Idaho is always one of my favorite races of the year. When they cancelled round three it opened the door for me to return to the Hare and Hound Series only missing 2 events. My goal was to be on the podium, maybe even the top of the podium, so I basically camped out (At Justin Cole from Pro Moto Billet’s house) all week in Idaho! It was nice to be there early, and just get acclimated to the weather, and dirt conditions. I probably did about 100 miles of Idaho riding before the race event started!
On Thursday Justin and I got a chance to do some fun riding at his local ride spot, the dirt was perfect because it had sprinkled the night before. I can honestly say that Idaho is on my top list for riding spots it’s really incredible when you get into the canyons and you can rail the corners.
Friday-I went out to the race location to get a feel for everything and find a parking spot for the Offroad Support Truck. I met up with my dad and Jerry then we decided to go look at the bomb and find the hot line. No one knew but when we were driving over there apparently was an unmarked gorge, which we almost drove into, but thankfully didn’t! The bomb was covered in sage brush there were no lines at all so I decided that scouting out the area really well, and being able to go fast through the brush would be more valuable then making a perfect line.
Saturday-I woke up early and headed out once more to the bomb to take some time making a line and looking at the area again. The bomb was at least a mile and it took me a while to walk it all. When I got done my dad and I headed over to the Dan Weibol Ford Dealership in Nampa.
The dealership was really packed we started signing autographs at 2:00 and didn’t stop till 5:00! It was fun to hangout with all my Purvines Racing teammates. We left at around 6:00 with the Purvines Racing team and had dinner at Olive Garden.
Sunday-I woke up at 5:30 and I had some McDonalds Oatmeal and headed over to the alternate pit area to ride because we weren’t allowed to ride where the pits were. Everything was working great I rode with Justin Morrow and we did some practice starts and some goon riding. I was satisfied with everything so I went over to the pits to start getting ready. My friend Adrian and I went over to the bomb to make some final adjustments to my line and put my bike over there to hold my spot.
After the riders meeting I headed over to the starting line at 10:30 and I wasn’t too nervous at all. I didn’t feel I had any pressure because I haven’t finished a national this year so it was just a chance to go out and prove that I can run up front. When the banner went up I started to feel the nerves like I normally do (everything turns funny colors). This race I decided to start in neutral and not take any chances, which worked out for me in the end because I had a first kick start, and got a good jump over everyone. Once again I played it safe on the start because there were bushes everywhere and they were kicking me around all over the place. At the end of the bomb I was around 15th and the trail went into a ravine where we rode single file. I was behind my teammate Nick Burson, and he took a sweet line out of the ravine where I followed and we passed pretty much everyone into the top 5 positions. I got around Nick and I was feeling comfortable enough to start pushing.
I made a charge and caught up to Justin Morrow who was 3rd at that point. I followed him for a while and was saving my energy for an opportunity to make a pass. We got into some really fun sand washes that were wet which made for some fun racing.
In a sand wash we started going up some waterfalls and as I was wheeling up them I made a mistake and hit my rear brake lever. I bent it so it couldn’t be pressed down which completely took away my rear brake. I was really mad at that point I wanted a solid race with a solid finish so I wasn’t going to let that stop me. I was blowing turns now but I was still keeping a good pace. I got to the alternate pit where my dad fueled me up and I kept on going. I had to slow down because after blowing so many turns I couldn’t handle almost crashing each time.
I slowly dropped down back at that point, and I was just looking for the pits to anxiously get a new brake lever and make up positions. I got into a tight rocky canyon and missed a turn where I couldn’t stop in time and crashed in a pile of rocks. I was okay but my bike wasn’t, I broke the bottom fork tube and oil went everywhere!
There was nothing I could do except limp it to the next check. I was upset when it happened but I realized it was a fluke thing and that there was nothing I could do but move on.
This is not my best year so far, but the year is still early. I’m healthy now and happy to have lots more racing to come. A big thanks goes out to my crew: my dad, Jerry, Eddie, Adrian, Megan and my mom.
Also and even bigger thanks to my sponsors: Monster Energy Kawasaki, Purvines Racing, Kawasaki of Simi Valley, Off Road Support, Moose Racing, Jett Boots, Oakley, Braking, Matrix Concepts, Maxima Oil, Mechanix Wear, Traxxas, Motion Pro, Uni Filters, Dunlop, Trick Racing, Rekluse, Dirt Digits, Omega, BRP, TBT Racing, Pro Moto Billet, Fastway Performance, IMS, and Photos by Grumpy
My next race is this coming weekend in 29 Palms for the third round of the Big Six Grand Prix Series.