Jake Argubright finishes season with another podium finish
This last weekend was the final race of the 2011 National Hare and Hound Series. I pretty much had the #4 spot locked up, and short of Destry DNFing and me winning there was no way I could move up in the points standings. For me, this weekend was about proving that I could win one of these races, and that was my plan… well until I broke my foot.
Two weeks earlier I had broke my foot at the So Cal MC National (where I finished 4th overall). I spent a lot of time working with Jason, my trainer, to make sure that I stayed in good physical shape, while avoiding causing any further physical harm to my foot. I decided to just take it easy, and wait until 100’s weekend to actually get back on a bike.
Saturday we did another Pro Rider Ride-A-Long, and we had about 30 kids for this year’s ride! It was pretty cool to see Lacy (probably my biggest little fan) riding with me with matching graphics (we gave her a set for her CRF50 for her birthday!) We rode for a good 45 minutes or so and got to play around doing some jumps and things. Kurt was there, even though he wasn’t racing the final round, and it was cool for me to just go on a play ride with him, instead of racing with all of the stress involved.
We had fun with the kids but once it was done and we had taken the group photo, it was all down to business, and that started with a little surprise for another one of my supporters… Read below to find out just exactly what we did!
Coming into the weekend I felt good, I had a game plan, and felt like we were ready to get one more long race in us before the year was over. It also didn’t help that all I needed was a finish to lock up the District 37 Desert and District 37 Overall Championships. As the race started, I was pretty much right where I needed to be.
My line kept me out of the dust the entire way across the bomb and onto the course. I was able to settle into third as we crossed through the banners and followed Destry and Kendall onto the loop. It was a short loop, and before we knew it we were back into the pits where we grabbed a quick drink of water and got cheered on by the entire District 37 crowd. As we got into loop two, I started to settle into a grove and tried to make my first pass on Destry.
In the rocky virgin terrain, I felt like I was a little bit faster than he was. Maybe because I was willing to take the chances, but I really thought I was going to get around him. Well it didn’t go as planned, and as I got off the trail, I hit a rock and swapped out. The bike stayed lit, but it definitely slowed me down a bit as I tried to make the pass. After 40 miles, I was pretty much in third and hoped that the more technical loops would give me a chance to get to the front.
Kendal and Destry rode really well, and Kendall just sort of left us in the dust by the end of it. On loop three I could constantly see Destry as he was bout 25-30 seconds ahead. I had another race, (second in a row) where I was just in dust all day. Loop three got us on top of a big ridge for about 25 miles, and it was basically about 30 minutes of twists and turns trying to keep the bike in a high enough gear to stay on the gas.
As we came across the last valley into the pits for the final time, I just pushed to try and make up some time. By this point Des and I started to gap David Pearson, who was now a little bit over a minute behind us. Going into the fourth loop I had a really big get off, and that pretty much sealed the deal that I wasn’t going to push to catch Destry. I broke off one of my hand guards, and got my foot pretty good, so I just put it in cruise mode and rode into the finish for Third overall, and my fourth podium of the year.
I finished the year at 4th in points, behind Destry and ahead of Kendal, so I am very happy with how the season ended up. Most importantly, I sealed off both of my District 37 Championships. So with this finish, I am now the 2011 District 37 OPEN CLASS CHAMPION and the 2011 District 37 OVERALL DESERT CHAMPION, and it feels pretty good. This is my first time earning a number one plate on the Open class bike, and my KX450F was definitely one of the fastest bikes in District 37 this year.
I couldn’t have been as successful this year if it wasn’t for everyone around me all season. Ed Villanueva, my mechanic, has probably the hardest job of the team. He has to deal with all of my problems week in and out, as I destroy the bike keeping it up front. We have only had 1 mechanical failure this year, and that was because I raced the practice bike which was already tired. My parents have been a huge support as they have always done for my career. They keep the parts and gear coming, and are both by my side at the start and finish of every desert race I attend. Without them, there was no way I could win a championship (or two!) this year.
As always, Ryan Sanders has helped me with moral support, advice, and some time management to help me be where I need to and when. He helped get me into the X Games this year, and has been a strong supporter at all of the out of state events. Jerry Jones has also been there as we travel across country, and without him there is no way that Off Road Support would look as good as it does!
One person who has really stepped up to support me this year is my girlfriend Megan. She has been there for me pretty much everywhere we have gone, and her photos are some of the best out there! Enjoy the photos attached to this report, as she took them throughout the weekend.
As always a huge thanks goes out to all of my sponsors, Kawasaki of Simi Valley, Off Road Support, Answer Racing, UFO Plastics, Jett Boots, Scotts, Dunlop, Rekluse, Dirt Digits, Omega, BRP, TBT Racing, Kal-Gard, Pro Moto Billet, Fastway Performance, IMS, FMF, Photos by Grumpy, and Alliance Offroad.
Results: 1. Kendal Norman (Hon); 2. Destry Abbott (Kaw); 3. JACOB ARGUBRIGHT (KAW); 4. David Pearson (Hon); 5. David Kamo (Hon); 6. Ivan Ramirez (KTM); 7. Justin Morrow (Hon); 8. Nicholas Burson (Hsq); 9. Skyler Howles (Yam); 10. Ryan Smith (Yam)