Just two rounds left in the Geico Endurocross and headed into Boise, the front is set for the Geico series. Webb has 11 points on Haaker, and Brown seems to be comfortably sandwiched for an end of the season podium. Those podium spots seem to be pretty secure, but as you roll down the roster past the front runners, working through the top ten, you get to the "Young Guns of The Geico".
In order to be in this category, you need to be under 23. Hey, if it's good enough for the FIM, it's good enough for me. The boys on the bubble, as a friend said to me, are those with support from proven results, but not yet consistently on the top of the leaderboard. They are quietly moving their way up with respect and hard work. Let's take a look at a few in the hunt as we head into Boise and see who is working their way to the top.
The Young Guns are an incredibly talented group following the Geico series. I'm going to focus on who I feel are the top performers on points. But make no mistake - there are others and they are coming. To me, the Young Guns are some of the most exciting racers to watch within the series because you see them growing stronger, getting more focused, and they are completely dedicated to the hard work of being a pro.
Banging out laps at home tracks after school or work, sometimes still in high school or getting ready to head to college, these Young Guns in other parts of the world in other sports called Espoirs (the hopeful ones, or young up-and-comers). Sometimes striving to maintain as professional endurocross racers and get a 4.0 GPA can have its challenges. With the likes of Taylor Robert, Cody Webb, and Colton Haaker in front of them, they have some solid competitors and role models to look up to. Some, who have been on the same train before.
At 20 years old at the end of the month, RPM Racing's Ty Tremaine is very familiar with the top step of the podium. At 6'4 he's not a small guy, He turned pro in 2013 and in 2014 he finished in the top ten in the series. In 2015, he was the FIM Junior SuperEnduro World Champion. Tremaine is currently in 7th in points.
Noah Kepple at 19 bangs bars with his buddy Cooper Abbott and together those two are locked in battle. Just eight points ahead of his partner in crime Cooper Abbott at 13th and 14th in season points. They are both being coached by Destry Abbott, who is currently in a top ten finisher battle with Kevin Rookstool. These two teenagers, barely out of braces, possess some incredible technical skill for their age. And with DA8 training centers helping in their development, these two are only climbing higher. It's a close battle with two rounds left, and you can bet they both are looking for the bro trophy come Ontario.
At 17, the Kawasaki-backed rider Cooper Abbott has been competing for several years now in the Geico series, hitting the pro ranks full time in 2015 and already climbing through the top 20. Coop comes from one of the great desert racing families in American history. It's uncommon to not see three generations of Abbotts traveling the country together with Grandad driving the bus. Mentored by his father, Destry, the love these two display on and off the field is something to aspire to in a father, son, coach relationship. You can't help but yell "Go Coop", when he rolls by. This young gun has a solid foundation and as he gets stronger to match his already solid skill, it won't be long before he is within the top ten at the end of the season.
Abbott and Kepple had better keep their focus on because the seven times national youth trials champion Ty Cullins at 16 years oldis just six points back of the battle between the two. Currently 15th in points, Cullens was just out of the top ten in Everett. Cullens won his first national in trials at age 6, and he's been banging out national trophies ever since. These kids are really stirring up the pot and banging bars with seasoned pros twice their age.
Next, I hope to look at "The Climbers, " those guys in the system with the strongest growth curve in finishes this season. One of those guys is Topar Racing's Mitch Carvolth, who was banging around in the mid twenties early season and due to an injury, he didn't show in Vegas. But by his return in Denver, he finished 13th and then in Everett 15th. I don't know what the Steve Hatch racing coach has been eating in his down time, but he'd better not stop. Whatever it is, it's working. See you in Boise!