Post Race Wrap-Up ~ Round 5, Sageriders MC April 9th, 2011
A very wet and snowy Round 5 is in the books! We are midway through the season and a pattern has begun to develop.
The AMA/Kenda National Hare and Hound Championship Series took to Interstate 15 as it headed north towards Jericho, Utah, and along with the Sage Riders MC, invaded the Little Sahara Sand Dunes. KTM's Kurt Caselli led wire-to-wire and despite the near blinding conditions, made it four in a row with the win to extend his points lead. Purvines Racing Honda-mounted David Pearson rode his own pace, taking over second overall at the 20-mile alternate gas pit, and cruised into the finish line at second overall desperately salvaging any points he could. Kawasaki's Destry Abbott continued his streak as the only rider to podium at all five events this year with another solid third place overall finish here at Round 5.
Kurt Caselli takes another win at the NHHA/ Sageriders National Hare & Hound. Photo by SG Photo & Design
The patterns weren't all about the pros in Utah, however, as the Woman's Pro Class saw Blais Racing Services/ KTM rider, Shayla Fulfer, take home another win at Round 5. With three in a row, Shayla is starting to develop a gap in points over Off Road Support's Sarah Kritsch, who is in second place. On the Vet Pro side, Brock Butters took the win, with Dan Capparelli and Purvines Racing's David Fry well back in the pack due to weather issues. With five races remaining, the points mix up will sure to provide a good end to the 2011 Vet Pro Championship.
Local riders played a pivotal point in Utah, especially in these weather conditions. The snow started to fall on Friday night prior to the race, and didn't let up until late in the afternoon on race day. TJ Hannifin and Shawn Strong ran up near the front during the entire race. Entering the pits at 4th and 5th place respectively, the USRA duo would leave for the second loop leaving many of the locals in their dust, or lack thereof, and make an impression on the visiting National Hare and Hound racers that would leave them wondering where they could practice for the snow. Ultimately, Hanniffin would finish in 4th overall, a position that Destry happily congratulated him on, as Argubright would slip in on Strong to finish 5th place overall. The 5th for Argubright and the point's gap from Destry at 3rd meant that the lead for the top three would be stretched that much further for the Off Road Support Kawasaki racer. Shawn Strong held on to the 6th position, and came into the finish line only seconds behind Argubright.
TJ Hannifin takes 4th Overall and is the first local Utah rider. Photo by SG Photo & Design
The ATV's made their return this year to the Sage Riders MC event. The 4-wheelers raced the first loop totaling 52 miles of snowy trails. Andy Lagzdins would win the overall and would stretch his point's lead even further. The 2010 ATV Champ, Kyle Penner, had to make a decision to not race this round late Thursday night after discovering some cracks in his ATV's frame. A handful of southern California ATV racers would make the trek north to race in snow for their first time ever. The Bosemer family of Rick, Andrea, and Rachel, would all three race their first out-of-state National and would all cross the finish line in the snow on their quads.
There are many other stories of some National racers. It was all smiles from senior racer, Jon Johnson, where after 1,500 miles of one-way driving solo, the snow was a welcomed sight as the racers entered what seemed to be an impassable road into the main pit area. Coming all the way from the beachside town of Santa Barbara, CA, Johnson struggled to cope with the fact that we were experiencing almost white-out conditions, but happily took to the start line for what he would describe as one of the most epic races of his career.
Ben Meza, 2nd 86-200 Amateur on his Blais Racing Services, Lucas Oil, ESR Suspension, Bullet Proof Designs, TLD, KTM 200. Photo by SG Photo & Design
Southern California's Curtis Newman had a drive of his own out here to Round 5. Not physically racing, but acting as a "pit dad" for nearly twenty riders who traveled north from Southern California, Newman worked in the cold to ensure that every racer was accounted for come the finish line. Stopping at one point to help fuel Destry Abbott and Jacob Argubright, Newman opened his pit to all and gladly helped many a rider make it through to the finish line.
Over ninety contingency coupons were handed out from the various series sponsors and Hole Shot Awards were given out here at Round 5, and three lucky racers will be sent a new pair of Flexx Handlebars from Fasst Co. (pending results verification). The official bars of the National Hare and Hound Series, Cole Townsend opened up his shop for an open house on Friday, and then came out to the desert with his hands full of prizes on race day. The Hole Shot winners of the B, C, and ATV row will be awarded.
Round 6 returns to the Southern California area of Johnson Valley OHV this Saturday, April 23rd, where a slew of local riders are ready for two technical loops, hosted by the District 37's Vikings MC.
Stay tuned to www.NationalHareandHound.com for more details on the series, results, sponsors and contingencies, and current points standings.
Results are also available at www.AMARacing.com
Check out you event photos at SG Photo and Design.