Welcome back to the Vurbmoto Amateur Roundup where I bring you the latest in the world of amateur motocross.
Ahhhhh September, Loretta Lynn’s is in the rear view, Labor Day is over, summer is winding down, the leaves are changing colors, and the most anticipated race in the world of amateur motocross is upon us. That’s right, the Vurb Classic is coming up in just over a week, September 15-17 at NXT LVL 101 in Gray Court, South Carolina.
Now, if you have clicked on this article and are wondering “what the heck is the Vurb Classic?”, let me bring you up to speed a little bit. Way back in a time before Instagram and TikTok, the boys at Vurbmoto wanted to hold an event that would invite the biggest names in amateur motocross to what was basically a local race. This was, and still is, an opportunity for anyone to line up next to the best riders in their respective classes without having to qualify in like Loretta Lynn’s. With the help of Kevin Kelly, the Vurb Classic was born at Bremen Race Park in Georgia. Everyone from Justin Barcia to Daxton Bennick to Tyler Berman have lined up at the Vurb Classic.
Unlike Loretta Lynn’s Amateur National, you don’t have to win a moto or a championship to catch the attention of people like us. We want to use our platform to help those who might need a little extra help in getting the exposure they deserve. This might be the guy/girl who was just outside of the podium at Loretta’s or even the rider that missed qualifying at all. But if you show up and do battle with the class champion from Loretta’s or one of the standout amateurs, I can guarantee there will be a number of people like myself holding a camera to capture it.
You can read Wes William’s take on the Vurb Classic here.
Now that we are caught up to speed, let’s talk about why we are here. As I said above, we will be inviting the best of the best to come race with us in South Carolina. Let’s just say we have been making a few phone calls. I give you, the Hired Guns.
What is a Hired Gun? The Hired Guns are the best of the best. The staff here at Vurbmoto combed through results from all the major amateur races to see who we would like to hire from each class that can show up and win. Your goal is to go out and beat them. We even put a target on their backs, so you know who to look for.
Let me introduce you to a few of our Hired Guns.
Abshur Hall – 51cc 7-8
Abshur Hall will be making the trip from Morganton, North Caolina, which is only about two hours away from NXT LVL 101. That is close enough to make him a local in my opinion. Looking at his results from the last year, I would say it has been pretty successful. Abshur finished second in Micro 3 (7-8) Limited at the Ranch as well as a top 20 on his 65 in 65cc (7-9) Limited. Abshur also raced Daytona RCSX, Freestone, and Spring A Ding Ding back-to-back-to-back for a total of 14 classes only finishing outside of the top 10 five times. It is safe to say he is not afraid of lining up.
Anderson Waldele – 65cc 7-9
Next on the list, we have Anderson Waldele. Anderson came away from Loretta’s with two third place finishes in both the 65cc (7-9) Limited and the 65cc (7-9) Classes. He also finished third in both those classes at Freestone earlier in the year as well. Aside from those major races, Anderson has been dominating the 65cc classes in the Southeast this year.
Easton Graves – 65cc 10-11
When I said we were picking the best of the best, I was not kidding. Coming off a 65cc (10-11) Championship at Loretta’s and a second in 65cc (10-11) Limited, Easton Graves is your Hired Gun for the 65cc 10-11 Class. Easton has been to Loretta’s eight times finishing in the top 10 in five different classes with one championship. Not only did Easton take home a number one plate at Loretta’s, he won the 65 Open Class at Spring A Ding Ding, the 65cc (10-11) Limited Class at Freestone, and the 65cc (7-11) Class at RCSX. That is four major amateur titles in one year. That speaks for itself.
Tayce Morgan – 85cc 9-11
If you follow amateur motocross in any capacity, this is likely a name you have heard before. Tayce is a prior Loretta’s champion and a front runner in most others. Tayce finished inside the top 10 in three of four Classes at Mini O’s last year with the fourth being an 11th in SX. He also finished second in 85cc (10-12) Limited at RCSX, second in 85cc (9-12) at Freestone, and second in 85cc (9-12) Mod at Spring A Ding. He also finished ninth in 85cc (10-12) Limited at Loretta’s this year. It has been a very productive year for Tayce, and I do not see that stopping at the Classic.
Chase Dashiell – 85cc 12-15
Chase Dashiell is another name you have likely heard before. Coming off two seventh place finishes at Loretta’s, Chase is looking to make some impressions at the Vurb Classic. Another prior Loretta Lynn’s champion, Chase has had very solid results with multiple top 10 finishes in a number of the Amateur Majors including five at Mini O’s alone. Chase is going to be tough to beat in the 85cc Class.
Katie Benson – Women 12+
Looking at the list of Hired Guns, this might be the toughest one to beat. Katie has ridden at NXT LVL 101 a ton working with one of the fastest women to ever do it, Jessica Patterson. It is safe to say she has a bit of a home track advantage in South Carolina. Aside from that, Katie has made Loretta’s an incredible 12 times with one championship and 12 top 10s. Like I said, I think Katie is going to be super hard to beat on home soil.
Austin Schafer – Schoolboy 1 12-17
Schoolboy 1 is one of those classes that seems to be stacked no matter where in the country you are. At Loretta’s, it seemed like no matter where you were on the track, you were always battling with someone. There were a lot of guys to choose from in this class and we went with Austin Schafer, also known as “Lil Pedro”. Lil Pedro is a local in the Southeast, training at South of the Border, and races all over the East Coast. That experience will go a long way at NXT LVL 101 next weekend. Austin had a very productive year at Loretta’s coming away with two eighth place finishes in both 125B/C and Schoolboy 1. Both of these classes are highly competitive so qualifying in either of these classes difficult, finishing in the top 10 in both classes is making a statement.
Luke Fauser – Schoolboy 2 12-17
Next up on my list, we have Luke Fauser. Another name that we have heard time and time again from Mini O’s to Freestone to Loretta’s and everything in between. Luke is a Mid-Atlantic guy so naturally I will always root for this guy. Luke did not race Loretta’s this year and I am a little disappointed in myself that I don’t know why. I am not sure if there was a small injury that kept him out of the Ranch or another reason, but he had an incredible year leading up to Loretta Lynn’s. He won three titles at Mini O’s in Schoolboy 1 and 125B/C, first in 125cc at RCSX, four top 5s and one title at Freestone, plus four top 5s and 1 title at Spring a Ding. In addition to that, Luke is a four-time Loretta’s champion. If you can beat Luke in Schoolboy 2, I can guarantee your phone will be ringing before Mini O’s.
Landon Gibson – 250B
Another past Loretta’s champion, Landon Gibson will be our Hired Gun for the 250B Class. Landon was someone I had fully expected to race the Supermini class at Loretta’s and be in contention for a title. Next thing I knew, he was riding a 250F and skipping Loretta’s. Before he moved to the big bike, Landon was running up front in the Supermini classes winning both at RCSX and scoring six top 10s in the Texas Two Step. But it seems Landon has adapted well to the big bike with a handful of wins and not finishing outside the top 10 through various local Amateur Days at RedBud and Budds Creek.
Jadon Cooper – 450B
2023 450B Loretta Lynn’s champion Jadon Cooper will be representing Vurbmoto in the 450B class this year. Jadon trains down in Texas with my guy Sean Hackley and has started to come into his own this year. He took the win in 450B and finished third in 450B Limited this year at the Ranch as well as six top 10s at Mini O’s across SX & MX and fourth in Collegeboy at Freestone. Jadon has worked hard to make himself a contender in the B Classes and I look for him to run up front in South Carolina next weekend.
Elijah Marsh – Unlimited C/D
A consistent front runner, Elijah Marsh will be our Hired Gun in the Unlimited C/D class at the Vurb Classic. Coming off of a third-place finish in 250C at Loretta’s, Elijah is going to have a target on his back at NXT LVL 101. Elijah is a South Carolina local so he will know exactly what to expect when it comes to track conditions. In addition to his third place at Loretta’s, Elijah finished 10th at Mini O’s in 450C, and second in 250C, third in 450C, and 10th in 125C at Spring a Ding Ding.
Jesse Wessell – Collegeboy 14-24
Jesse Wessell has been on a tear through the Collegeboy classes this year winning the Collegeboy title at Loretta’s, second at RCSX, sixth at Freestone, second at Spring a Ding and I saw he just won the Collegeboy class at the Maine Event at MX101 plus a top 5 at Baja Brawl. Jesse may be from the land of Danny Stu and Robby Marshall, but he trains at South of the Border so he is no stranger to the conditions in the Southeast. With the way Jesse has been riding this year, he is going to be one of the toughest Hired Guns to beat.
Carson Brown – 125cc 2-Stroke
Honestly, I feel like I don’t need to even write anything about Carson Brown. You can just go to his Instagram and see what this guy can do. It doesn’t matter what he is riding, he is going to be going fast. He could be riding a 1975 Honda XR75 blindfolded and he would lap me on my 250F. I have even seen this guy riding in the snow. I don’t think we have to worry about any adverse conditions like snow, but either way, if you show up and battle with Carson Brown you will be in every social media video made next weekend. If you want exposure, go do battle in the 125 class.
Chad Wages – 30+
Chad is someone I know personally so I was excited to see him on this list. Chad is a Maryland guy who is not afraid to line up on the gate at any time. Chad first went to Loretta’s in 1996 in the 51cc Stock 7-8 class and would attend every year from 1996 to 2008. Chad raced every class from 50s to A Class at the Ranch and we didn’t see him back at the Ranch until 2013 where he raced 25+ and 250A, then again in 2016 riding 25+ and 250 A again. Chad has made Loretta’s every year since 2016 finding a lot of success in the 25+ Classes and 30+ Classes. Chad has raced at Loretta’s 19 years for a total of 35 different classes. That is a resume if I have ever seen one.
Christopher Hunter – Vet Warrior
Similar to Chad mentioned above, Christopher Hunter has a very impressive resume. From what the vault shows, Chris made Loretta’s from 1993 to 1998 and then again in 2002 and 2003 riding in the A/Pro Sport Classes. From there he qualified for seven Pro Motocross rounds in the 2003 season. Chris went back to the Ranch starting in 2021 lining up in the 30+ and 40+ Classes taking home a second in 2021 and a fourth in 2023. Chris will have the target on his back next weekend for any vet guys who want to come rub elbows with a Loretta’s front runner.
This is going to wrap up this edition of the Amateur Roundup. If you’re coming to the Vurb Classic, which you should be, I will absolutely see you there. Vurbmoto will have the same all-star staff from Loretta’s in South Carolina so look for some top-notch content. The best part about the Vurb Classic is that we run it, so we have the freedom to produce what we want and how we want to do it. I can’t wait. See you there.