photos by Mark Kariya
It’s Thursday morning, and I am finally sitting down to write my race report from the 100’s National this past weekend. It has taken me till Thursday, mainly because we have just been swamped since the race ended. My dad is actually in the club (the 100’s) and I stayed late Sunday night to help my parents clean up and get organized after the race.
This was the last round of the 2012 series, and I knew that there was a points battle for the championship. My game plan was going to be- ride my own race, and just see where I end up. I really didn’t want to get in the middle of one person or another winning the championship, but I also wanted to do my best to represent my sponsors and my friends.
I woke up early Sunday morning, and my dad helped me get my bike to the line. We were only allowed to walk the start, so I dropped the bike off, and came back to the motorhome to relax. My girlfriend Megan (who had already won the Woman’s “C” championship) decided to race last minute, so the two of us got prepared mentally for the race.
When the banner dropped, my bike started and I was off in one kick. We have been working hard this year to develop a motor that is strong enough to run upfront, and it’s a good thing we have been doing so! Unfortunately at this point, the bikes really need to be at their best to run with Dave and Kurt upfront at their pace. Luckily, my dad and mechanic Ed have built a motor that I am confident can compete with any of those bikes.
After the bomb I was running about 4th overall and I hit a bush in the dust. I didn’t really get off the bike, but it was definitely a “Flying W” for everyone behind me to see. (Last night I actually saw it on the video that Beau Cottington put together, you can watch it here: www.vimeo.com/52410873 ) I backed off for a short second, and had to really push to keep in time with the leaders.
At the end of the first 20 mile loop, I was 4th overall about 10 seconds back of David Pearson. Kurt was out front, and David Kamo was having his best ride of the year. Loop two was a bit faster, and also 20 miles, and I basically stayed in the same place overall. I knew that the last loop would be a bit more technical, and that is where I excel the most.
Going out on loop two, I was unaware of the incident, but David Pearson had actually received a penalty in the pits and would be docked 5 minutes at the finish. I pushed forward, and just made it my goal to finish on the podium, getting as close to the leader as possible. Around the 10-mile mark I caught and passed David Kamo. He was having brake issues, and let me by once I caught him in the tight stuff.
For the rest of the race I just pushed at a fast enough pace to avoid being caught, while working towards David and Kurt up front. There was a really big downhill midway through the loop, and as I got to the bottom of the hill, I could see some dust across the valley. This gave me a sense of how far out the leaders were, and I knew that I could make up some time before the finish.
After coming through the last check, I saw my friends Ryan Sanders and Brandon Merbach from the 100’s and knew we were near the end. They cheered me on, and I rode the last couple miles into the finish. Physically I finished the race 3rd, but after David’s penalty I was scored at 2nd overall. This was my fifth podium of the year out of the 6 NHHA events that I competed in since my collar bone injury. My second time finishing 2nd on the year, at one of the best races of the year because so many people were cheering for me along the way.
When I finished, I spent about 20 minutes with George Antill on the podium, ate a sandwich, and got ready to go help clean the course. Brandon, myself, Ryan, and a couple others went out to sweep the second loop and pull all of the ribbon and stakes from the course. We were out for about 2 hours, and the 5 of us finished about 25 miles of the course. I actually miss being involved with this stuff, so it was fun to be back out there helping after the race was over. How many people can say they finished 2nd overall at a National Hare and Hound, then stuck around to help clean the course?
I want to thank the 100’s MC, the NHHA, and District 37 for hosting such an awesome event. Seeing how much time my dad and Ryan put into this event, I know that the club worked their hardest to have one of the best events of the year.
This race was the perfect end to the season, and I was really happy to come away on the podium, and I will take 2nd overall all day long. It was a bummer to see Dave get penalized, but he broke a pit rule, so I think that both he and the club handled the situation well. I would have liked to see the championship go to a green bike, but I guess we will just have to wait for me to do it next year!
Kurt rode great all year, and even though he got hurt midway through the season, he didn’t miss a step and finished the year right where he left off. Congrats to Kurt for his second National Hare and Hound Championship, hopefully I can give him a good challenge for it next year!
The support that I received from all of my sponsors this year was just outstanding. Everyone was on board all year long, and there wasn’t one event that I attended unprepared. Ron Purvines has been a big help this year, and I was proud to get Purvines Racing on the podium at the final round. In addition to me, my teammate Justin Morrow finished the year out at 3rd overall and really rode consistently all season long. Nick Burson, who I have battled with for years, also rode great at the end of the season and finished 5th overall at the final round. He is riding the fastest that he has ever gone lately, and he will be a tough competitor next year.
I need to give a shout out to my friend Blake Guyse who finished his first ever 2-loop race this weekend. After winning the D37 mini championship, he came out on the 125 and actually overcalled the “C” line here at 100’s! He is going to be an expert before we know it, and I look forward to seeing him rail from the front row at a National!
There is really nothing I can say to describe the help I received this year from everyone! It’s been a long year and as always, I couldn’t do it without the sponsors who continue to support me week-in and week-out: Monster Energy Kawasaki, Purvines Racing, Kawasaki of Simi Valley, Off-Road Support, Moose Racing, Fasst Co. Flexx Handlebars, Jett Boots, FMF, 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 plans for 2013 are coming together nicely. We have a few sponsors on board, and it looks like I am going to have a teammate that will really help me run up front at the Best in the Desert and other team events. I can’t say who yet, but I can say that it looks like the two of us will be back on green bikes racing Hare and Hounds, WORCS, BITD, EnduroCross, and the new GET-X-TREAM racing series.
If you want to be a team sponsor next season, we would love to have you. Please contact me at email@example.com and I will fill you in on the team structure and our 2013 plans.
I have two events left this year, the Ensinore Grand Prix, and the final round of the EnduroCross series in Vegas. After those, by dad and I are going to test out our new Rally Bike at the LA Barstow to Vegas Dual Sport ride. We have been working on a KLX Rally Edition all year long, and I am excited to show it off and start to get some time on it!
Thanks again for everyone’s support this year, and I hope to see you in Vegas or Elsinore!