This year’s AMA Hare & Hound National Championship Series, Presented by FMF, consists of six rounds, but Dalton Shirey, Clayton Roberts, Rachel Stout and Andrew Puckett needed only five to clinch championship titles in their respective Pro classes. Each of them won their class as the series returned from summer break at the Silver State Trail Blazers’ 12th Annual Muley Run, September 9-10.
For Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Shirey, it marked a successful defense of his 2022 Championship and third career overall crown with four wins in the five rounds to date. S.W. Roberts Construction GasGas-mounted Roberts is undefeated in Pro 250 so far in claiming his first big-bike championship, while Stout’s 2-1-1-1-1 aboard her Factory Off-Road KTM locks her into a second-straight Pro Women number-one plate.
Like Roberts, Enerlon Yamaha rider Andrew Puckett has dominated his Pro-Vet 35+ category with five victories—including the Muley Run—thus nabbing his championship.
As usual, Shirey got the holeshot on his Dunlop/FMF/Fly Racing-sponsored FX 450—a critical component at this race with its fast, dusty 27-mile first loop. Leading local favorite Axel Pearson and his Pearson Farms Yamaha by just over a minute heading out to loop two (also 27 miles), he doubled that heading out for the 26-mile final loop, with LiquiMoly Beta’s Zane Roberts closing the gap on Pearson to 34 seconds.
Knowing that he could wrap up the championship one round early didn’t distract Shirey’s approach to the race. (He clinched the 2022 title with two rounds to go.) It was business as usual for the champ, who said, “I just kept [my approach] the same because you’ve got to keep it consistent and not make it so stressful going into a championship race. It’s just another day on a dirt bike at the end of the day, and I’m just more thankful to be out here on my dirt bike, enjoying it.”
Fourth off the start behind Shirey, Johnny Campbell Racing (JCR) Honda’s Preston Campbell said, “It’s kind of the story at Panaca: Wherever you start is roughly where you’re going to finish—unless it rains, which usually happens right after the race. I need to get that start [dialed in]. That’s kind of the big thing at these, so we’ll work on that.”
Hampered by limited riding time lately due to some small injuries as he focuses on the upcoming ISDE in Argentina, Pearson and his Dynamic Dirt Suspension/Sportsman Cycles/Moose Racing YZ450F finally conceded second overall on the final loop. “I kind of noticed it—I was kind of riding sloppy and not as clean as I wish I was,” he said. “I’m just happy for third.”
Campbell rode fourth most of the afternoon, followed by LiquiMoly Beta’s Joe Wasson and Klein Off-Road Racing (KORR) KTM-mounted Carter Klein.
After chasing former series champ Jacob Argubright on the first loop, Clayton Roberts moved into seventh overall to stay, thus winning Pro 250 for the fifth time in a row aboard his Blud Lubricants/Kenda/Fast House GasGas EX 250. “I made it work with the cards I got and ended up getting it done and had a good day once I got clear,” he said.
Class runner-up Nic Colangelli chased him but was five minutes back at the finish on his 3 Bros. KTM 250 XC. Argubright and his Regulus Performance KX450 rode it in for ninth overall with Slam Life Racing (SLR) Honda’s D.J. Weber 10th overall and third Pro 250.
Puckett finished 18th overall for his fifth-straight Vet Pro 35+ win on his Simi Valley Cycles/TBT Racing/Dirt Diggers Motorcycle Club YZ450FX, while Pro Women champ Stout was less than two minutes behind him for 19th overall on her Ryno Power/100%/Fly Racing 350 XC-F.
- Dalton Shirey (Hus)
- Zane Roberts (Bet)
- Axel Pearson (Yam)
- Preston Campbell (Hon)
- Joseph Wasson (Bet)
- Carter Klein (KTM)
- Clayton Roberts (GG) Pro 250
- Nic Colangelli (KTM) Pro 250
- Jacob Argubright (Kaw)
- DJ Weber (Hon) Pro 250