2011 NBL Grands
This Labor Day weekend was the annual NBL Grand Nationals in Louisville, KY and a historic grand finale for the annual tradition for most NBL racers. The weekend was a mix of big battles for top rankings, crazy crashes, reminiscing favorite memories from the past 30 years of NBL racing, sadness over the end of an era, and optimism for a new generation of BMX racing with USA BMX. The Profile team, along with co-sponsor Hyper Bicycles, set up a big tent area along the first straight and got down to business.
Thursday and Friday were for practice, dialing in the rides, welcoming new team rider Chandler Denton and showing off the Profile gear. With the temperature topping out over 100 degrees it was tough for everyone, even the Florida based Profile riders. Big fans and several cases of water helped the team get through the heat.
Friday night was the Challenge Championship race and some of the Profile team riders hit the track for some racing action. Tyler Faoro came back from London and the Supercross race looking fast and smooth as usual. After cruising through the motos, he got hung up in traffic and didn’t transfer out of the semi to make the main. New team member Chandler Denton raced 16-29 open for extra track time. He took seconds and firsts in his motos but a tough crash in the second turn during the qualifiers prevented him from making the main. Eli Weiss put in a strong showing in his first Grands as an A Pro and made it all the way to the semi and just 1 spot short of qualifying for the main event.
Saturday stared bright and early and within a few hours the temperatures were hovering around 100 and the team put their first 2 rounds in the books. Then on Sunday the clouds arrived and brought lower temperatures along with round three of the motos, qualifiers and the main events.
AA Pro, Tyler Faoro, kept the momentum going through the motos and into semi. There, he was battling from the back and making a move into a qualifying position when he had a little bobble in the last jump of the Pro set while trying to protect the inside line. His back end washed out and sent him home early.
Eli Weiss looked strong again on Saturday. Even though he is still relatively new to the A Pro class, he had strong showings in his motos and qualified all the way to the semis before finishing fifth and just short of making the main.
Chandler Denton, also racing 17-18X, had top finishes in his motos but a crash in the 1/8 qualifiers ended his day early. Still Chandler is a very fast rider and is a welcome addition to the team. Welcome aboard Chandler!
Shane Hall, 17-18 expert, bounced back from a crash in the second moto to qualify for the 1/8 finals. Things were looking good until he tangled with another rider sending his bike over the first turn and leaving Shane standing at the top of the berm. In his 17-24 cruiser, Shane took home all firsts in his motos but could not make it out of the qualifiers and just missed making his main.
15 Expert, Caleb Minthorn, not only took top finishes in his motos, battled through the 1/8’s, quarter and semi finals, but he took home a podium spot in the main with his third place finish. Caleb also raced 11 cruiser where he had another strong showing and took home a sixth place finish in the main event.
Shay Glynn, racing 15 expert girls, took home a big win in her main event and a 6.5 foot trophy! In the Junior Women class she made it through the motos and qualifiers and took home a third in the main. Great job with the double podiums Shay!
11 Expert, Tanner Engle took top finishes in his motos and after the quarters and semis he qualified to make it to the main. There he was trying to make a move in the last turn but ended up with a tough wreck instead and had to settle for an eighth place finish.
Casey Minthorn, racing 10 expert, made it out of the motos and through the quarters and semis to his very first main at the Grands. Looking forward to take home the big trophy Casey got a good start, rode hard and took home a fifth place finish.
41 and over Expert and 40-44 cruiser, John Pringle, had a strong showing at the Grands. After top finishes in all his motos, John battled back from behind in his expert quarters and semi but fell a half a wheel short of making the main. In cruiser, he had to get through 1/8 qualifiers, quarters and semis often battling from the back of the pack to finish in a top 4 transfer spot, to make the main where he took home a seventh.
Nic Lucas racing for the Madera team was racing smooth and fast until a crash in the second turn during the 1/8 qualifiers sent him home early.
Overall it was a very successful Grands and another great year for the Profile team. Everyone had a great time and collected more Grands memories for this “Grand Finale”.
Thanks again to Jim, Nancy, Charlie and everyone else at Profile for another great year. See you at the track!