Hess repeats at OMA round two

Article and photos by John Gasso

The mud was not a problem for Shane Gaunt at OMA round two, but a flat tire
did add some excitement to his day. Gaunt finished in second place after
passing the stuck machine of Kyle Martin on the last lap.

Texan Shawn Hess proved his first win at the OMA Nationals in Tennessee was not a fluke by taking another victory at the round two event near Millerstown, Kentucky aboard the Houser Racing Blingstar Honda. Heavy rains during the preceding week made conditions less than optimal for the Parts Unlimited OMA Nationals Rekluse Indian Bluff XC. According to Hess “it was a brutal one.” Kyle Martin took the holeshot aboard his Dirtworks Motorsports Roll Design Honda and battled all day with Hess, even taking the lead late in the race. Unfortunately for Martin, a final lap mistake left him stuck in a rut while Shane Gaunt motored by on his Aupperle Racing TORC Honda to claim second place. Privateer racer Chris Moore finished just off the podium in fourth place, while the Duncan Racing Rekluse Honda of Missouri racer John Pitts rounded out the top five.

Kyle Martin took the holeshot again for round two, but had some late race
issues that landed him in third place for the event.
“We had some good battling going on,” recalled Hess regarding his race with Kyle Martin. “I mean, every time I looked back he was right there,” he said. “Actually, he (Martin) got around me one lap there, the third lap from the end. Lappers were playing a big, big, role in the passing and the racing out there.” Hess was motoring through the mud with his Maxxis Tires Elka Suspension Honda, but did not escape some of the mud holes. “I ended up getting stuck four times due to lappers,” said Hess. “I come through and they said you don’t have much time to catch him if you’re going to do it. And I thought, ok, I’m for sure in second. I just kept my head down, and we got back in there in some muddy areas and I was able to work back around him. Like I said, it was more survival than racing.”

Shawn Hess really had to work for his victory at the Rekluse Indian Bluff
XC. Track conditions made the day difficult, but the Texan pulled out win
number two with a gap of four and one half minutes over second place racer
Shane Gaunt.
Eighteen year old Shane Gaunt had a different view of the conditions. It seems the Moose Racing Scott Goggles Honda of Gaunt is more at home in the mud. “I usually ride good in the mud, so I was kind of excited that it was muddy down here,” said Gaunt with a smile. “For some reason, I don’t know, I do good in mud. I have fun.” However, the Morton, Illinois teenager did not escape without his share of excitement. According to Gaunt, “I came through, I think it was like the second lap, I came through the check and I got goggles. I took off, and about five minutes after I took back off I realized I had a flat. I made it around the whole lap without getting passed. I got back, changed the tire, and just had fun. I didn’t know what place I was in or nothin’. I was just riding.”

John Pitts blasted his Duncan Racing Honda through the mud and water at the
OMA Nationals Rekluse Indian Bluff XC. Pitts would finish in fifth place
after two hours and twenty three minutes of torture Bill Gusse style.
Third place went to a frustrated Kyle Martin aboard the Maxxis Tires Douglas Wheel Technologies Honda. Martin appeared to be in good position for a possible victory, but the mud was not his friend today. “Obviously the mud was a huge issue,” said the racer from Missouri. “Today wasn’t the fastest rider, it was the one with the most luck. It was survival out there today. We had a battle all day, just like Shawn said.” But, Martin observed, “it was just crazy out there. You didn’t know what was going to be ahead of you. The next corner there would be lappers, mud. The tree tops were everywhere. It was tough out there. I didn’t get stuck very much all day until the last lap,” recalled the Tire Balls EBS Honda racer. “I ended up sliding off one of the creeks, right in to some bad ruts, and I was stuck there for at least four or five minutes. About the time I got out is when I noticed Shane Gaunt drove right by me, just eased right by. That was kind of aggravating. Then I got stuck not ten feet later in the track, so the last lap was real tough on me. I’m just glad to finish.”

l to r second place Shane Gaunt, winner Shawn Hess, and third place Kyle
Round two of the Parts Unlimited OMA Nationals series concluded with Shawn Hess capturing win number two while Shane Gaunt finally made his way to the podium. Kyle Martin had some bad luck, but managed to take home third place for his efforts at a race that many racers referred to as brutal. The event was co-sanctioned by KORHS, and many local racers participated in this little piece of Bill Gusse mayhem. The OMA Nationals series is known for tough tracks, and this one simply added to the list of events that some racers hated so much they loved it. You have to work hard to finish, let alone finish well, at an OMA event. This is offroad racing.

The Hess Motorsports Honda of pro racer Shawn Hess crossed the OMA Nationals
Rekluse Indian Bluff XC finish line after two hours and sixteen minutes of
racing on a course he described as “brutal.”

Rekluse Indian Bluff XC Results

1  Shawn Hess            Honda
2  Shane Gaunt       Honda
3  Kyle Martin            Honda
4  Chris Moore             Honda
5  John Pitts             Honda

Privateer racer Chris Moore battled the mud at the OMA Nationals Rekluse
Indian Bluff XC to capture fourth place in his second OMA event. The racer
from Glasgow, Kentucky finished twenty four seconds ahead of Missouri racer
John Pitts.