Tennessee Hare Scramble/ GNCC

The race in Tennessee is at the Loretta Lynn ranch where the Amateur Motocross Nationals are held.   Loretta Lynn's  is the most prestigious race in the GNCC series and record crowds were on hand again with 482 quads on Saturday and over 800 bikes on Sunday in attendance.  This is the first race of spring and the first time that we race in warmer temperatures.  The race course is also super rough.  The ground is not the typical clay of the east and is a little sandier which develops into lots of square edge bumps and ruts that are really soft and slow your bike down as they are passed through.  I have had problems at this race the last couple of years having my arms tighten up and not being able to hold on.  I didn't want this to happen again so I was planning on riding my own race and see what happened.  

Brian and I were the seventh and eighth pick on the gate and got positions near the inside of the first right hand 180 degree corner.  We both got pretty good starts just inside the top ten.  I saw Shane Watts who was on the far inside run into the corner pole and fall down.  The first mile of the course was best consisting of a big open grasstrack.  Brian and I held onto our position throughout the grasstrack and when we got into the woods Brian found a good line up a hill and moved into third.  I was not really moving up but was holding my own throughout the first lap.  Shane Watts came up and passed me and a couple of guys ahead of me like he was riding a different track then we were.  Brian finished the first lap about fifth place but on the second lap his shock blew and he started crashing.  He finally looked down and saw what the problem was but he kept going.  I had my arms get tight on the second lap and had to let some guys by and tried to keep pushing.  I had a bug get caught in my helmet on the third lap so I had to stop and get it out.  Some riders passed me there and I made a decision right there that I wouldn't quit and put my helmet on and caught up to the group ahead of me.  I followed though the woods and then made my passes on the open grass fields.  I actually picked up the pace for the final couple of laps and finished in 11th place.  Brian kept pushing with his shock and finished right ahead of me in tenth place.  Shane Watts passed the field by the second lap then pulled out of the race while leading saying he didn't feel it and wasn't having fun.  Fred Andrews took the win followed by Rodney Smith, and Steve Hatch.  Jason Raines had another strong ride for fourth and and Mike Keidrowski was fifth. After the race both Mike Lafferty, who was running top three, and Mike Keidrowski had to be treated for dehydration.  Lafferty collapsed with about three miles left and looked in bad shape but should be alright.  Brian and I were glad we kept going because Shane Watts, Paul Edmondson, and Chuck Woodford all failed to finish and they were ahead of us in Hare Scramble points so that should put us near the top in the Hare Scrambles championship.