All posts by Sean Finley

Pre-Qualified Riders Confirmed for 2015 KENDA Tennessee Knockout

The fifth annual KENDA AMA Tennessee Knockout, presented by Moose Racing and SRT, will take place on August 15-16, 2015. Cody Webb took his second straight win in 2014 after finishing second to Tennessee native Mike Brown the previous two years. Both riders are expected to be back at the Trials Training Center in 2015 looking to take the biggest share of the $10,000 purse.

TKO 2015

Webb, who is also the defending GEICO AMA EnduroCross Champion, will face a long list of challengers for the 2015 KENDA TKO title. FMF KTM’s Taylor Robert has finished second the past two years and is anxious to stand on the top step of the podium. And AmPro Yamaha’s Grant Baylor finished on the podium in his first attempt at the TKO in 2014 so he learned the terrain and will likely improve in 2015 as well. Current GNCC Champion Kailub Russell also made a first attempt at the TKO in 2014 and finished a disappointing 14th so you can be sure he will be looking to challenge for the podium as well.

The top five finishers at the previous TKO events have included riders from EnduroCross, Trials, National Enduro, GNCC, WORCS and even the Enduro World Championship. So it is a great mix of backgrounds facing off on an extremely challenging course with a large purse on the line.

Pre-qualified riders get a free entry into the Sunday program. These riders earn an invite based on:

  • Qualifying for the main event at previous Tennessee Knockout events
  • Finishing in the top 10 in the following championships in 2014: AMA EnduroCross Expert Championship, AMA/NATC National Trials Pro Championship, GNCC XC1 Championship, AMA National Enduro Pro Championship, WORCS Pro-1 Championship, and OMA Expert Championship
  • Finishing in the top five of the 2014 GNCC XC-2 Championship
  • Holding a top-five position in any of the above championships on August 1, 2015

(The promoter may also select top riders from around the world at their discretion as “wild card” entries with free entries to the Sunday Expert race.)

The following riders have earned invites for the 2015 KENDA Tennessee Knockout:

Cody Webb
Grant Baylor
Taylor Robert
Paul Whibley
Max Gerston
Andrew Delong
Bobby Prochnau
Kailub Russell
Ricky Russell
Wally Palmer
Charlie Mullins
Jesse Groemm
Josh Strang
Pat Smage
Taddy Blazusiak
Jordan Ashburn
Colton Haaker
Martin Matejicek
Nick Fahringer
Zach Love
Steward Baylor
Brad Bakken
Logan Bolopue
Kyle Redmond
Ty Tremaine
Daniel Blanc-Gonnet
Gary Sutherlin
Cory Graffunder
Michael Lafferty
Bryan Roper
Mike Brown
Robby Bell
Jason Thomas
Mark Fortner
Travis Bollinger
Justin Jones
Adam Bonneur
Keith Wineland
Eric Yorba
Jimmy Jarrett
Chris Bach
Troy DeSimone
Ryder Lafferty
Geoff Aaron
Layne Michael
Dustin Hedwall
Justin Seeds
Cory Buttrick
Callan May
Shad Petersen
Jonny Walker
Russell Bobbitt
Graham Jarvis
Noah Koeple
Nick Davis
Ronnie Commo
Destry Abbott
Quinn Wentzel
Loic Leonard
Ian Blyth

Unqualified Expert/Pro and amateur riders race on Saturday with the top finishers earning the opportunity to move on to the Sunday Expert Knockout rounds. On Sunday, riders will compete in a very tough and spectator-friendly four-round Knockout racing format.

2015 KENDA Tennessee Knockout Extreme Enduro Schedule Confirmed

Kenda AMA Tennessee Knockout (TKO)The Trials Training Center in Sequatchie, Tennessee will host the fifth annual KENDA Tennessee Knockout on the weekend of August 15-16, 2015. The event has quickly become one of the premier off-road motorcycles races, attracting some of the best racers in the world.

Tennessee’s Mike Brown won the first two KENDA Tennessee Knockout events and Cody Webb took the title in 2013 and 2014. You can expect that these two riders will be joined by a large group of top off road racers looking to conquer the tough conditions at the TKO.

The 2015 event will take place just one week prior to the GEICO AMA EnduroCross event in nearby Atlanta. So it is expected that more of the top EnduroCross riders from the west will be able to make the long trip to the east coast to compete in both events. The expert riders will again be competing for a $10,000 purse.

The top off-road racers from around the world will be invited to compete and amateur riders can race on Saturday with the top finishers earning the opportunity to move on to the Sunday Expert Knockout rounds. On Sunday, the riders will compete in a very tough and spectator-friendly multi-round format.

Check out the video highlights of some of the previous TKO events below:

Beta USA’s Cody Webb overcame treacherous conditions and a stacked field of pro riders to win the 2014 KENDA Tennessee Knockout. Photo Shan Moore.

2013 TKO video highlights

The third annual KENDA Tennessee Knockout took place this past weekend at the Trials Training Center in Sequatchie, Tennessee and Beta’s Cody Webb dominated the event. Instead of the heat and humidity that is typical for the region at this time of year, the riders faced cooler weather and rain leading up to the event, which made the challenging terrain more difficult. Check out all of the 2013 Kenda Tennessee Knockout highlights and feedback from the riders in this video:

2013 KENDA Tennessee Knockout Main Event Results:

  1. Cody Webb – Beta
  2. Taylor Robert – Kawasaki
  3. Cory Graffunder – Husqvarna
  4. Max Gerston – Beta
  5. Fabien Planet – Sherco
  6. Kyle Redmond – KTM
  7. Mike Brown – KTM
  8. Nick Fahringer – Husaberg
  9. Jordan Ashburn – Yamaha
  10. Grant Baylor – KTM
  11. Bryan Roper – KTM
  12. Quinn Wentzel – KTM
  13. Loic Leonard – KTM
  14. Wally Palmer – Christini
  15. Zach Love – KTM

Webb conquers 2013 Kenda Tennessee Knockout; Robert and Graffunder round out the podium on a tough course

2013 TKO Webb - Shan Moore photo Cody and Kipp Webb, photo by Chris Kane Racing

The third time was the charm for Cody Webb to conquer the KENDA Tennessee Knockout. After finishing second to Mike Brown the previous two years, Webb dominated the multi round event to take the largest portion of the $10,000 purse. Monster Kawasaki’s Taylor Robert won a multi rider battle for second during his first visit to the TKO while Husqvarna’s Cory Graffunder finished a close third.

Mother Nature combined with the tough trails at the Trials Training Center helped the event live up to its billing as an American Extreme Enduro. Heavy rain the night before forced a few course changes but there were still several hill climbs and creek sections that proved to be challenging for even the most talented riders.

The day started with a hot lap around a mile long “short course”. Cody Webb set the standard with a time of 2:57 and was followed by Brown (3:12), Kyle Redmond (3:13), Graffunder (3:14) and Nick Fahringer (3:21).

Next up was the first Knock Out round on the 13 mile “long course”. The 39 riders were sent out in 30 second intervals and the top 25 times would earn a spot in the next round. Webb again set the pace with a time of 54:02 followed by Fahringer (58:40), Brown (58:58), Redmond (1:00:41) and Graffunder (1:03:22). The extremely technical loop proved to be difficult and only and only 22 riders finished in time to start the next Knockout round.

TKO round two placed the riders into five groups of 4-5 riders and only the top three in each group would earn a spot in the 15 rider main event. Webb won group one over Fabien Planet, the multi-time French Enduro Champion and Enduro World Championship competitor. Max Gerston, the young Arizona rider won an intense battle with Russell Bobbitt to take the final spot from group one. Fahringer won group two over Jordan Ashburn and Grant Baylor. In group three, Wally Palmer used his two-wheel drive Christini to beat Brown and Quinn Wentzel, a top Trials rider. Robert won group four over Redmond and Loic Leonard, the French Canadian that had earned a spot from the Saturday qualifiers. Graffunder won group five over Zach Love and Bryan Roper.

Fahringer took the lead on the start of the 8 lap main event and looked determined as he attacked the slippery rock sections. But the aggression proved a little too much as he lost control and hit a tree, which allowed Webb to take the lead. Once in the lead, Webb slowly pulled away from a multi rider battle for second. The lead was a minute and 25 seconds at the halfway point and grew to nearly three minutes at the finish. “I guess I like this Extreme stuff, even though you wonder why when you are out there struggling.” Webb said. “I learned a lot from getting second the past two years so it was great to get the win”.

Fahringer held second at the end of the first lap but further problems would eventually take him out of contention and he finished two laps down in eighth. Brown took over second but had Redmond on his tail and would take over the spot just before the halfway point but then broke his clutch lever with a tip over and allowed Brown back by. But then Robert, the current WORCS champion and Graffunder were in close formation and both pushed past. On lap seven of eight, Brown pulled out of the event after losing another position to Gerston. “I was just too tired and struggling all day” Brown said. “I have been in Mexico doing Baja testing and it took a lot out of me.”

Robert and Graffunder continued to battle for second all the way to the finish and would be the only two riders to remain on the lead lap with Webb. “I got better and gained confidence as the day went on” Robert said”. We have a lot of rocks in Arizona but they are like sand paper and these rocks have slime on them so I am happy I was able to do well”. Gerston was an impressive fourth place ahead of Planet who said “This was one of the toughest races I have ever done, especially the first long test”.

Redmond, Brown, Fahringer, Ashburn and Baylor rounded out the top ten.

2013 KENDA Tennessee Knockout Main Event Results:

  1. Cody Webb – Beta
  2. Taylor Robert – Kawasaki
  3. Cory Graffunder – Husqvarna
  4. Max Gerston – Beta
  5. Fabien Planet – Sherco
  6. Kyle Redmond – KTM
  7. Mike Brown –  KTM
  8. Nick Fahringer – Husaberg
  9. Jordan Ashburn – Yamaha
  10. Grant Baylor – KTM
  11. Bryan Roper – KTM
  12. Quinn Wentzel – KTM
  13. Loic Leonard – KTM
  14. Wally Palmer – Christini
  15. Zach Love – KTM