2018 Cherry Creek National Hare & Hound Results

Mark Kariya | May 7, 2018

2018 Cherry Creek National Hare & Hound Results – Dust is an unfortunate reality in desert racing and when there’s lots of it, going fast is next to impossible.

2018 Cherry Creek National Hare & Hound Results

2018 Cherry Creek National Hare & Hound Results
Taylor Robert topped the Cherry Creek National Hare & Hound in Jericho, Utah. Photo: Mark Kariya

But that doesn’t seem to apply to Taylor Robert. The FMF KTM Factory Off-road Racing Team star somehow rebounded from a horrible start to win the Sugarloafers Motorcycle Club’s 58th Cherry Creek Hare & Hound, round five of the Kenda/SRT AMA Hare & Hound National Championship Series, Presented by FMF.

Despite rain in the days leading up to the race at the Little Sahara Off-Highway Vehicle Area, conditions were polar opposites of round four held here two weeks ago a few miles farther east.

So, common wisdom dictated getting a great start and being the one making dust. Purvines Racing Yamaha’s Nick Burson, SRT Husqvarna’s Ryan Smith and Pro

Circuit Honda-mounted Kendall Norman led the pack through the chicanes before getting onto the trail for the first loop of 40 miles.

Robert, on the other hand, found himself buried in the dust when his Red Bull/Motorex/Troy Lee Designs 450 XC-F balked when the banner dropped.

“My bike didn’t fire [right away] and it was a complete white-out,” he declared. “I couldn’t see five feet in front of me. I was going down the [bomb run] like third gear, half throttle—maybe.”

Though unaware of Robert’s plight, Norman wasn’t waiting around to find out and quickly went into the lead on his Saunders Family/Renthal/Alpinestars CRF450X despite not being 100 percent after crashing while practicing the week before and injuring a thumb, making it extremely hard to hold on.

“Every mile [today], I was just trying to survive it,” he said. “I was figuring, ‘I don’t know how long I can last [up front at that pace],’ but I was trying my hardest to do it as long as possible. I just didn’t have much strength in my throttle hand.”

Somehow, Robert had punched through the dust and put himself into second behind the 2010 series champ and current points leader, though he was a minute and 16 seconds behind Norman at the end of the first loop.

But Robert kept pushing and eventually caught sight of Norman’s dust, reeling him in and then applying pressure until the Honda rider made a couple mistakes and went down twice.

2018 Cherry Creek National Hare & Hound Results

That was all Robert needed and he completed the 40-mile second loop the clear-cut winner, completing the race in two hours, 33 minutes and 30 seconds.

Burson also homed in on the ailing Norman despite being sick. “I just started charging on the second loop,” the Precision Concepts/GPR Stabilizer/O’Neal Racing YZ450FX rider stated. “I started seeing puffs of dust with about five miles to go and TJ told me he was only 30 seconds up so I just kept pushing, kept pushing, kept pushing. It was almost a repeat of two weeks ago (when he passed Dalton Shirey for third in the last mile) except not as close. He looked back, tried to put in one last charge and I think he hurt his hand and he was tired.”

Burson rewarded himself with second—his third consecutive podium finish—some 3:23 behind Robert while Norman made his fifth podium in third place.

“That was one of the hardest races I’ve done in a long time because I made it so hard on myself,” Robert admitted. “I passed a lot of guys today, that’s for sure!”

Norman remains atop the points with 126, Burson making up a little ground and sitting second at 107 with Robert third at 90 and closing.

Smith held on to take fourth—tying his career best to date—followed by FMF Pro 250 winner Josh Knight on his Mom and Dad/ADS Motorsports/Fly Racing KTM 250 XC. Remarkably, the Utah native ran out of fuel with about a couple hundred yards to go and had to push it through the sage and sand to preserve his win. “It was one of the hardest things I’ve done, pushing it after that many miles [of racing],” he said.

Second FMF Pro 250 and sixth overall went to Economy Floor/Woolslayer Racing’s Daemon Woolslayer, a couple minutes ahead of SRT Husqvarna’s Clayton Gerstner who was another rider to had to mount a fierce charge through the dust after a poor start.

Beta’s Chance Fullerton was third FMF Pro 250 and eighth overall to preserve his class points lead over Woolslayer, 136-115. SRT Husqvarna’s Morgan Crawford and Mark Tichenor CPA Yamaha rider Kyle Tichenor rounded out the top 10 overall.

Brandy Richards won Women A for the third consecutive round aboard her Bell Helmets KTM ahead of Rachel Stout and Britney Gallegos, who complained of numerous spills. Gallegos saw her class points lead cut to one over Stout, 97-96, while third-place Richards closes in with 90.

2018 Cherry Creek National Hare & Hound Results

Cherry Creek

Jericho, Utah

RESULTS: May 6, 2018

1. Taylor Robert (KTM)
2. Nick Burson (Yam)
3. Kendall Norman (Hon)
4. Ryan Smith (Hus)
5. Josh Knight (KTM)
6. Daemon Woolslayer (Yam)
7. Clayton Gerstner (Hus)
8. Chance Fullerton (Beta)
9. Morgan Crawford (Hus)
10. Kyle Tichenor (Yam)

Click here for complete results.

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Mark Kariya | Contributor Kariya spends way too much time in the desert, but we’re glad he does as he’s the man who gets us our coverage of all things sandy.