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Factory Beta rider Cory Buttrick secured the Overall win at the Grass Man Enduro held in Norwich, OH on May 4th. Buttrick, a southern Ohio native, has had a highly successful racing career in the national enduros and GNCCs. However, this is the first time that Buttrick competed in an ACES enduro.
“The trail was a lot tighter and slower than I expected,” Buttrick said. “I always felt like I was going too fast. Since the national enduros run a reset format, I was not used to the traditional time-keeping, and I was really trying not to burn any checks. Unfortunately, I ended up burning the last check.”
He said his Beta worked awesome all day. “The computers worked better once I got the hang of it!” he joked.
Buttrick and his competitor Zach Klamfoth both dropped 18 points, but Buttrick beat Klamfoth by 178 emergency check points. Broc Hepler dropped 19 points to finish third, Josh Gaitten dropped 21 points and Jeff Melik dropped 22 to round out the top five.
While Buttrick really enjoys enduros, he said the biggest drawback to enduros is not seeing your competitors.
“It’s easy to miss head-to-head racing,” Buttrick said. “But I love that it’s always fun trails and being able to change your mental attitude before each section. Hopefully I can hit some more ACES races before the year is up, so I can keep learning more about time keeping events.”
Buttrick would like to thank Kevin Brown for letting him borrow some of his equipment, American Beta for supplying him “with the best 300 RR ever”, and his girlfriend and dad for taking care of him during the race.
Vet A rider Eric Kriberney finally prevailed in snatching the Overall A position. In the first two races of the season, he was narrowly beat by fellow Vet A rider Mark McGrath. It was the closest race yet between the competitors, with Kriberney and McGrath dropping 27 points each, but Kriberney beating McGrath by only 50 emergency check points. Ryan Slopko, a 250 A competitor also dropped 27 points, but finished 128 emergency check points behind Kriberney.
Kriberney said before he started racing dirt bikes, he was a pro mountain biker and always enjoyed long hard core races. “When I transitioned into dirtbike racing in 2007, I was introduced to Gary Johnson he showed me the way of the enduros,” Kriberney said. “I didn’t race a full enduro series until 2009 when I raced ACES and was named the Open B champion. I like enduros, because I am on a line with my good buddies, the trails are tighter and more technical, and you really have to focus on your time.”
Kriberney said he spends his off season training on his mountain bike to strengthen his endurance, rides motocross tracks, and spends every Sunday riding at least six hours in the woods. He said he also owns a construction company that frames houses, so the heavy physical labor helps keep him fit.
“I thought the trail was a little muddy, and it was definitely tight and challenging,” Kriberney said. “My bike ran flawlessly, and I have a lot of people to thank for that, including Ron Bohn at Bohn Cycle and John Barber at Smith’s Powersports.
As far as the rest of the season, Kriberney said, “I just have to keep pushing and train harder! I know the championship is out there if I want it, but I have some tough competitors to beat.”
Kriberney would like to thank his sponsors: FCR Suspension, FMF Racing, Bentley’s Racing, Renthal, Spy, O’Neal, IMS, Twin Air, and Suomy.
“I’d like to thank ACES for a great series,” Kriberney said. “Most of all I would like to thank my wife, Terri, and my children, Mason and Ellie.”
It’s also been a tight race in the Overall B championship hunt this season between Vet B riders John Bittner and Christopher Kight. Bittner beat Kight in the first two races, but at the Grass Man Enduro, Kight triumphed. He dropped 32 points and Bittner finished three spots behind Kight.
Kight said his brother-in-law got him interested in dirtbikes in 2010 and he started racing enduros that year.
“I like enduros, because the trail is always changing,” Kight said. “You get everything from single-track to wide-open road, and I think enduros are a little harder than GPs and hare scrambles. The trail at the Grass Man Enduro was good overall. The club put in a lot of work to get this race ready. It was wet in a lot of areas, and I think you could only go so fast because of the mud and water in some sections. It rained all week leading up to the race, so I got lucky to be up front in the first row.”
“I just put a new top end in my bike, so it ran really well,” Kight said. “Unfortunately, I did bust both fork seals early and the front end didn’t want to plant toward the end. Not to mention that I got lost a few times, missed some turns, and made too many mistakes in my opinion.”
Kight said he’s got to keep riding and trying to get better. “There are some fast guys that I have to try to catch up to,” he said.
Kight would to thank his wife, Leann, and his two boys, Carter and Case, for letting him spend Sunday with his friends. He would like to thank his brother-in-law, Matt Hatten, for getting him into racing, in addition to his friends who have helped him learn so much. He’d also like to thank Protune Suspension and Kenworth.
“One of the best things about racing is the people,” Kight said. “They are good people that would do anything for you… unless you pass them.”
“Ohio Woods Riders was founded two years ago and joined ACES,” said Kory Young, ACES President and one of the event organizers for the enduro. “More than 125 riders competed in the third round of ACES. It took the team three months of solid work to cut new trail for the Grass Man Enduro. While it was a sunny day, in the mid-60s, there were still a lot of muddy sections due to the rain the week leading up to the event.”