2018 Silver Dollar Nationals Race Report
Las Vegas round Numero Uno took over the South Point Hotel, Casino, and Arena last weekend and the energy in the building was electric. The Season Opener is prime time for new teams to make a name for themselves and for established teams to show what they’re made of. This race also marked the first time that the President's Cup was held in the Pacific Time zone. California would defend the title once again in 2018 but Arizona gave a valiant effort with only a 5 point deficit.
The biggest change was Donovan Long’s longtime Haro squad making the switch over to Wiawis (Winning in Action, Winning in Sport) frames. We grabbed a few words from one of the winningest team managers in our sport’s history.
Alpha has been on the rise for a few seasons now but this year they came to win. With hotshot additions like Michael Villanueva and Alan Hudson, they're serious about competing with the big boys. Pictured above is one Anthony Bucardo who has been on a mission since he was leading the NAG 5 Challenge main event last November in Tulsa. He would go on to win the President's Cup in the newly formed 17-20 Expert class by winning 2 of the 3 days. Alpha Team Manager shared the team's philosophy with us at the finish line.
After giving it a go at the Factory team level in 2017 and finishing 5th, J&R is back in the Bike Shop team ranks. We suspect that they'll head straight back to fighting for wins and every event they attend. With top-notch pickups like 10 Expert Ryder Santos, long time TM Scott Angus always has his eye on fresh talent.
The defending #1 Factory Team only sent five of their highly talented squad to Vegas which was surprising as sin city usually yields some of the highest rider counts of the season. Those who were there donned the new chartreuse and blue uniforms. They will be hard to miss on the track in 2018. Pictured above is your new National #1, Brandon Crain.
Social media has been buzzing since Grands about the 2018 Powerlite squad. They have added some serious talent in their quest for the Factory Team title this year. With additions like Danica Anderson (pictured above), Elida Beeman, the Hayes twins, Felicia Stancil, Joseph Mather and a host of others, they will be a FORCE this season. Team Manager Chris Chudzik breaks down their 2018 squad below.
FACTORY FREE AGENT/BOX
The Free Agent team has been a staple on the tour for quite a few years and this year is no exception. With the addition of 12 Expert Nathan Kitchen, they're bound to take their fair share of team wins this season.
If you hear someone belting out the theme from Jaws, you can believe there is a shark out in front of the pack. This Southern California based Bike Shop team came out swinging in Vegas and looks to be an early contender in the Bike Shop team ranks. Oh yeah, they also picked up the Shriver sisters for this season which we spoke to Team Manager Danny about. Check out what he had to say below.
LDC has rebranded their goods with a fresh logo and brought on a fresh TM, that you may have heard of before. Jerry Bradford has been building championship riders and teams for years. With his resume and the company's awesome stable of riders, anything is possible.
Last Year's Golden Crank Team of the Year has gone Johnny Cash and switched to black uniforms. We also hear that they won't be rocking Supercross frames much longer as they've inked a deal to introduce German brand Radio into the American market.
On to some racing! Pro Open always is a toss up in Vegas as you'll never know who is going to show up. This weekend belonged to one BJ Ensey.
He signed his pro papers and was literally off to the races on Friday. He grabbed the early lead in the main but would unsuccessfully try to sneak in one last pedal before turn one. Unfortunate for him that pedal would meet the sandy desert dirt and buck him off his Powerlite. He'd take down most of the other riders as well but Rift's Marquise Montgomery got around for the victory. Days two and three belonged to Ensey from the gate to the finish line. We grabbed him before the main on day three to get some words.
Other standouts on the weekend were 51 & Over Expert Vegas local Eric Sweets who won five out of six mains between the new elder statesmen 20" class and 51-55 cruiser. Turnell Henry, who is affectionately known as "Tuni", showed up Saturday and ruled the 56-60 Cruiser class on his fresh 26" Daylight ARC-1 frame.
National #1 Girl Cruiser Madelynn Desantis didn't skip a beat and won 13-14 Girls Cruiser all three days much to the pleasure of her new US Development TM Dale Holmes.
Supercross' new addition Joshua White stayed consistent and captured himself two President's Cups, One in 9-10 Open and another in 10 Expert, the biggest class of the final day of competition.
National #1 Amateur Brandon Crain started off red hot on Friday with a win in 14 Expert but would get swallowed up by the class on Friday and Saturday. Dylan Wood would grab the wins on Saturday and Sunday and take the Cup.
The newly formed 17-20 Expert Class was EXCITING, to say the least. Anyone of the eighth finals could have been the main event at another race. After the dust settled Alpha's Anthony Bucardo would nab two wins and the President's Cup. This class will be one to watch all year long!
Well, that's it from LV1. We hope everyone enjoyed another fun-filled weekend in the desert with us. We'll see everyone in Louisville!