Unleash the Fury!
Williams To Grand Canyon
Blythe Grand Prix 2022
17th Annual White Mountain UTV Jamboree
Verde Valley UTV Fest
Exploring the Grand Canyon's Majesty at the North Rim UTV Fun Run
Fire in the Sky UTV Fun Run 2021
4th Annual Fire in the Sky
Prickly Pine Cone UTV Fest: A Labor Day Extravaganza!
Lake Powell UTV Fest 2021
Unleash the Fury!The Explosive Climax of the 2023 AZOP Racing Series at Shorty's Sports Park
Written by Christy Carter, Photography by Kashaeda Sutton
AZOP wrapped up the 2023 season with an exciting two day event at Shorty’s Sports Park in Blythe, CA for the Blythe GP II. The crisp mornings and warm afternoons made for a perfect weekend of racing under the blue skies.
The fun started as the sun rose over the grassy fields of scenic Blythe. The Stacyc E-bikes are always a crowd favorite as they zip around the course, usually with a parent hot in pursuit to help keep the balance! The 2-3 year old category was won by Jose Carillo, with Maverick Atteberry and Crue Wilson close behind. The 4-5 year old category had a strong showing, with Noah Ambriz talking 1st, Grant Mele 2nd, and Brawley Ojeda 3rd place.
The crowds got quite a show as nearly 80 big bikes took to the course on Saturday. The battle of the Pros was intense, with Nick Neys just edging out Cody Walker by 11 seconds. Robert Glines took the Open A class with a 24 second lead over 2nd place Reece Thompson. Chad Goodsell, Tyler Phillips, and Cole Ingals took the Open B class, while Mason Madewell, Skyler Wallace, and Bryce Davenport put on a battle in the Open C class. Other notable racers were Kelan Phillips, Lane Makridichian, and Eddy Panuco that all finished in the Top 10 on their bikes.
The big quads had a loaded field with 32 racers showing up at Shorty’s to show what they can do. Diego Urrea and Ian Kubik showed impressive skills as they battled in the Pro class, with Diego just edging out Ian by 2 seconds to take home the first place trophy. Layne Fryar was hot on their tails, finishing third overall. Ryan McKinney and Ron Suor rounded out the Top 5, with each finishing within 1 minute of each other.
The minis are always fun to watch – with both quads and bikes in on the action. On Saturday Sage McKinney, Ty Thompson, and Jesslynne Preslar finished at the top of the 91-300 cc 10-15yr old quad class. The 71-150cc 8-11 year old class was won by Jace Verkuilen, followed closely by Prestyn Raue and Lucy Giles. Kate Proctor took the gold in the 250-400cc class. The motorcycles took to the dirt and what a turnout! Joseph Giles, Tanner Sutton, and Seth Johnson fought valiantly for the top spot in the 85B class. Ryland Fugitt and Jake Pennington just edged out Phillip Kraxberger and Cooper Nugent in the 85C class. Jace Weller, Rush Wermes, and Devon Branham were on fire in the 65B class. The Women C class was won by Breya Proctor, just edging out Deegan Ojeda. And the crowd got quite a show watching Sean Fox win the pit bikes, John Horner take home the win on the pull starts, and Tanin Fox winning for the E-bikes.
The peewee bikes were ready for action with some super impressive racing! The 50cc 4-6 class was led by Reed Honberger, followed by Parker Gibson in 2nd and Liam Ambriz in 3rd. For the 50cc 7-8 year olds, Gracin Tallman took first, George McConnell finished in second place, and Declan Jenkins got third. The 65cc C class went to Royce Pendleton in 1st place, Danny Jarman in 2nd, and Jaxon Fontes in 3rd. The peewee quads were just as excting to watch as the bikes with three stellar classes of competitors! The ATV 80cc-150cc Advanced class was won by Kyle Wade, followed closely by Cain Llamas and Emma Martinez. The ATV 80-150cc Beginner class was so close, with Jace Verkuluilen just edging out Brantley Addison and Robert McRoy. Ricki McRoy and Avery Thompson took the podium for the ATV 50-79cc 4-6 year olds.
The UTV race cars are always fun to watch and the excitement started off with the 170cc UTVs. The beginner class was won by Blaine Proctor, just in front of Addie Atteberry, Mason Naughton, and Maisyn Atteberry. Robert Grimes was right up there with the leaders before he ended up on his top and taking him out of the race. Spencer Gibson, Kinley Sutton, and Rylee White put on an impressive showing in the Intermediate class, while Chloe Hurn took the win for the Advanced class. The 570s were quick around the track with Spencer Gibson, Blaine Proctor, and Braxton Sherman all taking to the podium. The Big UTVs had quite an assortment of classes competing, with Bruce St. Germain taking the win for the Pro Turbo, Dan Hurn the Pro Open, Jacob Mueller winning in the 1000cc Turbo class, Jeff Garrity taking the win in the 1000cc N/A class, and #808 Chace Crawford taking the win not only in the Youth 1000cc/RS No Restrictor class, but also the win overall for the day.
Another sunrise battle commenced on Day 2 of the AZOP Blythe GP II as the Stacyc bikes got started. Maverick Atteberry, Noah Ambriz, and Elias Martinez all took to the podium after their impressive feat on the track.
Day two of Big Bike action continued as 57 bikes were ready to go with Nick Neys wowing the crowds with his speed and impressive jumps. Lane Makrdichian showed that this kid is not afraid of speed, as he took 2nd place overall. It was a battle for third overall between Marley Kuhn and Eddy Panuco. And local racer Mike Nicklaus rounded out the overall top 5 for the day.
The second day of quad action continued on a beautiful warm November afternoon. Ryan McKinney and Ron Suor came in first and second respectively, finishing just seconds from each other. Glen Brazatis and Ron Suor also continued to shine as they completed the race in great time, rounding out the top four racers of the day.
The minis continued their action on Sunday morning as the sun was rising over the horizon. Sage McKinney, Jesslyne Preslar, and Payson Raue finished top 3 overall in front of a cheering crowd. With a crowded mini-bike race, Tanner Sutton took the overall win. Jacob Saganitso and Ryland Fugitt were battling for 2nd place, Saganitso just edging out the victory. Phillip Kraxberger and Jake Pennington wrapped up the top 5 overall for the day.
The action continued as the peewee bikes and quads headed to the track. Those little guys can go FAST! Jaxon Fontes, Royce Pendleton, and Gracin Tallman placed in the top 3 overall on the peewee bikes, with Wyatt Parent and Danny Jarmon hot on their heels. The little quads looked quite impressive as Emma Martinez was the overall winner. Prestyn Raue and Lucy Giles completed the top 3 for the day.
UTV actions contined on Day 2, with Bruce St. Germain, Dan Hurn, Jacob Mueller, Chace Crawford, Braxton Sherman, and Blaine Proctor all hitting the podium for the second day in a row! Hurn looked super impressive as he took the overall win for the day. The 170s looked great as Kinley Sutton took the overall win, followed closely by Ryder Wilson, Addie Atteberry, Mason Naughton, and Allanna Fernandez rounding out the top 5 for the day.
The 2023 season comes to a close, but not without the many great memories along the way. The AZOP Race Team would like to thank the racers, families, sponsors, and spectators that make our series so special. Here is to an amazing year and we can’t wait to see everyone in 2024 as we kick off the season at Shorty’s in January! More info on race azopracing.com