Indianapolis Supercross was by and far the most “out of the norm” Monster Energy Supercross race of the entire season. Round 12 marked the inaugural mid-season East/West Shootout – the first time that the 250 Eastern Regional competitors met with their 250 Western Regional counterparts since the 2017 Monster Energy Supercross finals in Las Vegas. The introduction of the combined 250 class for this race meant that only the Top 20 from the East and the Top 20 from the West would qualify for the night show. The track shaped up to be an incredibly technical one, filled with soft tacky dirt and plenty of ruts to choose from. While racing was heating up inside of Lucas Oil Stadium, outside of the stadium walls was quite the different scenario. For the first time in years, teams and fans experienced a Supercross Snow Day. Nearly a foot of snow fell by the end of the day and teams had a great time making the most of the snowy conditions – donuts outside of their rig, building snowmen, and of course snowball fights. When we have a chance to experience something out of the ordinary, there is a visible shift in the flow of the day, and in this case, a beneficial one for Traders Racing Yamaha.
The day began with both Luke Renzland and Nick Gaines easily qualifying for the Night Show to represent the Eastern Region in the inaugural mid-season East/West showdown. The track in Indianapolis was another fast one, with the fastest qualifying time coming in at 44.579 seconds. Unfortunately, as the final qualifying round was coming to a close, Nick Gaines had a tip over near the face of the Monster Energy Triple, which surprisingly resulted in a broken metacarpal in his left hand. He got back on the bike and rode to the Aplinestars Mobile Medical Unit to get checked out when he realized something wasn’t right. They X-rayed Gaines and determined there was, indeed, a break in his left hand. Because of the clean break, we are hoping for minimal recovery time and to have Nick back on the line before the end of the season. However, his return date is currently TBD.
We were disappointed to be missing a member of the squad come Night Show time, but this team is always there to work together and support each other, no matter the circumstances. Once Nick Gaines was patched up by the medical team, all focus turned toward Luke Renzland as the sole representative for Traders Racing Yamaha on the gate. During the East Heat, Renzland would claim the 9th and final transfer position to the Main Event with a margin of nearly 10 seconds ahead of the 10th place finisher. For the Main Event, Renzland selected a gate to the right of the doghouse, way outside. As the 30-second board ticked down, El Dozer was ready for battle in the East/West Showdown. The moment the gate dropped, Renzland found just the right amount of traction to propel him directly to the front of the pack. Jeremy Martin got the holeshot, but Renzland wasn’t far behind him. As time elapsed, Luke Renzland maintained the second place position up until almost the final laps of the race where Adam Cianciarulo just squeezed by. Renzland was able to maintain his charge until the checkered flag flew, where he was scored in third place! This was a monumental day for not only Luke, but for the entire Traders Racing Yamaha team as this was the career-first Monster Energy Supercross podium for Luke and a team-first podium for Traders.
Traders Racing Yamaha was built with the goal of not just being another non-factory effort in the pits, but a team that puts in the work to make their mark and be podium contenders on a regular basis. This team may seem like the underdogs, but they have the hearts of true champions. Five years in the making, Luke’s finish in Indianapolis is one the team will never forget! In his post race press conference interview, Luke mentioned that he didn’t ride one single lap on his Supercross track the week leading up to Indianapolis and instead spent six hours on nothing but starts. He stated that his clutch and brain were shot, but he knew a great start would be the absolute determining factor in earning a better finishing position. Every single week, Renzland manages to make one of the most impressive charges through the field, passing for up to 10 positions in a single race. Starting out front was going to be imperative if he wanted to back up his incredibly skilled riding with a finishing position of the same merit. It’s no surprise that the very moment he got his start dialed was the very moment that he would become a podium contender. Not only did Renzland lock in a third place finish, but he also laid down the fastest lap of any 250 rider during that Main Event, proving this is no fluke and Renzland is running up exactly where he belongs.
Between the East/West Showdown, a Supercross Snow Day, and Renzland’s career-first Monster Energy Supercross podium, Indianapolis SX 2018 is a race that Traders Racing Yamaha will never forget. We head into the weekend off for Easter where the team will continue to put in the work to yield the results when we rejoin the series in Minneapolis. Now that that first podium monkey is off our back, look to see the Traders Racing Yamaha team up front much more often in the near future!
A huge thank you to all of our sponsors and supporters have stood by us every step of the way on this journey. No one said it would be easy, but guaranteed it’s worth it!
Tags. flomotorsports , Footpegs , Sprockets , Indianapolis , Supercross , Main event , Luke Renzland ,