The Kenda/SRT AMA West Hare Scrambles (WHS) Regional Championship Series came down to round eight and the series finale: the U.S. Army Donner Hare Scramble, Presented by Garrahan Off-road Training (GOT).
And it went down in a way no one could’ve predicted!
Series points leader Trystan Hart was a no-show, as expected, the SRT Husqvarna rider still on the mend from his nasty Reno EnduroCross crash a few weeks ago and missing for the second round.
That opened the door for two contenders to surpass him: FMF/Maxxis/RPM Racing KTM’s Dante Oliveira and Beta’s Max Gerston, the defending series champ.
To get past Hart in points, both needed to do well. To win the championship, it basically boiled down to win the race, and you win the championship.
But then along came Cody Webb.
Urged on into participating by series Race Director Brian Garrahan, FMF KTM Factory Off-Road Racing Team’s Webb found the prospect of a $2000 winner’s bonus impossible to pass up so he booked the first flight back to NorCal the morning after the Denver EnduroCross (where he finished second to Colton Haaker).
Besides, he felt like he had unfinished business at Donner.
Webb got the lead early aboard his Red Bull/Motorex/Troy Lee Designs 350 XC-F EnduroCross practice bike (fitted with a larger IMS fuel tank borrowed from Ivan Ramirez) and leading comfortably the rest of the way.
Webb still went home with the $2000 check.
Similarly, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Off-road Team’s Dalton Shirey saw the race as a chance to get some racing in before the season-ending AMA hare & hound National next weekend—well, that and the money.
Despite this being his first time to race at Donner, the desert speedster and his FMF/Braking/Fly Racing-backed FX 450 did well, getting a good start and slotting into second place early and holding it to the end, despite being sick most of the week.
Chidester Transport Racing Yamaha’s Jacob Argubright demonstrated he hasn’t lost much since winning the series in 2015. Somehow, the front brake master cylinder came undone early on so he rode most of the first lap without a usable front brake before he could pit and fix it. From there, he played catchup—and played it well to climb back up to finish third aboard his TBT Racing/Kenda/Fly Racing YZ450FX.
SRT Husqvarna’s J.T. Baker also came from behind to finish fourth with Justin Bonita fifth aboard his Monterey Powersports YZ450F—the best finish of the season for both.
And what of the championship?
Hart’s 152 points going in ended up being enough to clinch the title without showing up as both Oliveira and Gerston DNFed due bike issues on the last lap—the silt apparently responsible for a larger-than-usual number of DNFs throughout the field.
Thus, Oliveira and Gray Area KTM’s Devan Bolin (who finished 10th for the day) both finished with 126 points, Oliveira earning second in the championship with two victories while Bolin scored one. Gerston ended up fourth with 124, one point ahead of Gas Gas rider Travis Coy, who was 12th on the day after a three-round run of fourth-place finishes.