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Tyler Nelson ATV Racing Report – QXNW Finale at Washougal

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QXNW_Washougal354 Rounds 11&12 are in the books along with the 2015 Quadcross Northwest season. This was a great season for myself, after a year off I decided to make a change and made the switch to the YFZ450R. As it turned out this was a great decision since this was my first season I’ve been able to finish since I started racing quads in 2010, so I’m calling 2015 my rookie season!

The week leading up to this weekend was pretty rough, my quad had to be torn apart and the parts I needed were waiting for me at Washougal so I wasn’t going to be able to get it fixed until late Friday night. I loaded the bike up in pieces Friday morning and was just about ready to leave when I got a phone call about a family issue which held me up and I wasn’t able to leave until much later than I had planned. I ended up heading down to Washougal by myself and battled heavy traffic the whole way down. I got there after dark on Friday, tracked down the parts I needed to put the quad back together and didn’t get to bed until after midnight. Woke up Saturday morning signed up and went to the line for first practice with my alignment barely good enough to ride. It had been 3 years since I had been to Washougal and the last time I was there my quad blew up so I had almost no time under my belt on the track and it took me a while to get in the groove. Second practice went a lot better and I felt ready for moto one.

QXNW_Washougal385The gate dropped for moto one and as usual I had a near dead last start. I made some quick work and got up to 4th and slowly closed the gap to 3rd the rest of the moto. Second moto was nearly identical to moto one and I went 4-4 on Saturday. The track was rough and wore me out, this was the first time I had felt exhausted all year after a moto. Sunday was a repeat of Saturday, poor starts and 4th place finishes both motos. I know I could have done better but I’m still not disappointed with my finishes at Washougal, this entire year was a rebuilding year for myself and I’m very happy to have finished 3rd overall in ProAm. I’ve got very high expectations for myself for the 2016 season and am starting preparations right now to put myself out front in 2016.

After last season ended early due to injuries I wasn’t sure I’d ever race a quad again, but I took my time easing my way back into good health and came into this year with the primary goal of finishing the season. Something that goes unrecognized in this sport by outsiders is that simply getting to every race is an enormous challenge itself as there are so many moving pieces that could and do go wrong. This year, off the track I battled a partially torn rotator cuff in my right shoulder, flat tires on the trailer and truck as well as other issues with the truck, times where my quad wouldn’t start when I would go to fire it up before loading it up to go to the race, I had to jump start my quad on the line once, as well as overcoming the other bumps and bruises that an entire season of racing and practicing puts on you. The training, racing, and the nerves while on the track are a blemish in comparison to the struggle of overcoming the off the track challenges in my opinion. I feel very fortunate that I was able to finish every moto this year because I know many others faced much larger struggles than I did this season and were not able to do so. I am relieved and sad at the same time that the season is over but my focus has shifted to next season.

QXNW_Washougal112As always a huge thank you to everyone involved, the Villiard’s for getting me the parts I needed to race this weekend, the Mott’s for helping me get the bike together, Brandon and Megan Brown for hosting the potluck and fundraiser for the Code Green Foundation and everything else you do at Pit Traffic, the Bingaman’s for keeping ATV racing alive in the Northwest, my dad for helping me out and getting me to the track every race weekend, my girlfriend Kaylee for always being there for me, my sponsors Pit Traffic and Elka Suspension, and everyone else who has helped me and the series.

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