Posted on September 8, 2008, 1:59 pm
By Scott Kandel

When all was said and done, the MDK/MediaZone/Warthog Racing Academy team had a run during the AMA Nationals that left an indelible mark on the record books.

No other team in history has ever tried to support even 10 riders in the course of the series. MDK/MediaZone/Warthog Racing Academy knew that there were more than 10 deserving privateers that needed massive support to compete in the series so an audacious goal was set to help TWENTY FIVE riders during the series.

The team not only met that goal but exceeded it, ending up with 26 riders total, comprising 21 men and 5 WMA women.

Photo: Jeff Alessi - DeCAL Works

The MDK/MediaZone/Warthog Racing riders were:

  • Ryan J. Abrigo
  • Jeff Alessi
  • Chris Blose
  • Tyler Bright
  • Kyle B. Cunningham
  • Vince A. Friese
  • Sean L. Hackley
  • Tye M. Hames
  • Rodney Honberger
  • Michael R. Horban
  • Sean Kranyak
  • Jase A. Lewis
  • Michael A. McDade
  • Kyle Partridge
  • Kevin D. Rookstool
  • Cole T. Siebler
  • Ryan N. Smith
  • Stephen R. Stella
  • Kevin M. Urquhart
  • Mariana Balbi
  • Taylor Miller
  • The team also helped out:

  • Adam B. Chatfield
  • Sean T. Collier
  • Sherri Cruse
  • Tatum Sik
  • Sarah Whitmore
  • The riders went out and performed spectacularly on the track. Highlights for the season were:

  • 96 main events total - a record that will probably never be broken
  • Jeff Alessi finished 8th Overall in the Motocross class and was second privateer
  • Kyle Cunningham finished 7th Overall in the Lites class and was top privateer
  • Mariana Balbi finished 6th Overall in the WMA series
  • At some events, team riders made up almost 20% of the gate in the Motocross class

  • Photo: Ryan Smith - DeCAL Works

    In addition, Chris Blose, Sean Collier, Tyler Bright, Tye Hames, Jase Lewis, Kyle Partridge, Kevin Rookstool, and Vince Friese all put in several top 20 rides as well as a few 10 finishes.

    These privateer warriors beat several factory riders week in and week out, showing that they certainly deserved to be there.

    An operation of this scope and magnitude represented by the MDK/MediaZone/Warthog Racing Academy didn't happen magically - it took a lot of hard work by dozens of committed volunteers.

    First off, there was Darrell Saldana, Team Race Director, grinding it out in the trenches every weekend. As problems arose, Darrell was always there with a solution that allowed the team to continue on.

    Then there was Stitch, the team's Crew Chief (and Chris Blose's mechanic), who worked himself to the bone to give everyone of these kids a chance to compete on the track. Stitch just got down to business and made things happen.

    And probably most helpful to the team was the support provided by the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute Internship program. MMI provided over 40 skilled technicians that helped with everything, including pit setup and tear down as well as servicing more race bike than you can shake a stick at. Well done MMI!!

    Said Scott Kandel, Chief Altruistic Officer of Warthog Racing, "I'm proud of what the whole team accomplished this year in the outdoor series. Everyone - volunteers, sponsors, partners, promoters -- pulled together to make it happen. Frankly, I'm astounded by the success we had this year."

    Photo: Chris Blose - DeCAL Works

    Special thanks to John Ayers and the NPG for accommodating us so well and to the major sponsors that were with us week in and week out - MDK Motorsports, MDK Speed, MediaZone Moto, DeCal Works, Smooth Industries, MMI, Transworld Motocross, RacerX,, GoProCameras, The Plumber Inc., Xtream Clean, and Round Wheels. With this fine group, anything is possible.

    MDK/Warthog Racing Academy is now accepting applications to tryout for the 2009 Supercross team. If you know of a privateer in need of support that has what it takes to make it as a professional Supercross racer, please send an e-mail to or call 213 268-2659.

    Also, we are recruiting sponsors and partners for the 2009 Supercross and Outdoor series. We give the most exposure for the least amount of money. Sponsors and Partners should contact Scott Kandel at 213 268-2659 or for more details. We have great plans for 2009 that will rock the house!! Be part of it!!

    We look forward to seeing you all at Anaheim 1 on Jan 3rd, 2009!!

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