The 2020 Kenda SRT AMA National Hare and Hound Championship, presented by FMF and hosted by Desert MC of District 37, officially kicked off the season with round one in Lucerne Valley, California. An 80-mile race course inclusive of vast open valleys, technical rocky terrain and fun flowing sand washes set the stage for a thrilling season opener.
This is a race report from Hare and Hound…
The weekend kicked off Saturday morning with Youth racing. Riders of all ages, from 4 to 12, lined up on the FMF start line to race on a course made specially for each class. Following a riders meeting and the national anthem, the littlest of riders, the Pee Wee’s, lined up for the first banner drop of the season.
Off the start, Ian Passno and Cameron Dumont charged towards the holeshot together and out onto the 2-mile loop. Passno wasted no time getting to the front, but he had serious heat coming from Dumont. Throughout the race, the duo remained no more than 4-seconds apart from start to finish to take first and second. Meanwhile, Walker Segale-Van Dover held his own in third overall, charging his way to the third spot on the podium.
Race two saw a more technical course change to challenge the up-and-coming future of the sport. Malcom Pearson of the legendary Pearson family put in an impressive performance to take the overall win as he led from start to finish ahead of Peyton Maas and Waylon Honnold. Allie Stambaugh made sure the boys knew she was a force to be reckoned with, racing in third place overall (1st in Girls 12-15) before Honnold made a last lap pass for the overall.
Youth racing concluded with race three featuring Big Wheel, Mini and Jr. Mini classes. At the drop of the banner, all classes charged off the long start line and into the first turn that would take them onto the longer youth course for the next hour and a half. Husqvarna-mounted Lane Forbes dropped the hammer and began to build his lead on the pack. Keeping a consistent pace, Seth Sadorra held his own in second place while the final podium spot was still to be determined. Jett Lessing worked from a poor start to move his way up through the ranks, eventually racing his race to third overall on the last lap. Forbes, Saddora and Lessing decorated the podium in their respective classes.
On Sunday morning, more than 350 racers lined up for an epic 80-mile off-road course that would be fun, but also challenging to even the best of desert specialists, including Joe Wasson, Dalton Shirey, Nick Burson, Jacob Argubright and more. At the drop of the banner, Shirey quickly lit his Husqvarna and raced toward the end of the bomb to snag the FMF Holeshot just ahead of Joe Wasson, Nick Burson and Jacob Argubright. Shirey held his dominate lead over Wasson, Argubright, Burson and Ryan Smith halfway through loop one.
Factory Beta’s Joe Wasson encountered an issue that left him needing to get back to the pits, while Argubright was busy recovering from a crash that altered his bars to a less than favorable position. After recovering, Argubright remounted and charged to the pits behind Shirey to repair the damage. Burson kept Argubright honest, coming in closely behind in third with Smith and Factory Beta’s Zane Roberts in tow.
As the leaders headed out onto loop two, Shirey suddenly experienced an issue of his own that forced him to turn around and head back to the pits for repair. This left the door wide open for Argubright, who began to build the gap on second place. Over the remainder of the loop, Argubright built a gap on Burson, coming in 2:49 ahead as he crossed the checkered flag. As Burson cross the finish line, the dust of Ryan Smith followed close behind. Smith officially earned his first ever overall podium, a longtime dream of the Phelan, California native.
In the Pro 250 class, a few fresh faces graced the start line, including Cole Conatser, who is no stranger to off-road racing. Off the start, the Pro 250 riders showcased their skills among the overall leaders, and it was Corbin Eatherton who led the class into the pits off the first loop, with Corbin McPhearson and Cole Conatser in tow.
The running order would switch up over the second loop, as Conatser shined in the technical terrain, making the passes on both McPhearson and Eatherton as the trio raced to the finish line in that order to top the Pro 250 podium.
The Elegant Cabinetry Pro Women’s class saw top talent compete for the podium this weekend, and ultimately the year-end championship bonus. Competing in her first-ever AMA National Hare and Hound, JCR Honda-backed Tarah Gieger lined up alongside the likes of New Mexico’s Britney Galleogs, Factory Beta’s Morgan Tanke and Stout Racing’s Rachel Stout. Off the start, Gieger found herself hitting the ground just a couple feet as a rider came across. As her competition charged ahead, she picked herself back up to catch up with the pack. Coming into the pits after loop one, Gieger held the overall Women’s lead by 1:48 ahead of Gallegos and Stout. Over the second and final loop, Gieger maintained her position straight to the checkers to take her first National Hare and Hound victory ahead of Gallegos and now Tanke who came through just .04 second behind.
Saturday Family Night Activity
Every round will include a Saturday night family activity! (Friday for one-day events.) This round was the annual DMC slow race, in which all proceeds to go Rescue 3, a volunteer rescue and safety organization for District 37. Riders of all bike sizes, ages and skills lined up together with a large crowd to cheer them to their slowest finish. Beating all the Pro’s, youth, men and women was Jared Prosser who proved to be the slowest of them all. Congratulations!
Video | FMF Bomb Run Footage with Jacob Argubright
For more information and the complete race results, visit www.nationalhareandhound.com