Rock Hill South Carolina is known for a few things like tasty bbq, civil war history, and as of late an absolutely stellar BMX facility. Sports tourism has been good to the city and its attracted many a new residents to put down roots and call Rock Hill home.
Several years back everyone's favorite Supercross factory star KJ Romero you could say fate or even destiny brought both him and his family to this gem of an area. He has been a staple around the local track and if you know KJ he is a likeable guy once you get past the mustache! We have all been there as riders when the national comes to town and it's at your local track the pressure to get results can climb and great riders rise up to the challenge time and time again. This was something KJ knows all too well growing up in Arizona having Tucson on his shoulders he was not shy about letting everyone know he would be putting in the work and looking to make a statement when the riders came to "his house". Vet pro as of the past few years has seen a resurgence in raw talent and outright power as several guys with plenty of gas in the tank have made the jump. The class is as legit as ever with current title holder Barry Nobles holding the crown.
The buildup saw some youtube banter and all in good fun as Barry and KJ would swap sprint session times and play cat and mouse off the 5m hill to see what each other had come the race weekend and it surely did not disappoint! Main events saw not only Barry and KJ going hard into turn 1 but also Emilio Falla who had a tough decision to make with heat from Barry on his outside and a diving KJ to his inside he would try his best to hold off both charges but chaos would ensue and sure enough we had seen that all 3 riders were not going to back off and would be shooting for the wins. Bodies would hit the deck and KJ would salvage a 6th on day 1 but showed that he was contending for the win. Day 2 was much of the same and sure enough come main time it was a repeat of day 1 as the 3 riders charged hard into turn 1 and would we see the same result? No they actually exited the turn with Barry having a slight lead and KJ in tow but somehow call it a sniper on a hill or a rogue Supercross groundhog but Barry washes his front wheel out of nowhere going down at the exit. KJ was already on the gas exiting the turn as well and would just need a clean lap to take home his first win in the vet class and the hometown crowd was letting him hear it. Watch closely and you'll see him take a glance in turn 2 to see where riders were and after that it was as simple as hitting the marks and keeping it clean.
Did we mention all this happened to fall on his birthday? You can't script this stuff I swear. Congratulations to KJ on the big win and we hope to see him get to a few more races and enter the title hunt because he truly does spice up the class and I think we all love to cheer on a good battle!
The flip side of things were Spencer Cole and Cam Bramer who had a huge draw of talent to get past if they had intentions on getting in the ultra stacked elite mains. The field depth is downright amazing these days and all it takes is rough lap to score a 6 and you might be done for the day. Both guys rode well but just couldn't make the points cut on the elite days but would shine through and take a 5th and 6th respectively on U23 Sunday racing. The points are stacking up for the both of them and looking forward to them maturing into well rounded elite riders as they are inching closer each race. The next stop is Powder Springs Georgia and we look forward to seeing you there!
-Written by Nick Valencia
Photos Courtesy of USA BMX
KJ Romero - Vet Pro - 6th
KJ Romero - Vet Pro - 1st
Cam Bramer - 23u - 5th
Spencer Cole - 23u - 6th
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