O’Ward secures first Pro Mazda win in Monterey tripleheader

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography

MONTEREY, Calif. – For the first time since Lucas Oil Raceway back in May, just the seventh race of the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires season, Pato O’Ward finished ahead of his Team Pelfrey teammate, Aaron Telitz.

He picked a perfect time and day to do it in the first of three Pro Mazda Grand Prix of Monterey Presented by Allied Building Products races at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Round 14 of the season.


Telitz, who had finished ahead of O’Ward in each of the last six races, lost the momentum off the initial start despite scoring the pole position. O’Ward seized his opportunity and made it through Turn 2 into the lead.

From there, O’Ward set sail in a fashion reminiscent of his earlier season dominance, when he won six of the first seven races including five in a row from Barber Motorsports Park through Lucas Oil.

His lead was 1.5677 seconds at the end of the first lap, then progressively increased by about four to five tenths of a second per lap before it cleared the 10-second barrier on Lap 15, at 10.6472 seconds over Telitz, which then grew to a maximum margin of 11.6407 seconds over Telitz on Lap 16.

But the lead was erased in a single moment with just under five minutes to go, when National class competitor and series debutante Kory Enders of DeForce Racing beached his car in Turn 2. That wiped out O’Ward’s insurmountable lead.

The race restarted for a final one-lap sprint to the finish, which brought an incredible finish to light.

O’Ward locked up at Turn 2 and Telitz pulled an over-under to the inside to move ahead on the restart. But then O’Ward got him back on the inside at Turn 5 to snatch the lead and the win back, by a final margin of victory of 1.0176 seconds. It’s his seventh win of the season.

“It was a basic yellow. I was leading by 12 seconds. But I said at the time. “I’m not gonna lose this.” It was not easy, but I was determined,” O’Ward said.

Telitz added on the final lap, “I defended heavily. Turn 5, had no tires. He was trying to overtake. I struggled for grip. He’d have won anyway, even if he started 12th.”

With the win, and the most laps led and fastest lap to boot, O’Ward closed a 14-point gap going into the race weekend to eight points, 371-363, heading into Sunday morning’s second race of the weekend.

Telitz ended a hard luck second with Juncos Racing’s Nicolas Dapero an impressive third. Nico Jamin and Jake Parsons completed the top five.

The second race of the weekend is scheduled for 8 a.m. on Sunday morning, but, the potential exists it could be later if another morning fog delay occurs.

Vicki Golden and 805 Beer tell a unique story from an Inverted Perspective


Vicki Golden has earned a career worthy of a thousand stories and 805 Beer tells at least one of them, as “Inverted Perspective” premiered March 30 on the company’s website and YouTube channel.

Golden did more to break the glass ceiling in SuperMotocross than she ever thought possible. She knows this because riders have never felt the need to explain any of her accomplishments with the disclaimer, “for a girl”. 

At this point in Golden’s career, she’s been the first woman to finish top 10 in AMA Arenacross Lites, the first woman to qualify in the Fast 40 in Monster Energy AMA Supercross and the first woman to compete in freestyle Moto X competition, earning a bronze medal by doing so.

Her love for moto came from childhood while she watched her dad and brother ride. By seven she was on her bike and making waves throughout Southern California. 

Golden, 30, is still madly in love with the sport and has no plans on moving away but her career is already one to talk about. 805 Beer’s film series wanted to do exactly that.

“I’m taken aback by it all,” Golden told NBC Sports about the documentary. “It’s just crazy to see your story, it’s one thing to live your life and battle everything that comes about but it’s another to just sit there and talk about it.”

805 approached Golden about the feature by asking, “Do you even realize that what you do, and your story is special?”

Golden took the question as a blank canvas to map out the highs and lows of her career and life. 

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The title “Inverted Perspective” came from a brainstorming session with Dominick Russo and it highlights Golden’s outlook on the sport of SuperMotocross and her life in general. 

“My whole life, my whole career was thinking differently and looking at things that shouldn’t be done and aren’t there, while being able to make a place for myself, where no one thought there should be a place,” Golden said.  “It’s inspiring someone to think in different ways. It sums up my life.”

Vicki Golden is not “fast for a girl”; she’s just fast. – 805 Beer

While Golden is no stranger to the spotlight, this was the first time she’s been fully involved with the storytelling and creation of a feature about herself. 

“It’s not like a full new experience,” Golden said. “Obviously, you get your standard questions about your upbringing and accomplishments, but I’ve never really put into perspective things that happened in my past with my dad and putting that to light. Also, certain other things that maybe got overlooked in previous interviews or films. I wanted to touch on these and Dom wanted to create a story. It’s just cool to see it come to light, it’s a nearly impossible thing to tell somebody’s life story in 40 minutes.”

Golden’s father was left paralyzed after an ATV accident, robbing him the opportunity to ride again. This happened a few months before the father-daughter duo was set to compete in the Loretta Lynn’s Amateur Nationals when Vicki was 12. While she might have been unable to grasp the severity at the time, it’s something she carries with her. Golden continues to ride in his honor.

Years later, an accident in 2018 nearly sidelined the then 25-year-old Vicki when a freestyle accident almost resulted in the amputation of her lower leg. 

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Golden 805 Beer
Vicki Golden has ridden a variety of disciplines in SuperMotocross, which gives her a unique perspective. – 805 Beer

“Inverted Perspective” highlights her father’s diligence in helping Vicki continue with her career and the kindness and strength he carried while fighting his own battle. 

“My dad was the entire reason that I started riding in the first place,” Golden said. “So, to honor his memory and to honor what we went through and how hard he pushed to keep our dream alive and keep everything going – in that sense then, it was really special to be able to honor him and talk about him.”

The 40-minute feature was filmed entirely in black and white, a stark contrast from the oversaturated world of motocross where the brighter the suit the easier it is for fans to find their rider and follow him in the race. By filming in monochrome Russo and Golden had the chance to focus on the race and track from a different perspective. 

“It was cool to be able to film it differently,” Golden said. “It created a challenge in the sense of what was going to be more visually impactful for the film.

“I couldn’t be here without the companies that back me but at the same time, it’s not like the logos or colors disappeared, it’s just different lights shed on different spots. It’s just a cool way to do it and to take color away and still be impactful. When you think of black and white, you think of old school, the OG way of doing things.”