William Yokley finished 7th Overall today in hot, humid and dusty conditions. There were 201 total entries with 23 XC1 Pro Riders. Team Rider Mark Notman finished 21th Overall and 7th in the 23 rider XC2 Pro Am Class.
This is the time of the season when it’s usually hot and dry, and your conditioning is tested. Yadkinville is a beautiful area of North Carolina with many wineries and lots of ATV enthusiasts. This year, hot, humid weather and lots of red clay dust greeted us as we set up on Friday. It looked like it was going to rain Sat. morning, which we really needed, but it never came and just got hotter. Using your head and staying on 4 wheels would be important today, as well as a good start. I hydrated myself well on Friday and Saturday, did my pre-race warm up and stretching, and headed to the start area.
I got a pretty decent start and as everyone piled into the first turn, the typical chaos began. I was sandwiched in between Matt Smiley and Chris Borich coming into the turn when I tried to make the hole bigger and squeeze through. I caused a big mess when my rear tire jumped Borich’s front tire and launched my rear end straight up into the air. I just hung on tight and was able to set it down and throw it into the turn without crashing. Borich wasn’t as lucky as he tumbled hard. I went into the woods in 8th and worked my way to 7th going into lap 2. Just when I thought this would be a decent day, my bike started running really badly; I thought it was a little rich and just needed cleaning out, but as I went down each straight it got worse instead of better. Did I mention the dust was bad?
Without being able to open it up and cleanly run out of corners and open areas, it made it kind of rough for the rest of the day. I ran in 6th for most of the day behind McGill, but in the open areas, it just would miss and sputter, and I would get caught in the dust and loose more time. Borich caught me on the last lap; I was trying to hold him off, but I hit a stump with my rear tire shooting me into a tree where I got stuck. I limped to the finish in 7th Overall with my air filters plugged up. I hate something like that holding me back during the race, but it could always be worse. I’m just glad that race is over, it was getting old eating all that dust!
My teammate Mark had a good day after overcoming some adversity. He got a good start going into the woods in 5th. The heavy dust made it difficult to see most of the time; he overshot a turn and hit a small creek at a bad angle resulting in smashing his knee into the handlebars. It took awhile for the pain to subside and get in a rhythm, but after a few miles he caught back up to the lead pack. Toward the end of lap 1, his seat somehow popped off and he had to stop to retrieve and reinstall it, costing him several positions. Mark put his head down and rode mistake free working his way to 5th right behind 4th going into the last lap. His knee was really bothering him at this point, and he made the decision to not attempt the big creek jump, costing him a couple of positions. He ended the day in 7th XC2 Pro AM and 21st Overall, and sits in 4th place in the season points.
I plan to keep training and preparing for the rocky conditions we will face in 2 weeks in PA. I will also be racing the Polaris RZR there in the UTV Race, and hopefully I’ll get back on the box! See you there.