Down by five points to PCI Race Radios KTM rider David Kamo going into the seventh and final round of the Kenda/SRT AMA Hare & Hound National Championship Series, Presented by FMF, several scenarios presented themselves to 3 Bros./SRT Husqvarna’s Shirey.
Shirey Capture Hare & Hound Championship
They all basically boiled down to this: He needed to beat Kamo. If he could get his third win in a row (and fourth of the season) and Kamo got second at the finale, they’d both end up tied at 150 points. Shirey, however, would earn the title due to his greater number of wins—and that’s exactly how it played out at the 100s Motorcycle Club’s Fast Times at Johnson Valley National with Shirey winning, Kamo second and Off-Road Support/TBT Racing Kawasaki’s Jacob Argubright third in his final race with the number-one plate he earned last year.
Another fast start found Shirey at the front within a few miles aboard his FMF/Zip-Ty Racing/Troy Lee Designs-sponsored FX 450. After that, no one could touch him.
Crediting the training program that Troy McIntosh (whom the late Kurt Caselli employed as his trainer) designed to have him peak at the finale, Shirey was full of confidence once he got his pre-race nerves out of the way.
“Once I got riding, everything was normal; I was able to just ride,” he said. “I can’t ride and think about something else at the same time.”
For Kamo, the third time wasn’t the charm. He’d led in points going into the finale twice before and, unfortunately for him, fortune followed the same script as before.
Despite the situation, the veteran insisted he didn’t change the way he approached the race: “I’ve done enough of them where I wasn’t nervous at all—it wasn’t any different for me. It’s not really my job. I just do it because I love racing. I think that makes it a lot easier for me because when I was a factory rider, then there was a lot more pressure.”
Down as far as sixth, Kamo roared back on the more technical 35.5-mile second loop aboard his Kamo Realty/Kurt Caselli Foundation/Fly Racing 450 XC-F to snag second just 14 seconds behind Shirey’s time of two hours, five minutes and 56 seconds. Kamo said, “One more loop or another 20 miles and I would’ve got him on that.”
After an injury forced him to miss two races, Argubright had little hope of keeping the number-one plate on his Kawasaki Team Green/Galfer/Fly Racing KX450. But he did hope to keep his streak of podium appearances (dating back two years now) intact and nailing an excellent start contributed to that end.
“[My year] just wasn’t as amazing as last year—it was just average,” he said. “I still learned a lot. I was a little too comfortable after winning the title last year—not that I didn’t work hard; I was too comfortable. It kind of reignited the fire a little bit.”
Argubright ended up fifth in final points with 114.
Beta’s Joe Wasson and Zane Roberts finished fourth and sixth, with Johnny Campbell Racing (JCR) Honda rider Preston Campbell splitting them in fifth despite a horrendous crash. Wasson took third in points at 127 with Roberts right behind in fourth at 122; Campbell was sixth with 109.
Beta’s Chance Fullerton returned to the desert for the first time this season and earned seventh after being second at the end of the first loop. 3 Bros./SRT Husqvarna rider Ryan Smith finished eighth with Beta-supported Cole Conatser and MotoXperts Sherco pilot Corbin Eatherton rounding out the top 10 overall.
This made for Conatser’s sixth triumph in Pro 250.
Pro Women saw Beta’s Morgan Tanke in the middle of the podium though she trailed through the 39.5-mile first loop, coming into her own on the second loop and finishing an outstanding 16th overall. Interestingly, it was her third race of the weekend, having ridden the first two rounds of the AMA EnduroCross Series on Friday and Saturday.
However, Elite Off-Road Husqvarna’s Britney Gallegos took the class championship and the biggest chunk of the Elegant Cabinetry $4000 class bonus by finishing third. Stout Racing KTM’s Rachel Stout led by a couple of minutes at the end of the first loop and found herself off the trail and stuck at one point. Who came to her rescue? Gallegos was the one who stopped, scrambled down to the stuck Stout, and helped get her back on course.
Kenda/SRT AMA Hare & Hound National Championship Series, Presented by FMF
100s Motorcycle Club’s Fast Times
Lucerne Valley, California
RESULTS (October 25, 2020)