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Race Report from the NHHA Series Round One, Take Four: Ben Meza

| 6 February 2015 10:39 am

NHHA National Hare and Hound Association Series
Round 1: Desert MC H&H at Johnson Valley OHV

By Ben Meza
Photo by Mark Kariya
Courtesy of Blais Racing Services
LUCERNE VALLEY, CA, JAN. 25, 2015

Race Report by Ben Meza, Third Place 250cc Pro, 13th Overall
It was finally time for round one of the NHHA National Hare and Hound Series! I was extremely excited to get to race my 2015 KTM 250. During the off season, Chris Blais and I spent a lot of time testing the motor to make sure he built the best machine possible. I knew my machine was more than ready for the challenge; the rest was all up to me.

This wouldn’t be my first race of the season, having raced the So Cal MC Adelanto Grand Prix. I was going to do this race with a positive attitude and with the mindset to win. I would be racing the brand-new FMF 250cc Pro class.

Ben Meza overcame adversity to finish on the podium at the opening NHHA round of the season.

Ben Meza overcame adversity to finish on the podium at the opening NHHA round of the season.

Sunday morning, I went out to check out the bomb run. I did a couple runs up and down; it was really sketchy – no real lines, and some deep whoops at the end. It was a long bomb run, about three miles long, so I knew I had to get my Blais Racing 250 powered up fast. After selecting a line on the far right side, I hitched a ride back to camp to get myself prepped for the race ahead.

As I got back to my line, nerves started to set in. I tried to get it out of my head and just focus on getting a good start. As I sat on the line, staring at the banner, I knew before long I’d be pinned down the start straight, neck and neck with 100 other Experts. With the faintest twitch of the banner, I ignited my Blais Racing motor and grabbed a handful of throttle, exploding off the line, thanks to my Kenda rear tire!

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About 20 feet off the line, another rider came into view and rammed into the side of my bike. I felt his handlebar on my leg and then I cut right to avoid a complete collision. I kept my bike pinned the rest of the way down the bomb run, cutting right to stay out of the dust. Unfortunately, I cut too far right and had to swing way left at the end of the bomb run, losing multiple positions. By the end of the bomb run, I was sitting in the top 20 – not as good as I wanted at all.

I tried to put on a push for the first loop, but abdominal pain held me back. As hard as I was trying to focus, the pain was a great distraction and would not allow me to ride at my full potential. I stayed at a quick pace but wasn’t really able to push much. I came into the pit after the first lap sitting 20th overall.

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Although the pain was still there, I knew I had to push hard in order to start my year off on a good note. I mentally blocked out the pain and for the first time all day I was able to actually ride like I know how to.

The second loop worked to my riding style and I was able to get by six riders. I continued to push myself all the way to the finish, placing my Blais Racing KTM on the Pro 250cc podium in third place!

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As soon as I finished, my body was toast. I couldn’t really hold myself up. The pain in my side was excruciating. My dad and girlfriend were at the finish, waiting for me, along with my team owner, Chris Blais. The looks on their faces made it all worth it. They knew I gave it my all on the second loop, which gave me a good feeling.

Third place isn’t where we wanted to be, but I’m happy I got myself up on the podium for the first round! We’ve got a long year ahead of us, but I know I have the best team behind me, and I’m positive Chris built me the best 250cc motor out there!

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I can’t thank my 2015 sponsors enough for getting me to every round: Blais Racing Services, Fasst Co., Troy Lee Designs, Race Tech, ESR Suspension, Leatt, KTM USA, Dirt Tricks, Bullet Proof Designs, Maxi Lube, Bullet Proof Designs, IMS, BRP, A’ME, Alpinestars, Rekluse, Kenda, Pro Moto Billet, Scott Goggles, DVS, No Toil, Samco, Hot Rods, Vertex, FMF, RMOR FX, Asterisk, C5ive Productions, the Lord, my club HBMC, my parents, and my girlfriend for her endless support of what I do.

[For more from this event, please see “Race Report from the NHHA Series Round One, Take One: Patty Blais” and “Race Report from the NHHA Series Round One, Take Two: Harry Lyles” and “Race Report from the NHHA Series Round One, Take Three: Brendan Crow” and also watch for another Race Report from this event to be posted soon on Today’s Cycle Coverage… Editor]

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Category: Hare and Hound, National, POV, Regional, Riders, Riders All, Riders' POV, Riders' Race Reports

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