Hoping to get more seat time before the final round of the GNCC series on October 27th, Monster Energy Athlete Paul Whibley traveled to Hiawassee, Georgia this past Sunday to race the Rock Crusher Hare Scrambles race, round two of the SETRA-sponsored Hare Scrambles series, where he took a close win over fellow Yamaha rider Ricky Russell.
Since a small creek awaited the racers not far beyond the starting line, a good start was imperative and Whibley delivered, grabbing the holeshot and leading former National Enduro champ Steward Baylor into the woods to begin the opening lap.
Baylor followed Whibley for about a mile before diving to the inside of a tree coming and out with the lead. However, Whibs would soon retaliate, retaking the lead when Baylor slowed and indicated he had arm pump.
Not long after, Russell appeared on Whibley’s rear tire, pushing the Am Pro Yamaha rider to new speeds before capitalizing on a mistake by Whibley to take the lead.
“Late in the second lap I made a mistake when passing a lapped rider allowing Ricky to take the lead,” explained Whibley. “Ricky took off like a cut cat. We ride together a lot during the week so now the race was just like training. Passing was tough and Ricky was making no mistakes and leaving no doors open.”
Whibley and Russell exchanged leads a few more times after the final gas stop before Whibs finally took the lead just before the finish.
“With half a lap to go and minimal passing opportunities I thought Ricky had it,” said Whibley. “I kept the pressure on and in the last mile his pace seemed to slow and I was showing him a wheel on the many switchbacks but there was no room to get by. On the last corner before scoring I held it on and came in hot around the outside and finally made a pass. Ricky rode a great race and earned a win. Unfortunately his slowed pace was from a flat rear tire.”
1st: Paul Whibley
2nd: Ricky Russell
3rd: Stu Baylor
Whibley’s next race will be the final round of the GNCC series at Crawfordsville, Indiana, on October 27th for the Ironman GNCC.