eXG Marks Ten Years of Motocross; Series Expands
Adaptive motocross (MX) racing returned to Baja Acres, Millington, Michigan, on Saturday, May 23, as Extremity Games (eXG) marked its tenth year of sponsoring the event. As with the past few years, three classes were offered: Para (or seated), and for those with amputations/limb impairments, an Upper-Limb and Lower-Limb division. Fifteen eXG competitors lined up at the starting gate as part of a weekend-long race schedule at the track.
Winning the Lower-Limb division were Max Gomez, with a 1-1 win in each moto; Nick Mardis, with a 2-2; and Chris Ridgeway, with a 3-3. Mardis was the holeshot winner of both motos, a designation that goes to the first rider who makes it through the first turn. However, Gomez passed him before the end of the first lap of each moto to take the lead and the number one position on the podium.
Returning Lower-Limb racers welcomed two newcomers this year, Casey Lagasse, from Rhode Island, and Mark Wahoske, from Michigan.
First place in the Upper-Limb division went to Harold Glissen, with a 3-2; followed by Andrew Gentile, with a 2-3, and then Ryan Beesley taking third, with a 1-4 win. The shakeup in this class was due to Drake Schmeltz's mechanical troubles. He split a sprocket in the first moto and scored a did-not-finish (DNF). Although he came back and took first in the second moto, a DNF-1 prevented him from earning enough points to make it on the podium.
Jesse Gildea and Tyler Frye were the sole PARA division competitors this year. They scored first and second, respectively.
This year also marks the inclusion of the eXG MX race in the new three-race Adaptive MX Championship Series, which is organized by Moto Sport Adaptive (MSA). MSA was founded by Mike Schultz, an adaptive MX racer, pro snocross racer, and snowboarder; and Spencer McGinnis, a retired military veteran and an MX enthusiast - both of whom have lower-limb amputations. "Motocross has been a huge motivational thing for me since my own injury," Schultz said, explaining that he wanted to help open up the sport to other adaptive riders around the country.
The next MSA race is slated for August 30 at Thunder Valley MX Park, Lakewood, Colorado; the third race will be held in Texas, at a venue and date to be announced.