September, 26, 2009
The start for this race was going to be super important, because it’s extremely dusty and one of the faster H&H’s (and hard to pass). The bomb was also really fast, and short, with only a little over 1/4 mile before it made a left on top of a small hill. The banner dropped around 11:30 and I was off after a first kick start. There were quite a few of us together when we were going up the hill, and I didn’t shut off like most people did. I was right there when it started to make a left. Unfortunately Russ Pearson and I came together and hit each other pretty hard (it would’ve been really bad if we went down). I was able to get onto the trail first, but not far after that Russ was able to get by me. I wanted the lead pretty bad, so I bonzaid it over the next hill. We were both drag racing at this point, and were back to rubbing against each other (in last gear). I finally got back in the lead, but as soon as I did the course made a left and I blew the corner. He was able to get back by, and this time I had to let him go since the dust was so bad. About 5-miles into it, I went down when my front end washed out. As I was getting up I saw David Kamo was running third, but luckily I was able to get going before he could get by. The first loop was pretty fast and I was struggling in the washes. When we came into the first pit I was still second, but was somewhere around 40-seconds back from the lead. The second loop we got into some pretty cool tree sections, and I finally started to pick it up. By the end of this loop I was right on Russ, and about 10-seconds back (eating his dust). I felt really good, and was hoping for the right moment to make a pass. I had another quick gas stop and was off. We went back into a few good tree sections, but most of it was in the washes or jeep trails. As soon as we got into the trees I would be within a few seconds of the lead, but just couldn’t make a pass. I kept blowing corners or going into trees (like I was saying the dust was really bad)! Then I made another mistake and went down. I lost some time again, but before the next pit I was back within 10-seconds. This was an alternate and I didn’t have to stop for gas. Now we only had about 20-miles to go (110-mile race) and all I could do was sit back and hope some luck would come my way. With about 5-miles to go, I was still riding in his dust and then had a huge close call with the ground. It was one of those really scary ones and I’m not sure how I saved it. At this point I decided to not ride in the dust anymore, and just settled for a disappointing second.
I was really bummed at the finish since I wanted this win, unfortunately the dust was a huge factor today. I love desert racing, but it’s just not fun when the start is so crucial in a race like this (unless your leading). I felt good today, however I just didn’t want to get off the main line since there’s so many rocks inbedded in the ground. I felt I had the speed to win today, but that’s the way racing goes!
1st Russ Pearson
2nd Destry Abbott
3rd David Kamo
4th Robert Underwood
5th Morgan Crawford
6th Brett Saunders
I was a little nervous going into the race, because it’s the same place Josh Morros had his big crash last year. The rocks blend into the ground and they’re really hard to see. I thought the club did a better job on putting us in the trees, but I would love to see even more of that. It’s just so hard to pass, or make up time, on the fast roads.
Josh Morros did make it out to the event and actually signed up and road. His plan was to just go out there and finish (which he did). I heard he had one get off, but was ok. I’m happy he rode smart since I was a little nervous for him.
I guess in the same spot where Russ and I hit, the same thing happened to David Pearson and Nick Burson. But they both went down and David wasn’t able to continue (not sure if he broke anything). Later Nick pulled out, but not sure if it was because of the crash.
Here’s a video Ignition3 did for the upcoming ISDE. I talked to them about the upcoming ISDE in Portugal. We did the video last week when I was over at Glen Helen. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxUNp_2FY0Q&feature=youtube_gdata
I have another H&H this Saturday, up in Utah, and it should be a fun one!
I attached some photos from Brad Bentley. Brad thanks for coming out and shooting the photos!