Beta USA’s Thorn Devlin put the skids to Kyle McDonal’s run as champion by wrapping up the 2020 SRT AMA East Hare Scrambles Championship at the eighth and final round of the series—The Hard Knox AMA National—in Greenville, Massachusetts, October 18.
Story provided by Kenny Held
The scenario was fairly simple going into the race: McDonal needed to win to have any chance of retaining the number-one plate for a third time, while Devlin pretty much needed just to finish to steal it away from McDonal. Both riders, however, said before the race that they were going to race to win.
But Ben Kelley had something to say about that. The KTM rider, Kelley, shot to the front of the pack early in the feature race and never looked back, taking the win. He had more than a 12-minute cushion on the next-best rider.
Beta-mounted riders McDonal and Devlin, long-time rivals, were running second and third, respectively, but neither would see the finish line on this day. On the sixth and second-to-last lap, Devlin had an encounter with a tree, re-injuring his shoulder and collarbone and forcing him to withdraw. Shortly thereafter, McDonal pulled out with a mechanical while running second. Despite the DNF, Devlin still managed to claim the 2020 EHS (Grand Champion) title.
With McDonal and Devlin suddenly sidelined, the door was left wide open for second place. KTM rider Jonathan McDougal, who had earlier taken the race holeshot, settled into the position and held it to the finish, while seven-time AMA National Enduro Champion Mike Lafferty quietly worked his way through the pack from the A Open-class line to take third overall, a little over a minute behind McDougal!
Sherco rider Gavin Simon and KTM pilot Matt Roberge rounded out the top five overall.
In the Women’s division, Beta’s Rachel Gutish was the overall winner and class champion for the year.
2020 Hard Knox East Hare Scrambles Overall
- Ben Kelley (KTM) AA
- Jonathan McDougal (KTM) AA
- Mike Lafferty (KTM) A-Open
- Gavin Simon (She) AA
- Matt Roberge (KTM) AA
- Brayden Nolette (KTM) A-200
- Mike Bloom (KTM) AA
- Graham Medas (Hus) AA
- Payton Preve (KTM) AA
- Cole Bain (KTM) AA