Following the apparent retirement of Jason Smith (say it isn’t so!), for the first time since 2012 there are new champions atop each class!
Logan Mead deservedly takes the crown in both the 700cc Exhibition and X-Climb, rounding out the season with a perfect 3-win record in the 700cc Ex class (with the rainout in CA and no 700cc Ex in Columbus). Logan had a tough fight with Jake Anstett though in a couple classes – with Anstett taking the runner-up spot in the X-Climb, and claiming victory over Mead in the 450cc Exhibition class.
Joe Shipman topped Mead in the Open Exhibition class…and get this: Mead finished either 1st or 2nd in every class this year, while Shipman was top 3 in every class! Austin Teyler was the only other rider to take a podium spot in the series points this year, grabbing 3rd place in both the 700cc Ex and Open Ex. Just those 4 riders took all 12 top-3 spots across all the classes! In the category of “so close, yet so far,” Casey Curtin had a great season as well, coming in at 4th place in not one, not two, but three classes – only 2 points out of 3rd in the Open Ex!
If Smith is well and truly retired from professional hillclimb, he’s more than earned it – his accomplishments in the NAHA are incredible. He stood at the top of the points standings in every class in 2013, 2014, and 2015 – a total sweep of the series 3 years running – as well as several class championships in prior years. His incredible achievements have secured his position in hillclimb history as one of, if not the best ever, and we’re grateful to have been around to watch him do it!