5 Things We Learned: What Went Down at Indy 3

Nichols Crash Good for Business

The 250SX East Region Championship was nearly put to rest when Colt Nichols pulled the holeshot at Indy 3. He was the fastest in practice, the fastest in his heat and for a split second his odds at separating himself as the clear cut champion was solidified.

That feeling lasted all of about 30 seconds, then the bottom dropped out. Nichols cross rutted and got damn lucky he landed on top of the next jump instead of into the face of it. This is a game of razor thin margins and every past champ will tell you, sometime you just gotta get lucky.

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Nichols put in a spectacular ride to finish on the podium, and teammate Christian Craig took a much needed win. So instead of having a double digit lead heading into Orlando 1, Nichols leads by a mere six points. It drives more interest in the series and will ultimately bring more attention to the title chase. That’s good for business.

Go, Jo

We absolutely loved Jo Shimoda’s take on his podium from Indy 2. While his first ever podium appearance was impressive, he didn’t feel the same. He felt like it was given, not earned. Well, Indy 3 told a different story. Jo was aggressive in his heat race while battling Jett Lawrence and carried that momentum into the main event with a second overall. And earned second overall at that.

Racing outside your home country has its share of challenges. Language barriers, cultural differences, home sickness – it all plays a part in an athletes overall performance. We liked Pro Circuit’s decision to bring Jo on board after GEICO Honda collapsed and his upward trend throughout the season has us even more impressed with the undeniable foresight of Mitch Payton and the entire PC Kawasaki team.

Anderson Nut’s Up Despite Injury

This hasn’t been the year Rockstar Energy Husqvarna envisioned. Wilson hurt his toe and missed all three rounds in Indy, Anderson hasn’t been performing up to his teams or his own expectations and Osborne seems to sluggish after one of the most impressive outdoor runs we’ve ever seen. Things got worse last week when Anderson suffered a dislocated finger after his hand slipped off the bar in a non-crash related injury.

Grip strength is vital to any racers ability to perform, so we were impressed to see Anderson on the gate at the final round in Indianapolis. Not only that, but he had a great heat race and still managed to stay inside the top 10 in the main, finishing eighth.

Fans tend to focus on overall results all too often without taking into consideration what’s going on behind the scenes. Props to Anderson for representing himself, his team and his fans in Indy. We hope to see him build on this heading into the second half of the season.

KENdianapolis

What a run Ken Roczen put in at Indy. Three races, three wins. No one could ask for a better momentum builder. Roczen seems to have his mind in a better spot this year, and the fact that he was able to fend off the always stronger finisher of Cooper Webb made it even more noteworthy. Especially after what happened in the final round in Houston when Webb tracked him down for a win in the waning moments of the race.

The big questions now is, can Roczen’s body hold up for 17 rounds? Webb is lurking only 16 points down and there’s a lot of racing left to go.

Title Contenders Down Late

Vince Friese can’t buy a break. Dude was simply doing his thing, working towards a finish where no one blasted him for taking someone out. And he almost accomplished it, until he didn’t. With almost no time left on the clock, Friese took Barcia out when he drifted to the left off the takeoff of a jump while Barcia was taking an aggressive outside line. While none of it felt intentional or malicious, Friese seems to find himself in these circumstances far too often. The crash also took Tomac out as a result and now two title contenders are now facing an uphill battle.

 Main image: KTM Images

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Written by Bird Dog

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