Destry’s H&H race story

Destry’s H&H race story

AMA Hare & Hound
Lucerne, California
October 23, 2005

I would say this has been a really frustrating year with the H&H series. I’ve actually won a couple of races, but then we had one race that wasn’t put on that well and it might just have cost me a championship this year. Then the last H&H in Utah, I had a bad day (which was my fault), and had a DNF with mechanical problems. Now to this weekend, after coming off an injury I’m looking forward to seeing how I feel. I’m going to go out there and try my best at winning the race, but the final outcome is out of my hands. Russell Pearson basically just needs to finish to win the championship. I know the 100’s club usually does a great job on the race and I was told it’ll be around 100 miles with a lot of technical stuff. I’m really looking forward to the race, and I’m hoping to finish the H&H year out strong. They received a lot of rain on Monday, but it looks like most of it will be dry by Sunday’s race. I came out a little early to do some really good testing with the help of Jonny Weisman, John Braasch, Jason Smigel, and Jeff (new Kawasaki technician.) We have the new 450 working really good, and I know this bike will be able to win a lot of races. I have a really good feeling about the 2006 season with the new KX450F. On Friday night, my dad drove the motor home out with my son. We found out this week that Kelsey had her volleyball playoffs on Saturday, so the wife and her had to stay home. But I know Cooper is going to have a good time riding on Saturday, even though it won’t be with his sister. Time to get some sleep.

After a good night of sleep it was time to focus on the race today and make sure my bike was ready. I did a couple of good trail rides with some of my buddies. Then later in the day, I started to practice the bomb run to make sure I had a good line. I feel pretty good about my spot on the start for tomorrow. After a lot of time riding my race bike, I gave it to Jonny for final preparation work for tomorrow. I feel pretty good, and I was told we’re going to have three different loops for tomorrow with a total of 92 miles. It should be a fun day.

Race Day:
I was up early and looking forward to a good day. I went to practice the bomb run a few more times before the race. Then Jonny changed the filter and topped it off with gas, and she was ready to go racing. By the way, why do we always call our bikes she’s:). Anyways, a little after 9:00 I was heading to the start line. The race started at 9:30, and I was ready to go. I had a great jump and was pinned most of the way to the banner (1? miles out). When I jumped into the wash I saw Russ had beat me to the trail. I followed Russ for most of the first loop, about 30 seconds back. He was riding a lot harder then I thought he would, but I was just hoping to keep him honest and see what happens. About 10 miles from the end of the first loop, I made a wrong turn and lost some time after realizing I wasn’t on the course. When we came into the first loop, I was about a minute back from Russ. Third was Brian Brown and fourth and fifth were Kendall Norman and Quinn Cody. Going out on the second loop, I was hoping to try and make up some time on Russ before the last loop. My ribs and shoulder were a little sore on the first loop, but it was usually just on the fast stuff. The nationals are the easiest at the beginning, so I knew it would be better as the race went on. On the second loop I was really thinking this is going to be good, but that’s about when I had some bad luck. I was probably around three or 4 miles out when I got a rear flat. I tried to keep a good pace up, but I was really having a tough time staying on the trail. This was probably the worst loop to get a flat. They had a lot of off camber rock hills. Usually I would be loving this, but not with a rear flat. I ended up losing a lot of time and by the time I finished the second loop I was in 10th or so. Jonny did a great job on changing my rear wheel and now it was time to try and see how the third loop goes. I wasn’t really pushing it really hard, but I was having some fun and trying to pass some of the guys in front of me. First it was Paul Krause who was nice enough to wave me by. Then I caught up to Ryan Abbatoye and he also waved me by. Ryan and I were actually having a good time racing together. Then not to much further up we were able to get around Brian Brown, who was having some problems. From there I just rode a smart race and finished with 8th overall. The club put on a great race and had some good technical stuff. Now I’m pretty bummed to lose the championship, but I’m really looking forward to next year. I still ended up finishing second overall for the series. I’m going to try harder then ever to win the championship back next year!

Results (Unofficial):
1st Russell Pearson
2nd Kendall Norman
3rd Matt Gosnell
4th Quinn Cody
5th Luke Dodson

8th Destry Abbott

Other Notes:
My next race will be the WORCS race in Texas (Oct. 30).

I ended my 6 year championship streak. I’ve won a major championship for the last 6 years, but it looks like I’m going to have to start a new one next year:)

My race story was a little late, because I stayed over in California for a couple extra days. I was helping out as an instructor (on Tuesday) for a womens’ riding school that was put on by Kawasaki. It was one of the funnest groups of people that I’ve ever worked with, sorry guys:) Jan at Kawasaki put this huge thing together for women in the industry and the instructors were Rick Johnson (one of my favorite riders), Mercedes Gonzalez, Jeff Emig and myself. They did a great job putting it on and had the semi full of Kawasakis ready for everyone to ride. 2 Wheel Tuesday and a lot of magazine people were out there, so be sure to keep your eyes open for this. It’s great to see so many females getting into racing. I know my daughter loves it:)

I’m really looking forward to next year. With the new KXF450, which I really believe is the best bike out there. I feel like we’re going to win a lot of races with this bike. I felt like a little kid waiting for the 450. I’m pretty sure Jason (Team Green off-road manger) was tired of me calling all the time to see when I was getting my bike:) It was worth the wait! If you haven’t had the chance to ride one yet, I highly recommend giving it a try before you go and buy your next bike. It was worth the wait!

Next year is going to be a big year for Kawasaki. They have a lot of new and big things planned (which I can’t say yet). But I can say, things are looking good and you really should try and make it to the races to check it out.

My new message board is back up on my site, so be sure to stop by and say hi. I’m also getting back to doing my monthly trivia questions so you can win some prizes. Then for 2006 we’ll be making some more changes to the site, and having some new products for sale. I know you Kawasaki riders will like it.

Best Wishes,
2005 Sponsors:
Kawasaki, FMF, Thor, Dunlop, ACME, Kawasaki Acc., Scott, SIDI, CTI2, Motion Pro, Bent, Works Connection, Hinson, IMS, Scott’s Performance,, Cyto Sport, Acerbis, BRP, Pro Clean 1000, Trick, Varner, ZLT, Sprocket Specialist, DP Pads, Shoei, UNI, American Racing Wheels, RK/Excel, 909, Wiseco, Zip-Ty Racing, Motorex, N-style, V-Force, Top-Speed, and Twisten Wrenches.


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