Russ Pearson won the race, but Destry Abbott's second place gave him the points he needed to wrap up his second consecutive AMA National Hare & Hound Championship at the Jackpot, Nevada, National on Saturday.
Pearson put his YZ250 out front in the opening section and used the dusty conditions to keep the big Kawasaki of Abbott at bay. In extremely dusty conditions and with few opportunities to pass, Abbott was forced to hang back, at times 100 yards or more, for most of the race. He did get side-by-side with Pearson once, coming along side him by riding off the line in a tight section of loop two. After reportedly bumping handlebars at one point, Pearson kept in pinned and emerged first onto a dusty road section, quickly forcing Abbott to back off.
Price Racing/Team Green's Shane Esposito nearly got the holeshot, but ran wide on the start, giving up several places. He still managed to hold onto third place. Another Team Green rider, former champ Brian Brown, suffered a flat early in the first loop. Riding the rest of that loop before getting a tire change at the first pit, he still managed to claim fourth. YZ250 rider Curt Caselli rounded out the top five. Luca Trussardi, who has had very consistent top finishes this year, was the top Senior, bringing the TM in sixth overall.
With two rounds remaining and the top spot gone, the race now is for second. Brown's ahead, but Pearson is now within striking distance.