2021 Rabbit Creek 100 Hare & Hound Results. Though he lives in Arizona now, Joe Wasson grew up in Idaho and has many fond memories of the Gem State. One of those memories is, of course, racing-related and that’s where he nailed his first career overall triumph by taking the Rabbit Creek 100, hosted by Dirt Inc., in Murphy, Idaho, March 27.
In fact, Beta factory rider Wasson claimed that milestone two years ago at the race (which wasn’t held last year due to the pandemic), so he looked forward to adding another to his resume at this year’s event which served as round three of the AMA Hare & Hound National Championship Series, Presented by FMF.
In the end, Wasson managed to eke out the win by 22 seconds over teammate Zane Roberts with Slam Life Racing (SLR) Honda’s Justin Morgan getting on the box for only the second time in his career with a solid third place.
After an excellent start, Wasson and Roberts immediately established themselves at the front aboard their Motul/Kenda/FMF-backed 480 RRs. Nevada’s Blayde Jones was next in line on his Let’s Ride KTM followed by Morgan, Johnny Campbell Racing (JCR) Honda’s Preston Campbell, Off-Road Support/TBT Racing Kawasaki-mounted Jacob Argubright and the rest of the record-breaking field. The weekend’s total rider count was 435, the most for an Idaho National.
The Beta duo remained in front the rest of the race, which consisted of three separate loops, approximately 35, 34 and 26 miles long, and giving riders the usual tour of the area’s sand washes, rocky gullies, single-track through the nearby foothills and plenty of sage brush. However, Roberts led most of the way aboard his IMS/HBD/Klim 480, Wasson always lurking a few seconds behind on his similar Motion Pro/Seat Concepts/Fly Racing 480.
“That was the first good start I’ve ever had in a hare and hound, so I was taking it and trying to run, and he was coming, so I think that’s how we got a pretty good-sized gap on everyone there right off the bat,” Roberts said. “The start was definitely huge today due to the dust.”
“Joe’s a competitor,” Roberts added. “I know he’s going to be there the whole time so that was kind of what I was ready for, and I knew it was probably going to come down to the last 20-ish miles when the real push started happening. It’s hard to lead at the end there when you’re trying to follow ribbon and figure out where the course goes.”
And indeed, that’s how it played out.
Wasson said, “I couldn’t really get around him in a lot of the spots. The dust was so thick that as soon as I’d get really close to him, it would just blow up silt pockets and just made it really dangerous so I kind of held back.”
On the fast-paced third loop, Wasson finally saw his opportunity. “It was a pretty good little battle,” he said. “We kind of jumped out of a sand wash side by side and went through some whoops and there’s a couple little ditches with some cows nearby. I never let off and he did, and I was able to get past him right there.”
Wasson took the checkered flag two hours, 26 minutes and 18 seconds after the banner dropped with Roberts second for the second consecutive round with a time of 2:26:40. That added another five points to Wasson’s tally, giving him 85 to the 71 of Roberts. Morgan’s third place moves him to third in points at 51, one ahead of Campbell.
“I’m very happy [with third today],” Morgan said. The Monster Energy/Skechers/Fly Racing CRF450X rider said, “I finally got a decent start—I’m usually really bad at starts so I’m starting to work on them and Bobby [Youngs, of San Diego Powerhouse] has got the bike running really well. I managed to hold it together and get by Jones and then keep a solid pace. There was a freight train of really good guys behind me.
“I’m just really happy to get on the podium,” Morgan said. “It feels good to come here out of my element and prove that I could do it.”
Morgan’s previous podium was a few years ago at the Road Runner National outside of El Centro, California—his home turf.
Morgan’s final time was 2:30:58, giving him a slender 11 seconds over Argubright, the 2019 series champ satisfied with his ride after concentrating on learning the art of rally raid lately. Campbell was another 29 seconds back for fifth place followed by PCI Race Radios KTM local hero David Kamo, Pro 250 winner Clayton Gerstner, Beta’s Cole Conatser (the Pro 250 runner-up), Carter Klein (third Pro 250 and his first National Pro podium) and JS Buchanan Trucking/Chidester Transport Yamaha’s Jim Herrero.
The Pro Women saw current class champ Britney Gallegos in another torrid battle, though she came out on top for the second consecutive round to stretch her points lead over third-place Morgan Tanke-Colon and runner-up Rachel Stout, 85-72-71. CN
By Mark Kariya
2021 AMA Hare & Hound National Championship Series, presented by FMF
Rabbit Creek 100
RESULTS (March 27, 2021)
||(Hus) Pro 250
||Cole Conatser (Bet)
||(KTM) Pro 250
Click here for complete Rabbit Creek 100 Results.