After moving from a Z400 to an LTR450 Natalie Craudell seemed to have the tools she needed to become a top competitor in the Women’s Expert class at Quadcross Northwest. With great end of the year performances, the 2016 season looked like it would be an great year for the young rider. But, an injury in the off season had other plans for Natalie. Still recovering, she started the season to salvage points, but her leg is almost completely healed and she’ll be working towards a full recovery in order to chase a championship. Natalie’s riding took a night and day change when she moved to the 450, and she will be one to watch in the coming years.
Tristan Low had a bad start to the 2016 season. He crashed in practice before round 1 and was out with a collarbone injury. Luckily for him, the specialist said he would be healed in time to take on rounds 3&4 at Albany and that’s just what he did. We caught up with Tristan just after his accident to learn more about this aspiring rider.
Tyler Nelson has made a sweep through the classes since the inception of Quadcross Northwest, improving each year to jump into the next higher class. This year he takes on the ProAm bracket against some of the fastest competitors the series has seen to date. After a securing the points lead at the opening round of 2016, Tyler is looking to build on his success and stick to a game plan to ensure he can secure the top spot come the final round of year. Fighting through injuries and a other slight misfortunes, Tyler’s confidence helps to keep his program on track. We asked Tyler a few questions about the start of his season and off season to get to know him and his program a little better.
Rounds 1&2 of the 2016 Quadcross Northwest season are in the books! We had record entries for the opening weekend which is awesome news for the future of the sport in the Northwest and made for some awesome battles across the board all weekend. I’ve never really rode well at Horn Rapids and I came into the weekend really just hoping for a top 3 and to keep the bike in one piece. Saturday morning I got up early and headed for sign ups. After I paid my entry and membership fees I looked at the cash I had left on me and was like “Oh, I better go win some money back.” I duct taped my boots on and was ready to go.
September 12th and 13th at Washougal will be the series finale of Quadcross Northwest’s 2015 season. Come wearing green for suicide awareness. We will be honoring two of our fallen community members, Joe Green and …
Rounds 5 and 6 of Quadcross Northwest at Albany MX are in the books and they did not disappoint! I had the trailer loaded up early in the week and we took off Friday afternoon to get some good seats to watch the Portland traffic! After a six plus hour drive on what should have been four, we pulled in and set up camp. I saw some new faces as well as some old faces that decided to dust off the boots and get back at it. Oh, and I met some guy named Joe Byrd. He is a big deal or something.
Coming into the first round I was definitely nervous even though in October we went south to Texas and ran with faster guys I couldn’t help but feel I wasn’t as prepared as I wanted to be for the first round. With little riding in the off season due to weather conditions and long work hours it made it very difficult to prep myself for the opening weekend.
Quadcross Northwest returned to Horn Rapids Motorsports Complex April 25th and 26th for the opening rounds. Beautiful weather on both days helped to highlight amazing racing and one of the biggest Pro gates the series has seen since it’s inception. Several large classes of riders took on the sandy mix, but only a few came out on the box! Fast rising Pro athlete Ruby Davis took 4 holeshots and 4 moto wins, while Jace Johnson put on a great effort to catch him.
The first two rounds of Quadcross Northwest took place in Richland, Washington at Horn Rapids. The fourth year the series has raced there, the track had undergone a few changes to the layout, giving racers familiar and new challenges. The Pro qualifier took place in the morning during what would have been second practice for the Pros. Ruby Davis turned the fastest lap of the weekend with a 1:30 and change. This would be telltale of the weekend’s events.
We interviewed Chris Furches about his racing this year. Chris is the reigning indoor champion that just clinched his second title with a 61 point lead over second place and he won 9 out of the 12 rounds. Many of the races had full gates, so it was very challenging. He just got a Hybrid 450 to begin his practice toward racing it. That involves learning to shift, and control the power on it, and it’s something Chris is both frustrated by, and loves. Racing has had such a profound effect on Chris. It truly is his therapy (read parts 1 or 2 here and here). Autism can have symptoms like sensitivity to sound, noise, or the way something looks or feels. Chris had a terrible time with both noise and being dirty or wet. He used to wear ear plugs and his helmet at the track to deaden the sound of the engines. Not only does he not have to wear earplugs any more, he has learned to cope with mud and water through racing. At the track is where Chris shines (though he is getting excellent grades in school). He can socialize with other racers, he can do what he love, and all the while, learning new things to help him outside of racing. ” We are so proud of him,” said his mom, Stephanie, “He made my day yesterday. He looked up into the stands searched with his eyes to find me, then waved. That has never happened!”
While Autism is still being researched, and there’s a lot left to be known, it is certain that people afflicted with it are special. They are caring, they are smart, they are dedicated to what appeals to them, and while they have their struggles they certainly have their victories too. Here’s what Chris had to say about his racing (with a little interpretation in brackets by mom):
Can you tell us what it feels like when you are on the line, waiting for the gate to drop?
Do you like riding the 450? How is it different than your mini quad?
What’s the best part about going racing?
For Immediate Release: ROUND 1 @ GLEN HELEN WEEKEND SCHEDULE!
How did you come to the decision to move into the Pro class? I came to the decision when I realized I needed to push myself more, and what better way than pro? I want to give everyone in that class a good race this season!
What are you bringing to the Pro class? You didn’t have “breakout” year as a ProAm. Well, I’m riding more and more. I’ve ridden more than I have last year already. I hit the gym earlier as well as found some proven supplements to aid in my workouts. I feel unbelievably comfortable on my KTM now and I just lose track of everything besides me and the quad.
Tim Furches started racing ATVs in 1985. He was introduced to the sport of ATV MX & TT racing by his boss and his best friend. He raced at both the local and national levels. Tim and Stephanie, who always had an interest in motorcycles and ATVs but was never introduced to them, met in March of 1994. Tim had his 1987 Honda 250X in the back of the truck the very first time they met. Over the next couple of weeks Stephanie because engrossed with it. She quickly learned to shift and ride his quad. They married in October 1994. Racing was hard because they only had one quad. Tim continued to race locally and for the nationals both Tim and Stephanie were able to race. Then in the Fall of 1995 they made a tough decision. Stephanie raced a Poker Run where she wrecked and was seriously injured. “It affected us in many ways and we both made the decision to hang it all up,” Stephanie said. Now, they are back in the family as they support their son Chris’ career. Chris has autism, and you can read part 1 of this story here.