Natalie’s team debut got off to a horrific start when he was involved in a head-on collision with former WORCS champion Doug Eichner on Friday. Eichner had joined the practice session late and accidentally got on the track going backward. Natalie hit him mid-air and both riders went to the hospital. Eichner’s injuries were the most serious, and he was forced to miss the event. But Natalie dealt with obvious pain from rib, shoulder and arm injuries and showed up to race. It was no easy event, either. The temperatures were well over 100 degrees, the track was brutally rough and the race was the usual two hours.
At the start, it was Yamaha’s Dustin Nelson, MotoWorks’ Josh Frederick and Natalie into the turn first, but Warnia worked his way through all of them to get the lead early. By the second lap current points leader Beau Baron joined the action up front. Warnia got away, but second went back and forth. It wasn’t until the lap laps that Baron separated himself from the others and actually took a big bite out of Warnia’s lead. Frederick crossed the finish line third with Nelson fourth. And Natalie gutted his way to fifth place. For official results, go to www.worcsracing.com.