The Middleweight Grand Prix Dash for the Cash event on Saturday afternoon offered some of the fastest racing on two-wheels filled with action-packed excitement.
Scott Greenwood, rider of the Argo Cycles/Dunlop Tires bike managed to get out front early with a jump off the line, leading the pack with Woodcraft/Penguin Racing School’s Eric Wood in a close second.
When the riders raced into turn 1, Wood made a strong move to steal the lead.
Cory Hildebrand, rider of the Bruce Group Racing’s bike latched onto the lead group as they exited turn 2, followed closely by Jason Carter, Ronald Poulin and Houk Nichols.
Wood, racing a borrowed Yamaha R6 after his Ducati 848 developed a problem, led a three-bike breakaway with Greenwood and Hildebrand following closely behind.
After taking his time to size up the early race leader, Greenwood began to apply pressure searching for a way past Wood.
On lap five, Greenwood used a wide entry into turn 2 and drove past the inside of Wood on the corner exit to steal the lead.
The pair drag raced to turn 3 where Greenwood was able to hold the position. From that point the leaders were into traffic. He used that to his advantage opening an initial gap. Riding a consistent race, Greenwood was able to build a gap of eight seconds at the conclusion of the 12-lap feature.
“Eric made a nice pass into turn 1 at the start and was riding really strong early on,” said Greenwood. “I found a few places where I was gaining time on him and tried to work my way past him and not give an opportunity for him to come back at me. We have been racing each other for a long time and he has rode so many different motorcycles around this place. I knew he would be strong on that bike. Once I got the lead, I tried to build a gap on him and not make any mistakes. It feels good to finally win a Dash for the Cash event this year and I’d like to finish out the season with another win next time. Without the support of my sponsors and family, I would not be here racing, so a big thank you goes out to them.”
Eric Wood stretched his gap over Hildebrand in third also built a sizable gap over the battle behind him. Jason Carter and Houk Nichols rounded out the top-five.
With a second place finish, Eric Wood was able to wrap up the 2011 Middleweight GP Championship with one event remaining.
“I tried hard to jump into the lead early and try to hold Scotty off,” said Wood. “Once he made his way past, I tried to go with him and see if I could be there at the end. Once he hit the first bit of lap traffic, he built a gap and I knew I needed to not do anything too crazy today and bring home a solid result to wrap up the championship. My bike had an issue and Cory Hildebrand and his father John, offered me his spare bike to race today. It worked out great and I really appreciate their sportsmanship and allowing me to not only ride his motorcycle, but race against him on it. It really says a lot about the racing community as group. Thank you to all my sponsors for their support and my family for being here today on my birthday.”
Corey Hildebrand ended up coming home with a third place finishing position.
“I tried to stay with Eric and Scott and they pulled me away from the battle behind me, said Hildebrand. “Once I started to lose touch with the leaders, I saw on my pit board that I had built a good gap and rode smart to bring it home on the podium. Thank you to my parents, Dunlop tires, Bruce Group Racing and all my sponsors.”
Sixteen-year-old Trevor Arvidson opened a few eyes during the August event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway by turning the fastest lap from a combined Amateur/Expert race from the Amateur wave. His move to the Expert class backed up what he showed in the previous event.
At the green flag, Eric Block, on his KTM 450, got a typical quick start. Arvidson, aboard his Manchester Honda CRF450 shot into the lead in turn 1 with Block and Eric Shaw following closely behind.
The lead trio followed nose to tail and began to encounter lap traffic at the beginning of lap three.
Coming into turn 11, with a wall of lap traffic to deal with, Arvidson chose an inside line. Block took the outside and was able to pass for the lead and was able to put a couple of lapped riders between himself and Arvidson by the time he exited turn 12.
Arivdson clawed his way back up to Block and at the beginning of lap five; he made the pass on the brakes into turn 1. Block stayed close and kept the pressure on but Arvidson was able to ride consistant and earn the victory over Block by 1.5-seconds. Eric Shaw finished a solid third position with Jason Cavanaugh and Chip Hawthorne rounding out the top five.
After the races Arvidson had this to say, “That was a lot of fun. Its feels good to get my first expert win.”
When asked about his new found speed and consistency, the mild mannered Arvidson said with his typical grin. “I have been getting a lot of track time with the Penguin Advanced School and that has helped me out a lot. I would like to thank my parents, Manchester Honda, Frazier Remodeling and Dunlop-Race Tire Services for their help.”
The final event for the 2011 Loudon Road Race Series is scheduled for Oct. 15-16 where 23 LRRS expert championships will be decided. As part of the season wrap up, LRRS will host a special Motard event complete with dirt/pavement sections and Legend car racing on the full 1.6-mile road course.