AMA Kenda/SRT NHHA National Hare & Hound Association Championship Series
Round 2: Tarantula 100
Courtesy of the National Hare & Hound Association
Photos by Mark Kariya
ALAMOGORDO, NM, FEB. 12, 2017
The 2017 AMA Kenda/ SRT National Hare & Hound Association Championship Series ventured east to the great state of New Mexico for the infamous Tarantula 100, hosted by the Prairie Dawgs Motorcycle Club and Gas It Offroad. A fast yet challenging 112-mile course consisting of two loops sprawled across the southern desert awaited riders ready to take on the second round of the season. As this event was run in conjunction with the Gas It Offroad Series, local riders both Pro and Amateur alike mixed up the rankings across the board.
Saturday brought high temperatures for the Youth riders, but the weather changed overnight to cool and overcast for the big-bike feature on Sunday.
On Saturday, the Youth riders gathered on the Zip-Ty start line in their bright orange Kurt Caselli Foundation visibility bibs, starting with the Pee Wees. Acting as the “hare” for the Youth Hound Development, presented by Fasst Co., 2016 series champion Ricky Brabec set off on the course. Ryker Sperry was deemed the fastest hound, as he caught Brabec and earned a cool $25 in Fasst Co. Bucks.
A quick loop made for great spectating, as the battle among nearly the entire class ensued over the next 30 minutes. Ultimately, it was Sperry who took the overall win, ahead of Sean Taylor Freeman and Troy Lee Pickens.
Race two featured the Micro Mini Junior, Junior Girls and Girls classes, all prepared to take on a 6-mile course over the next hour.
The action started with Purvines DA8 Yamaha Pro rider Axel Pearson taking off as the hare, followed shortly by the wave of the green flag. Lane Forbes sprinted off the start and ultimately caught Pearson to earn himself $25 in Fasst Co. Bucks. Forbes immediately felt the heat coming from Jett Lessing – who was competing in his first 65cc race! – and the two battled it out over the next fives laps.
Meanwhile, Ruffin Dodson kept his sights set on the front-runners and put in a consistent performance, racing in third from start to finish.
Taking the Junior Girls win, Ty Woolslayer raced to first in class and fourth overall.
To conclude the day, Purvines DA8 Yamaha’s Nick Burson set off as the Youth Hound Development hare, and the Supermini and Junior Mini riders anxiously revved their engines before hitting the kill button for the dead-engine start. Mason Matthies jumped off the line with his sights set on Burson. He ultimately caught Burson to win the $50 in Fasst Co. Bucks, but shortly afterward he missed a turn and lost valuable time, which allowed Cody Kurtz and Hagen Boyce to get by.
Local rider Gavin Eck put forth an impressive ride, chasing Matthies and waiting for an opportunity to pass. Attempting to recover from his mistake, Matthies chased down Kurtz and Boyce, and ultimately moved into the lead for a wheel-to-wheel battle with Kurtz.
Meanwhile, Kendyl Dolk, Nick Saiz and Karson Boyce had a battle of their own going on, looking to catch the front-runners ad all staying within seconds of one another.
Kurtz eventually capitalized on Matthies’ clutch misfortune, securing himself the overall win. Boyce followed him in for second overall, while Eck secured the final podium position. Dolk and Saiz rounded out the top five overall after a hard-fought ride to the finish.
Round two saw an action-packed Women’s A race, as Britney Gallegos and the round-one winner, FMF KTM Factory Racing’s Kacy Martinez, raced wheel to wheel over the 112 miles.
Off the start, Martinez got a solid jump, while Gallegos struggled to get her bike started. A fired-up Gallegos quickly began to hunt down Martinez, wasting no time trying to catch the front-runners.
Coming in for the first pit, Gallegos led Martinez by just 15 seconds. Utah superstar Rebecca Stout followed just a minute and 38 seconds behind the two front-runners and just ahead of Chidester Transport’s Stephanie Woolslayer. On loop two, Stout began to suffer from clutch malfunction, and that ultimately cost her a podium position.
Meanwhile, Gallegos and Martinez came through the pits and headed out on their third and final loop just three seconds apart. Loop three saw the girls race in an all-out sprint to the finish, and it was Gallegos who would come out on top, ahead of Martinez and Woolslayer.
The FMF Pro 250cc class offered some of the most exciting racing of the day, as the top five riders swapped positions throughout the 112-mile race – except for Tyler Lynn, who moved out front and never looked back!
Braydon Bland, Nick Tolman, Morgan Crawford and Daemon Woolslayer all kept one another honest on the course from start to finish. Coming into pit one, Tolman held second place, behind Lynn, with Woolslayer close behind.
On loop two, Tolman kept his pace, while Bland made the pass for third on Crawford. Woolslayer unfortunately fell back to fifth overall, where he would ultimately place at the finish. Coming into the KTM finish line with the win was Lynn, followed more than a minute later by Bland, with Tolman close behind.
More than 30 Pro riders (not including Pro 250cc riders) took to the front row of the unorthodox start this weekend, as National and local Pros were ready to battle it out in the New Mexico sand. The winner of round one, FMF KTM Factory Racing’s Taylor Robert, missed the event due to injuries sustained at King of the Motos just the week prior.
Off the start, Ryan Smith quickly lit his Rick’s Custom Shutters Yamaha to grab the holeshot, ahead of Axel Pearson and Gary Sutherlin. However, it wasn’t long before Sutherlin put the hammer down to get out front as quickly as possible.
Meanwhile, both JCR Honda’s Ricky Brabec and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jacob Argubright were nearly last off the line.
With nothing but clean air ahead of him, Sutherlin charged to build a gap, knowing it would be speed that would separate him from the competition.
Ryan Smith, Joe Wasson, Cody Schafer and Travis Porter all tucked in behind the leader in the first few miles. Unfortunately, Wasson’s day was cut extremely short after a hard crash sent him to the hospital.
Charging from behind, both Brabec and Argubright made their way to the front of the pack over the next 40 miles. Coming into pit one, Sutherlin held nearly a one-minute lead over Brabec, who sat just in front of Rocky Mountain ATV/ MC Precision Concepts rider Justin Morgan and Purvines DA8 Yamaha’s Axel Pearson.
On loop two, Argubright made the pass on Morgan and Pearson for third place overall. Sutherlin’s teammate Nick Burson charged ahead in sixth place, ahead of locals Cody Schafer and Travis Porter.
Meanwhile, a good battle was raging among Nic Garvin, Ryan Smith and Nick Stover for ninth, 10th and 11th overall. Coming in for pit two, Sutherlin led Brabec and Argubright onto the third and final loop and then to the KTM finish line for his first victory of the season, almost two minutes ahead of the rest of the pack!
“New Mexico offered a different style of terrain – fast and challenging, with its own charm,” declared NHHA director Jacob Michna. “[A] huge thank-you to the club for all their hard work!”
If you want to prove yourself as a real off-road racer, then you need to get out here with the best of the best. Be sure your bike is ready and on the Zip-Ty start line for round three when the NHHA heads to Murphy, Idaho, on Saturday, March 25.
To get ready for round three in Murphy, Idaho, check out these important notes:
There has been a lot of snow this winter, followed by rain, so conditions may be muddy. Stay tuned.
Terrain generally consists of flowing two-track trails, tight trails, sand washes, technical rock obstacles, elevation changes and creek crossings.
Elevation of Murphy is 2,280 feet
The nearest airport is Boise Airport.
Riders need to get their numbers registered online before the race weekend. To do so, please go to http://www.moto-tally.com/nhha/SeriesRegistration.aspx
Temporary numbers are $10 for three pieces (front and sides).
Transponders are $5.
Pre-entry closes Wednesday, March 22, at midnight. Skip the crazy long lines!
For more information, check out www.nationalhareandhound.com or look us up on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nationalhareandhound.
One Kick, One Champion – Will you be there?
Alamogordo, New Mexico
Results: February 12, 2017 (Round 2)
WOMEN: 1. Britney Gallegos (KTM); 2. Kacy Martinez (KTM); 3. Stephanie Woolslayer (Yam); 4. Rebecca Stout (KTM).
PRO 250: 1. Tyler Lynn (Yam); 2. Braydon Bland (KTM); 3. Nick Tolman (KTM); 4. Morgan Crawford (Hsq); 5. Daemon Woolslayer (Yam).
PRO: 1. Gary Sutherlin (Yam); 2. Ricky Brabec (Hon); 3. Jacob Argubright (Hsq); 4. Justin Morgan (Hon); 5. Axel Pearson (Yam); 6. Nicholas Burson (Yam); 7. Cody Schafer (Kaw); 8. Travis Porter; 9. Nicolas Garvin (Hon); 10. Ryan Smith (Yam).
For complete race results, go to www.moto-tally.com/nhha/results.aspx.