Round 2 of the AMA National Hare & Hound series was being held in Alamogordo, NM. We raced once in New Mexico last year but it was pretty much the opposite side of the state in the more northern region. I was looking forward to getting back to racing at the Nationals because my first result was not where I want to be. This result didn’t help either but more on that later! My wife and I made the trek to Las Vegas Thursday mid-day and hopped in the rig with Collin and Axel. It was just like old times when we lived in Vegas. The drive up is always fun and made it pretty far for the day. We slept and got to the race site about 10am on Friday. We knew it was going to be sandy and when we arrived we could tell it was a lot like some of the terrain we race in Utah but more sand. We got everything set up and walked the start and just relaxed. Saturday came and we got in a little bit of riding and I was able to be the Hare for the super-mini race. It is always fun helping out with the kid’s races! I have never been a hare at any race before so I enjoyed that and got to watch some great battles after the first few minis passed me! The future of our sport sure is looking bright with lots of fast kids coming up.
Sunday morning the race started fairly early at 9:00am. I got my bike on the line and felt confident in my starts from the day before. When the flag drop my confidence must have got the best of me because my bike and I went nowhere. This really put a damper on my race quickly. I tried the best I could to make some passes down the first section but it was carnage everywhere. First was Joe Wasson that suffered a really bad wrist injury and his bike was laying in the trail. Then there came a few other guys on the ground as well. I just didn’t want to risk crashing in blinding dust and didn’t push like I needed too. Once everyone got settled I am not sure what place I was in. Maybe around 12th? I started picking guys off one by one but it took a while as the dust and terrain didn’t allow for much passing. Finally before pits I just made another pass and was up to 6th overall. I knew I had some work cut out for me. I set out on loop 2 and reeled in my teammate Axel Pearson. I would get close and then we would hit some dusty roads or some sections where he would pull back out on me. He was riding really well and I didn’t get very close on loop 2. Loop 3 was the same as loop 2 so I pushed a little harder because I knew the terrain ahead. I thought I lost sight of axel but I started to see his bright High Vis helmet up ahead again. I made one last charge and got right behind him. He had no idea I was there either. When I made the pass coming up over a hill he realized it was me and he pinned it left and I went right. Well his line was better than mine and he hit a trail head first and sped back in front of me. From there it was wide open back to the finish and I missed my opportunity to make the move. I came in 6th overall and we ended up only 15 seconds back of 4th.
Overall I am really bummed with my two results for the beginning of the year. 6th is not where I want to be or where I should be! However my riding towards the end of the race in New Mexico was a lot better than it had been. I am still getting comfortable on the new bike and learning how hard I can actually push. I know soon everything is going to start clicking and I will be back up fighting for the podium. We have a muddy hare scrambles coming up this weekend and I think its time to get past that we struggle in the mud and just have fun and pin it! I’m looking for a good result this weekend and then a few weeks off to work on my speed for the rest of the year!! Thanks to my wife for always making sure I’m taken care of and have everything I need to succeed. No one gets to see the behind the scenes life of racer but it’s not very glamorous. Enormous amounts of laundry, cleaning not to mention the countless hours of being away from home and driving thousands of miles a month. She helps me succeed in so many ways I cannot thank her enough!!!