Dante Oliveira (FMF/Maxxis/RPM Racing KTM) watched the entire Pro line race away at the start of the Kenda/SRT AMA East vs. West Hare Scramble Shootout, Presented by Mojo Motorsports, his bike reluctant to start until the field was two turns away.
2018 AMA East-West Hare Scrambles Shootout Results
But that turned out to be a temporary setback. By the second time around the 13.4-mile loop, he’d sliced through the pack aboard his Motorex/Nor-Cal Motorsports/Klim-sponsored 350 XC-F and moved into the lead which he held until the finish after two hours, 47 minutes and four seconds, marking his second win of the year, at the Kenda/SRT AMA East-West Hare Scrambles Shootout in Stillwater, Oklahoma, October 6-7.
Oliveira didn’t run away with it, though, as Gray Area KTM’S Devan Bolin—one of the early leaders—latched onto him and stayed threateningly close until the final lap, finishing 25 seconds behind for a West Hare Scrambles (WHS) 1-2.
Though most of the pack was comprised of WHS competitors and locals, New Jersey’s Kyle McDonal upheld East Hare Scrambles (EHS) honor by taking third in 2:50:03. (The Shootout served as round seven for the WHS, round nine for EHS and round seven for the Oklahoma Hare Scrambles Championship Series [OHSCS].)
“I slowly just got around one, got around another and started creeping to the front, then I saw Devan Bolin; I was guessing he was in the lead because he’s always quick in the trees,” Oliveira explained. “He let me by, then he got on my ass and we just started going and moved away from the pack. We were like five bike lengths apart the whole race—it was sick!”
To prevent a last-lap attack, Oliveira preemptively upped the pace on the last lap to seal the victory—his second of the season, which moved him to second in points behind the injured and absent Trystan Hart, 152-126. Beta’s Max Gerston, the reigning series champ who was seventh overall and sixth Pro while riding with a broken finger, is third at 124 while Bolin is fourth at 115.
“Honestly, he was faster than me; he had a lot more intensity than me,” Motographix/Hammer Nutrition/Leatt 350 XC-F rider Bolin confessed. “I let him pull me all the way through the race. I knew we’d never gap the rest of the field if I tried to hold him off—the battle would’ve been too intense. I kind of sacrificed it there and was hoping to be able to do something on the last lap, but he wore me out, honestly.”
After getting tangled up in the first turn, Beta support rider McDonal had his work cut out for him also, though not as much as Oliveira. “I tried to make a couple passes early on, but it happened more on the second or third lap—I guess people were making mistakes,” the Bromley’s Motorsports/Works Enduro Rider/Moose-backed 390 RR rider said. “It ended up being a good race; it was fun holding it wide open for two and a half hours, which I’m not used to!”
Gas Gas-mounted Travis Coy claimed fourth place for the third straight round, putting him fifth in points with 114.
Texan and OHSCS champ Zach Ingram finished fifth on his FMF/TBT Racing/Fly Racing Gas Gas, 24 seconds ahead of FMF Pro 250 winner Jeremy Wilton, the Gray Area KTM/House of Horsepower/Moose Racing 250 XC-F rider clinching the class championship with his fifth triumph of the season over rival Dillon Sheppard.
Gerston, OHSCS racer Eddie Kowalski, 707 Racing Yamaha’s Sheppard and Gas Gas-mounted Kyle Kerling (the 250cc A winner and first A overall) rounded out the top 10.
Just one round remains in the WHS and with the injured Hart expected to miss it, the championship fight will be tight. To successfully defend his number one plate, Gerston has to win, even if Oliveira gets second, and the points would be: Gerston with 154, Hart at 152 and Oliveira on 151. But if Oliveira wins, he’d take the championship with 156.
AMA East-West Hare Scrambles Shootout
RESULTS: October 6-7, 2018
- Dante Oliveira (KTM)
- Devan Bolin (KTM)
- Kyle McDonal (Beta)
- Travis Coy (GG)
- Zach Ingram (GG)
- Jeremy Wilton (KTM)
- Max Gerston (Beta)
- Eddie Kowalski
- Dillon Sheppard (Yam)
- Kyle Kerling (GG)
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