The Yamaha bLUcRU had their stables fully stocked and ready to rock, at the 2017 AMA Dirt Track Grand Championship the first week of July. Grant Holmes #7X was one, hailing from Porterville, California, the twelve year old has gained his grit on tracks in the San Joaquin Valley, Northern California, and Southern California as well. Matched up against one of the fastest National amateurs, in teammate Travis Petton IV, on a monthly basis it is no wonder two combined to capture all three titles in the Amateur 250cc and Under classes.
Essentially, the DTGC is the AMA Amateur National Championship for flat track and TT racers, held at the Du Quoin State Fair Grounds, in Du Quoin, Illinois. Amateur classes ran in three stages, the first stage held on July 1, the 1/2 Mile flat track race. Stage two, the TT race was held inside of the 1/2 mile track, on July 2nd. The Amateur racers took a break on July 3rd in preparation for stage three’s short track race, held at the Southern Illinois Center-Short Track Building. Racers are awarded points for each race depending on
their finishing position. The points from the three stages are then added together to decide who is Champion of each class.
The 12-year-old Holmes has well over seven years of flat track racing behind him, so he was indeed ready to compete for the number one plate. The RM Parks slider arrived in Illinois two days before the event commenced, after his bikes were hauled from California with the help of the Williams Family. At the first phase of the 201-250cc, Holmes went on to a second behind Kody Kopp, but the following day in the TT event at the same location, the tide changed. Holmes rode for the win with teammate Petton IV, finishing second, the 1/2 mile winner Kopp, faltered to a sixth. Holmes was in the points lead as the Short Track event loomed on July 4th. Holmes took the Short Track win, and the 2017 201-250cc DTGC title. Petton IV finished second in the race carrying that place to the final class standings. Kopp, the son of 2000 AMA Grand National Champion, finished third in points.
Shooting for his second DTGC title, in 250cc Mod, Holmes was pitted against Kopp once again. Kopp proved formidable, as he won the 250cc Mod 1/2 mile, with Holmes and Petton IV finishing second and third respectively. Responding like a champion, Holmes indexed the win in the next day’s TT scrum, as teammate Petton IV finished in at second. Kopp finished a disappointing sixth, and needed help to unseat Holmes at the perch of points. After a day of rest, Kopp did the best he could winning the short track, but the monarch of consistency, Holmes finished second. At the top of the bell curve in points and his second title, rolling home with the 2017 DTGC 250cc Mod title.
Holmes posted on his facebook account, Grant Holmes; “Had one of the best weeks of my life at the 2017 AMA Dirt Track Grand Championship in Du Quoin, Illinois. I rode 3 different classes, 250 DTX, 201cc-250cc, and 250 Mod. I raced a total of 18 races between heats and mains and made it to the podium all 18 times. What I’m most proud of is bringing home 2 Grand National #1
plates in the 201cc-250cc and 250 Mod.”
Holmes thanks the Williams family for hauling all of my equipment, and most of all my sponsors for getting me here. bLUcRU Yamaha, RM Parks Incorporated, Fontana Radiator, Thousand Oaks Powersports, Rod Lake Racing, Dirt Digits, Yamaha Motor USA, 6D Helmets, DT-1 Filters, Ecks
Brand Goggles, Paint by Smokey, Jimmy Wood, Southland Racing, Mika Metals, NJK Leathers, 2XPromotions, Stan and Shawna Williams, Hope Holmes, Clayton Williams and my wrencher Blain Smothermon.
The two class 2017 DTGC champion will keep his 2017 results posted on facebook, and be racing throughout California for the remainder of 2017. He was also second in the ending points of the 250 DTX class to Petton IV of course. Stayed tuned for a report on Petton IV’s 2017 DTGC Championship. Congratulations to Grant, his family, crew and all his supporters.
By Rodney Rutherford