The 13th annual Honda/Yamaha of Redlands 24 Hours of Glen Helen was held over the Labor Day weekend, and once again it was the JCR Honda team that put together the winning ride. The Johnny Campbell Racing team has been the dominant force throughout the history of the race, going back to the days when Johnny Campbell was the Rider of Record on the Honda factory effort. Two factors set apart this race from most of the others. First, the team of Colton Udall, Tim Weigand, Ryan Dudek and David Kamo didn’t have to ride as hard as usual because they generally had a safe lead. Second, they had to overcome a nearly catastrophic issue just before nightfall, when the CRF450X sucked a rock into the chain and cost the team about two laps. Still, it wasn’t long before the foursome rebuilt a big lead. In the past, the race generally comes down to the very last lap.
Second in the Pro class and fifth overall went to the Connor Penhall Memorial Team, consisting of Brandon Peterson, Kurt Samuelson, A.J. Madrid and Jake Watts. This team was put together in honor of Connor Penhall, who rode the even several times, even doing a stint on the Dirt bike magazine team three years ago. We lost Conner earlier this year in a tragic accident, so STI wheels, John Burr Cycles and Glen Helen Raceways put together a Kawasaki team dedicated to him.
Second place overall was the Dirt Bike Magazine team, which was anchored by Justin Jones. This year the Dirt Bike team was formed entirely to test two project bikes, which will be featured in two consecutive issue of DB. The daytime bike was the October cover subject, a Honda CRF450R converted to off-road spec. The night bike was a DRD Yamaha WR450, outfitted with Baja Designs lighting. That bike will be on the November cover. The team members were all young test riders: Jones, Jon Rice, Mowgli, Robbie Goolsby and Jordon Borowoski. Their average age was 20.
Third overall also went to a business team on a magazine test bike. Team Dirt Rider was comprised of magazine editors Chris Denison and Adam Booth with Kris Keefer, Chris Burnett, F. Walker and Ricky Yorks.
In the early days of the 24-Hour, the Ironman class was thinly attended and ended up being a war of attrition, won by the last man to fall asleep. It has evolved into an all-out race from beginning to end. This time the war was won by Brian Adams, who has turned it into a science. Most of his competition came from Michael Adams, who challenged for the lead repeated in the first 12 hours. Eventually, Adams pulled ahead at night and finished with a five-lap lead.
The two teams that had everyone cheering were the JCR kid teams. One rode a big-wheel CRF150R, with Renton Minuto, Jarett Megla, Casey Longosh, Logan Tweet and Wyatt Megla. The other was an even younger group on a standard-wheel CRF150R. Those kids were Will Levine, James Butto, Nicholas Brahr and Rafa Odrian. They rode without team anchor Preston Campbell, (son to Johnny) who was out with injury. The big wheel team finished with 55 laps, placing them in the center of the field overall.
The 2012 running of the 24-Hour was the first to carry an AMA sanction, and was a points-paying District 37 race. The Prairie Dogs MC provided the framework and the Dirt Bike Magazine staff designed the course with the help of four-time AMA motocross champion Gary Jones. It was an 8.5-mile course that included two motocross tracks, the Lucas truck track, some single-track trail and some fire road. For more results, go to www.glenhelen.com