Panaca Race Report
The Panaca National Hare & Hound was round 6 of our series. I always love racing in this area because it's something new and different from most areas we race in. The only problem with the race is the dust. The dust is always really bad and makes for a tough day if you do not get a good start. Well since we knew the start was going to be key my teammate Axel and I walked the start a few times. We each had our good lines picked out and waited for race day. When the banner dropped my bike fired off really quick. I was out ahead of anyone around me. I thought I had a really good start going and I did, but just not good enough. I was hitting the trail around 3rd overall behind Axel and Kendall. I did what I could to try and get by Kendall but I just never could make it happen. That right there was the race. I knew it would be tough to pass after that. I lost a little time in the beginning trying to hard and making a few mistakes. But at the halfway point in loop 1 I started to catch a lot of dust again. Knowing I needed to make something happen I really tried to close the gap in some lest dusty portions of the race. I got close enough to see Kendall a few times but every time I would get close I would just get dusted out and fall back. Coming into the pits was the worst of the dust as well so I lost a lot of time there. I stopped and got a fresh pair of Viral goggles from my beautiful Twinmomma wife and a quick splash of gas and I was off. My pit crew was really fast and I left the pits right behind kendall. This was good but quickly we both turned the wrong way and we knew it. We started heading back towards camp. This wasn't right so we turned around and tried to find the course. I went one way and he went another both heading the same general direction. We lost a lot of time but I also lost time to kendall and lost the opportunity to make a pass. For the whole 2nd loop it was more of the same thing. I would get dusted out and then I would catch back up in the areas that had a breeze or more rocks. The race in a whole was really good and pretty uneventful. I brought it in to the finish a little ways back for a 3rd overall! Any time on the podium is a good day but I really would of liked to make some ground up in the points instead of lose points. I am super happy for my teammate Axel on his first ever win at a National. It is something that he deserves and has earned the hard way. He works harder than anyone off the bike and its paying off now! Another aspect of this race that was tough on both Axel and I was the passing of our teammate and friend Cody Kurtz. We wanted to everything we could to race in his name and honor him. The NHHA let us race with memorial side plates and they also had an awesome banner made to hang on the podium. I know Cody was with us all day keeping us safe and watching over us. We will never forget you Cody and you will always be with us!! Also I want to give a big thank you to my team for all the support and my wife for making sure I am always taken care of at the races!! One more round left and it's in my hometown and well be ready!!