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The Checkered Flag Roundup | Round 1 at Nitrocross Oklahoma

Fraser McConnell may have grabbed the headlines as the Nitrocross season got underway in Oklahoma last weekend, but he wasn’t the only driver to taste victory at Mid America Outdoors, with four other drivers joining him in tasting champagne front he top of the podium


In NEXT, Lane Vacala scored his first-ever round win in the category on Friday, and followed that up with a second on Saturday after a stewards decision snatched a storybook victory for Lia Block away with a penalty.


Seven-times a third place finisher prior to the Oklahoma weekend, Vacala was dominant in the first final of the weekend, leaping to an early lead from second on the grid, and setting a string of fastest laps to head home Eric Gordon. Jimmy Henderson was calssified third, despite failing to finish, ahead of fellow retirees Lia Block and Casper Jansson.


Vacala took an early lead in the second NEXT final as well, but a string of session-best laps handed the advantage to Block, who comfortably won on the road. However, an early collision with Jimmy Henderson, and her subsequent rejoining of the track in a dangerous manner saw her excluded from the final results.


Side-by-Sides also had one driver double up on the victories – both day’s podiums being repeated completely in fact – with the young Kainan Baker twice leading home Tyler Remmeried and Ben Maier.


Baker was the dominant driver in the class all weekend, right from testing which he was comfortably fastest. In the first final of the weekend he started from pole and was untouchable during the four lap final.


In was a similar story in the second main of the weekend, with Baker getting the best launch of the field, once again from pole, and controlled the field from the front to double up.


The Class 11 Baja Bug wins, meanwhile, were shared between Blake Wilkey and Ryan Rodriguez. Wilkey headed Ryan Rodriguez and Kyle Zirkus on Friday, while Rodriguez shared the podium with Donald Cerrone and Zirkus on Saturday.


In the first Baja Bug final of the weekend, Zirkus made a strong start from second on the grid to sweep round the outside of the first turn and into the lead, but Wilkey had momentum on the exit and snatched the lead two turns later, with Rodriguez following through.


On the second day, Zirkus made another brilliant start to lead into the first turn, but Rodriguez was hot on his tail. Behind them, Wilkey was picking his way through the field and was there to pounce when Zirkus was spun as the field concertinaed together in the twistiest part of the track. He and Rodriguez then collided, with Rodriguez rolling and Wilkey sustaining a picture as he shot by into the lead.


The roll resulted in a red flag though, a stoppage that allowed Wilkey to repair the puncture and Rodriguez to be righted and return to the field. Rodriguez comfortably led the restart coming home unchallenged.


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