AMA NHHA: Vikings MC 2011 Preview

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AMA National Hare and Hound

The AMA/Kenda National Hare and Hound Championship Series is five rounds deep and we’ve passed the half-way point in the series. This week’s Round 6 on April 23, 2011 will be nothing to disappoint in Johnson Valley OHV, Calif.

Preparing a race course in their usual style, the AMA District 37 club, the Vikings MC and their 2011 “Virgin Voyage,” will be everything that this race has become known for.

Two loops and eighty miles of the rockiest, gnarliest, most exciting desert terrain that the Johnson Valley OHV area has to offer, will set the stage for the 6th installment of the toughest off road series in the country.

Over 400 riders are expected for the Easter weekend bash, and if you haven’t already made the trip, loads of desert loving families are already out in the desert enjoying a perfect spring break week of sun.

Highs in the mid-70s are expected for Saturday morning’s event. An uncharacteristic Saturday start means that racers and families alike will be able to enjoy a weekend in the desert without having to worry about rushing home for the work day come Monday morning. Halfway through the 2011 season, some big points battles have began to emerge, and Round 6 will be one of the most exciting events yet.

KTM’s Kurt Caselli hopes to make it five in a row as he keeps his streak of finishing atop the boxes alive here in Lucerne. Another factory rider, Monster Energy’s Destry Abbott, looks to roll with his current streak of being the only rider to land on the podium at every 2011 event. All of this will be difficult, however, if the local class rider gets his way.

Leading the local District 37 points chase, Off Road Support’s Jacob Argubright wants to make his mark on the series, and after finishing second overall in Idaho, he has a taste of what it takes to run up front.

A disappointing 5th place finish in Utah means it’s all or nothing for Argubright, as he hopes to make it atop the box here at Round 6. With five rounds behind us, however, don’t count out David Pearson. Riding a Honda for Purvines Racing Team, Pearson is the only other rider to record a win here in Lucerne Valley this season back in January, and he hopes that Round 6 will be his shot at it again.

After five rounds in the Pro Support Classes, things have really begun to get mixed up where it counts. After a successful first four events, trading wins back and forth in the Vet Pro Class, David Fry and Dan Capparelli have both suffered huge setbacks coming out of a snowy Round 5. Finishing out of the points in the Vet Pro Class, both riders gave up precious ground to ex-ISDE star, Jake Vainio. Capparelli still leads after 5 rounds with 110 points followed by Fry with 85 points and Vainio with 69 points.

In the Women’s Pro Class, Blais Racing Services/ KTM rider, Shayla Fulfer, hopes to make it four in a row and record her first win at a District 37 event in 2011. Leading the Woman’s Pro Support class with 140 points, it’s going to be a hard fought battle coming with Sarah Kritsch, the reigning District 37 Woman’s Champion, racing on her home turf.

Sitting in third, AS Racing’s Olivia Rich hopes to record her first win of the season as she too returns home to a District 37 event. Things could all change, however, as rumors are spreading that the defending Women’s Champion, Joanna Kaczmarek, might make an Easter weekend cameo appearance here at Round 6.

After taking a round off, the ATV Championship chase has heated up as well. Heading north to Utah, reigning ATV Champion and current points leader, Kyle Penner was forced to sit out after discovering a cracked frame just hours before leaving for the trek to Round 5.

All he could hope for was that second in points, Andy Lagzdins, could record a DNF. Unfortunately for Penner, that wasn’t the case, and his one time demanding points lead has disappeared. Currently Andy Lagzdins leads the Pro ATV Points with Aaron Hopson in second and Kyle Penner in third.

As usual, big prizes are up for grabs here in Lucerne Valley. Holeshot awards will be handed out yet again to the first riders through the banner in the “B” and “C” rows, and each of these three riders who are first through the banners will receive a brand new BRP Triple Clamp. The first ATV holeshot through the banners will receive a $30 BRP Gift Certificate.

Also the first overall Amateur and Novice rider to finish 2 loops will each receive $50 off BRP Gift Certificates. If that isn’t enough to make you happy, Tuner from TBT Racing will be on hand to award $225 Gift Certificates to the top racers in the 2-loop “B”, “C”, and 1-loop “60+ Class.”

On hand as he is at all NHHA events, Tuner will be giving suspension tips and advice on Pit Row all weekend, and hopefully racing to win the Vet Pro Class come Saturday morning. MadJack Racing/Amsoil will be awarding certificates for 1 gallon of oil for the winners of these classes: 50+ 250 B, 40+ 250 B, Hwt B, Vet 250 C.

All of this is in addition the NHHA contingency coupons, which feature over ninety hand outs at sign-ups. Don’t forget about the $50 Kenda Kash for the first 4 bikes and first ATV at the finish line running Kenda tires, and the $10 gift certificates just for signing up. Everyone is a winner at the NHHA events, and if you haven’t tried it yet, come make Round 6 your first try at a National Hare and Hound event.

Before you make the trip out to Johnson Valley, here are a few bits of info you should know:

· Sign-ups Friday 2:00-7:00pm and Saturday 6:30-9:30am
· Race Starts 10 AM SATURDAY
· Mandatory Riders Meeting on the line 15 minutes prior to each row’s start
· This is a 2-loop race, 44 miles for Loop 1 and 38 miles for Loop 2
· Alternate Gas Pit available on Loop 1 at 30 miles, directions will be provided for pit crews at signups
· Start, Pits, and Finish are all located on Bessemer Mine Road and are clearly marked as you enter
· Pro Autograph signings at 6:00pm Friday evening at signups
· Blais Racing Services ’09 KTM530 to be raffled off Saturday afternoon in the Blais Racing/KTM Pit between 3 – 4 p.m.

Come join race emcee, George Antill, and all of the NHHA stars as they return to Johnson Valley for the second time this season. The banner drops at 10 a.m. this Saturday, will you be there?