Hulsey takes third straight OMA

Story and photos by John Gasso

 Round nine of the Parts Unlimited OMA Nationals was held near Memphis, Missouri under perfect weather conditions. John Pitts moved his PJ-1 K&K Honda up from A Class to the Pro Class for this event and he managed to run away with the holeshot. The St. Louis based racer led for two laps, but he could not hold back fellow Missouri racer Bryan Hulsey aboard the Dirtworks Performance EBC Brakes Honda. Hulsey ultimately captured the win, but it was not an easy victory. Former series champion Rob Zimmerman had his Team Honda Research Moose Racing Honda all over Hulsey, but he could not make a late race pass stick to the finish. Zimmerman ended his day with second place just six seconds behind Hulsey. John Pitts rounded out the all Moose Racing podium one and one half minutes later. Curt DeMay held on to take fourth place, while Fenton, Missouri racer Thryce Hathcock rounded out the top five overall with his Plus Thirty class Honda.
 John Pitts launched from the starting line to take the holeshot. The Duncan Racing PJ-1 Honda was around the first turn and in to the woods with a surprised but happy racer aboard. “I didn’t know what to do when I got down there,” said Pitts. “It was like, uh oh, now I’m in trouble. They’re all behind me.” But Pitts kept his composure and held on to the lead for two laps. According to Pitts, “it was great.” He said “I can’t complain about anything. The track was perfect. It wasn’t too dusty and it was perfect in the woods. I had a good race.”
 After two laps of battling with fellow Missouri racer John Pitts, Bryan Hulsey moved in to the lead and held on for all but a brief stint late in the race when Rob Zimmerman took over. “I guess I settle in to too slow of a pace sometimes,” said Hulsey, “because Rob caught me. He put a good pass on me in a field. About half a lap later I knew if I was going to get him back I had to get him right away. I out-broke him in the next field. I started riding pretty hard after that. I stretched out a little bit of a lead. I knew at the end there I needed not to throw it away, so I backed down and just made sure I made it to the finish. Everything went good. It’s really fun. It was a great track.”
 Second place went to Ohio race Rob Zimmerman after a day of battling with all sorts of issues. The start did not go well for Zimmerman. He said “on the starting, the quad didn’t start.” Then the veteran racer recalled thinking to himself “oh look, the kill switch.” With his ignition switch now turned on it was time to go racing. Zimmerman made his way through the pack only to have a “stick or something” throw him in to a tree. According to Zimmerman “everyone went by me again.” The veteran racer recovered from that incident and was making headway through the pack again when stick number two attacked. “I went to take a different line around the mud hole,” recalled Zimmerman. “The next thing I know, there’s a stick about three inches in diameter sticking out of the front of my quad. It caught a tree and sucked me right in to the tree.” After pulling himself up from another crash, Zimmerman was again headed to the front. “The next lap I got on Bryan,” he said. “I got him in the open grass section. We were neck and neck all the way through that grass section. We contacted, my quad came up in the air a little bit. He let off just a hair and I just kept it wide open. I got him right in the woods. We got up to another straightway before we came back across the creek, I bobbled a little bit, he got by me. He started pulling away a little bit, but I wasn’t too worried because I was planning on a two hour race.” Unfortunately Zimmerman’s strategy had a small flaw. The race length was one hour and forty five minutes plus a lap, not two hours. Zimmerman said “I figured I had like two laps left, or so. I seen the white flag and I said that’s a lap early, so just put the wood down and got all the way back up to him. I couldn’t make a move on him at the end. Yup, he got me again.”
 A win for Hulsey and second place points for Rob Zimmerman set the stage for the final round battle for the series points championship. Eight points now separate the two Honda racers on their quest for the top spot in the 2008 OMA Nationals Pro ATV series. The Moose run in Morrison, Illinois will decide who takes home the Parts Unlimited championship check this year. The racing is still very intense. Like the old adage says, it ain’t over till its over. Check out for more information about the series and the final race for this year. We’ll see you in Morrison for the final 2008 installment of the series that continues to provide old school woods racing to the Midwest. This is offroad racing.     

 Maxxis Moonshine XC top ten overall

  1. Bryan Hulsey                Honda
  2. Rob Zimmerman           Honda
  3. John Pitts                      Honda
  4. Curt DeMay                 Yamaha
  5. Thryce Hathcock          Honda  (plus thirty)
  6. Kyle Turnis                   Honda
  7. Gabe Young                 Honda (C ATV)
  8. Dennis Edwards           Honda (plus thirty)
  9. Quintin Smith                Honda
  10. Cody Smith                  Honda (C ATV)

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