Round 8 Atlanta: Dungey’s Revenge!
The past week was full of message boards and journalists (myself included) asking, “What's wrong with Dungey?” He came to Atlanta ready to silence his critics. I stand by my analysis that he is battling an illness, but clearly he is getting better. Dungey did look fatigued towards the end of the race as opposed to Eli Tomac who remained fresh. With that said, Dungey got it done and this is what defines him as a Champion! He can seemingly raise his level when needed while taking what's given on other days. Marvin and Eli have to be frustrated, both guys were faster than Dungey all day, including the Main event but bad starts caused both guys to struggle.
The Atlanta track wasn't ideal for passing and the sand section was downright silly. Why put beach sand on the backside of a wall jump? I like the sand sections when built in turns. Wall jumps without sand cause guys to get blasted with dirt, again putting sand there was ridiculous. Another part of the track I didn't like was the dog leg before the triple. Maybe they had to build it that way to fit the stadium, but in any form of racing a dog leg creates single file racing unless it is followed by a double apex 180 degree turn.
In the 250 race, Zach Osborne finally reached the top step of the podium! Osborne took the long road to the top. For those who don't know his story, here is the short version. Osborne was highly touted coming out of the Amateur ranks signing with Factory KTM. This didn't work out and he ended up earning the dubious nick name “snack pack,” the name given to him from outdoor national commentator at the time David Pingree. After losing his ride at KTM the only option to continue his career was to take a ride in Europe. Osborne fought hard and earned himself a ride with Geico Honda but after a couple years of not reaching his potential they let him go. Zach then signed with the Rockstar Husky team. While last year was filled with disappointments, this year is proving different. Almost 10 years after becoming a Pro he earned his first SX win. Osborne took the hard road showing through dedication his old nickname, “snack pack” was lifetimes ago. I put him as the East title favorite, but this coming week will be telling. Is this going to make him want to win every race, or is this just the monkey off his back? I am predicting the competition is in trouble.
Alex Martin and Jordan Smith seemed a lock for 2nd and 3rd in the 250 main until Martin cleaned out his teammate. Smith missed the on/off jump and was out of the normal rhythm, still Martin shouldn't have jumped in there and cleaned him out. It makes senses if they were battling for a win, but when both TLD KTM riders are in podium spots with little or no chance to catch Osborne, it becomes a stupid move. Team manager Tyler Keefe has to be pulling his hair out.
Although Dungey’s performance was great, it's a 17 race series! Tomac and Musquin can't allow Dungey any more breathing room. Let's be real though, if Dungey is up more than 30 points after Daytona this is likely over.
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