Freeriders at Gravity Fest
Freeriders at Gravity Fest enjoying pack runs and filming for the Gravity Fest recap video. Photo by Khaleeq Alfred

The battle for NorAm has begun, and the 2018 North American Opens Skateboard Champ made it clear that he’s not giving up the title without a fight; Daina Banks earned the top qualifying time at the first race of the NorAm series! Following very close behind him were fellow USA riders Andrew Atchison, Tim Del, Chase Hiller, and Morgan Owens (all within half a second)!

When asked if he was planning to defend the NorAm title, Banks said, “I have to. I have to. I’m going to give it everything I’ve got. It would be cool to earn (the title) back to back… Especially this year, when there are a lot of fast people gunning for it.”

Daina Banks pushing into the top qualifying spot at Gravity Fest 2019. Photo by Khaleeq Alfred.

“Standy Andy" held the poll position all day until “Daina Monster” took the kill shot during his final qualifying run. Del is right on their heels in third; feeling fast and smart after his recent win at Jakes Rash in Canada. Hiller has made a habit of earning a top qualifying time and podium spot at almost every race this season. Owens is on the hunt for a podium after landing just shy with a 4th place at Newton’s World Cup earlier this season. All these American racers will be gunning for good finishes tomorrow to start off the NorAm series with good standings. You can bet it’s going to be a FIGHT to the finish!

Kolby Parks (CAN) held down the top Luge qualifying time with over a two-second lead; beating his own 2018 track record and setting a new Luge track record of 1,45.15 - almost a second ahead of last year! However, the 2018 Gravity Fest Luge Champ, Tim Koch (CAN), has proven that he can best Parks in a race heat. Can he do it again tomorrow?

Parks explained that there is a lot of strategy to Gravity Fest, "The altitude of the track is so close to sea level that it makes the air very thick and the guy in front is draft bait."

Kolby Parks and Tim Koch scoping each other's lines at Gravity Fest 2019. Photo by Khaleeq Alfred.
Emily Pross leading Max Capps and Kyle Martin down the straightaway at Gravity Fest 2019. Photo by Khaleeq Alfred.

Emily Pross (USA) secured the top Women’s qualifying time and earned 16th overall. Kyle Martin (CAN) is back again with a top Masters’ qualifying time and 14th open placement. Matthew Antrum (USA) earned the top Junior’s qualifying time and a 33rd placement overall. Although these subcategories all seem to be dominated by a specific racer, anything can happen in racing - especially if it rains tomorrow! Stay tuned to see if any of the underdogs can knock these top racers off their thrones. Underdogs include Teresa Gillcrist, Ashely Winecoff, Kalie Racine, Sean Graves, Pascal Jean, Zak Kinsley, Jeff Molongoski, and Kai Runes.

Adam Westfall staring pain in the face after a collision with another racer.

USA Team racer Adam Westfall suffered an injury during the first practice run of the day after colliding with another racer. After taking the blood loss like a champ, Westfall took the ambulance to the hospital where he received staples and a doctor’s recommendation of 10 chill days. Westfall was stoked to hear that both Killington WC and the World Roller Games are still on his agenda.

Tyler Topping enjoying freeride runs after slaving away as the IDF Gravity Fest hype man. Photo by Khaleeq Alfred.

Even with the slow start, racers still received two practice runs, three qualifying runs, twelve total runs, humidity, and sunshine. Tomorrow’s weather will be a toss-up.

Big thank you to Tyler Topping for keeping our membership informed with live Instagram story updates. Tune in to @idfracing on Instagram tomorrow from 9:15 am ET to 5 pm ET to catch real-time Gravity Fest updates from Ty and Prototype Racing. #idfracing #idfwqs #gravityfest

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Candy Dungan

This post was written by Candy Dungan

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