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Asked to describe his season in a nutshell, Rob Zimmerman replied, “Great, crappy, good!” In other words, despite a problematic middle part of the Parts Unlimited Off-road Motorcycle and ATV Nationals, he rebounded and won the series finale in Fenton, Illinois. He’d already clinched the championship—thanks primarily to three victories in the first half of the season—and only needed to start The Race, presented by Ten Racing. But, as he proclaimed, “I didn’t drive nine hours just to start. I came to play!”
And he came with a new twist on things, having bolted on a Sonic Off-road independent rear suspension system to his Maxxis/Pro Armor/Moose-backed TRX450R the week before. “I didn’t have a very good start because I had my gearing messed up,” he confessed. “It was a little bit too tall.
“But once I got out there, I started picking off people left and right in the whoops. I saw [travel partner Todd] Krupinski get stuck in a mud hole and was able to get past a couple guys here and there. Then there was one guy (Adam Reed) I played with for quite a while, and I looked back and me and him had just pulled everyone.” Reed continued to lead on his YFZ450 until he slipped up on the second lap and got hung up on a log.
“Once I got by him, I was able to pull time,” Zimmerman said. “I just kept it wide open and came around and got the white flag. I just kept it pinned wide open the last lap, just pulled as much time as I could in case anything happened.”
It’s a good thing he did because he almost needed that cushion: “I ran out of gas for the first time all year. It was just right across the cornfield before we crossed the last creek crossing and got over here [to the finish]. I threw it on reserve, got it restarted and finished it out.”
Kevin Tinsley had troubles getting started on his Six Six One-sponsored TRX450R before proceeding to earn second, his best finish of the season. “Everybody was gone, probably a quarter-mile away by the time I got ‘er started,” he said. “I just started picking people off—working on them and working on them. I took a quick gas stop right after the first lap and tried to do a little strategy there. I thought I could make it the whole [two-hour] race [on one tank], but I wanted to be guaranteed [of it]. I knew the guys with the bigger cylinders and the cams and stuff, they weren’t going to make it, but they came close.


Just finishing was a battle today.”
Third place Ken Staake and his Tuf Powersports/IMS YFZ450 finished the race completely drenched after falling into that final creek crossing—fortunate that it happened on the final lap within sight of the finish. “This has got to be one of the funnest tracks I’ve ridden in a long time—except for the swim part on the last lap,” he exclaimed while shivering in his soaked and mud-covered gear and standing in a stiff breeze. “I’m not even sure how long we were out there, but it went quick. It was really fun.” The 12-mile course included a little of nearly everything, from those creek crossings to tight woods to a motocross track to muddy swamps to tapped-in-fifth runs across open fields. About the only thing missing was desert terrain and heat.
After getting a pretty good start and running as high as second, Staake got hung up on a log and could only watch as Tinsley rode past. “From there I just turned it up as hard as I could, left it on the rev limiter and tried to gain any time back that I’d lost on him, but I never saw him again,” Staake reported.


“I came into that [last] creek crossing the last time and missed the [concrete] wall and dunked it. I don’t want to know how much water’s in my airbox from that last lap, but I know I was up to my helmet in it!”
So Zimmerman wrapped up his third consecutive OMA championship with a win, his fourth of the season, and said, “I needed it! I haven’t had a good race in a while.”
Top 10 Overall Results
1. Rob Zimmerman (Pro), Honda
2. Kevin Tinsley (Pro), Honda
3. Kenneth Staake (Pro), Yamaha
4. Matt Lindle (Pro), Honda
5. Scott Edminson (Over 30), Honda
6. Chris Safer (A), Honda
7. John Loveland (Over 30), Honda
8. Jason Grundey (Utility), Honda
9. Shane Gaunt ( C), Honda
10. Ryan Barness (A), Honda
 
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