, Calif., KTM (182)
10. Joey Savatgy, Clermont, Fla., KTM (177)
Western Regional 250SX Class Results
1. Nate Thrasher, Livingston, Tenn., Yamaha
2. Justin Cooper, Menifee, Calif., Yamaha
3. Seth Hammaker, Temecula, Calif., Kawasaki
4. Hunter Lawrence, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Honda
5. Kyle Peters, Greensboro, N.C., Honda
6. Jalek Swoll, Belleview, Fla., Husqvarna
7. Enzo Lopes, Huntersville, N.C., Honda
8. Mitchell Harrison, Murrieta, Calif., Honda
9. Dilan Schwartz, Alpine, Calif., Suzuki
10. Coty Schock, Dover, Del., Honda
Western Regional 250SX Class Championship Standings
1. Justin Cooper, Menifee, Calif., Yamaha (180)
2. Hunter Lawrence, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Honda (160)
3. Cameron McAdoo, Sioux City, Iowa, Kawasaki (158)
4. Seth Hammaker, Temecula, Calif., Kawasaki (142)
5. Jalek Swoll, Belleview, Fla., Husqvarna (138)
6. Nate Thrasher, Livingston, Tenn., Yamaha (127)
7. Garrett Marchbanks, Coalville, Utah, Yamaha (125)
8. Kyle Peters, Greensboro, N.C., Honda (111)
9. Coty Schock, Dover, Del., Honda (99)
10. Mitchell Harrison, Murrieta, Calif., Honda (90)