District 37 Hare and Hound
By Ben Meza and Brendan Crow
RIDGECREST, CA, JAN. 13, 2013
In his first-ever race from the Expert row, Blais Racing’s Ben Meza won the 200cc Expert class and finished 11th overall at the District 37 Hare and Hound in Ridgecrest, California.
Race Report by Ben Meza
I woke up early on race morning and left my Apple Valley home to head out to Red Mountain for the first desert race of my season. I got out to the staging area around 8 a.m. After I signed up, I went to go put on my gear and do any final adjustments to my KTM. It took a while to start the bike, until I realized a cable was disconnected due to a tank swap-out. I finally got the bike started with the help of HBMC club member Steve Rawlinson, as well as my dad.
I headed to the start to try to find a line. I had a horrible line choice, but decided to make the best of it. When the banner dropped, I got a great start and was running in the top five when I hit a rock in the dust and was catapulted off my bike. I got back up, found my bike, and continued on my way.
I kept my pace up and slowly started to pick people off, and after the first loop I had moved up to the top 15 overall. I had a fast pit and was back out on my second lap.
The connector for the first and second loop was really fun and suited my riding style. I started picking more and more people off on the downhills, and next thing I knew, I was out of the dust and back out on the main loop. I rode smart from that point on and finished first place in my class and 11th place overall – my first race on the Expert row!
I was pretty pleased with my finish. I feel like all the hard work I put in over the off season is paying off, and I can’t wait for the rest of the 2013 season. Thanks to Blais Racing Services, ESR Suspension, Muscle Milk, TLD, Race Tech, KTM USA, Fasst Co., Dirt Tricks, BRP, my parents, and everyone who helps me out.
Blais Racing Services/ Fasst Co. rider Brendan Crow was also racing in the Expert class for the first time this weekend. Crow finished up the day in fifth place in the stacked 250cc Expert class and 22nd overall.
Race Report by Brendan Crow
Leading into the JackRabbits race, I knew my new 250cc Expert class was going to be very competitive, and that my first race in the Expert class was going to be tough. I had made some major changes to the bike beforehand and did not have any time to test them prior to running the bomb start. It made me pretty nervous! My main goals for the race were to get seat time on the bike and to get some experience riding the Expert line before racing the National Hare and Hound in a few weeks. I arrived at the start line late and had to take a line from way outside.
Not a good start! Off the line, my bike started on the first kick, and away I went! I got stuck in dust about halfway through the bomb and had to fight through dust most of the first loop.
I had never done this race before, and man, was it cold! My hands went numb on the first loop, and once they finally warmed up, I started to get hand cramps. My goggles were completely covered in dust, and I couldn’t wait to get a fresh pair.
After pitting, I tried to pick up the pace a bit and started to gain ground on the riders ahead of me. I passed many riders in the tighter, rockier stuff, and was happy to be picking up speed toward the end.
Overall, I am happy to have finished, although I did not place as well as I wanted. I have a good idea on changes that I need to make, and I plan to keep working on getting better every race.
Thanks to all the Blais Racing team sponsors for 2013: Fasst Co., KTM, ESR Suspension, Race Tech, Alpinestars, Kenda, Pro Moto Billet, Fastway, FMF, Rekluse, HBD MotoGrafx, Regina, TLD, BRP, Bullet Proof Designs, DirtTricks, Eline, IMS, No Toil, Muscle Milk, and Acerbis.
About Blais Racing
Blais Racing Services offers engine rebuilding and online parts for all your Motorcycle, ATV and UTV needs. Owned and operated by Chris Blais, former Factory KTM Dakar Rally racer, Blais Racing specializes in KTMs and Hondas but can work on anything. Chris does all of the engine work himself. For more information, please visit www.BlaisRacingServices.com.