Garvin Tops Best In The Desert Parker 250
Photos by Mark Kariya
Having led early and finished the first loop running second at the Lone Star National two weeks ago, Nic Garvin tasted what it felt like to run at the front and he liked it.
However, bike issues prevented him from staying there and he had to settle for seventh at the race serving as round two of the AMA Hare & Hound National Championship Series, Presented by FMF.
Understandably disappointed, he vowed to do better, and he got that opportunity at the Tensor Tire Parker 250, the opening round of Best in the Desert’s American Off-road Racing Series and round one of the Maxxis Triple Crown series-within-a-series worth $8000 to the winner, February 20-21.
Opting to tackle all four 60-mile laps without a partner, he hunted down those who’d started ahead and grabbed the physical lead on the final lap, holding on for his career-first major Pro victory in the Open (premier) class in four hours, 31 minutes, 54.85 seconds.
“This is huge for me,” the STI Tires Honda racer said. “To be honest with you, I feel like two weeks ago I let it get away from me and I tasted that win. Today, I wasn’t going to let that happen.”
Having drawn the fourth start, he had to be patient on the opening lap and took no chances going up the high-speed sand wash paralleling Shea Road while coping with the dust, made worse by the rising sun, created by a pair of 3 Bros. KTMs piloted by Evan Kelly and Trevor Hunter who’d started in the row ahead.
By lap two, Garvin and his fresh City Service Paving/Champion Adventures/Parts Unlimited-backed CRF450X had only Kelly’s partner Nic Colangelli on number-N2 ahead of him.
As they pitted for the last time, though, Garvin took over.
“I got the physical lead in the pits!” he said. “Our pit strategy worked out really, really well. Having Colton [Udall, of Champion Adventures] is one of the biggest assets to me. I’m learning still but learning that logistics are just as important as speed—where to push and where to not push. I knew if we were going to win today, it was going to be in the pits.”
Coincidentally, the man who beat Garvin in Texas came on strong at the end. Having drawn the seventh start, Beta’s Joe Wasson fought dust much of the way astride his Kenda/Motul/Fly Racing 480 RR, ultimately making up enough ground to claim second in 4:34:16.34.
“It was a really good day,” he said. “It started out really tough, though—dust was so thick at first!
“Finally, on the last lap I had clear air most of the way, so I was able to really put the hammer down and try to close some gaps.
“The other thing, too, was I was trying to save my tire,” Garvin added. “I didn’t know how long it was going to last. I remember at the Silver State 300 last year, it was next to being a slick at the end, so I was really trying to be mellow on the throttle and not try to spin that off.”
None of the top finishers took the time to change wheels during the race, Garvin said.
For the Colangelli/Kelly duo and their DT Racing/FMF/Dunlop 450 SX-F, they managed to lead most of the race despite a mousse issue, as well as suspension woes that plagued them throughout the day, along with a crash.
Despite their problems, they managed to hold on for third in 4:36:24.84.
Wasson’s Beta teammate Zane Roberts also soloed and took fourth in 4:37:39.59 on his HBD Graphics/Renegade Race Fuels/Klim 480 RR while defending series champs Hayden Hintz/Trevor Hunter salvaged fifth in 4:39:42.01 on their 3 Bros./Kilmartin Racing/Pro Circuit 450 XC-F.
Hintz said, “We had bike problems, but we’re in one piece so we’re good. Both brakes actually went out, and like everyone, rear tires are going bald, and we took the chance by not changing the rear tire.”
3 Bros./DT Racing KTM-mounted Jeremy Newton/Jeff Trulove, Over 30 Pro winners Bryce Stavron/Kyle Tichenor (P.B. Brown KTM 450 XC-F), 399cc Pro winners Wyatt Brittner/Taylor Stevens (Stevens Off-road Racing Husqvarna FX 350), Ironman Pro winner Zach Myers (Flo Motorsports KTM 450 XC-F) and Ironman Pro runner-up Jarrett Curley (Team 51Fifty Honda CRF450L) rounded out the top 10 overall.
- Nic Garvin (Hon)
- Joseph Wasson (Bet)
- Nic Colangeli (KTM)
- Zane Roberts (Bet)
- Hayden Hintz/Trevor Hunter (KTM)
- Jeff Trulove/Jeremy Newton (KTM)
- Bryce Stavron/Kyle Tichenor (KTM)
- Taylor Stevens/Wyatt Brittner (Hus)
- Zach Myers (KTM)
- Jarrett Curley (Hon)