AMA National Hare and Hound Association Round 2 Checkers 2015
Barstow, CA 2/22/2015- Man, I was excited to see this new venue, only racing NHHA for a few years; I never had the chance to race in Barstow. It hosts some of the gnarliest terrain on the west coast with multiple “SCORE” roads, very rocky and not a lot of places to pass on the virgin parts of the course. I had the “Rat Rod” prepped and ready for battle in the high California desert. I had the engine redone after the first race along with changing my Elka Suspension around a bit. The quad was amazing! As a Massachusetts native would say “My Moto Xperts/Hot Cams/Hot Rod/Cylinder Works/Vertex Piston TRX engine is a rippa!” I also, have to thank Jay at Impact Solutions for dialing in my Elkas, they worked really hard for me to make them the best they can be. Did some shock tuning with Alex and James Ortiz out at their house had a lot of laughs and got my quad working great.
I ended up driving down by myself to pick up some race fuel from RSI and my main man Jay Young of Team True Racing delivering it to Skyler and I. That was a huge help to both of our programs so thanks to them. I had to stop several times on the way as I was having some stomach issues early on, I felt like Harry Dunn (Dumb and Dumber) when Lloyd pours him some “superlax”….Haha! I had finally made it to the race site and settled in. My girlfriend
Rachel and her dad showed up shortly after. We got everything ready and rode a couple times to give the quads a shake down. I did some minor changes to the shocks and they were better than ever. I was Dungey pumped!
It was a late start as NHHA changed the youth races to Sunday morning. I ran the bomb a couple times finding a solid line through the tight terrain. I headed back to fuel up the Rat and get some food in me. I headed to the start to get my line, it took Rachel and I a minute to find it but we did. Checkers decided to have one riders meeting so we rushed over to hear what was going down in the hood. It was confirmed that there were a total of 27 road crossings during the first loop, that’s unheard of to me but I was up for the challenge. The riders meeting was over and we took to our quads. The Pro line banner flew and was quickly down. The waves of bikes were tossing the dust in the crisp rainy air. It was tough to stay warm as we waited but the anticipation to start put the cold in the back of my mind.
It was our turn to go, the banner rose one last time. I knew from prior that my quad was dialed in from Chris Blais tuning the carb, I knew it would start first kick. The rain was starting to fall quicker now, blurring my vision just a bit. The course workers were having a hard time holding the banner as the wind pushed against it intensely. Finally there was a flicker of movement as I struck down on the kick starter and took off. I was quickly in first but had a couple people getting a good jump as well. I hammered down as my Moto Xperts engine and FMF pipe sang across the valley. I was first once again and the race was on!
I was being a little to cautious on the road crossings making sure I did wreck myself before I checked myself. I came up over a hill and Rescue 3 was driving down the race course in a UTV, never seen that before. Going for the pass, I almost slammed the UTV as my rear brakes were not working. I got around them and kept pushing. A few miles later Keith Carlson had caught up to me and started to push to get ahead of me. We had a fun battle, passing a lot of dirt bikes in the process. We would slam through the ravines and road crossings not lifting. I took a bad line allowing Keith to make a pass stick. Soon after, he had hit something that knocked him off his mount. He started chasing after his quad as it was on all fours, taking off like a majestic buffalo down the course. I was relieved to see he was up and running after it. I was back in first charging just as hard. I was making my way past the dirt bikes and trying to put more time out front. I got a little hung up behind a couple bikes and I saw that Beau Baron had now caught me. We had a short battle in some more of the hill sections but Beau was picking better lines than me allowing him to pull a gap. I was riding my own race and I was feeling really good, like the ole Gerald I knew I had in me. Railing the rocks, which I usually hate, I knew my Maxxis Tires/Goldspeed Wheels/Tireblocks would allow me to finish no matter what. I was plowing through everything. I got hung up on some bigger rocks a few times but remounted quickly. This race was different than the rest; there was a red loop for one loop riders and a black loop for two loop riders. We had to stay alert to make sure we were going on the right path.
I made it to pits, knowing I had 7 miles left of the course, I got a second wind and pinned it. I came to a broken red loop sign down a downhill, not sure where to go, I headed up the path most traveled. It was tight and had a technical downhill where I was weaving in and out of dirt bikes. I hit a fire road and opened her up but it was short lived as I came to a course worker flagging me down. He let me know that I had went on the wrong loop and had to take a fire road back to the pits. Upset, I let him know that the sign was down and took off. I got to the pits again and let them know the sign was broken. They told me I had to turn left when I got to the sign. I found Andrea, Pete and Ben in the pits, I was running out of fuel. They fueled me and I took off with the first expert rider in Shawn Riley next to me. I quickly moved in front of him and didn’t look back. I went left by the broken sign and went for a last ditch effort to catch first. I knew it would be a short run to the finish so I gave it everything I could. I came around the mountain and saw the finish line. To my surprise when finishing, Shawn (the expert class winner) was waiting for me? I was in disbelief about what had happened. Shawn explained that he had finished on a different set of course markings. Getting more frustrated I realized I had missed something. I spoke to the Checkers club and NHHA about the broken sign. Luckily, Beau had made the same mistake and had to go back through the pits. That allowed them to score him and I the first time we came into the pits. I finished second overall and 2nd pro. With that I am now in second in points behind Beau. I feel like my program is getting better and I’m happy to move forward with it. I really have to thank the people that keep me going; fans, sponsors, family and friends. Thank you!
Fasst Company, Western Designs, AMSOIL/Scottsoil.com, Maxxis
Tires, Moto X-Perts, Dirt Fiend Racing, Elka Suspension, Teixeira Tech, Rad
Manufacturing, My Pakage, Klim Gear, Sidi Boots, Sockracy, FW Carbon,
Rebellious Status Clothing, Lone Star Racing, Streamline Brakes, Task Racing,
AME Grips, Fastway, CRF Skid Plates, VGR, FMF, Hot Cams, Pivot Works, Hot Rods,
Vertex Pistons, Rath Racing, Glann Innovations, Works Connection, Adam McGill,
Hinson Racing, Syphon Sound, Static Flow Media, Reel Cameras, Goldspeed
Wheels/GPS Offroad Products, Eks Brand Goggles, Tire Blocks, Sprocket
Specialists, Maier Plastics, Pit Traffic, PNP Supplements, IMS Products, Leatt,
Val Brinkerhoff Racing Stables