Amateur Supercross Racers Invade Daytona International Speedway
by: Shan Moore
TimeFriday, March 11, 2022 | 9:25 AM
Amateur Supercross Racers Invade Daytona International Speedway
13th Annual Monster Energy Ricky Carmichael Daytona Amateur Supercross
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 11, 2022) - Top amateurs from all over the country showed off their skills at this week’s 13th Annual Monster Energy Ricky Carmichael Daytona Amateur Supercross (RCSX), on March 6th, 7th and 8th at Daytona International Speedway. In all, 1,339 entries lined up to compete for championships in 35 amateur classes on the same course the AMA Pro athletes competed on.
One of the standouts among the “A” riders this year was Ryder DiFrancesco, who will become a full time Pro Supercross racer next year. The Monster Energy Team Green Kawasaki rider won the coveted 250 All Star (A/B) title as well as the Open A main.
Among the B riders, Orange Brigade KTM’s Daxton Bennick won two classes, the 450 B and the Schoolboy 2 division, while finishing second in the 250 B main. Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Evan Ferry had a great ride, as well, with Ferry topping the highly competitive 250 B class, while finishing in the runner up position in the 450 B division.
KTM’s Landon Gibson and GasGas’ Thomas Wood both won two titles in the youth ranks, with Gibson topping the 85 (10-12) and Mini Sr (12-14) classes, while Wood took titles in the Supermini 1 and Supermini 2 classes.
Other riders taking multiple titles were Yamaha’s Logan Best (125cc 12-17 and Schoolboy 1), senior rider Tony Lorusso (Sr 40+ and Sr 45+), Tayce Morgan (65 10-11 and 65 7-11), Gavin Batson (250 C), (250 C Jr) and (125 C); and Anderson Waldele (Mini-E 4-8) and (50cc 7-8).
The 250 All Star race drew perhaps the most attention and it turned out to be a showdown between DiFrancesco and NSA/Rock River/bLU cRU Yamaha’s Gage Linville, with DiFrancesco squeezing into the lead at the drop of the gate. The lead was short-lived, though, as Linville quickly passed the Kawasaki rider right after the start to take the point. From there, Linville turned in an impressive ride, keeping DiFrancesco at bay until lap 12 when Linville hit a tuff bloc, allowing DiFrancesco into the lead.
DiFrancesco stretched out the lead during the final four laps and took a comfortable win ahead of Linville, with NSA/Rock River/bLU cRU Yamaha’s Gavin Towers in third. Yamaha riders Austin Kapoukranidis and Magnus Smith were fourth and fifth.
DiFrancesco returned later in the day to compete in the Open A race where youth won out over experience, as DiFrancesco topped veteran Mike Alessi (Smartop MotoConcepts Honda) in an exciting main event. Alessi grabbed one of his patented holeshots to start the race while Ezra Hastings and DiFrancesco battled for second. DiFrancesco made an inside pass to get around Hastings on lap two and then set his sights on Alessi. On lap five, DiFrancesco ducked under Alessi and took control of the race, leading the way to the finish.
Alessi held on for second, while Gavin Towers, Hastings and Magnus Smith took third through fifth.
Evan Ferry took a dramatic win in the 250 B main, edging out KTM’s Daxton Bennick for a narrow victory.
Lappers played a major role in the later stages of the race, hindering each of the major players in critical places, as the front-running duo pulled away from Noah Smerdon (KTM), Ivan Aldama (YAM) and Jaxon Pascal (KTM).
The Ferry and Bennick battle ebbed and flowed during each lap as Ferry would gain ground thanks to a good line onto the tabletop jump, while Bennick would make up ground in the split lane. Ferry managed to hold the advantage to the finish, taking the checkers a few bike-lengths ahead of Bennick, with Smerdon, Aldama and Pascal rounding out the top five.
Bennick and Ferry squared off again in the 10-lap Schoolboy 2 (12-17) main, but it was Pascal with the holeshot, although Bennick stole the lead in the second turn. Ferry soon followed and took after Bennick, who was threatening to pull away.
By lap three, Bennick and Ferry were hooked up in a battle for the lead, while Pascal sat comfortably in third. Ferry stuck with Bennick for a few laps, but Bennick was eventually able to pull away and was nearly eight seconds clear of Ferry at the finish.
Pascal finished third, with Aldama and Smerdon rounding out the top five.
Bennick was the early leader again in the 450 B main, leading Sebastian Balbuena (YAM), Carson Eads (YAM) and Ferry through the first few turns of the 12-lap race. Bennick gapped the field by four seconds in the first lap, as Ferry worked traffic in an attempt to get to clear track so he could chase after Bennick.
On lap three, Ferry passed Balbuena for second, but by that time Bennick was long gone, leading Ferry by 10 seconds. Bennick stretched his lead to a massive 26-second lead at the finish, as Ferry took second ahead of Balbuena.
Lucas Geistler (KTM) was fourth and Peyton Jackson (YAM) fifth.
The 250 B Limited main was a battle between Noah Smerdon and Janik. Smerdon led from start to finish, but Janik pushed the KTM rider for the full distance as the front-running duo gapped the field for their own personal battle.
Ivan Aldama finished the race in third, with Jordan Renfro and Jaxen Driskell rounding out the top five.
Janik came from deep in the pack to take an impressive win in the 450 B Limited class. The Team Green Monster Energy Kawasaki rider was as far down as seventh after the start but passed multiple riders each lap to take the lead at mid-race and pull away to a relatively easy win.
Kawasaki’s Aiden Dickens led the race early on, but soon gave up the lead spot to KTM’s Michael Corcoran, who later lost the lead to Noah Smerdon. Two crashes by Smerdon later in the race dropped the Georgia rider back to fourth at the finish, as Janik came on strong to pass Corcoran for the win.
The final results saw Janik with the win, followed by Corcoran in second, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Hayden Robinson in third, Smerdon in fourth and Dickens in fifth.
In the in the 125 (12-17) main, Casey Cochran put on a late charge on the leaders, but Logan Best held on to take the win ahead of Noah Stevens and Cochran.
KTM’s Landon Gibson turned in an impressive ride to top a stacked Mini Sr (12-14) division, the Georgia rider pulling away to a safe victory after charging into the early lead after the start.
The battle for second was the most interesting part of the race, as Yamaha’s Kade Johnson and GasGas’ Kelana Humphrey went back and forth in the runner-up slot.
Humphrey passed Johnson on lap two to move into second, while Gibson pulled a gap at the front. Johnson, however, was not about to give up and latched into Humphrey’s rear tire.
After several attempts that came up short, Johnson finally made a pass stick and moved back into second ahead of Humphrey at the exit of the split lane and held on until the checked flag.
At the finish, the order was Gibson with the win, followed by Johnson and Humphrey, while KTM riders Brody Barth and Chance Lawton rounded out the top five.
Carson Wood jumped out into the lead at the start of the 85 (10-12) race with Seth Dennis challenging. Dennis made a pass for the lead on the second lap, dropping Wood into second.
While Wood and Dennis battled up front, Landon Gibson was making a run from third and caught up with Wood on lap three. On lap six, Gibson finally made a pass on Wood to take second.
With two laps to go, Gibson started to make a run for Dennis and in one lap caught the leader and made the pass.
Dennis fought back, but at the checkers, Gibson took the win by just under two seconds ahead of Dennis with Wood in third.
GasGas Factory rider Thomas Wood led start to finish in the Super Mini 1 (12-15) main. Landen Gordon ran second with pressure from fellow Monster Energy Team Green Kawasaki teammate Drew Adams throughout the race. Gordon made a late push to catch Wood, but it was too little too late, and Wood took the win ahead of Gordon and Adams. Seth Dennis (KTM) was fourth, with Austin Schafer (KTM) in fifth.
In the Super Mini 2 (13-16) main, Wood held off the intense pressure from Drew Adams to take the win. Adams made several attempts and nearly pulled off a pass or two, but Wood withstood the pressure and brought home the win.
Landen Gordon and Kelana Humphrey were third and fourth, while Tristan Dalton was fifth.
Kade Johnson (YAM) and Chase Lawton (KTM) came together on the next to last lap of the Mini Sr 2 (13-15) main, allowing Johnson to displace Lawton as the leader of the eight-lap race. Johnson took the win by nearly four seconds ahead of Lawton, with Kalena Humphrey (GG) in third.
Seth Dennis jumped out to the lead in the 85 (10-12) Limited main and went the distance as Landon Gibson and Carson Wood ran 2-3 during the early going. Gibson fell midway into the race, allowing Wood to move into second and the die was cast as Dennis took the easy win ahead of Wood in second and Gibson in third. Colby Lessar and Wyatt Duff were fourth and fifth.
Triangle Cycles Yamaha’s Katie Benson led after the start of the WMX main with Jaime Astudillo (KTM) in tow. On lap five, Astudillo closed on Benson and was all over the Yamaha rider, finally making a pass on lap eight to take the lead.
Astudillo, who has been racing the WMX GPs in Europe, won the race with Benson in second and Hodges in third.
In the Junior 25+ race, it was no surprise when Mike Alessi grabbed the holeshot to start the main event, leading James Roberts (HQV) through the opening lap.
Alessi quickly pulled away, as Roberts and Michael Ashe (SUZ) battled over second. GasGas-mounted Logan McConnell pushed Ashe during the early laps, which turned into the best battle of the race. Finally, with the laps winding down, McConnell made a pass for third on the final lap and the final order was set.
At the finish, Alessi took an easy win, followed by Roberts, McConnell and Ashe. Lowell Spangler was fifth on a Honda.
Tony Lorusso (YAM) led start to finish to win the eight-lap Sr 40+ main. Barry Carsten (SUZ) held of Oklahoman Robby McQuary (YAM) for second.
In the Sr 45+ race, Lorusso topped Kawasaki-mounted John Grewe and Carston for the win.
Other winners included Dawson Cobb (450 C); Jayden Slegers (250 C Limited); Gage Linville (College); Lowell Spangler (Vet 30+); Jordan Helman (Vet 30 A/B); Steve Nagy (40+ B/C); John Grewe (Masters 50+); Shannon Tarnow (51cc 4-6); Eidan Steinbrecker (65 7-9).
For more information on the Monster Energy Ricky Carmichael Daytona Amateur Supercross, visit the series official website at www.racedaytona.com or call (304) 284-0101. Join the conversation on the event’s social media channels, along with receiving the most up-to-date news and exclusive content.
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About Monster Energy Ricky Carmichael Daytona Amateur Supercross (RCSX):
The Monster Energy Ricky Carmichael Daytona Amateur Supercross is the world’s premier amateur supercross event hosted annually since 2010 at the World Center of Racing - Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. The class structure includes 35 classes from youth riders on 51cc bikes all the way to Golden Masters (60+). The program follows a supercross format, using heat races and last chance qualifiers to seed the field of riders into the main event in each class. In collaboration with 15-time champion Ricky Carmichael, this event is produced by MX Sports, Inc., a West Virginia-based race production company and sanctioned by AMA. For more information, please visit www.mxsports.com.
About Daytona Vintage Supercross (DVSX) and AMA Pro ATV Supercross:
The Daytona Vintage Supercross was added to the event roster in 2019 and has doubled in size in one year. The program features 37 classes from Vintage (through 1974) to Evolution (through 1979, 1984, and 1986) and Revolution (through 1998 and 2008), sprinkled with some modern classes. The highlight of the race action is the AMA ATV Pro Supercross, featuring the world’s fastest Pro ATV, Pro Sport and WMX Pro racers. Held the Tuesday after RCSX, the program attracts vintage motorcycle enthusiasts and older riders. For more information, please visit www.mxsports.com.
About the American Motorcyclist Association:
Founded in 1924, the AMA is a not-for-profit member-based association whose mission is to promote the motorcycle lifestyle and protect the future of motorcycling. As the world's largest motorcycling rights and event sanctioning organization, the AMA advocates for riders' interests at all levels of government and sanctions thousands of competition and recreational events every year. The AMA also provides money-saving discounts on products and services for its members. Through the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Pickerington, Ohio, the AMA honors the heroes and heritage of motorcycling. For more information, visit www.americanmotorcyclist.com. Not a member? Join the AMA today: www.americanmotorcyclist.com/membership/join.