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Ricky Brabec Takes Second- Career NHHA Championship Title!

Nicole Bradford Also Earns Her Second NHHA Women’s Championship

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Photos: Mark Kariya
October 27, 2016:
The final round of the 2016 AMA KENDA/SRT National Hare & Hound series was the perfect end to an intense season of racing. Hosted by 100’s Motorcycle Club of District 37- two days of racing catered to all skill levels, from Youth to Pro.


(100’s MC Rider’s Meeting with a little help from some of the younger racers)
With a drop of the banner by 100’s Motorcycle Club, the newest Pro class racer (and recently crowned Pro 250 class champion) Joe Wasson drag raced to the end of the bomb to score the holeshot before heading out onto the 36-mile loop. Shortly after, FMF KTM Factory Racing rider Ivan Ramirez quickly moved to the front with a massive field of competition chasing behind him. JCR Honda’s points leader, Ricky Brabec, made quick work of the scenario after battling with Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider Jacob Argubright, and soon made the pass on Ramirez. The riders came into the first pit together before continuing onto loop two. Wasson maintained his momentum into the first pit, pulling through 4th overall ahead of Southern California’s Sage Vincent, Purvines Racing’s Nick Burson, and FMF KTM Factory Racing’s Gary Sutherlin.


(Ricky Brabec charges in the lead)

Shortly after leaving the pit, a change came to the front of the pack when Argubright dropped the hammer to make the pass on Ramirez and close the gap on Brabec. Meanwhile, Sutherlin was making every effort to catch the front runners, moving into 4th overall as he came into pit two. Wasson kept his pace, now in 5th overall, staying focused on keeping ahead of Burson. As the difficulty of the course gradually increased near the end of the loop Justin Morgan, Axel Pearson, Max Eddy and Ryan Smith rounded out the top 10 overall.

(Jacob Argubright focuses on catching Brabec)
Although a solid finish is all that was needed to capture the 2016 Championship, Brabec clearly wasn’t going to finish the year out casually. As the riders headed out onto the third and final 15-mile loop, 100’s MC prepared to watch the Nation’s best desert racers take on the most technical and challenging loop of the day. Argubright utilized his technical riding ability to close the gap on Brabec throughout the loop and came wheel to wheel on the final descent. Unfortunately for Ramirez, he encountered mechanical issues that forced him to sit on the side and give up his podium finish. Sutherlin capitalized on Ramirez’s misfortune, moving into third overall behind the leaders. With just a few miles to spare, Justin Morgan kicked it up a notch to pass Burson and Wasson for 4th overall.
(Gary Sutherlin rounds off the last podium of 2016)
With one last gnarly descent into the home stretch, the pressure was high as Brabec led Argubright down the hill. Brabec put forth all his effort to ditch Argubright, and made his final sprint to the checkers to finish :17 seconds ahead. Finishing 4-minutes and 30-seconds behind, Sutherlin successfully earned the final podium position.


(Nicole Bradford earns her second NHHA Women’s title)
For the Women’s class, Nicole Bradford made the trek from Colorado after having just returned from the 91st ISDE in Spain to claim her second AMA National Hare & Hound crown. Taking on the full distance of the course, Stephanie Woolslayer led the Women’s A class into the first pit ahead of Bradford, Britney Gallegos, Meg Argubright, Rebecca Stout and Sharon Mowell. Bradford eventually made the pass for the lead, while Gallegos worked to hunt her down. Coming from a near last position, Mowell gave it her everything to work her way up from last to third on the third most difficult loop.

(Leading Ladies! Women A, B & C Champions)


(Quite the sight to see, Quinn Cody takes on 90-miles of National-caliber desert racing aboard a KTM Adventure 1190 R.)

(Ricky Brabec and crew celebrate the 2016 AMA NHHA Championship!)

On Saturday, Youth racers were treated to an excellent course, ranging from 2 to 8-miles in length based on skill level. In addition to the Pro’s dropping the banner for all youth classes, Jacob Argubright acted as “Hare” for the “Hounds” to catch- just like big bike race! The hound that could catch the hare would receive a signed pair of goggles from the hare himself.

(Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory racer Jacob Argubright)


(Caiden Fenstermaker of District 37 and So Cal Motorcycle Club)
Racing kicked off with the Pee Wee class, and it was Racer Fry that led from start to finish! Fry’s performance earned himself yet ANOTHER win aboard his KTM 50. With a decent jump off the start Caiden Fenstermaker moved into second overall, and over the next 30-minutes stayed consistent ahead of Cole Sasso, Elias Rael and Zachary Novoa.

(Taylor Olivas races away unknowingly as her sister crashes behind)
Race two began shortly after the end of the Pee Wee race, and with the Hare out on the course, the banner dropped for the hounds to catch him. Sisters Laci and Taylor Olivas quickly started their bikes and moved into the front running positions. On the first lap Taylor came through in the lead, with Laci close behind. Meanwhile, 65cc rider Lane Forbes sprinted ahead to catch the girls. Comfortably in 4th place, Brooke Olivas raced to stay ahead of the 5th place rider Ruffin Dodson. Taylor and Laci continued to battle throughout the hour-long race, but it was Taylor who would not only catch the hare, but also capitalize on Laci’s crash to take the overall win- marking her first ever overall finish as she moves out of the class.

(Big Wheel podium)
The third and final race of Saturday saw the Big Wheel, Mini and Jr. Mini racers compete. Tyler Lynn instantly started his bike and began his search for the Hare. Making the up and coming racer really work for it, Lynn caught the Hare laps later and began to build his lead. Meanwhile, Mason Matthies and Clayton Roberts set their pace to secure their podium positions over the next hour and a half. Bradley East and Jack Anderson battled throughout the event  for fourth and fifth place, but ultimately it was East’s strategy that worked best to finish fourth overall. Coming into the finish, Lynn officially completed the season undefeated, and claimed the Big Wheel championship 36-points ahead of Hagen Boyce and Mason Matthies for the championship.

(Connor Eddy takes the Jr. Mini National Championship)
(A glimpse into the future of Women’s racing- the Girls podium)

Watch the 2016 series finale video by Jacob Michna by clicking the image below!

The 2017 is just month away, and the NHHA group is busy finalizing schedules and making improvements for a new season. Stay tuned on our social media for coming updates. Thank you to ALL of our racers that participated in the 2016 season. And an even BIGGER thank you to the Clubs that host these epic events- without you these events just aren’t possible. We look forward to seeing you all at round one!

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