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By: Ray Larez

WORCS RD#7 Glen Helen Raceway

The overall winner Jeremie Warina, jumping the road crossing and way out front.
The overall winner Jeremie Warina, jumping the road crossing and way out front.
 
The current point leader crossing the larger pedestrian bridge. Beau Barron would finish second overall   
 The current point leader crossing the larger pedestrian bridge. Beau Barron would finish second overall
Ironman John Natalie charging off the asphalt sections and headed to the tunnel on the fast paced grand prix course.
Ironman John Natalie charging off the asphalt sections and headed to the tunnel on the fast paced grand prix course.

The record breaking temperatures were just one of the obstacles for the second to last round. The other obstacles were the rough track and tight points race.  Weeks prior California had a major heat wave roll through, and it was still lingering. Temperatures were in the 113 range- plus. It was extremely hot! I had ridden in an amateur race on Saturday and had to pull off half way through the race because of the heat. I was so drained and dead tired, I couldn’t imagine running a race that was twice as long, like the Pros.

Now to the points race that was heating up! Cafro Racing’s Beau Baron came into this round with the points lead; right behind last year’s champ Josh Frederick aboard his Motoworks/Can-Am Machine. Frederick was coming off an injury that happened at the ITP Quadcross early this year, and was looking great out on the track during practice. Also spotted at practice was former GNC Champ John Natalie aboard his Can-Am ride. John was looking in top form.  He must have been out west doing some training for the up coming GNC season. Also, rumors were out that he was there to create a buffer between himself and points leader Barron along with teammate Frederick to help with points. John had a bit of bad luck in practice on Friday. Somehow he and Polaris rider Doug Eichner  ran into each other head-on over a tabletop. I didn’t witness it, but others who had said it didn’t look good for either rider. John and Doug both were sent to the hospital and released. John had broken ribs, but showed up for practice the next day. Is that why they call him Iron man?? Unfortunately, Doug was less fortunate with a broken arm and other internal injuries. Doug is not expected back this season.

Well, as the gate dropped, the machines roared to the first turn, where Yamaha’s Dustin Nelson would take the holeshot and take home $100 for doing so. Dustin was followed by the French rider Jeremie Warnia in a very close second. Warnia would make quick work of Nelson to pass him in the first lap. Nelson would fall back in the pack all the way back to finish fourth. Beau Barron got off the line in fifth and had some catching up to do if he wanted to stay the point’s leader.  The reigning champ Josh Frederick started just in front of Beau and charged hard the whole race to finish a solid third. Beau would ride a solid race and keep his points lead by finishing second overall. The overall win would go to Jeremie Warnia and now will bump him up in the points race. Jeremie has been having a really strong season and now was right behind teammate Frederick in third. As for Keith Little he would start the race, but would only make it half way till he had some issues and had to drop out. Also, Jarrod McClure would also DNF but only got about two and a half laps in before having trouble.

The Ironman John Natalie would finish fifth. Even after the bad luck he was dealt earlier in the week he still had a solid finish, broken ribs and all. The fifth round Chris Borich showed up and is rumored to show up in the final round in Nevada. Now on this round John Natalie and Keith Little showed up to throw their hats in the ring. Looks like the WORCS series is really starting to grow in popularity and is showing great potential for growth. Even with the economic turn down, the racer turn out has still been really strong and with big named pros like that showing up, it’s only going to get better.

Keith Little made the trip out west and ran into trouble to not finish with an hour to go.  
 Keith Little made the trip out west and ran into trouble to not finish with an hour to go.
Josh Frederick playing catch up after an injury early in the season. He is trying to win his third WORCS championship. 
Josh Frederick playing catch up after an injury early in the season. He is trying to win his third WORCS championship.

Overall, it was an awesome weekend of racing, even though the weather could have been a little nicer. The heat got not only to the racers, but machines as well. This is also the first time the WORCS series was back at its home track where it all started. The series has gone to more of a grand prix style course and tends to use the larger tracks with open space. This year Glen Helen opened/combined both tracks and some other parts of the surrounding property to support this larger grand prix style course. Thanks to the good folks at Glen Helen raceway for putting together a great track. Alsoc big thanks to the whole WORCS crew for another great race.


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