For 25 years, the Parts Canada Walton TransCan has represented the Canadian version of Loretta Lynn's - the Canadian Amateur National Championships. Unlike Loretta's though, after a week of Amateur racing, typically Sunday would host the final round of the CMRC Canadian Motocross Nationals. For 2016 though, political posturing and power struggles within the sport would leave Walton off the National schedule for the first time ever. I won't get into the political mess that is Canadian motocross, Matthes has covered that plenty before.
For 2016, Walton owner, Brett Lee, envisioned a new type of Pro event to cap off the week. No longer tied to the traditional format of two classes with two motos each, he decided to hold the first Walton TransCan Canadian National Pro Open, with a single MX1 and MX2 "final" and then a combined "Superfinal" with a big purse and bonuses for leading the opening lap and at the halfway point.
Anticipation was high, in the industry, to see how this new type of event would fair but mother nature thought she would have a sense of humor and throw her own monkey wrench into the plans. After an unseasonably dry summer, which saw no rain hit the track for the previous six weeks, 11 inches of rain would come down during the week of the event. Things looked grim but the Walton track crew did an amazing job to salvage the track and despite the weather, the fans were treated to some great racing. Matthes even made the trip up from Budds Creek to take it all in. Here's what went down at the TransCan...
The TransCan is Canada's version of Loretta Lynn's so all week long there was amateur action taking place on the track.
The TransCan also features a concert on Friday night, and headliners, Cold Creek County, waited out the rain to perform a full set for the Walton faithful.
The TransCan was also a great oppurtunity to unveil the KTM part of Canada's MXdN team. Kaven Benoit(112) is flying the flag in MX1 while Shawn Maffenbeier will be representing Canada in the MX2 class. Not pictured is Tyler Medaglia, who was racing down at Budds Creek.
After recieving no rain all summer, Walton got hit with 11 inches over the course of the week. Things were looking grim on Sunday morning.
The track crew was hard at work salvaging the track and after pulling off a miracle on Saturday morning, they knew what needed to get done to get Sunday's racing started.
Track owner, Brett Lee, gives the riders the rundown on how Sunday's racing is going to go and thanks everyone for sticking it out.
Broc Leitner finds out the hard way that it's not a good idea to venture off track during practice.
The wind was helping to dry things out and give FXR's Andy White a sweet new hairdo at the same time.
The racing started off with the MX2 moto. Joey Crown grabs the holeshot.
With the reduced field in the MX2 class, it gave some of the up and coming Canadian riders a chance to race up front and get some interview time. Alberta's Ryley Gallup finished third in the moto.
North Carolina's Chandler Lindsay made the trip up to race the TransCan but an off-line venture in the MX2 moto left his bike burried in the mud. He would finish 8th in the Superfinal.
Westen Wrozyna landed on the podium with second in the MX2 final.
MX101 Yamaha's Jess Pettis was the favourite to battle with Crown for the MX2 win but sadly, his smoking bike didn't make it much farther past this photo.
Joey Crown took a wire to wire win in the MX2 Final.
Next up was the MX1 final, and it was a sea of GDR Honda bikes up front. Nathan Bles(56) grabbed the early lead.
Texas' Kyle Swanson stuck around another week to get some more racing in. He finished 9th in both the MX1 moto and the Superfinal.
Shawn Maffenbeier was 350 mounted for the race and looked to be a challenger to his MXdN teammate, Kaven Benoit for the win. He would finish second in the MX1 final.
Coming off the couch the week before and filling in for the injured Colton Facciotti, Nathan Bles was impressive at Walton. He led the first half of the MX1 final before Benoit got by and looked comfortable in second before a last lap crash. Unfortuntely, he was unable to lineup for the Superfinal.
After working on the track leading into the TransCan and then racing the Vet classes during the week, Kyle Keast made a return to Pro racing on Sunday and was impressive. Sixth in the MX1 final and a great battle for fifth in the Superfinal before a fading clutch dropped him to seventh.
With a MX1 win this season and third in the final standings, there really wasn't much debate that Kaven Benoit was going to be dominant at the TransCan and he didn't dissapoint. Other than the opening laps of the MX1 final, the top Canadian rider led everything else including a wire to wire in the Superfinal.
The highlight of Matthes day was getting to sit in a new Ridgeline. #trunk
After racing all week, part-time PulpMX contributor, Ryan "Newf" Lockhart traded in his bike for a microphone on Sunday and did a little TV work for the TSN broadcast.
Brad Nauditt(18) grabs the holeshot in the Superfinal.
The TransCan gave everyone a chance to see Dylan Wright on a 450. The MX2 National winner grabbed fourth in the MX1 final and came from the back to grab fifth on the last lap in the Superfinal.
The GDR team cheers on Brad Nauditt.
Maffenbeier chases Nauditt for second in the Superfinal. Maff would go down and get fourth.
On a 250 versus a sea of 450's, Joey Crown didn't get the best start but slowly and methodically picked his way through the pack.
With the white flag waving, Joey Crown was on to the back of Nauditt and trying to make the pass for second.
Benoit takes the Superfinal win and the Lion's share of the money.
After a trying season, Digger is excited to see Nauditt hold off Crown in the final corner to take second in the Superfinal.
Ryan Gauld gets the crowd pumped up.
The winner of the Pro class at Walton recieves the coveted "King of Walton" sword. Benoit celebrates the first of what could be many.
Your Superfinal podium. Joey Crown, Kaven Benoit and Brad Nauditt.
Benoit celebrates with a burnout while Brett Lee wonders if he can still get his damage deposit back for the stage.
The MVP's of the week - The TransCan track crew finally get to relax with a beer after a crazy week.