Kenda/SRT NHHA National Hare and Hound Association Championship Series
Round 7: Silver State Trail Blazers’ Purvines Racing Muley Run
Courtesy of the National Hare and Hound Association
Photos by Grumpy and Mark Kariya
PANACA, NV, AUG. 22, 2014
The Silver State Trail Blazers round of the Kenda/ SRT National Hare and Hound Association Championship Series is always a “racer favorite” of the season, and this year the Purvines Racing Muley Run had more than 100 miles of premium Nevada desert lined up for the weekend. The weather, however, had different plans, as there was no precipitation in sight, but there were nearly 100-degree temperatures leading up to the event.
The event really started on Friday with the traditional Spaghetti Dinner, which benefits the Lincoln County Girls’ Soft Ball Team. There was also the Pro autograph-signing session, and as always, it was a big hit!
Saturday morning came very early, because with just the single day of racing scheduled, the first race was lined up for a 7 a.m. start!
The fastest Youth racers in the desert awaited the banner drop. The Supermini, Mini and Junior Mini riders were all on row one; the Micro Mini riders and the Girls were all on row two. After the minute’s silence, the racers were off!
Local racer Brett Aguilera got the jump on the rest of the field and was the first of the 90cc-and-Up Youth entrants on the course for round seven. However, he wasn’t able to hold off the advances of the faster Supermini pilots, and he would take 10th on the day – his best finish to date.
Blais Racing’s Braydon Bland took control of race one and never looked back, pulling a gap of 4 ½ minutes by the finish. His win this weekend brings him that much closer to earning his first National Championship. It will all come down to the final round, because Barnes Construction and Electric-backed Burke Barnes finished a solid second and is still within seven points of taking the title himself! Thousand Oaks Powersports’ Collin Elliot rounded out the podium after a race-long battle with Barnes, Hayden Hintz and Nick Colangeli.
The Mini 85cc class had a big shake-up halfway through the race. T.O. Powersports-backed Mason Matthies led half the event, running as high as 15th overall, until his bike just let go. This handed the battle over to local racers Max Thurlow and Heston Wood.
Those two then went back and forth all the way to the finish, with Wood taking the win by a mere eight seconds over Thurlow. So Cal MC’s Mason Klein rounded out the top three.
Even with the DNF, Matthies has already wrapped up the championship, going back to back in the Junior Mini and Mini classes now!
The Junior Mini 85cc riders, being a few years younger, were battling right alongside the Mini racers. Getting the early lead was 3 Bros KTM’s Hagen Boyce, who then focused on working his way through the entire field. He would take the victory along with ninth overall and wrapped up his first Youth championship, earning the number N1Z for the 2015 season!
The next two riders in this race are also battling for the second spot in the championship. Edge KTM’s Jack Anderson and 3 Bros Husky’s Eric Burdell are now within four points of each other going into the final round. Anderson took second at round seven, with Burdell taking third in the dusty conditions.
The second row of racers always offers up some great battles as well, with the Girls leading the way into the first corner. Reigning Girls Champion Caitlyn Kurtz led the Sage Riders MC duo of Rachel Stout and Bailee Anderson into the first corner, though barely by a wheel! Stout made her move as soon as she could, getting into the lead and completely checking out. She would take that momentum all the way to the finish line to score her fourth win of the season and give herself a five-point lead on the way to earning the number-one plate!
Kurtz finished second, keeping herself in the hunt for a three-peat. She will have to win the final round to tie Stout, and then she will have to win the tie breaker to ensure that she will get to take home another championship.
Anderson took her fifth third-place finish of the season, making her one of the most consistent racers in the entire series!
The final class of this race to cross the finish line was the Micro Mini 65cc class. These riders are on the smallest bikes in the “mini” divisions and shred just as hard as anyone!
Local racer Hunter Ray and Coarsegold, California’s Talon Van Valkenburg have gone back and forth all season, but this weekend it was Ray who made it to the checkered flag first. Van Valkenburg, however, would wrap up the Micro Mini title with his second-place finish. Third went to Aaron Rhodes, in only his third National Youth Hare and Hound race ever.
The second Youth race of the morning was for the youngest racers in the series – the 4- to 8-year-olds in the Pee Wee 50cc class.
Boulder, Nevada’s Racer Fry got out to the early lead, but he would not be alone. Escalante, Utah’s Rayce Jenkins made his pass on the second lap, but it didn’t last, as Fry got right back by him and then took the lead all the way to the finish line. Fry went on to lap the entire field. Jenkins took second, followed by Matthew Vendetti in third.
Reigning Champion Andrew Schulz, aboard his MSR/ NOST Suspension KTM 50, crashed right at the end of the bomb. He got up in last place and had to battle his way through the entire field. He would make it all the way up to the battle for second before his bike blew up on the 10th of 13 laps. He then pushed his bike nearly a mile to the finish to claim fourth overall – and wrap up the title for the second year in a row!
The Silver State Trail Blazers and the NHHA always do their best to run a tight ship when it comes to the race times, and at exactly 11 a.m. the banner went up on the final race of the weekend. Some 247 racers were set to take off after the Hare – in this case, 2007 Series Champion Dave Pearson – and the banner dropped. Blais Racing’s Skyler Howes was looking to nail the start! Just before the crest of the hill at the end of the bomb, Purvines Racing Beta’s Nick Burson jumped past Howes, and the battle commenced!
On the other side of the hill, the riders dropped into the first of many washes, with Burson and Howes leading the way and Factory Husqvarna’s Jake Argubright right on their tails.
One pair of riders that was initially missing from the front were KTM/ FMF teammates Ivan Ramirez and Gary Sutherlin. Ramirez was the current points leader, while Sutherlin had won the previous round, and they were both outside the top five. While Sutherlin would make some crazy moves through the dust to get up to the battle for the lead, Ramirez would play it safe, slowly working his way through the field and into the top five.
At the end of the first loop, Burson seemed to have firm control of the event, but a wrong turn in the horse stocks left him stuck for 15 to 20 seconds. Argubright came up right behind him and made the same mistake. Burson took back the lead, and the top two would be set until the finish.
Howes stayed within the top three heading out onto the second of three loops, but then Sutherlin made his way around him in the slower, more technical tree sections. After that final pass, the top five would be set in stone all the way to the checkered flag.
With Ramirez’s fifth-place finish – only seconds ahead of Purvines Racing’s Axel Pearson – he is closer then ever to wrapping up his first National Championship, and the first title for a Mexican National! He will only need to finish 17th overall at the finale in October to solidify the deal, which he said will “be in honor of my friend and mentor Kurt Caselli.”
The first-ever FMF Pro 250cc title was wrapped up here at round seven with Zip-Ty Husqvarna’s Dalton Shirey taking his sixth win in seven races. He also sits in fifth in the overall championship after a string of amazing finishes all season.
Chidester Transport’s Cooper Ashton scored his best finish to date, coming across the finish in second, nearly two minutes ahead of Eleven 7 Motorsports-backed Damon Bush.
The second row would be all of the Amateur racers, and the battling was just as intense among the bikes with the yellow plates. At the end of the bomb and going into the first wash, it was PDI Racing’s John Miller out front – until he wound up on his head in the dust. Malcolm Smith Motorsports-backed Robert Foster took take over the point position and then led the way on every loop all the way to the finish line. Not only would he collect $100 for being the first B rider into the pits, he would also take home the Overall B trophy and the Open B victory!
The fight for the C-class overall was a three-way battle between Price, Utah’s Austin Phillips, Bluffdale, Utah’s Brandon Bevan, and Lakewood, California’s Hayden Hintz. Bevan led the trio by three seconds over Phillips on the first lap, collecting $100 for being the first one to the pits, but out on the second loop, Phillips took over the lead. Bevan stayed in second, earning himself first in the Vet C class, while Hintz held on to third and second in the 200cc C class, behind Philips.
The big story of the day was in the TBT Women’s division, with Krista Conway taking her first-ever Women’s A victory! She has been following the series for the last three years, and this victory has been a long time coming.
While Paradise, California’s Sharon Mowell led the first two of three loops, she lost the trail on the last loop, along with several other racers. This being only her third Hare and Hound, as she normally follows the West Hare Scrambles Championship, Mowell was more than satisfied with taking second.
Rounding out the top three overall was Dainty Daredevils Husqvarna racer Megan Blackburn, who limped it in through the finish line after she injured her shoulder in a big crash.
Silver State Trail Blazers’ Purvines Racing Muley Run
Results: August 22 2014 (Round 7)
OVERALL: 1. Nicholas Burson (Bet); 2. Jacob Argubright (Hsq); 3. Gary Sutherlin (KTM); 4. Skyler Howes (KTM); 5. Ivan Ramirez (KTM); 6. Axel Pearson (Bet); 7. Dalton Shirey (Hsq); 8. Kevin Murphy (KTM); 9. Ryan Smith (Yam); 10. Ty Bartholomew (Kaw); 11. Cooper Ashton (Yam); 12. Curtis Bradley (Bet); 13. Nick Tolman (KTM); 14. Kyle Tichenor (Hsq); 15. Cory Graffunder (KTM); 16. Damon Bush (Bet); 17. Joey Black (Kaw); 18. Kadin Guard (KTM); 19. Brody Honea (Kaw); 20. Clayton Gerstner (KTM).
OVERALL 1 LOOP: 1. Robert Koch (Yam); 2. Cordis Brooks (KTM); 3. Larry Engwall (KTM); 4. Max Christensen (Yam); 5. Dale Parriott (KTM); 6. Gregg Hawks (Yam); 7. George Yates (Hon); 8. David Martin (KTM); 9. Steve Makar; 10. Wes Anderson Jr. (Yam); 11. Wesley Irle (KTM); 12. Kerry Chartier (Yam); 13. Ronald Hetherington (Hon); 14. Jean Hetherington (Hon).
OVERALL A: 1. Kevin Murphy (KTM); 2. Ty Bartholomew (Kaw); 3. Curtis Bradley (Bet); 4. Nick Tolman (KTM); 5. Kyle Tichenor (Hsq); 6. Joey Black (Kaw); 7. Kadin Guard (KTM); 8. Brody Honea (Kaw); 9. Jarett Megla (KTM); 10. Trevor Hoffman (KTM); 11. Reed Dodenbier (Suz); 12. Derek Steahly (KTM); 13. Tanner Killmer (KTM); 14. Corey Fletcher (KTM); 15. Ross Walton (Kaw); 16. Mark Weirich (Yam); 17. Ken Strebel (Hon); 18. Billy Hill (Hon); 19. Shane Bowen (KTM); 20. Jeffrey Davis (Suz).
OVERALL B: 1. Robert Foster (KTM); 2. Kyle Moos (Yam); 3. Scott Aldridge (KTM); 4. Jordon Fuller (KTM); 5. Walter Marienschek (KTM); 6. John Miller (Yam); 7. Brian Adsit (KTM); 8. Gavin Preston (Hon); 9. Jes Hulbert (Hon); 10. Tanner Thompson (Yam); 11. Zachary Cramer (Kaw); 12. Dave Turner (Bet); 13. Chance Kolan (Yam); 14. Carl Westphal (KTM); 15. Jon Johnson (Hon); 16. Shane Bauduin (KTM); 17. Thomas Duncan (Bet); 18. Dan Fitzgerald (Bet); 19. Brian Moffett (KTM); 20. Rebecca Stout (KTM).
OVERALL C: 1. Austin Phillips (KTM); 2. Brandon Bevan; 3. Hayden Hintz (Yam); 4. Bradley Frame (Kaw); 5. Dylan Shuey (Yam); 6. Jacob Irle (KTM); 7. Cody Kurtz (KTM); 8. Koleton Jones (KTM); 9. Cory Skaggs (Hon); 10. Talon Gottfredson (KTM); 11. Dean Hawley (Hsq); 12. Chase Twitchell (KTM); 13. Charles Curtis (Yam); 14. Mike Wickstrand (KTM); 15. Travis Rowley; 16. Dan Gunn (KTM); 17. Jason Lessley (Hon); 18. Christopher Luton (Yam); 19. Steve Makar; 20. Wesley Irle (KTM).