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JOE WASSON TAKES THE LONE STAR AMA NATIONAL HARE AND HOUND WIN
Cole Conatser, Britney Gallegos and Jordan Graham top the ranks
The AMA National Hare and Hound Championship series presented by FMF continued in Lubbock, Texas for round 2 following a record entry-county season opener just two weeks prior. Hosted by the Lubbock Trail Riders, the 70+ mile course sprawled across the twisting trails of north Texas; a notable racer favorite among the circuit.
On Sunday morning, the riders of the premiere race lined up on the FMF Power Bomb Run Start Line. Cool temps and foggy weather set the stage as the riders of the AMA National Hare and Hound killed their engines in preparation for the start of the race. With the traditional drop of the banner, the first row ignited their engines and it was southern California’s Nic Garvin who would claim the holeshot. Not without pressure from locals (and icons in off-road) Russell Bobbitt and Cole Kirkpatrick.
Over the next 30-miles, Factory Beta’s Joe Wasson picked riders off after a poor start left him behind the pack. Wasson caught up to Garvin who had now settled in front of Chidester Transport Yamaha rider Chance Fullerton. The trio came into together less than a minute apart before refueling and charging onto loop two. The second, more technical loop would favor riders like Factory Beta’s Zane Roberts and Russell Bobbitt, who had now moved into second and third behind Wasson. Meanwhile Gnarly Routes rider Cole Kirkpatrick and JCR Honda’s Preston Campbell came together for a race long battle to the finish in a fight for the top five positions.
Coming through the final technical downhill, Wasson maintained his composure in the lead position and charged his way to the checkers for the ultimate victory by just 15 seconds. Wasson’s Factory Beta teammate Zane Roberts finished just behind, and Bobbitt raced in to claim third, in what was officially his first-ever AMA National Hare and Hound. Joe Wasson now holds the points lead heading into round three on March 28th.
In the Pro 250 class Factory Beta rider, and 2020 defending champion, Cole Conatser once again stole the show with a standout performance. Leading the stacked field of competition from start to finish, Conatser settled into race pace off the start with Robby Schott in tow. Schott and Otto Pearson battled on loop one before Clayton Gerstner latched on to the pace.
Coming in from loop one, Conatser led Schott, Pearson and Gerstner through the pits. Over the final 40 miles of technical single track, Conatser continued his momentum to finish just one-minute and thirty seconds ahead of Gerstner. Gerstner’s charge into second left Schott in third to round out the podium.
Lining up against the Pro and Pro 250 classes, the Pro Women class featured the fastest off-road talent west of Texas. Following a victorious season debut at round one, 2020 champion Britney Gallegos prepared to once again defend her position. On loop one, Gallegos felt the heat from Utah-native Rachel Stout and the duo came in wheel to wheel heading out onto loop two. Factory Beta’s Morgan Tanke charged behind in third.
Over the final 40 miles, Gallegos and Stout swapped lead position and maintained their battle to the checkered flag, with Gallegos taking the win. Stout finished in second, just ahead of Tanke and Ashlee Gage.
The highly anticipated Hooligan Open class, now evolved to specifically suit the Hooligan motorcycle through updating ruling, saw an epic showing at round two. Ducato Scrambler backed rider Jordan Graham lined up alongside Harley rider Mikey Hill and Ducati teammate Tony Parent.
Off the start, Graham grabbed the class lead and charged ahead. Over the next 30 miles, Graham made money moves aboard his Desert Sled Ducati to take not only the Hooligan Open victory, but the overall Loop one finish position. Hill came through with an impressive second place finish ahead of local rider of Austin, Texas, Tony Parent. Gregory Moody, Danger Dan and Carlos Sanchez rounded out the top six in class.