AMA “Burnt Gin” National Hare Scramble
Rider: Jordan Ashburn 2nd Place (Pro Class)
Every year it seems as if the Burnt Gin Hare Scramble in Sumter, South Carolina is the unofficial season opener for the East Coast Offroad Racing scene. The field is always stacked with the best and brightest racers, ready to show the world how much work they put in during the off season.
As the riders sat on the line eagerly awaiting the drop of the green flag, AmPro Yamaha’s Jordan Ashburn remained calm and collective aboard his Factory prepped Yamaha YZ250 Two-Stroke. In the blink of an eye, the flag was down and Jordan was off, grabbing the holeshot and charging into the woods with the first place position locked in. From there, Jordan would lead the race for the next four laps before engaging in a demanding battle for the lead with 2011 GNCC Champion Charlie Mullins. With a three minute lead over the field, the two riders would trade places several times. Pit stops and lapped riders would prove to play a key role in the races outcome, as the blue and orange bikes continued to swap positions. Suddenly, without warning, a lapped rider pulled onto the track right in front of Jordan, causing him to veer off the course, crashing into the woods. Unscathed, Jordan got up and assessed the extensive damage on his machine. The front wheel was more square shaped then round and the triple clamps were facing a different direction then the handlebars. Banging the bike against a tree and straightening it out as much as possible, Ashburn remounted and charged his bike into the pits holding on to his second place position. After a quick wheel swap and a slight but not complete front end alignment, Jordan headed back out into the field. Unfortunately, 2011 GNCC XC2 Champion Steward Baylor had closed up the gap and made a quick pass on the AmPro rider but Jordan quickly recovered, getting back around Stew and setting his sight on Charlie Mullins in first. With only a lap and half to go, Jordan was unable to catch Mullins for the win but still held a solid lead over third, taking the checker flag in the second place position.
“This was a big race for me,” says Ashburn. “I have been training harder than I ever have and I was confident in my ability to run with the competition next to me. When that flag dropped, the YZ250 fired to life and I just pinned it!!! I’d really like to thank Randy and Dale for getting the bike set up perfectly. Having confidence in the machine is so important and I had no doubts that the bike was exactly where it needed to be.”
Team owner and AMA Hall of Fame Member, Randy Hawkins even decided to the throw a leg over a pristinely prepped Yamaha YZ450F for the day. Randy dominated the Senior A Class for most of the afternoon. However, as Randy entered the woods on his fourth lap, he witnessed team rider Jordan Ashburn’s brutal crash. Quickly switching into Captain-Mode, Randy stopped to make sure everything was copasetic, following Ashburn into the pits. Unfortunately, this brief detour allowed another rider to sneak by for the win and Randy finished up the day in the second place position.
“Today was all about having fun,” Says Hawkins. “We set up the YZ450F I was riding to replicate Paul and Jordan’s GNCC bikes. This way, when we start testing I know exactly what the boys are talking about when we need to make changes and adjustments. As the owner of the team, I like to know exactly what’s going on with the machines my guys are riding and what better way to know, then to go out and race one! I had absolute blast today that’s for sure. Jordan gave me a bit of scare when he crashed but we got him fixed up and back out on the course in a hurry. To be honest, I’m so proud of Jordan. His results proved that he can run with the big boys and I’m confident in his abilities as we head into next weekend’s National Enduro Opener.”
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