Ohio's Chuck Woodford (pictured) took advantage of the extremely wet and sloppy conditions to win the opening round of the AMA National Hare Scrambles Series in Hollister, California, January 9. Sporting the National-number two on his Team Green KX250, Woodford's first victory at Hollister also earned him the $500 bounty for beating five-time winner Brian Garrahan, who was third on his Suzuki RM250. Garrahan's brother, Patrick, was a close second on his KTM 250.
"I really wanted to win this one for a long time,” Woodford said. “It feels really good to start the year off with a win also. I think it's really going to help get things rolling for the year; I've kind of got some wind in my sail right off the bat."
After being buffeted by wind, fog and rain, the Hollister Hills State Vehicular Recreation Area was a mess and the conditions certainly favored mud riders. A number of racers took their turns at the front, but it came down to Woodford and Patrick Garrahan dueling on the fifth and final lap. As they headed to the final turn, Garrahan tried an all-or-nothing pass, clicking into fourth gear across the rutted, off-camber and slick slope but ended up on the ground, as Woodford rode safely away to the win.
Kawasaki-mounted Ricky Dietrich and KTM’s Nathan Kanney rounded out the top five overall.