This weekend marked the final round of the 2005 AMA National Hare and Hound Series located at Lucerne Valley, CA. This was the final race of the series and I have battled with Destry Abbott all year long. I had a descent lead in points and I just needed a finish to secure the Championship. I got my YZF450 all dialed in, thanks to all my awesome sponsors and arrived down there Friday afternoon just to make sure everything was a go. We (my brother Nick and my girlfriend Tina) got it all dialed in and turned it in for the night.


We cruised out to the start after it opened and checked out the bomb. It was about three miles up to the entrance of a valley between two big mountains, with boulders the size of cars and buses. We found an awesome line and were waiting ’till early morning to break it all the way in. My Yamaha was running and working great, so we headed back to the pits. Right before we got to the truck, Nick and I did a few final practice starts. She fired every time and I had my confidence for a good start.

After getting signed up, I installed my race tires, cleaned the air filter in and gave the YZ a check over, then we were out of there around 5:00 p.m. I got some good grub and watched the first round of the World Series before we shut our eyes for bed.

Ring, ring, ring,. The alarm clocks goes off at 4:00 a.m. Time for showers and the drive to the start. Yea, it’s still dark at 5:15 am when we arrived. We wanted my bike all the way on the end of the line, so that means we need flashlights to see what we’re doing as we save my spot on the start. We were the first ones there. Everything was good so far. The bomb opened at 7:00 and like two seconds later, I was out checking my line.   I did a test run and held it wide all the way 🙂 probably doing almost a 100 mph or so for three miles. It goes by pretty dang quick. Well, happy we were as we headed to the pits for a final top off of gas and a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich.

At 9:30, the banner went up. It was the typical Lucerne start; 100 plus people on each of the five waves, and dead silence as the banner was held. All legs on kickstarters and eyes, barely blinking, looking for the first flinch of the banner dropping. And down it goes. I kick with all my might and … pop, nothing. Shoot!   I must have gotten a little throttle happy! Kick, kick, kick; I spin the motor as quickly as possible. Braaaa, finally she fires. I guess I just decided to give everyone like a 100-plus-foot head start. Pinned and tucked, I was on the side and had an alternate line in case this happened. It was almost as good as my main line, but no one was on my main line, so I just absolutely pinned it. I got to the end of the bomb run and could see someone to my right. I kept it pinned and as the trails all came together as we climbed a little hill, I was first. Yeeehaaaa. That was a first, to get a five kick start and still pull the holeshot. I guess my line was good and my Yamaha was running awesome.

Well, they threw us in some tighter rocky stuff and I just told myself to get smooth. I had to finish this race with no stupid things. Well, the first loop just flowed and my bike was running and handling awesome. The course had a lot of rocks and ups and downs and was pretty challenging. They had a sign that said fotos, somebody obviously needs to go to school or was just wanting us to smile, but it was a blind, up, jump thingy. I learned my lesson on one of these a couple years ago as I jumped a blind hill and landed in some big rocks and almost crashed my brains out. I rolled the jump and then was pinned again as I came into the pits after almost 40 miles. They said I had about a 30-second lead on Destry. I headed out on the second loop and stayed strong and smooth. It was really rocky with a couple gnarly downhills and uphills. I came into the pits after almost 30 miles and they said I had almost a 2 minute lead.   Sweeeet. Well, it was like 35 miles more to the end. I rode smooth and tried to save the bike. The third loop had some really tight, rocky, twisty trails and then some really fast valleys. I started getting near the finish and was thinking I’ve made it this far and I don’t want to get beat, so I picked up the pace and had some fun. I pinned it into the finish and could hear no one coming.   HOTDIGGUDEEDOG 🙂

Woooeeeyy!! I won the race and won the Championship.   I was a pretty happy redhead to say the least. My Yamaha 450F worked awesome. I got to give a big thanks to all my family, sponsors, friends, and fans for all the awesome support this year and helping me achieve my life long goal for the second time. A big thanks to my dad and brothers and Tina for putting up with me and all their help this year and weekend and a big thanks to Mike Guerra from Yamaha for coming out to the race and all his help and for giving me the opportunity to make this happen. And I owe a big thanks to the Pro Circuit gang of Dave Chase and Bones for making my bike work like a dream. More thanks go to Ty Davis of ZipTy Racing for cheering me along and helping me with my bike. A big thanks to the Montclair Yamaha boys and girls and to Jim Rios at BRP and to GPR Stabilizer’s Randy and his parents and my dad and grandpa and my brother Nate for their continued help. A huge thanks Moose Racing USA and all my other awesome sponsors for their continued support. I can’t send enough thanks because this was a package deal, I couldn’t do it without everyone. Also, a big thanks to Clint Braun who was helping me mechanicing through most the year who suffered some broken bones and injuries in a motorcycle accident. Hopes and wishes for a speedy recovery Clint. Thank you everyone.

1st   Russell Pearson 🙂
2nd Kendall Norman
3rd   Matt Gosnell    (a local friend from Vegas who we used to live with)
4th   Quinn Cody
5th   Destry Abbott ( I think??)

–Russell Pearson


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