The 2018 X Games/Harley-Davidson Hooligan Qualifier was held in Boise again this year. 98 Hooligan amateurs entered the qualifiers and only 48 made the cut for the invitation to race in the Minneapolis X Games Championship. 57 year old Brad Spencer earned first place over those 98 riders. Several of my customers made the cut and were invited to Minneapolis: Aaron Guardado from the west coast Suicide Machine Company; Brad Spencer from Gilroy, CA rode a SXR Street Tracker built by Aaron Kaufman when he was with Gas Monkey Garage; Dan Mischler from Mischler Harley-Davidson in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin and Terry Vestal from Twin Lakes, Wisconsin.
The 48-rider field was divided into eight heats of six riders for the quarter finals in the Minneapolis championship. The top two in each heat (16 riders) transferred to the semi-finals. The top three in each semi yielded just six riders for the final.
The 2017 X Games were held at the Mall of America on an outdoor 1/3 mile. That crowd exceeded the promoter’s imagination. Seating space didn’t meet demand and refreshments were sold out. People tell me that the crowd was huge. This year the event was held in the new Vikings stadium and it was a lousy little 1/8 mile track. By my eye-ball guess the crowd was sparse, but maybe that’s just the sheer size of the stadium. Most of the race was captured in the starts, naturally.
Dan Mischler won heat one by almost a straight. Brad Spencer transferred to the final in a later heat. Aaron Guardado got a bad start and was trapped in the field. Terry Vestal also got trapped and didn’t have enough time and laps to make it to the semi-finals.
Dan Mischler didn’t get the holeshot in the first semi. He had to overtake a couple of front runners. This he did and begun to pull away again. Now it’s the final with six guys including Mischler and Spencer. Mischler again had to fight through leaders coming out of corner two. In a lap or two he got himself out front again and just kept putting distance on the field. Our old guy, Brad Spencer, must have been pleased with his fourth place 2018 X Games Championship.
Mischler is a superb rider and earned his 2018 big win, but he was smart enough to employ a new trick, as did Aaron Guardado. Mischler used my 27-degree steering kit to out corner other riders who had to man-handle their stock Sportster 30o front ends, which ain’t easy.
These mentioned riders and I dare say most of the Sportster riders were also using my 19” rear wheel conversion kits.
I do hope the 2019 X Games promoters move the track back to Mall of America for a real race and time for a real practice. Imagine that--a practice. There was none in the stadium this year.