Wimmer and Gust go one-two at Muddy Creek
There were a lot of questions to be answered at Sunday's eighth round of the AMA Pro ATV National Championship Series. Would defending champion and Rockstar/Makita/Yoshimura/Suzuki rider Dustin Wimmer be able to come back from his shoulder injury and win? Would "Digger" Doug Gust continue his hot streak? All these questions (and more) were answered by the end of the day in Blountville, Tennessee.
The night before the race, the Muddy Creek racetrack was heavily watered and then later that night a downpour hit the area. The riders were a bit concerned but race-day dawned hot and humid. The temperatures were in the '90s with high humidity and the track dried out before practice was over and was in great shape for the start.
The race was obviously going to be a test of man and machine. Wimmer, still recovering from shoulder surgery a short time ago, was going to have to dig deep to pull off a win. Teammate and legendary racer "Digger" Doug Gust, who has recently been on fire, is always a threat. The rougher the conditions, the better Gust usually does. With the heat and humidity surrounding this event - Gust was going to be a factor.
"My Rockstar/Makita/Yoshimura/Suzuki is working great and I feel great!" Gust said before the start. "I guess I'm going to have to show some of these kids out here how it's done. My goal for the day is to get on the box and keep the points coming. I'm riding good and my quad is just perfect - I'm looking to a podium."
At the start of the first moto both Wimmer and current points leader Chad Wienen had starts outside the top ten. It looked for sure that neither would be a factor in moto one. Meanwhile, Gust made some quick moves and mauled his way up into 4th place by the end of lap one. Wimmer quickly began his incredible charge forward. He was passing people in groups and looked to be at another level above the other riders.
Gust was really on form and this race showcased his talent. On lap two, the veteran speedster moved up to third and was riding fast, smooth and aggressive. A top finish looked to be in the cards for "Digger" as he passed another rider and moved into second.
Wimmer still working his way forward, was running lap times a full second faster then anyone else on the track! By the 4th lap he had moved the Rockstar/Makita/ Yoshimura/Suzuki QuadRacer R-450 up to 6th place and it was obvious that he wanted more.
Another few laps and Wimmer was past the 4th place rider and up into 3rd place. He was also fast closing on teammate Gust, who in turn was closing on the race leader. With the white flag out, Wimmer pulled out all the stops and passed first Gust and then the leader for the win! The Champ pulled it off, eleventh place to first. Looks like the champ is back!
"I kinda screwed up the start a little," Wimmer said after Moto One. "It motivated me to forget about everything else and focus on catching up. I was fortunate and rode well and ended up grabbing the win. Hopefully I can put my Suzuki back on top in Moto Two and pull it off today."
The start of Moto Two saw Yoshimura-sponsored Harold Goodman snag the holeshot with Gust in third and Wimmer right behind him in fourth. By the end of lap one, Wimmer made a good move and passed teammate Gust for third.
In lap two, Wimmer passes into second place, his Yoshimura-powered Suzuki QuadRacer R450 screaming past the second place rider like he was tied to a post.
At the start of lap four, Wimmer makes the pass for the lead and instantly pulls ahead. Again, Wimmer is running lap times a full second faster then anyone else on the track. Both Wimmer and Gust's LT-Rs seem to be on rails and the smooth power delivery and purpose built chassis seem to hook up where the others struggle.
"Digger" Doug Gust was in fourth but right on the third place rider. Gust was finding lines where no one else was even looking. Combine his experience and race-crafting skills with raw speed and Gust always comes up as a threat to win.
At the three-quarter mark, Gust passed up to third place and was closing ground on the second place rider. Wimmer was cruising at a nice pace out front maintaining his gap over second.
The last lap white flag waved just as Gust passed into second! Both Suzuki riders were on the gas and at the checkers it was Wimmer first, teammate Gust second - a Suzuki one-two for moto two, and one-two overall on the day for Team Rockstar/Makita/Yoshimura/Suzuki. The win puts Wimmer only 5 points behind the series leader.
"It feels really good to be winning again," Wimmer said after the event. "The shoulder injury was really frustrating. We put in a lot of hard work and I'm feeling pretty good now, not 100% but getting back close again. Next round I'll be there!"
Gust was happy with his podium finish: "My goal was to be up on the box so I feel good about that. Only one more step to go, so we'll work on that for the next race. I love it that Team Rockstar/Makita/Suzuki/Yoshimura went one-two today. There's nothing else as good as a Yoshimura-powered QuadRacer R450 out there."
Final results for Muddy Creek event:
1st- Dustin Wimmer Team Rockstar/Makita/Yoshimura/Suzuki
2nd Doug Gust Team Rockstar/Makita/Yoshimura/Suzuki
3. Chad Wienen