#38 Shane McElrath (Troy Lee Designs KTM):
Championships are won on the bad nights. Phoenix was a bad night for McElrath, but he was able to turn this around for a 2nd place in the main event (and nearly a win!). McElrath had a VERY rough crash in the heat, and was lucky to walk away from it unscathed. He won the LCQ, but then was faced with a horrible outside gate pick for the main event. Fortunately, he pulled an amazing start, and rounded the first turn in the top 5. He then worked hard his was up to the front, before lappers slightly held him up, and Hill was able to get by for the win.
Long story short, Shane is the Most Impressive 250 Rider this week not merely for his result, but his ability to deal with the adversity he was faced with throughout the night. This is what defines a champion, and McElrath proved on Saturday night in Phoenix that he has what it takes to be a champion. He’s the only 250 rider to podium every race so far, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he continues this trend for the rest of the championship.
Overall, I’ve been super impressed with McElrath all season long, and his performance in Phoenix makes me even more impressed. McElrath could very well be your 2017 250SX West Champion; keep your eye on him!
Cover photo Transworld MX