Though expected to be a battle royale between West Coast and East Coast racers, the So Cal Motorcycle Club’s 2018 Adelanto Grand Prix in Adelanto, California, turned out to be the Trevor Stewart benefit show as the Johnny Campbell Racing (JCR) Honda CRF450RX rider led from green to checkered on January 13. In doing so, he notched his first-ever win in the 90-minute AMA Big 6 West Coast Grand Prix (WCGP) Series feature race of the AMA District 37/FMF Big 6 Grand Prix Series’ opening round.
“I got a holeshot, and it’s not [usual] for me, so when it happens, it’s something special, for sure, and I took advantage of it,” Stewart said. “I sprinted hard those first two laps, and I tried to break away a little bit. It was a first for me because I’m never out front early—at least I haven’t been since I was on two-strokes. It was a nice feeling again and I knew what I had to do. Halfway through when I pitted, that was when I knew that nobody was going to touch me. I can’t believe it! I’m really excited and I’m ready for 2018.
Despite being sick and unable to train or practice properly for the past month plus getting a mediocre start, new Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Off-road Team rider Dalton Shirey managed to put in a solid 90 minutes and quickly worked his way to second in the 2018 Adelanto Grand Prix. While he could see Stewart up ahead, he couldn’t get close enough to try for a pass and settled for second, about 12 seconds behind the JCR Honda pilot.
FMF/Maxxis/RPM Racing KTM’s Eric Yorba got a decent start and held second in the early laps before Shirey passed him. The 2016 Big 6 WCGP champ ended up 13 seconds behind Shirey for third place—a welcome improvement over last year when he crashed out.
After having to make an unplanned pit stop to tend to a handlebar problem, Justin Seeds of the new Chaparral Motorsports/Precision Concepts Kawasaki team roared back through the pack to claim fourth in the 2018 Adelanto Grand Prix.
Red Bull KTM Factory Off-road Racing Team’s Kailub Russell—who finished second in the 2017 Big 6 GP season finale last month in his Big 6 debut—didn’t get a solid start in the 2018 Adelanto Grand Prix, lighting up his tire with a handful of throttle and having to ride in the pack where copious roost and high speeds combined to make him ride tight and unsure. He claimed fifth in probably the fastest race he’s ever ridden, his GPS topping out at almost 102 miles per hour!
“There’s just a couple issues I had, I feel like, and I know how to work on that part of stuff,” Russell said. “The first part of the race just kind of ruined me, and the end of the race, too, because I got tight. I’m happy with the fifth for, like I said, how I rode; I didn’t feel like that was a fifth-place ride I had.”
Justin Wallis enjoyed a good day aboard his Zip-Ty Racing CRF450R to claim sixth, just three seconds behind Russell, followed by defending series champ Zach Bell who simply hasn’t had time to dial in his new 3 Brothers/STI Husqvarna FX 450.
Ryan Reina ended up eighth on his John Burr Cycles KX450F while Clay Hengeveld won the WCGP Pro II class, finishing ninth overall on his new Chaparral Motorsports/Precision Concepts KX250F. Defending WCGP Pro II champ Beau Baron claimed second in class and rounded out the top 10 overall aboard his CST Tires CRF250R.
For complete results, visit www.big6racing.com.