Argubright Earns Hare & Hound Round 5 Victory
Bel-Ray/FMF/Moose Racing Husqvarna factory racer Jacob Argubright became the fourth different winner in this year’s AMA/SRT Hare & Hound National Championship Series when he claimed round five, the NHHA/AMA District 37 Competition Hare & Hound National in the Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Area near Lucerne Valley, California.
In doing so, the rising desert star also gave the marque its first National H&H victory since its glory days in the 1970s and early ‘80s. It was Argubright’s first triumph since he won last year’s series finale, also in Johnson Valley, and follows his expected trajectory after starting the season with two fluke DNFs.
“I’ve won before so I know what it takes,” he said. “It’s just a lot of growing pains. Like I keep saying, it gets better every day; I get more used to the bike. I finally had everything together today to put together the win.”
Argubright got an okay start, while round-one winner Ivan Ramirez of the FMF/KTM Factory Off-Road Racing Team sprinting to the front right away and setting the pace on another very windy day.
Before long, round-four winner Ricky Brabec, Argubright and Nick Burson took up positions close behind with THR Motorsports/Monster Energy/Precision Concepts Kawasaki’s Brabec poking his nose in front a few times when Ramirez lost the course (the wind once again playing havoc with the ribbons and arrows course workers had put up).
A clogged fuel filter forced Ramirez to stop momentarily along the trail to replace it, and in his haste to make up time after that he hit a rock and crashed heavily on the second 40-mile loop. His left arm bloody and his riding pants ripped open, he decided to back it down and salvage whatever points he could, settling for seventh in the Pro division and 10th overall after completing the 80-mile event.
Brabec and Argubright then started going at it, with the privateer and his Kawasaki also missing the course at times, but Argubright remembered well what he learned two weeks ago when he finished second: “I learned from last round that when the wind strikes, they said a lot of the [course] markings were down so I knew to maybe take it down a notch and just not make mistakes because I made a lot of mistakes blowing corners last time.”
After making one last pass on Brabec—who’d raced SCORE’s Imperial Valley 250 the day before with Max Eddy, Jr., finishing second after a penalty—Argubright edged away, winning by almost a minute, 2:10:12 to 2:11:11, Brabec finishing after breaking off his front-brake caliper about 15 miles from the end. Purvines Racing Beta’s Burson trailed in for third about three minutes later with no tip left on the brake pedal after a mediocre start.
Privateer Ryan Smith played the giant-killer role well, also coming from a so-so start to end up fourth overall and first 250cc Expert, besting Vet Expert winner Eddy by nearly a minute after the two spent the majority of the race trading places.
With his win, Argubright edged past Smith in the points chase, but it will likely last only a week as the Husky racer has the points lead in the AMA West Hare Scrambles Championship Series and the next round of that takes place on the same day as the hare & hound in Utah this Saturday.
MORE HARE & HOUND RACING
Brabec Earns First National Hare & Hound Win
AMA/SRT Hare & Hound National Championship Series
Round 5 - Johnson Valley OHV
1. Jacob Argubright-Hus
2. Ricky Brabec-Kaw
3. Nick Burson-Bet
4. Ryan Smith-Yam*
5. Max Eddy-Hon
6. Skyler Howes-KTM
7. Morgan Crawford-KTM
8. Axel Pearson-Bet
9. Nicolas Garvin-KTM
10. Ivan Ramirez-KTM
* 250cc class winner
AMA/SRT Hare & Hound National Championship Series Points Standings (After 5 of 10 rounds)
1. Nick Burson-123/2 wins
2. Ricky Brabec-113-1 win
3. Ivan Ramirez-95/1 win
4. Jacob Argubright-80/1 win
5. Justin Morrow-77
6. Skyler Howes-70
7. Ryan Smith-69
8. Axel Pearson-63
9. Morgan Crawford-44
10. Brandon Prieto-39