MARK OLLEY -VET 35+
What these riders lacked in youth, they would most certainly make up for in expertise. The competitors that would line up behind these historic gates in Ponca City, had been to this facility far too often before. Decades ago, when this national was just as big, if not larger, than Loretta Lynn’s. Names like Reynard, Carmichael, Stewart, Millsaps, so on and so forth, would all garner substantial accruals of titles before ceasing their amateur quests. And for a few riders in this particular division, they were at one time racing right alongside the aforementioned. To begin the first moto, was nothing like what was expected; where you would assume, riders would navigate the course at a comfortable pace and develop a rather habitual flow. Rather, it was pure chaos, and positions would be lopsided and shuffled on a number of occasions, well before the pack would strike the course of action at the green flag. It was Ronnie Ling who developed an early lead, but would encounter a bit of trouble on the second lap. This would put that of Lucas Frye into the lead, leapfrogging from the third position in the early going. With the likes of Joe Buskirk and Chris Walters right around, the three would be in absolute dog fight for a respective podium position. However, the true man on the move; looking to brave the storm that was in front of him, would be that of Mark Olley; the number 271 Texas rider, who was gaining substantial ground from an inaugural seventh position. From seventh to fifth to third, he seemed be to capturing riders in sets of two; almost as if he were obeying the laws of a specific algorithm. Eventually though, all answers to this Ponca City riddle would be derived from the first place position; one that he would capture on the white flag lap. Moving past that of Arizona native Lucas Frye, he would leave it all on the line before exiting the course. As Olley rode back to the trailer, he would see that it was Frye, Buskirk, and Walters behind him. For the beginning portion of the second moto, it would be that of Chase Lee seemingly coming from unknown territory; as the Honda rider put on a spectacular initiation on the number 69 machine. Roosting the likes of Joe Buskirk, Lee was appearing to go for broke; letting the results come as they may, but hoping to put on a performance for all of Ponca City to see. He would do so, whipping and scrubbing these various jumps with serious intensity; all the while continuing to pull from the pack behind him. Buskirk would manage to hold down second, and Olley would do what he was capable of, while navigating through the pack. And although the results would end in that very manner, it was Olley who would go on to claim the outright championship; taking consistency, throughout the course of racing display. Chase Lee’s moto win would fare him well, yet it would be Buskirk, and Frye, solidifying themselves on the podium.