Lucerne Valley, Ca: While the weekend was some what over shadowed by the Championship being won by KTM/FMF backed Ivan Ramirez, the win was just as important. Not only was it Ricky Brabec’s return to the desert after his horrific crash in Snowville, UT at Round 6 it was also JCR Honda’s return to the desert after a nearly 2 year absence. The last time a Honda was on top of the Podium was in February of 2013 with Kendall Norman as the pilot.
A sign of great things to come for the future of the AMA National Hare and Hound Championship!
Photos by Mark Kariya / Grumpy
Coming into the finale of the Kenda/SRT Championship the #1 was still up in the air. 3 riders had the mathematical chance to clinch it with FMF/KTM’s Ivan Ramirez having the best chance at it only needing to finish 17th overall or better. Ramirez’s team mate Gary Sutherlin was another rider with the title in his sites with reigning champion Ricky Brabec trailing by a single point. Sutherlin admitted “I need to win but Ivan has been so consistent and our bikes don’t break down… it’ll be hard”
Brabec, who had just been released from his horrific crash at Round 6, showed up to the event with a big surprise for everyone. He was riding a Honda and a JCR backed one at that! This was signaling lots of great things to come and everyone was looking forward to the drop of the banner. At the end of the bomb Blais Racing’s Skyler Howes would get an amazing jump and lead the field across the first valley. Rockstar/Husqvarna’s Jake Argubright, who had won the Kenda/SRT West Hare Scramble the day before, would motor past him taking Sutherlin along with him. Brabec would then make quick work of all of them getting into the lead before check one and would never look back.
After 100 miles of brutal terrain the first bike to come across the final stretch would be the JCR Honda of Brabec with a minute and a half lead over 2nd place! Sutherlin and Argubright would go at it for the final 15 miles of the event with Sutherlin taking over 2nd on a gnarly climb that Argubright got turned around on. With the top 3 riders in the waiting game was on to see what Ramirez would do. As the riders were rolling in – Purvines Beta’s Axel Pearson in 4th, Rick’s Custom Shutter’s Ryan Smith in 5th, Zip-Ty Racing’s Dalton Shirey in 6th – everyone was ecstatic to see Ramirez coming across in 7th taking his first AMA National Championship ever! This makes the first time a Mexican National has ever taken the #1 plate and as Ivan said “I am going to win this one for Kurt [Caselli]”
This weekend was like none other with the double header weekend and the Youth racing was even MORE exciting with the KENDA/SRT West Hare Scramble and National Youth Hare and Hound head to head round! The first race started after all the other Hare Scramble racing sending out the Pee Wee’s on their own 2 mile course. Team Aggie’s Racer Fry would get the holeshot but Blais Racing’s Cole Timboe made quick work of him taking the lead. He would proceed to lap every single rider in the field. Timboe would stop the clock at 35 minutes with Fry coming across in 2nd followed by Brennen Watson in 3rd. Timboe would take the #2 place for the 2nd year in a row. DMC’ Andrew Shultz wrapped up the title a few rounds earlier and an accident on an MX track had him waving the checkered flag at the finish!
The final race of Saturday would get started as the sun started getting low. Into the first corner Troy Lee Designs backed Hayden Hintz would take the lead but Blais Racing’s Braydon Bland was on a mission and would make it to the front as quick as he could. While he had a 7 point lead on Barnes Construction backed Burke Barnes he would still need to finish ahead of Barnes to guarantee the title. He would put down some blazing fast laps on the 7 mile Youth course that was much more technical taking the win by just under a minute over Barnes with West Hare Scramble points leader Jon Modena finishing another 19 seconds back.
YOUTH CHAMPIONS CROWNED
Super Mini Braydon Bland, Mini Mason Matthies, Jr. Mini Hagen Boyce,
Micro Mini Talon Van Valkenburg, Pee Wee Andrew Shultz, Girls Rachel Stout
Many of the Championships were decided at this final round and many came down to just a few points! The 250 A battle came down to just 2 points after Rick’s Custom Shutters backed Mavrick Shuey finished 3 minutes and 32 seconds ahead of MSR rider Corey Fletcher. The two traded positions all season and the 4 points more earned at the final round was all Shuey needed to take the N1x plate.
“A” Crowned Champions
251-Up Joey Black, 201-250 Mavrick Shuey, 86-200 Kadin Guard, Vet 30+ Derek Steahly,
Sen 40+ Mark Weirich, Super Sen 50+ Scott Magrane. Women Megan Blackburn,
Mas 60+ Larry Engwall
The Super Senior 50+ B Championship came down to tie breakers and with his win at Round 8 Jetworld Powersports backed Dan Fitzgerald was able to get that 3rd victory to over take year long rival Dave Turner. The two would trade podiums all season long and this will be a battle to continue to watch for 2016!
“B” Crowned Champions
251-Up Robert Foster, 201-250 Zachary Cramer, 86-200 Mason Stiffler, Vet 30+ Brian Adsit,
Sen 40+ Scott Aldridge, Super Sen 50+ Dan Fitzgerald. Women Lacey Todd
Ridgecrest, CA’s Brad Frame, a US Navy Petty Officer and Aircrewman, followed the series for the first time this year and wrapped up the 251-Up C championship. Beating Dylan Shuey by 1 position kept him in the lead all the way to the finish line where he took home his number 1 hardware.
“C” Crowned Champions
251-Up Bradley Frame, 201-250 Jacob Irle, 86-200 Cody Kurtz, Vet 30+ Christopher Luton,
Sen 40+ Mike Wickstrand, Super Sen 50+ Wesley Irle. Women Charlotte Dansie
The PRO ATV class was a brand new class for the 2015 season giving the top ATV riders an opportunity to do battle across the desert. Maxxis backed Beau Baron was a dominant force taking the win at every round he entered walking away with the title. Fasst Co’s Colt Brinkerhoff would finish 2nd in the title run followed by Shawn Riley in 3rd.
ATV Crowned Champions
PRO ATV Beau Baron, ATV A Aaron Cheeny, ATV B Rachel Bosemer, ATV C Howard Tande
The PRELIMINARY 2016 Schedule is here. There are still a few rounds to be finalized and added but here is a sneak peak at the Championship for next season!
2016 KENDA/SRT National Hare and Hound
Jan 23/24 – NHHA Rnd 1 – DMC – Lucerne Valley, Ca
Apr 2/3 – NHHA Rnd 2 – Dirt Inc – Murphy, ID
May 14/15 – NHHA Rnd 3 – Sage Riders – Delta, UT
June 11 – NHHA Rnd 4 – Big Nasty – Snowville, UT
Aug 27 – NHHA Rnd 5 – SSTB – Panaca, NV
Sept 3/4 – NHHA Rnd 6 – NHHA – Red Mountain, CA
Oct 29/30 – NHHA Rnd 7 – 100s MC – Lucerne Valley, CA
2016 KENDA/SRT West Hare Scramble Championship
Jan 16/17 – WHS Rnd 1 – Polka Dots – Prairie City, CA
Feb 13/14 – WHS Rnd 2 – Salinas – Coalinga, CA
Mar 19/20 – WHS Rnd 3 – Prospectors – Gorman, CA
Apr 9/10 – WHS Rnd 4 – Redding Dirt Riders – Reddding, CA
Apr 23/24 – WHS Rnd 5 – Vikings – Lucerne Valley, CA
May 21 – WHS Rnd 6 – SSTB – Caliente, NV
Sept 17/18 – WHS Rnd 7 – DMC – Lucerne Valley, CA
Oct 1/2 – WHS Rnd 8 – RoadRunners – Ocatillo Wells, CA
Nov 5 – WHS Rnd 9 – Darkside – Laughlin, NV