During the four-week break between races, Am Pro Yamaha’s Barry Hawk worked tirelessly to step-up his program in order to track down KTM’s runaway series’ leader Juha Salminen. Hawk indeed stepped it up and ran him down at the combined FMF Mountaineer Grand National Cross Country/AMA National Hare Scrambles, in Summersville, West Virginia, June 12, but ultimately Salminen came away with the win following what was his toughest fight of the season.
“It was a good battle with Barry, he was riding really strong,” Salminen said. “Today was actually the first time I was challenged like this.”
“I hate losing,” Hawk said. “I just hate it and it’s burning me up.”
Hawk was joined on the podium by his rejuvenated teammate Jason Raines. Also carding his best ride of the season was FMF Suzuki’s “Fast” Fred Andrews, who took fourth on his Suzuki RM-Z450. Fifth went to FMF Suzuki’s Glenn Kearney, who wasn’t very happy with his performance.
KTM’s Robbie Jenks and Suzuki’s Brian Garrahan were sixth and seventh, respectively, and Parts Unlimited Moose Honda’s Scott Summers logged his best ride in a long time with eighth. Finishing ninth, Charles Mullins was top amateur again on his Am Pro Yamaha YZ250, and 10th overall went to Jayco/SCR Suzuki rider Doug Blackwell.
Attrition cost other racers, including FMF/Throttlehead.com Kawasaki’s Steve Hatch, who was battling in the top five before he got water in his gas tank and dropped back. R.E.R. Motorcity Yamaha privateer Nate Kanney was running near the top five as well until a cracked engine case ended his day on the last lap. KTM’s National Enduro Champion Mike Lafferty returned to the fray but struggled with suspension setup, and Shane Watts debuted the Funmart KTM 250SX-F, but jetting problems on his new bike cost him power and time. Kawasaki Team Green’s Chuck Woodford returned to action after a chest injury but was unable to finish.