WPSA Season Opens with Doug Gust and Dustin
Wimmer on Podium
Wimmer on the gas at Silver Dollar
Brea, CA April 30, 2007 The opening round
of the 2007 WPSA SuperQuad Pro 450 Series got
off to a great start for Team Rockstar/MSR/Pro
Taper/Suzuki/Yoshimura. A new Rockstar awning
and Tucker Rocky Hospitality Center were quickly
set up under beautiful blue skies at the Silver
Dollar Race Track in Reynolds, GA. The track had
been dormant for years, but the WPSA crew got
the it back up to speed in no time and the
facility turned out to be very raceable as well
as challenging. With the dry weather the
sand/clay base featured good traction and the
corners had multiple lines.
Rick Murphy and the rest of the folks at WPSA
had prepared for a bumper crop of riders and
they got it. Over 450 entries and a record
number 39 Pros showed up to support the
first event of the series that will be broadcast
on ESPN-2 in June.
This was the first race with newcomer Chad
"Wide Open" Wienen aboard a QuadRacerฎ R450. He
had been busy all week with his mechanic Ryan
Cox getting his new bike set up and getting used
to the idea of being a "factory rider."
In the first group of qualifying races on
Saturday, the team did very well. Wienen was
ready to prove his mettle with the other two
members of the Triple Threat Suzuki squad. He'd
only had a couple of days on the finished bike
and his lap times had been smokin' hot. It was
showtime. The format was to have two split field
qualifying races on Saturday and then the same
on Sunday morning. In the WPSA series, even the
qualifying heats carry points that total in.
Chad was paired with teammate Doug Gust, and
Dustin Wimmer was running his heat solo.
Although Doug had first gate pick, he still
trailed Natalie for the holeshot and came in
third behind Wienen. In the second heat, Wimmer
made a bullet line to the first turn for the
holeshot and walked away from the pack for an
Doug Gust ground-pounding up Suzuki
Sunday's first qualifier pitted Gust against
Natalie again, with "The Digger" getting the
holeshot and never looking back. Doug had some
really good lines through the whoops sections
and that helped him increase his lead. The
second qualifier had both Wimmer and Wienen
going for the win. Wienen had tangled up with
another rider at the start and took off close to
the back of the pack. But the end of lap one
Wienen was fourth, by the end of two laps Wienen
was second. Passing riders does not seem to be
much of problem for Wide Open Wienen. At the
checkers, Chad held a couple of seconds lead and
he, Dustin and Natalie all were tied for points.
Finally, the main event was ready to go and
at gate drop it was Natalie, Wienen and Gust and
so it stayed for seven laps. Chad Wienen was
blazing fast and was closing in on Natalie when
his bike stalled due to a suspected case of
boiling gas. Although he was able to get going
again after a moment or two, the race for the
win was over for Wienen. Wimmer came up from
behind and eventually passed Goodman for third.
"The QuadRacer was going really fast and I
was really gaining on Natalie, "Wienen said
after the race. "I'd gotten one of my best
starts ever, too. Even though I didn't win, I
think we went out and showcased what we can do.
I'll be ready for Taylorville."
Chad Wienen takes flight!
With Wienen out of the running it was up to
Doug and Dustin to move into the lead. They
really pushed the bikes but Natalie had about a
ten second lead that they couldn't overcome and
had to settle for second and third place.
"All in all, I had a good weekend," Doug
said. "The Suzuki QuadRacer R450 really worked
well and the team has been really working hard
to get it dialed in right. I've been working
hard on my starts and it really showed today."
Wimmer was philosophical about the weekend,
"Overall, I came out of the weekend with a heat
win, and a lot of points. I'm not happy with
Sunday's results, but I know I have the speed
and endurance to win and that's what I intend to
do this season...a lot."
The trio has a couple of weeks off to
strategize for their next assault at
Taylorsville, IL on May 12th.
TEAM ROCKSTAR/MSR/PRO TAPER/SUZUKI/YOSHIMURA
Maxxis Douglas Repsol Pro Aluminum
AFAM BMC Filters
Galfer PowerMadd CV Products Full Bore
Motion Pro Liquid Performance
Walsh Fox Shocks NGK Hinson Clutch
Precision Racing Products VP Fuels Quad Tech
RPM Mechanix Wear One Industries