MEDINA — The Medina County Fair is a homecoming of sorts for many riders, but the 165th rendition meant a little something more to Dan Hoisington on Tuesday night.
A senior at Medina High School, the 17-year-old was all set to put his 450 Suzuki LTR to the test when the heart of the racing season began in May, but his engine had other ideas.
So there Hoisington sat as the rest of the nation traveled from state to state to do what riders love best — compete.
“It stunk,” he said of his two-month hiatus from racing. “I just wanted to ride. That was it, but I had to sit.”
With the help of his father, Hoisington sank $2,000 into his Suzuki and headed out to Buchanan, Mich., for the Competition Riders of America Nationals last week. It was as if he had never let off the throttle, as he won the Open C Class race.
Not too bad considering the rest of the field had an eight-week advantage on him.
The win moved Hoisington out of the Woodsmen Class (beginner) into the more advanced classes, where the competition can be cut throat.
Sponsored by Cycles R Us and Pro Taper, Hoisington isn’t sitting anymore, moving up to the money quad and extra quad division.
While nationals had a longer track — a mile and a half compared to the three turns at the fairgrounds — Hoisington felt the nerves as he prepared to race in Medina.
“I really do compare this to nationals because it’s home,” he said. “Everyone knows who I am before I go out there. But after last weekend, maybe they’ll know who I am everywhere else.”
It’s the everywhere else where Hoisington feels he has the advantage. While racers come from all over the country, the Medina resident got all the rest he needed and woke refreshed and ready to go.
“Before I go out on the line, I’m always nervous,” said Hoisington, who made his second appearance at the fair. “I’m looking to get the hole shot and get to that first turn. I’ll try my best, but this is fun.”
Hoisington certainly had fun in his first race, though it came with a swollen left knee and some wrench work on his Suzuki.
Stuck in third place on the second lap of the seven-lap extra quad, Hoisington went for the triple and wound up on his side — out of the race.
Hoisington easily passed his second-place competitor in the air, but didn’t have a place to land when Nicholas Walkuski — through no fault of his own — cut to his left in anticipation of the turn.
That put the big yellow quad into the hay and Hoisington out of the race.
“I just came off the triple wrong,” Hoisington said. “It kicked me right over. I just wasn’t thinking.”
Hoisington regrouped and was able to give it a go later in the money quad.
Contact Brad Bournival at firstname.lastname@example.org.