6/06/15: This season has been all about first time winners, first time racers and first time venues. This round was no exception with the very first Kenda/SRT National Hare and Hound hosted in Snowville, Ut. The brain child of old school desert racer Ron Dillon of Big Nasty LLC who has been out of the scene for close to 30 years promoting professional hill climbing and other events. He worked his magic and banned together with USRA and SIDRA making for the largest turn out since the NHHA started managing the series in 2009 at 477 racers – 114 youth and 363 big bikes! On top of it all this event was hosted on 100% private property owned by 4 land owners criss-crossing under High Way 84. With shrinking public lands to host on this was a look into the future of west coast off-road racing.
The single day of racing started early with the 4-8 year old Pee Wee’s taking to their 2.5 mile course and making the very first race tracks EVER at the 150 year old Ranch off Exit 12. Reigning champion Andrew Schulz and Jason Harris would battle it out for the entire first lap and when Schulz would take a tumble just before the finish Harris would come through in first on lap one. Schulz would get by Harris and take the win by 2:15. Kayden Lynn would battle with Trevor Whipkey taking 3rd pee wee.
The second race of the day would see 86 Youths taking to the longer, more technical mini course for an hour and a half. Blais Racing’s Braydon Bland would almost get edged out for the start but when the dust cleared he was leading a pack of pinned super mini machines. Team Chidester Towning Tyler Tyler Lynn would actually battle with Bland for the first 3 laps but a few mistakes would let Bland run away with another overall victory. Lynn would have a battle on his hands as well with Burke Barnes aboard his Barnes Construction KX 100 but Barnes would end up hitting a wall settling for 3rd overall.
The entire crowd moved to the next field up paralleling the highway where the big bike racers were already lined up and ready for the banner drop. Quick riders meeting and banner up. At the led of the 1.5 mile bomb run that ended in a cow trail between the sage brush FMF/KTM’s Ivan Ramirez would get the start with Rick’s Custom Shutters backed YZ450f of Ryan Smith in toe. Heading out onto the fields on the other side of the highway riders were all over the place and KTM/FMF’s Gary Sutherlin would tow Factory Rockstar Husqvarna’s Jacob Argubright with him to the front of the pack. Sutherlin would put over a minute on Argubright on the first lap and while the two caught a glimpse of each other with the wrap around pit configuration that would be the last they would see of eachother.
While the first loop consisted of grass fields, mountain roads and plenty of dust the second loop would go straight into the trees. As the race went on the sky would open up and it would start pouring rain and even hailing on the much more technical third loop making for very interesting race to be sure!
Purvines Racing’s Axel Pearson would get his best start to date, keeping both wheels on the ground, and was able to latch onto Argubright. The two battled final miles when Argubright would take a wrong turn letting Pearson pass and earn his career best 2nd overall just 11 seconds ahead of Argubright in 3rd overall. This was the first race Argubright has entered since his wrist injury sustained in October last season and he was more then happy to walk away with a podium.
The ATV overall was once again taken by Maxxis/Fasst backed Beau Baron. There hasn’t been a racer that could touch him and with traded Utah absences with Fasst backed Colt Brinkerhoff who is currently racing the Finke 500 in Austraillia the mud slinging has begun.
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2015 Rnd 6 KENDA/SRT National Hare & Hound Championship – by Will Bales