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Surviving the Minneapolis 250 LCQ

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U.S. Bank Stadium Minneapolis , MN Minneapolis Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship

Round 6 of the 2019 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship stopped in Minneapolis last weekend, where we waited to see if the 450SX racing would continue its crazy, tight season, and who would start on top of the 250SX East Region. But what no one saw coming was an unforgettable 250 LCQ, filled with wrecks, bumps, and dumps—and everything in between.

Here’s how our Jason Weigandt summed it up on our post-race podcast: “Twenty-one seconds [total] between Sam Redman going over the bars, Crown launching over the berm, and then two guys taking each other out for [third place]. It’s three consecutive camera cuts. It’s like you would have edited highlights, it’s three consecutive cuts, it goes: dude over the bars, then dude launching a berm, then two dudes taking each other out. In 21 seconds!” 

A few days after everyone thawed out from Minneapolis, I reached out to some of the riders involved in the LCQ race.  Well, at least, I thought I had, but I had only gotten the phone numbers of their dads, [thanks to the Loretta Lynn’s database in our office next door]. So fast-forward past the extra communication that had to occur until I actually reached the riders.

Here is the story of the 2019 Minneapolis LCQ, told by the very warriors involved in that chaotic race. 

Joey Crown: Going into the day, with it being my first race and not having as much time riding in the off-season as I would of hoped due to an injury, my goal was to just make the main. I broke my collarbone in December, and when I healed from that it only gave me 3-4 weeks on the bike before the first round, which was not ideal. I was also switching to this team at that time, which made it not as easy of a transition as I'd hoped it to be.

Sam Redman: It was such a crazy weekend. My van wouldn't start Saturday morning at the hotel because the diesel had gelled up from the cold weather, so we convinced this local guy in his 1990 Ford Ranger single-cab farm truck to give me and my bike a ride to the stadium. Complete stranger so it was something else! My dad didn't get the van started till four that afternoon, and then when we tried to leave we got blocked in.

Joey Crown: It was super cold. [Laughs] I rode some snocross on snow bikes and a snowmobile Friday that was a lot of fun but that’s pretty much it. I've been wanting to ride a snow bike for a long time so when FXR invited us out I went. I was surprised at how hard they were at first, but by the end I started getting the hang of it. Yeah [Brandon Haas, ClubMX team owner,] knew, he just said to be extremely careful which I was. I would for sure do it again, I would love to maybe even race one [snocross] someday. For sure I don't think anyone would’ve been too happy [if I would have crashed on the snow bike]. [Laughs] 

Ramyller Alves: It was unfortunate I had to go to the LCQ, I had a poor start in my heat race and just didn't ride like myself the first couple laps and I ended up 11th.

Joey Crown: Qualifying didn't go the greatest but when I lined up on the gate for that heat race, I was calmer than I anticipated being and confident that I was going to make that main. Unfortunately I clipped a guy’s rear wheel after the whoops and fell, which led me to the LCQ. The main thing I was thinking about on the line for that LCQ was to execute a good start. I knew that was going to be very important and try to get a clear track up front to not have to deal with the chaos that I ended up having to deal with. 

Lane Shaw: The class is stacked with good talent and everyone wants to be in that main event.

LCQ Incident 1: The Redman Crash

Sam Redman: In the opening lap [of the LCQ] I had battled my way into third and I was feeling good. 

Ramyller Alves: [My thoughts were to] Get a good start and just do my thing and we will be good. I got a pretty decent start, came out fourth then got pushed off the track and lost a lot of positions. 

Sam Redman: I didn't know who it was, but I saw him go wide on the 90-degree berm after the start and I wasn't wasting anytime on possible passing opportunities, so I went to the inside hoping I could get in front of him without making contact. We ended up coming together, bumping him off the track and working in my favor. 

Ramyller Alves: I just put my head down and focused on hitting my marks. I was actually surprised when I noticed I got into third in just one lap because I was pretty far back. I made sure to make quick passes and then found myself already in third just a lap later.

Lane Shaw: I moved into third then got hit after the finish by Redman, then he went down in the rhythm section. 

Sam Redman: I came up into that first rhythm after the start. I was struggling with that section all day and wasn't comfortable with it. Being in third, I knew if I didn't hit that section I was going to get passed, so I just went for the double-triple. I didn't get the right pop off of the face of the triple and I came up just short enough for it to throw me forward over the next face and I knew I was just along for the ride after that happened. I tried to save it but I lost my coordination and at that point I just tried to prepare myself for impact. It reminded me of the scenario when [Ken] Roczen crashed at the Monster Cup in 2016.

Sam Redman: When I crashed, my first thought was "please don't get landed on" so as soon as I stopped rolling, I just made sure I was off the track. I hit my head pretty hard, so I was actually just trying to figure out exactly what just happened. I started assessing my level of pain throughout my body and I figured out that I was okay, but just needed to catch my breath and regroup. I saw my bike was still in the middle of the track and I didn't want to be a hindrance to the rest of the racers so I picked up my bike and tried to stay out of the way of everyone.

LCQ Incident 2: The Crown Crash

Joey Crown: When I singled into the turn I got kicked a little bit so my feet went up and off the pegs then when I landed on the berm my feet came back down and I missed the pegs, then with the little help from Shaw hitting my rear wheel, led to the full whisky throttle over the berm. [Laughs]

Lane Shaw: I messed up the section and had to double-double through it and Crown kind of jumped over coming into the berm. I was in the middle of the track and just jumped straight and he landed on my hand and it had to throw him off balance and send him over the berm.

Joey Crown: As I was flying through the Tuff Blox I thought maybe I could ride it out. [Laughs] But the tough block on the right kicked me a little more sideways so I landed, then high sided to the left.

Lane Shaw: That was just a freak deal on that one. Happened really fast and just shot it straight off the track.

Joey Crown: My collarbone wasn't really on my mind at that point maybe a little when I was flying through the Tuff Blox. [Laughs]

Jason Thomas: If you were the manufacturer for the Steve Matthes memorial net, this would be your pitch video. This is what you walk in with.

Lane Shaw: The nets are a cool feature to the program. 

Joey Crown: By the time I got back up I was like last and my clutch perch was messed up so I just called her quits for the night.

LCQ Incident 3: The Double Crash

Ramyller Alves: I made the pass for third coming down the start straight. Right after I made the pass into third, I blocked the inside coming into the corner and went to the outside of the corner to hit the finish thinking the guy I just passed was further behind.

Lane Shaw: I came into the turn before the finish fast and tried to turn but hit the ruts and it sent me straight.

Ramyller Alves: I thought he would get in right behind me but I was wrong, he kept it real tight around the corner and then decided to go straight into me as I was heading out of the corner taking us both down. 

Lane Shaw: Alves and I raced down the start straight and I was going really fast and tried to cut down but if you watch in the replay I blew the rut and it shot me straight and we hit and went down. I never tried taking him out, just a racing incident. And while I was on the ground I looked up and I got ran over twice I think. I just got up and got off the track. It all happened to fast.

Ramyller Alves: He pushed much more than I thought, he pushed so much that even if we didn't crash, we both would have to roll the finish line. When I realized he was going to make contact, it was already too late. My bike ended up getting stuck with his and took forever for me to get going again.

Lane Shaw: It was just racing! 

Ramyller Alves: You always have to watch your insides and try not to leave the inside open but it was so early in the race that there was no reason for that. That type of pass is something you'll do on the last lap for the last transfer spot in my opinion, not the second lap when we're both in a qualifying position. But yeah, my wheel was stuck under his front wheel, took a while for me to get it out. It was a situation I couldn’t really control but all I can do is try to stay away from the LCQ and those situations.

Joey Crown: That's good [Shaw’s] okay. At first I thought he drilled the side of me so I was pretty upset, I gave a long dirty look as I rode by him as he was walking to his bike after his crash. [Laughs] When I saw the video I know now that it wasn't his intention or fault. 

Rammyller Alves: Right when I got into third, that incident [the Crown crash] happened. When I made the pass into third, I told myself, “Ok, got through all the chaos and now let’s focus to get up front,” but obviously, the chaos wasn’t over just yet. 

Joey Crown: I did see Shaw was down before the finish as I was riding back but didn't realize all that happened till I watched the race over the next day.

After the race, the riders were trying to figure out what had happened in those hectic seven laps.

Sam Redman: No I didn't check with anyone when I got off the track. I felt fine and was ready to go home. We immediately packed up and left after the LCQ and we drove all night long for 15 hours all the way to Tennessee. 

Lane Shaw: Absolute chaos for two laps. [Laughs] You just have a bunch of young men amped up for the first race of the year.

Sam Redman: When I got back to the pits, everyone was just intensely watching the TV in the pits because it was such a crazy race, and when I pushed my bike around the corner I could just see everyone staring at me. Alex Ray was the first to ask if I was all good. Me and Alex are both from Tennessee and he's ridden at my house and I've been to his place to ride a couple of times, so we check up on each other to make sure everything is in order. 

Lane Shaw: I'm all good, couple of scratches. I have just a scratch on my arm. That's about it. Very thankful to be good after that one, but TV made it look way worse. I got up and finished the race.

Sam Redman: I had to go back and look at the footage a couple of times cause everything was so hectic and I was definitely experiencing tunnel vision when so much is going on. [Laughs] 

Joey Crown: It was my first [supercross race] and I was pretty bummed to not make that main but getting out of there healthy was definitely my main goal, especially with all the chaos in that LCQ.

Sam Redman: My dad, who is my mechanic, and my friend Michael Perry, who is my secondary mechanic, both asked if I was good, and then they mentioned just how gnarly that crash was. They were very excited about how I was riding beforehand and all the passes I made to put myself in that position. So yes it was a bummer but I was making good moves and passes and they both did an amazing job of reminding me of that! 

Ramyller Alves: There was a couple words said [to Shaw] but nothing bizarre. The main thing I wanted an answer to was, what was the reason for that? It was only the second lap and we were both in a qualifying spot.

Sam Redman: I had no idea who it was [I bumped off the track early]. I still haven’t figured out who is who with the new numbers, new gear, and new teams that everyone has going on for 2019. After the race, I didn’t see him and he didn’t come looking for me. It wasn’t even on my mind and it he did try to approach me I probably would’ve had a hard time figuring out what he was talking about just cause so much took place in that race. 

Rider Time Interval Hometown Machine
1 Josh Osby Josh Osby 50.694 7 Laps Valparaiso, IN Yamaha YZ250F
2 Lorenzo Locurcio Lorenzo Locurcio 51.196 +07.526 Venezuela Kawasaki KX250
3 Chase Marquier Chase Marquier 51.430 +08.119 Newcastle, OK Husqvarna FC 250
4 Wilson Fleming Wilson Fleming 52.054 +11.713 New Canaan, CT Husqvarna FC 250
5 Jayce Pennington Jayce Pennington 52.169 +12.804 Walnut Hill, IL Yamaha YZ250F
6 Marshal Weltin Marshal Weltin 51.782 +15.079 Ubly, MI KTM 250 SX-F
7 Richard Jackson 51.895 +18.862 Holdenville, OK Kawasaki KX250
8 Tyler Custer 52.790 +21.393 Creston, CA Honda CRF250
9 Ramyller Alves Ramyller Alves 51.333 +22.175 Coconut Creek, FL Yamaha YZ250F
10 Preston Taylor 53.134 +31.143 Hastings, NE Kawasaki KX250
11 Mason Kerr 54.317 +32.873 Altoona, IA Kawasaki KX250F
12 Hunter Hilton 54.298 +34.789 Youngsville, LA Husqvarna FC 250
13 Carter Gordon 54.633 +36.963 Mattoon, IL KTM 250 SX-F
14 Dustin Winter 54.742 +40.388 Clearwater, KS Yamaha YZ250F
15 Tj Albright 53.248 +41.315 Mt Marion, NY KTM 250 SX-F
16 James Weeks 51.919 +43.739 Punta Gorda, FL Yamaha YZ250F
17 Dillon Cloyed 54.749 +54.872 Papillion, NE Yamaha YZ250F
18 Westen Wrozyna 54.074 6 Laps Newtonville, Canada Kawasaki KX250
19 Justin Thompson 52.492 +00.883 South Africa Yamaha YZ250F
20 Lane Shaw Lane Shaw 53.712 5 Laps Alvin, TX KTM 250 SX-F
21 Samuel Redman 1:38.081 3 Laps Clarksville, TN Kawasaki KX250
22 Joey Crown Joey Crown 1:29.219 2 Laps Metamora, MI Yamaha YZ250F
Full Results

Sam Redman: On the way home in Indiana we went through an ice storm which shut down the interstate with trucks crashing everywhere. Just a stressful weekend but thankful that we're all safe. Sunday I just recovered and on Monday I was back to my normal routine, going to school and doing homework. I go to school at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee, which is about an hour north west of Nashville. I have a class that is really involved in how I do each weekend and a few of my peers follow me through social media so they were like, "Are you okay" and they really follow me. Some of them have even bought tickets for the race in Nashville just to watch me race so that's pretty cool! And then in my other classes they could care less about what happened. [Laughs] It's split halfway down the middle just about. I'm definitely looking forward to Nashville, getting to sleep in my own bed that weekend. And then I take my major field test the following Tuesday so the grind never stops.

Joey Crown: Overall I was disappointed that I didn't make the main but I tried to look at the positives and see that I know I should have qualified if it wasn't for those crashes.

Sam Redman: On the drive home after the race I was trying to imagine how the race would have gone if I would have played it safe through that section, how the outcome of my finished would have possibly been different, and looking back I still would have gone for that big line rather than playing it safe and possibly getting pushed out of a transfer spot. The risk was worth it in my perspective. We were just laughing at what a crazy weekend it has been. [Laughs] It's been one to remember!

The riders are ready to get back at it again tomorrow in Arlington, but hopefully with better results.

Sam Redman: I'm really motivated to capitalize and learn from my mistakes. I had a lot of positives to take away from this weekend and want to build off of those positives. There were a lot of nerves from this weekend, so I'm definitely ready to redeem myself and put in a great ride and fight my way all the way to the checkers in Dallas 

Lane Shaw: I'm riding for a new team now, Team Allsouth.com, [thanks to] the people that helped me get to where I am.

Ramyller Alves: One thing that I’m really going to focus on, coming into Arlington are my starts! Set myself up to go straight into mains. Makes it hard on yourself when you get poor starts to work your way up with how stacked East Coast is this year. Everyone is very close on times. I’m very excited for Arlington this weekend!

Joey Crown: It doesn't apply to my practices and time qualifying, I need to be more aggressive then, but yeah in my races I need to change my approach cause it's pretty hard to qualify on the ground from trying to force the issue with making moves. My expectations/goals for this weekend is to qualify top 20 and to put it in the main event.