2020 Mint 400 Results. 3 Bros./SRT Husqvarna’s Dalton Shirey added his name to the prestigious list of motorcycle winners with a convincing victory at the BF Goodrich Mint 400, March 6-7, which served as round three of the Kenda/SRT AMA Hare & Hound National Championship Series, Presented by FMF. He completed two laps of the 80-mile course in Primm, Nevada, in three hours, nine minutes and 40 seconds aboard his FMF/GPR Stabilizers/Troy Lee Designs-backed FX 450, beating runner-up David Kamo by 42 seconds. The Slam Life Racing (SLR) Honda rider was, in turn, 1:11 ahead of Beta’s Zane Roberts. Points-wise, Shirey moves to the top of the heap over previous leader Roberts, 65-60, with Kamo third at 55.
In only the second year of motorcycles returning to the famed Mint (last year, it ran as part of Best in the Desert’s team-oriented series), many looked forward to taking part in what’s probably the most historically notable off-road event in the U.S., from the hoopla of tech and contingency in downtown Las Vegas to the actual race.
But how would a hare & hound fit into what’s traditionally a team event?
For starters, it was pared down distance-wise though at 160 miles (an 80-mile loop done twice for most bike entrants), it still was nearly twice as long as the usual hare & hound. (Several of the C and older age-group classes would do only one lap while those entered in the non-points-paying team classes were to do three laps—until Mint officials—not the NHHA—decided at the last minute to cut that to two laps, reportedly due to a scheduling issue since they didn’t want bikes still on course when the UTV race got underway.)
Off the start in the back of the Buffalo Bill’s Resort and Casino, 3 Bros./SRT Husqvarna’s Ryan Smith got the best jump off the line, but teammate Shirey quickly got around him and led for miles, though Kamo snuck by as they finished the first lap.
“I kind of rode my own race for a long time, but I came into the main pit [at the end of the first lap] and I think Davey Kamo was speeding [coming] in the pits,” Shirey said.
Officially, that gave Kamo the lead at the end of the lap as they went through the scoring chute, but Shirey wasted no time in re-passing his rival: “This course, the first few corners is just like a normal WORCS or GP course so I just freaking turned into moto [mode] and laid down a couple good corners and got right back around him and just took off back out [into] the desert.”
Shirey kept Kamo at bay after that over the mostly fast course with Baja winner Kamo noting, “I knew the Honda was the right choice for this race (he’d ridden the first two rounds on his KTM) because this was more of a Baja setup and style [race]. It belongs here and in Baja—it’s perfect for it!”
In fact, the Monster Energy/Lava Propane/Skechers CRF450X was the same bike he’d ridden with the SLR Honda crew in winning the Baja 1000 in November.
For Roberts and his Motul/Kenda/Klim 430 RR, a mediocre start left him with some ground to make up, which he did in a hurry, making it up to third place by the first pit 24 miles in.
“Things kind of bunched up when we got back here [to the main pit] to the speed zone because there was a little confusion there on when that started or what speed we were supposed to be going so that kind of bunched things up again. I got a little angry from that and was able to get back out in that second [lap] and kind of get a gap,” Roberts shared.
Finishing 1:05 behind him was Beta teammate Joe Wasson who reportedly had one huge moment that caused him to rethink his pacing strategy, while fifth went to SLR Honda rider Jack Simpson, a guest recruit from Australia. After moving up to third early on, he confessed, “I really struggled with navigating the track—overshooting turns and getting lost.
“It’s completely different to what we race at home.”
Smith held on for sixth followed by Garrett Off-road Racing Husqvarna’s Skyler Howes, Johnny Campbell Racing (JCR) Honda’s Preston Campbell, Pearson Farms Racing KTM rider Axel Pearson and Champion Adventures Honda CRF450L-mounted Nic Garvin.
JCR Honda’s Kendall Norman—last year’s co-winner with Ricky Brabec (who was out of the country) claimed 11th in his first H&H finish since round two last year.
Beta support rider Cole Conatser made it three in a row in Pro 250, finishing 13th overall by 5:29 over Let’s Ride Gas Gas-mounted Tayson Weeks and Garrett Off-road Racing Husqvarna’s Corbin McPherson.
Pro Women saw JCR Honda’s Tarah Gieger also take her third consecutive triumph, Stout Racing KTM’s Rachel Stout second and Beta’s Morgan Tanke third.
2020 Kenda/SRT AMA National Hare & Hound Championship
RESULTS: March 6-7, 2020