Factory Red Bull KTM’s Cody Webb made it three in a row at the Prairie Dogs MC Last Dog Standing when he swept both races for a perfect overall victory at the extreme race at Glen Helen Raceway, June 18. Webb bested SRT KTM rider Cory Graffunder and Beta USA’s Kyle Redmond in the final race of the day, where the intense dust and high temperatures pushed riders to the limit. The trio was among only five racers who recorded finishes at Last Dog Standing.
Webb received a challenge from Redmond, Graffunder and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Colton Haaker throughout the day, but in both scored races—the one-lap LDS-2 race and the more difficult two-lap LDS-3 race—he was able to pull a commanding lead. In the final LDS-3 race, his lead was especially large after both Redmond and Graffunder made spontaneous pit stops early in the race.
Redmond started out strong and began to mix it up with Webb for the lead, but quickly ran into a problem. “I got to this one hill and my clutch went out,” Redmond described. “It was from the earlier crash [in LDS-2]. It knocked the clutch line loose and we didn’t catch it. I had to go back to the pits and I probably lost 10 minutes.”
Graffunder realized he had a problem of his own, and came in for a wheel change. “I switched tires after LDS-2 and put on a softer one thinking that it would help, but it didn’t work at all on the loose, silty hill climbs,” Graffunder explained. “So after that first hill climb, I think it was really worth my while to stop and put my other wheel back on because I know it works.”
Graffunder and Redmond re-entered the race nearly side-by-side and had an exciting battle. Meanwhile, Webb was off to a 10-minute lead.
“It almost didn’t feel fair to the other guys,” Webb said. “It wasn’t like how I wanted to make it happen. I wanted to have a little bit of a fight with those guys. But we got the job done so that’s all that matters.”
As for Colton Haaker, the factory Husqvarna rider had a crash in LDS-2 that saw him take a rock to the lower back. He finished the race in a sub-par position and elected to call it a day.
The only real threat to Webb’s victory might have been the threat of disqualification when he inadvertently went around a hill climb in LDS-3 on the first lap. But on the second time around, the issue was brought to Webb’s attention. He completed the climb twice in a row to make up for the error, and went on to the victory.
“It was a lot of fun, but it’s kind of tricky with the course changing every time,” said Webb, describing how new sections were added in between the LDS-1 (prologue), LDS-2 and LDS-3 races. “It was tricky to hit the right spots and not go the wrong way. It changed race after race.”
Webb, Graffunder and Redmond were the only three to complete two laps in the final. Only two other riders completed a lap: Mitch Carvolth and Garrett Carlson. Carvolth admittedly waited for Webb to lap him at the end of the first lap so he could call it a day. “I heard Cody wasn’t far behind, and I couldn’t do another lap,” said Carvolth. “I wish I could run their pace. They’re at the next level. But it was a good day if I finished fourth.”
The Prairie Dogs MC honored Carlson with the Last Dog Standing “True Grit Award” for being the only expert-class rider to complete a lap in LDS-3.
Last Dog Standing Results:
- Cody Webb (KTM)
- Cory Graffunder (KTM)
- Kyle Redmond (Bet)
- Mitch Carvolth (KTM)
- Garrett Carlson (Yam)