Dalton Shirey continued his march toward what he hopes will culminate in a championship by dominating the sixth of seven rounds in the Kenda/SRT AMA Hare & Hound National Championship Series, Presented by FMF, October 10-11.
Story and Photos by Mark Kariya
The 3 Bros./SRT Husqvarna star got another of his lightning starts at the Welcome to Hell 100, hosted by the Rimbenders Motorcycle Club, and spent the rest of the 101 miles pulling away from the field with points leader David Kamo and defending series champ Jacob Argubright once again rounding out the podium in second and third, respectively.
PCI Race Radios/Kamo Realty KTM’s Kamo lost a little ground but remains the points leader over Shirey, 130-125.
However, Shirey is actually well positioned to take the championship. Essentially, he simply needs to beat Kamo at the finale. Were they to repeat their 1-2 at the final round in two weeks (which would be an astounding three times in a row), they’d each have 155 points with Shirey claiming the championship due to greater number of wins.
Shirey’s third triumph of the season appeared to be his most effortless yet and made up for last year’s Rimbenders point-to-point race when he broke a chain while leading. This year’s more traditional loop event (61miles for the first loop and 40 for the second) presented plenty of high-speed sections but also included flowy sand washes, tricky side hills and rocky descents.
Shirey took it all in stride aboard his Zip-Ty Racing/FMF/Troy Lee Designs-backed FX 450. “I’m back on my [training] program and it’s showing,” he explained. Beyond that, he acknowledged emphasizing his starts—a critical part of desert racing as it’s far easier to go fast when you’ve got clean air.
“At these hare and hounds, every time I come to the start, I walk the bomb like crazy just to really have the image in my head because I don’t want to go out in the desert and take unnecessary risks,” he said.
Kamo actually got a great start on his Kurt Caselli Foundation/Motorex/Fly Racing 450 XC-F and tucked in behind Shirey after the bomb, but lost touch in the first miles as they raced down a two-track road littered with a few tricky G-outs and ditches.
“I stayed with him across some of the ditch crossings, but he jumped one of them and I’m like, ‘Aww, I’m not jumping that—there’s no way!’ The first one I jumped with him. The second one, he was already on it and he couldn’t shut off [safely] so he went for it and barely made it,” Kamo said. “I know he runs quite a bit stiffer suspension so I had to back off. I know what I can and can’t do. I know I just had to be consistent today and not make any mistakes and try to save everything for the last round.”
Kamo finished four minutes and 15 seconds after Shirey’s winning 2:19:32.
Off-road Support/TBT Racing Kawasaki rider Argubright also enjoyed a good start and though he flirted with Kamo’s dust cloud, he found himself unable to push his Maxima/Galfer/Fly Racing KX450 much farther forward and held third the whole time.
“The competition’s stepped up [this year],” he noted. “Kamo and Dalton are riding really good, super-good. After my third-place start, honest to God it was the most uneventful race ever. I just couldn’t catch [Kamo] and rode by myself all day. I saw Preston [Campbell] back there and I just managed that.”
Indeed, Johnny Campbell Racing (JCR) Honda’s Campbell continued his recent run of ever stronger rides in his rookie season as an Open Pro aboard his Pro Circuit/Renthal/Fly Racing CRF450X. His fourth place takes him to a tie for fourth in points with Argubright at 93.
Beta’s Joe Wasson and Zane Roberts finished fifth and sixth on their 430 RRs; they’re third and fourth in points at 109 and 107, respectively.
Pearson Farms Racing KTM’s Axel Pearson, Precision Concepts Yamaha rider Damon Woolslayer and MX Trophy Kawasaki-mounted Brody Honea were next in line followed by Beta’s Cole Conatser who wrapped up the Pro 250cc championship with his fifth win of a most successful season, finishing 10th overall.
Also noteworthy, Full Factory Off-road KTM’s Rachel Stout notched her career-first victory in Pro Women and finished 22nd overall with Elite Offroad Husqvarna-mounted Britney Gallegos second and Beta’s Morgan Tanke third.
2020 Hare & Hound Lovelock Overall
1. Dalton Shirey (Hus)
2. David Kamo (KTM)
3. Jacob Argubright (Kaw)
4. Preston Campbell (Hon)
5. Joseph Wasson (Bet)
6. Zane Roberts (Bet)
7. Axel Pearson (KTM)
8. Daemon Woolslayer (Yam)
9. Brody Honea (Kaw)
10. Cole Conatser (Bet)