Ricky Dietrich came from well behind the pack to win round eight of the World Off-Road Championship Series in Olympia, Washington, August 2. The race was also a round of the AMA Western Hare Scrambles Series and part of “WORCS Week,” a mini series made up of two WORCS rounds, the Western Hare Scrambles, GPMX and WORCS-Cross.
GNCC star Charlie Mullins got things started by jumping out to an early lead, and he and National Hare & Hound Champion Destry Abbott quickly gapped the field, which was made up of more than just your usual Pro 1- and Pro 2-class riders. Since this race was using AMA Hare Scrambles rules, the Pro-Women, AA, A, Vets and other classes were all on the track at the same time, which led to a huge bottleneck on the second lap. During their second lap, Mullins and Abbott got caught up in it, as well, including the rest of the Pros, and the race was blacked-flagged and restarted with the Pro riders starting in the same order in which they had completed their first lap. WORCS series points leader Bobby Bonds was 13th and Dietrich was 25th.
Mullins resumed his spot out in front, while Abbott followed close behind once racing resumed. Mullins held the point for the first hour but started to slow.
“My water system hose got caught in the bars on the first lap and blew apart,” said Mullins. “I raced for the first hour without any water and it was pretty hot and dry. I was already dehydrated by the time I pitted and got a new system, but it was too late. I had cotton-mouth and could feel my strength draining away. I tried to hang in with Destry, but he was too fast today.”
Abbott took over with still two hours left to go. And he was still leading when the white flag came out, but Dietrich had moved into second and was closing fast. KTM’s Kurt Caselli had taken control of third.
At the checkered flag, Dietrich emerged from the woods ahead of Abbott, with Caselli still holding on to third, where he would finish.
Mullins held on to finish fourth, followed by Mike Brown.
Bonds’ race ended earlier when his chain broke.
“I love to come home to Washington,” said Dietrich. “This is where I grew up and learned to ride, and it’s great to win here in front of my friends. I’d really like to thank the Monster Energy Kawasaki team for letting me ride the Nationals (motocross). I think it improved my speed and skills a lot.”
It was an emotional podium for the well-liked Abbott who had not been on the WORCS podium since 2006. “I’m so happy getting a second here and being able to run up front,” said Abbott. “I just had arm-pump surgery and have been training very hard, and it’s already paying off.”
In the AMA Western Hare Scrambles Series points standings, Tim Weigand, who finished 12th on the day, still leads, while Dietrich has taken over the number-one position in WORCS. He has a slim two-point advantage over Brown, 147-145. Bonds slipped back to third with 129 points