The WILD, WILD EAST….

Coming into round #7 of the Rockstar Energy Drink Nationals saw the return of Jess Pettis after his broken collarbone at the last round of the western swing in Regina.  Pettis had surgery and was plated with screws to quicken his return to racing.  Still sitting 10th in points after missing two rounds, Jess looked to come back and prove he was a podium contender and wasted no time doing just that.

The morning saw the dynamic duo of Maffenbeier and Pettis go 1-2 respectively in qualifying with Halstead rounding out the top 10.  The stage had been set with points leader Cole Thompson not being able to complete any laps and forced to call it a season before the gate had fallen.   Maffenbeier who was only 2 points back looked to regain the red plate signifying the championship points leader.

As moto 1 began to unfold it quickly became apparent that Pettis was up to speed and his only question to be answered was if he would have the stamina to last the moto at the front.  With Maffenbeier leading the way and Pettis in tow the two pulled away while running 1-2 to the checkers.  Halstead after being caught in the pack in the first turn rounded lap one just inside the top 20 and showing he can ride more than just sand consistently picked off riders to score another top 10 finish.  Remarkably Pettis quieted the doubters who thought he had come back to quickly and wouldn’t be at race pace or race shape.
Moto 2 would again start with Maffenbeier and Pettis upfront early on looking to repeat their first moto dominance.  Halstead would have a better start but a first lap altercation would put him outside the top 20 in the early laps.  As Maffenbeier made work of the leaders he was pushed off the track and into a drainage ditch while making a pass for second.  On the next lap electrical gremlins would put a halt to his charge.   Pettis would take over as the stalker of the battling two in front.   Unfortunately an ugly crash over the finish line would end the day for Josh Osby as Dylan Wright landed on him and sent him careening into and through the fence and into the trees.  The next lap would see Wright have an issue and the patient Pettis inherited the lead.   Maffenbeier was back going again and working his way towards a points paying position.  Halstead had quietly worked his way into the top 10 and was running 9th.   Pettis would feel the heat from Jacob Hayes for the remainder of the moto but rode flawlessly to take his first ever moto win and with 2-1 moto scores his first ever overall win!   Maffenbeier would climb back to 24th to gain valuable points for the championship.  With all the confusion around the finish line jump where Osby was still be attended to for the remainder of the moto the jump would be under a yellow flag until the last lap where the officials decided that the medic flag should come out instead.   With the finish line flagger holding both the white and medic flag Halstead didnt see the change from yellow only seeing the white and was penalized 5 positions dropping him to 14th officially.
So for the battle on the day Pettis came out on top with the overall, giving the team collectively 5 overall wins out of 7 races this season.  Maffenbeier would come home 8th overall and Halstead 11th.
Maffenbeier leaves with the red plate and a 21 point lead after a crazy day, Pettis is on the climb sitting 9th with Halstead 10th overall.   The team heads to Moncton NB for round number 8 this coming weekend.