After two rounds of dry slick racing surface, Mother Nature threw everyone a curveball heading into the third round of the string of races in Salt Lake City. Of course, the corresponding race in the regular schedule would have been Seattle, so it sort of made sense. The track had been covered since well before the rain arrived, but even unwrapping it is no easy process.

There were some really heavy showers overnight and on Sunday morning, so the plastic was wet, heavy, and uncooperative. The Tuf-Blox between jumps are used to try and route water off to the sides, rather than pooling at the bottom of jumps.

The crew also has to be careful how they pull the plastic off the track. See the water trapped inside the plastic? This looked like a big bag of Jello. They wrap the end of the plastic sheets to the rear of the rack on the four-wheeler, and pull them out of the stadium.

Justin Brayton and mechanic, Brent Duffe, doing their track inspection on Sunday.

Eli Tomac and Brian Kranz looking over the track. Because of the weather, riders were limited to the visual inspection from the edges of the track, one rolling lap, and one session to learn the track and qualify.

Most of the factory rigs were in full foul-weather mode, with the windows up, and doors zippered closed. That's not so easy for privateers like Tyler Bowers.

We caught Tyler before the 450 main huddled under a blanket to try and stay warm. After the warm and sunny heats, another front moved through, that dropped more rain...and the temperature.

They're serious about social distancing here...and separating functional groups.

Over at the Club MX rig, they were busy giving the bikes a liberal coat of silicone spray.

We were happy to see Enzo Lopes (66) back for another shot after crashing out of last Wednesday's action.

Colt Nichols had jumped up 14 spots in the 250 East standings after Wednesday, and was looking to make up some more spots during Sunday's action.

Everyone has to do their mud prep, including the TV crews.

Have you been enjoying the cable cam setup on TV? Here's what it looks like when it's not in use. They had a small setup off to the side where they could keep it out of the rain, and tweak and tune on it.

The rain and wind in the morning sort of made a mess out of everything.

While peeking for the next round of weather, we looked east, where the Utah State Capitol building isn't far off.

The Bell guys had Cooper Webb's helmet set up for mud action.

And the Alpinestars guys were in their Sprinter dialing in Dean Wilson's helmet.

After SX stopped at Indy, and Chad Reed decided to switch to KTM, the gang at Dubya had to rush to get him new wheels. The only problem was that Talon was forced to shut down for two months so it was tough to get product. They were able to get his hubs and build the wheels and then overnight them to Utah just in time. They did a really cool color that Talon offers, dubbed “Ti.”

Logan Karnow was pumped about Sunday...and even more pumped when he made the 450 main.

The carbon bits inside the shrouds? Those come out for mud races to help keep water from entering the airbox intake.

What a difference from the first two rounds. Justin Hill trying to stay dry.

With co-points leaders in the 250 East division coming into the third race, something had to give.

Shane McElrath came out firing at the start of Sunday's practice. He went for the triple at the end of the stadium...

...and after doing this, we didn't see him try it again. Ouch.

After going down at the start of Sunday's 250 main, we were spooked about the potential injury list for Garrett Marchbanks. The "good" news is that it seems to "only" be broken ribs and a bruised lung. Get well soon, Garrett.

Mud makes everything harder...including navigating around with a pit cart. It was cool to see Colter Ahrens wait patiently by the side of the track while the Alpinestars Mobile Medical crew were getting Garrett Marchbanks squared away after his crash. Once they'd loaded him up onto the Mule, Colter moved in squeeze his hand, and give him some words of encouragement.

Ouch. Curren Thurman had a pretty big digger in Sunday's practice.

If you're going to have to deal with mud, might as well make it fun, right? This guy was getting his shimmy on.

How about some new FXR gear? It was good to see Broc Tickle back in action on Sunday.

Not that it was easy to tell with all the muck and mire, but Alpinestars had a new LE boot, and matching gear sets for Eli Tomac and Jason Anderson.

The Dirt Wurx crew has been putting in overtime trying to make track changes, and make Sunday's track raceable. This gives you an idea what it was like in some sections late in practice.

It's almost a sell-out in the SX Superfan zone.

The really funny part was that after Sunday morning's storm, it actually got sunny and warm at the beginning of the heat races. That didn't mean there wasn't still a whole lot of slop on the track. Jalek Swoll and Shane McElrath had a good elbow battle down the start straight in their heat.

Colt Nichols got one of those dream start in his heat race.

The officials in charge of blue flags were plenty busy for Sunday's mains. There only four riders on the lead lap for the 250 main, and Cooper Webb and Eli Tomac lapped everyone except Jason Anderson in the 450 main.

Standard practice for all the riders out there was to get up on the edge of the backstop, and spin the tire to get it as clean as possible. Ken Roczen demonstrates. After three races with the starting gate in the same spot, the grates are pretty well filled in, and it's tough for the riders to do much cleaning underneath.

Oh, man...this sequence. The track was plenty treacherous, and Justin Hill got a little bit off-balance. Add in a bit of whiskey throttle, a dash of missed brake pedal, blend in a whole lot of slop on the side of the track, and you end up with this.







GuyB GuyB 6/8/2020 2:33 PM

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