Story and photos by Kenneth King
Team NAP/ XC Gear defended their number one plate at this year’s running of the Max Motosports / Perry Mountain 24 Hour challenge. The Elite team consisted of Andrew Clark riding a Sherco, Steve Nicholas on a KTM, Colby Yarborough on a Yamaha and Grady Faint riding a KTM. The Elite teams are 4 man while other classes can have up to six riders. The 11-mile course was rutted and tough, and as usual for this time of year it was hot. In the 90s and with no rain it was dusty.
The NAP/XC Gear team rode consistent laps finishing with 49 laps. With an average lap time of 29.33 Andrew Clark started out for the team.” I rode first and managed to take us into the lead. We had a few hiccups but the big one came at night. Around 1 AM we had a battery issue and had to get a course worker to help bump start the bike. We managed to finish the lap and not lose too much time. All in all, a pretty good race.”
As a bonus Andrew Clark claimed the fastest lap of the race. The club had a 200-dollar prize going to the rider with the fastest lap and with the help of social media, Team KTM’s Aaron Plessinger stepped up and added 800 dollars to the prize to round it out to a thousand bucks.
In the number 2 spot was Team NAP/XC Gear Expert. The team of Taylor Downs on a Honda, Spencer Cook on a Yamaha, Evan Chisolm on a Yamaha, Ensign Payne on a Yamaha, Tucker Hanks and Logan Pool on KTMS. The Expert class winners made 47 laps. “We started pretty good and led the expert class the whole race. Around daybreak Evan Chisolm broke his helmet light off and Ensign Payne also in the morning hours had his clutch lever held in by his hand guard and he need to make a pit stop after a lap to repair it.” Said Taylor Downs
Rounding out the podium was Team NAP/XC Gear 30 plus. They took the 30 plus win completing 46 laps. The team consisted of Sammy Dorris on a Kawasaki, Darin Downs and Ben Lee both on KTM’s, Damon Prince (Yamaha mounted) and Jacob Peterson and Jared Hicks riding Kawasaki machines. “We jumped to the lead in the 30 plus class. We battled back and forth with the 6th place team, team KXCR in the Elite class. We were running 3 laps each and we were sort of banking on the KXCR team getting tired as they were a four-man team. We led the 30 plus class the entire race and managed to move into third overall in the early morning.” Said Darin Downs. Their race wasn’t without issues. A few flats, a broken clutch lever nothing major. The NAP / XC Gear teams dominated this year’s event and Jeff Cowan was the man responsible for putting the teams together.
In the Iron man class Matt Brasher on a Yamaha finished 30 laps, Matt has tried 2 other times for top Iron Man but came up short both times. “ I led last year up until 5 AM and just couldn’t go any more” said Matt. So, it seems the third time is the charm. So, what’s the trick to soloing the 24-hour race? “You got to avoid the ruts, find all the smooth spots you can. I had a few bike issues, my bike got stuck in first gear early in the race, I managed to get it into third gear and road the race in that gear. It was a little tuff on a few of the hills. Said Matt.
Two-time World Motocross Champion Trampas Parker raced last year on a vintage team riding 80’s era Husky’s. It seems he enjoyed it enough to come back. He rode on Team Fishers of men Ministry and claimed a 9th overall, 1st 45 + class. “My brother Heith talked us into racing this again, I might not let him do it again! I borrowed a bike from Donnie Graham at Graham KTM. It’s the first time I’ve ridden a modern bike in about ten years. I was a bit worried about crashing with the front brake, but I got over that quick, aside from one issue with a lapped rider I had a good trouble free race.” Said Parker.
Team The Stone Dingos was the highest placing Sportsman team rounding out the top 10 with 44 laps. Team No Balls took the win in the women class with 30 laps completed. This year’s event was the largest it’s ever been. There were 125 entries and 479 competitors.