Article and photos by John Gasso
It was a pleasant summer day in rural Missouri for the Parts Unlimited OMA Nationals round nine Maxxis Moonshine Cross Country. A lack of rain made some sections of the course a bit dusty, but overall, conditions were good. When the green flag flew to start the event it was the Moose Racing Lonestar Honda of Shane Gaunt claiming the first turn hole shot. Kyle Martin wrestled his Dirtworks Motorsports HMF Honda past the Gaunt machine to claim the lead entering the first woods section. Bryan Hulsey shot his Duncan Racing Rekluse Honda to the head of the pack during the first lap, and John Pitts capitalized on a mistake by Hulsey to put the number four Dirtworks Motorsports EBC Honda through scoring in first place at the end of lap one. After seven more laps of racing the Pivot Works Maxxis Honda of Kyle Martin took the checkers for his sixth consecutive OMA Nationals victory, cementing his position as series champion. Hulsey finished second and Pitts completed the all Missouri podium. Fourth place went to A class rider Dan Shaefer aboard a Dirtworks Motorsports No Toil Honda while the Honda of fellow A class rider Matt Keaton took fifth place overall.
The Dirtworks Motorsports Duncan Racing Honda of Bryan Hulsey blasted across the creek at round nine of the Parts Unlimited OMA Nationals Series. Hulsey took home second place at the event held near Memphis, Missouri.
Kyle Martin thought he was “going to have a nice clear day, make some dust, and try to get away from these guys.” But the Roll Design IMS Honda mounted rider did not have an easy day today. “Bryan (Hulsey) put a real good pass on me out there and I started eating his dust,” recalled Martin. “Then I blew a corner and John (Pitts) got around me. Shane Gaunt even got around me, then he had a bad get off out there. That’s how we got around him.” The pass on Gaunt helped Martin re-focus and set his sights on the lead. “After that I was able to pass both these guys and really start dusting them out,” he said with a smile. “The bike just ran awesome. When I got in the lead I was able to push. Out there in the clean air its lots easier to see, plus the air filter doesn’t get plugged up and you can really just stay on the gas. On this track, (with) a lot of open field sections, you could really get on it and put some time between them.” The Wiseco performance products DWT Honda was able to build a one minute and thirty three second buffer over the second place machine of Bryan Hulsey to complete eight laps in one hour, fifty eight minutes, and forty two seconds.
Hulsey put eight solid laps together to collect second place at the event. According to the former series champion “it was pretty fun running. The course was excellent, a little dusty, but it was an excellent course.” The Dirtworks Motorsports Moose Racing Honda of Hulsey was mixing it up throughout the race with Martin and Pitts. “I got a decent start out behind Kyle (Martin),” he recalled. “I found a pretty good line and got by him. Then John (Pitts) got by me and we were mixing it up out there pretty good. We rode like that for a little while and Kyle got by me. I got back up on John and he had a little bit of a problem. He pulled over and fixed a fuel line or something. That put me in second, and I tried to chase Kyle down, but I couldn’t get him.”
John Pitts held the lead briefly at the OMA Nationals Maxxis Moonshine XC held at Mid America MX Park in rural Memphis, Missouri. After two hours of racing Pitts finished in third place with his Moose Racing EBC Brakes Honda.
Third place on the Maxxis Moonshine XC podium went to the Moose Racing Powermadd Honda of John Pitts. After leap frogging with the others for a few laps, Pitts developed a fuel tank vent issue and had to make some trackside repairs. “Yeah,” he said, “I had a little problem out there. I guess the hose got caught on the handlebar and I kind of yanked it out of the tank. I had gas flying up in my face and all over me, so I had to pull over. I thought just hooking it up and tucking the hose back in would fix it, but it came apart at the check valve. I had to pull over again and connect it at the check valve so it would quit doing that.” With his fuel cap issue resolved, Pitts headed the EBC Smith Rekluse Honda back in to battle. Shortly after clearing the fuel splatter issue Pitts had another on course incident. According to Pitts “I caught a root on the back brake, so I lost all my brakes. The last two laps I was just running with front brakes.” He reminded us that running without rear brakes is “a little tougher.”
Kyle Martin continued his domination of the Parts Unlimited OMA Nationals series with victory number six in a row at the Maxxis Moonshine XC. The Dirtworks Motorsports HMF Honda was involved in some early race lead changes, but Martin forged ahead to take the victory with a one minute and thirty three second margin.
Finishing just off the podium was Jefferson City, Missouri racer Dan Schaefer riding a Dirtworks Motorsports Meier plastics Honda. The A class rider has been to the event in past years, but has never won his class. “It was nice. I always love it here,” stated Schaefer. “This is the third time I’ve been here. I’ve always come in second. Now I can finally say I got first out of the deal. It was a good day.” Schaefer took first place in the A class and fourth overall. He was followed by the final racer to complete eight laps of the course. The Honda of A class rider Matt Keaton finished his eighth lap after two hours, thirteen minutes, and forty eight seconds.
The Dirtworks Motorsports Honda of race winner Kyle Martin spent some air time at the Maxxis Moonshine XC. Martin collected his sixth consecutive OMA Nationals win on a warm, dusty day in rural Memphis, MO.
This race turned out to be another bad day for the Aupperle Racing Scott goggles Honda of Shane Gaunt. When asked about his day, Gaunt had a little difficulty with the details of his get off in the woods. “I don’t know what exactly happened,” he said. “I flipped end over end and tumbled in to a little ravine.” After regaining his bearings, the Morton, Illinois teenager said he “crawled out of that and kept going.” Unfortunately the machine did not recover from the crash as well as its young rider. Gaunt said “a lap later it just died on me; something to do with the crash, probably.”
Shane Gaunt put his Aupperle Racing Lonestar Honda up front briefly at the Maxxis Moonshine XC. After tumbling down a ravine and recovering from that crash, the Morton, Illinois racer was left with a dead machine and only one lap in the books.
Nine races of the ten round Parts Unlimited OMA Nationals series have been completed and Kyle Martin has dominated the last six events. The string of victories has earned Martin the number one plate for next year, taking the title from travelling buddy and fellow Missouri racer Bryan Hulsey. After nine exciting events we head to the final event of the series, the grand daddy of them all, the Moose Run. This unique event is held on Bill Gusse’s home turf in Fenton, Illinois. The Moose Run is just a bit different than a usual OMA Nationals event, due to the massive amount of land made available to the series by numerous local land owners. Long laps and terrain that varies from wide open corn fields to the infamous Bike Barn peat whoops with a few logs and tight woods thrown in for variety always make the Moose Run an exciting and challenging event. Check your calendar and omanationals.com for more information on the race that helped put this series on the map. This is offroad racing.
Maxxis Moonshine XC top 5
1 Martin, Kyle Pro ATV Honda
2 Hulsey, Bryan Pro ATV Honda
3 Pitts, John Pro ATV Honda
4 Schaefer, Dan A ATV Honda
5 Keaton, Matt A ATV Honda