Jeff Upshaw Kuwahara USA
St Petersburg Pro Am 10/06/ 13 September 16, 2013 by BMXNEWS.COM Editors
The $20,000+ Wild Oats Pro Am in Aberdeen, South Dakota ran over the weekend, to an amped-up crowd of fans that, as one rider put it, made the atmosphere feel
like a “real-deal spectator event.”
They had some rain during the weekend, but were able to get the three mains done in the dry, due to some rearranging of the program. It’s good they did that, as the final 30 mains had to be postponed on Saturday night and run on Sunday morning.
Jeff Upshaw probably had the best story of the weekend, leading in to the first gate. Jeff was driving the 15 and a half hours to Aberdeen from his home in Dayton, OH. Three hours into the trip, he realized he had forgotten the most important thing one could forget on a racing trip: his BIKE! So, the way he tells it, he got off at the next exit, turned around, with a smile, and drove the three hours back to Dayton to get his Kuwahara steed, then started the voyage all over again.
Denzel Stein took the first men’s main of the day, wire to wire, with Dean in the two-spot, and almost sneaking by him at the line. Upshaw was third that first time out.
Second round of mains, there was an empty spot in gate one, where Joey The Bomb should have been. He crashed pretty hard in the third turn (breaking his ankle, we later learned). Tanner Sebesta had gate two–the inside gat for the second main. Next to him was Upshaw, Stein, Olijuwon Davis, Elliot McGrath, Nic Long and Dean on the outside.
Sebesta ran the table in round two, with a gate-to-stripe win, followed by Upshaw and Dean. That set the stage for the final round. Dean and Upshaw were tied for points, but Nic Long had the inside gate–which was a major bonus on this track. Dean was in Gate 2, and Uppy was out in five, with Sebesta in between. Nic was out, and away with the lead, and it looked like Jeff might mitigate the outside gate with a nice dive into the sweeping left-handed first turn. It was pretty much a pedal-all-the-way sweeper into the second straight. By the time the pack hit the second straight, Dean had the two-spot sewn up. Still, the pack was close, and Jeff almost made a hail-Mary move in the last turn that could have taken both he and Dean down to the Soil Tac. He didn’t, and it finished Long, Dean, Upshaw.
Dean got the overall win, and a $5,000 payday. Upshaw got second, and a $3500 fan of Benjamins.
Tanner Sebesta was third with $2000 going back to Texas.