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Story and photos by: Stephanie Hulsey

OXC Racing

New OXC Series Kicks Off Round 1 in Missouri
Ockerman takes overall in inaugural race

Pack your race gear boys, frigid temps and snow is all part of the fun – we’re going OXC Racing in Missouri!

Missouri Weather

Carson Coffman takes the inside of the first turn, as Bryan Baker (#38) moves ahead to take the hole shot off the Pro Class start.
Carson Coffman takes the inside of the first turn, as Bryan Baker (#38) moves ahead to take the hole shot off the Pro Class start.

No momentum left these riders struggling at the base of the hill climb in the final laps of the race.  A spectator lends a hand as a competitor tries to take another line.
No momentum left these riders struggling at the base of the hill climb in the final laps of the race. A spectator lends a hand as a competitor tries to take another line.

96 hours until the main event:  Missourians are overwhelmed that the mercury has hit 70 degrees in much of the state.  The sun is shining and there is a light breeze, it is a gorgeous day, and uncommon for January.  In Kansas City it is 12 degrees.

72 hours until the main event:  Temperatures have dropped down to the teens and low 20s.  A wind advisory is in effect for most of the state with wind chills dipping below 0 degrees and wind gusts of up to 45 miles per hour.

48 hours until the main event:  Many businesses are preparing to close early and schools are being dismissed as the first wave of a winter storm is stretching across the state.  A second wave is to follow in the evening hours with a total of 6-10 inches of snow accumulation.

24 hours until the main event:  While the amount of snow varied across the state, southern Missouri was hit with a few inches of snowfall.  Weekend temperatures are to reach the low 40s on Saturday.

Race Day: Awesome!

Granted, it was a bit chilly early February 2, but the weather called for temperatures to reach the low 40s and the winds have calmed down.  Snow is on the ground and it is best if you packed your boots to walk around the pit or the track at round one of the Ozarks Cross Country Racing series.

As racers from six states, Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Colorado, pulled into the pit area 13 miles outside of Mountain View, Missouri, the 13 racers in the morning youth and women’s classes were already off and running and drawing the attention of the fans.  There was much chatter among the afternoon racers about the potential track conditions and the discussions they had the night before about whether to make the trip or just sit this first race out, but they placed their money on the rocky terrain of southern Missouri and never looked back.

Giving a thumbs up to the crowd, first place overall winner, Donald Ockerman does a burn out on the podium as second and third place finishers Jody Estes and Kyle Martin look on. When asked about the track, Ockerman simply stated, “Awesome.  Loved it.”
Giving a thumbs up to the crowd, first place overall winner, Donald Ockerman does a burn out on the podium as second and third place finishers Jody Estes and Kyle Martin look on. When asked about the track, Ockerman simply stated, “Awesome.  Loved it.”

Top three overall pose for the crowd.  Left to right, 2nd Place, Jody Estes; 1st Place, Donald Ockerman; and 3rd Place, Kyle Martin.  Martin said, “The track held up a lot better than I thought. . .It was a lot of fun.”
Top three overall pose for the crowd.  Left to right, 2nd Place, Jody Estes; 1st Place, Donald Ockerman; and 3rd Place, Kyle Martin.  Martin said, “The track held up a lot better than I thought. . .It was a lot of fun.”

As racers filed out for their practice lap, spectators and race promoters waited to hear what they had to say.  It wasn’t long until everyone found we would have to wait for the race itself, as one Pro rider said, “It’s slick, because of the snow.” Seconds later another Pro rider, pulling into the pits said, “It isn’t bad out there, the traction is great.” Mixed feelings about the snow and mud were the same through most of the classes.  Next on the agenda was the riders meeting, where Randy Owens of Dirt Works Motorsports was greeted by a cheering crowd as he thanked racers and spectators for taking a chance on the weather and coming out for the inaugural race of the first ever ATV-only race series in the state of Missouri.  Finally, with adrenaline pumping, it was off to the starting line for the 121 racers and minutes away from the start of the first OXC race.  On the Pro Class starting line were 16 riders including familiar names from the GNCC Series, Bryan Baker, Donald Ockerman, and Kyle Martin; GNCC racer and 2007 Iowa Hare Scrambles ATV Champion Duane “The Rock” Johnson; 2007 Missouri Hare Scrambles ATV Champion Bryan Hulsey; and 2006 Kentucky Hare Scramble ATV Champion Jody Estes.

Needless to say, nothing runs flawlessly, and a late arrival of the ambulance set the start time back about 10 minutes, then the OXC Trophy Girls dropped the 15 second card and the Pro Class rocketed off the start, mud flying and the snow a mere memory.  As they blazed into the first turn, it was a last second battle between two Missouri riders as Bryan Baker inched ahead of Carson Coffman to clinch the hole shot award on his Polaris Outlaw and continued to lead the pack the first two of the five lap event.

Pro riders were running 18-19 minute lap times on the 6 mile track for most of the race.  As the mercury climbed into the 50s, the snow melted considerably and the made the loose dirt and rocks on the hill climb more challenging as the race went on.  Keeping your momentum was the key to winning this battle.  The hill climb also drew the attention of race fans wanting to cheer, snap a photo, or lend a hand when the going got tough. 
Ockerman, running fourth after the first lap and only 5 seconds behind the leader, maneuvered around Devon Jarrett and Duane Johnson in the second lap and still in a battle with Baker for the lead.  It was Ockerman who took over first place as he came through the scoring lane after three laps, seven seconds ahead of second place Jarrett.  Baker had fallen to third and Johnson, now in sixth, was pushing hard to make up time after getting tangled with a lapper and falling to ninth.

At the checkered flag, Illinois’ Donald Ockerman on his GT Thunder built Yamaha YFZ450 took the overall victory, as 11 of the 16 Pro racers came through the finish line on the final lap.  It was Jody Estes of Kentucky aboard his Gateway Cycles Kawasaki KFX450 taking second place after racing his way around Martin and Baker in the fourth lap, to come from fifth place.  In third, Missourian Kyle Martin, on his Dirt Works Motorsports prepped Honda TRX450R, motored past Baker in the final lap.  Rounding out the top five overall finishers were Missouri racers, Baker on his Polaris Outlaw placing fourth and Johnson in fifth on his Looney Tuned Can-Am DS450.

The top five overall finishers represented three states and five different ATV manufacturers, proving the OXC series will be a great six-race battle of man and machine – now that’s what I call awesome!

2008 Results

Adult Race Results

Adult Series Points

PeeWee & Women Series Points


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