2019 Idaho Hare & Hound Race Report

Wasson takes career-first H&H win and Beta tops all three Pro classes in Idaho

Joe Wasson
Joe Wasson and his crew were able to celebrate his career-first overall H&H triumph, the Beta rider doing it on home turf at the Rabbit Creek 100 in Idaho.Mark Kariya

Joe Wasson has lots of fond memories of riding near Murphy, Idaho. He grew up in Mountain Home not far from there and even though he now resides with his family in Arizona, Idaho will always be special.

And he made it more so by winning the latest Rabbit Creek 100 there, hosted by Dirt Inc. Serving as round 3 of the Kenda/SRT AMA Hare & Hound National Championship Series, presented by FMF, the Beta factory-backed rider led from start to finish in what appeared to be an effortless ride to score his career-first H&H overall victory over Off-road Support/TBT Racing Kawasaki privateer Jacob Argubright and Beta support rider Zane Roberts, who topped the Pro 250s.

“On my 250, this is where I had my best finish—I almost had [an overall] podium here two or three years ago and I ended up fourth,” Wasson shared. “I grew up riding these trails and it was just comfortable. The dirt was killer and my Beta 430 worked awesome. I was just smooth the whole day, didn’t make any mistakes, never fell down. I was just hitting my marks all day.”

Cheered on by a large contingent of family and friends (who reportedly barbecued 60 pounds of chicken for a post-race feed, win or lose), Wasson got his usual great jump off the line when the banner dropped. Although he and defending series champ Kendall Norman tangled about halfway down the sagebrush-covered bomb run with Norman crashing out spectacularly, no one came close to Wasson for the remainder of the fast-paced 65-mile first loop or the more technical 35-mile loop two. (On the podium, Wasson apologized for the incident.)

“The secret to the sagebrush out here is you’ve just got to have a lot of momentum and you’ll go right through it,” Wasson revealed. “A lot of the sagebrush right here is real young; they’re not mature so the stalks just break if you hit them hard enough, so you just don’t let off and keep the front wheel high and go for it!”

bomb run
The bomb run was a field of virgin sagebrush and ditches, but Wasson took control of the race immediately and left the field trailing.Mark Kariya
Jacob Argubright
In the inaugural Pros versus Joes holeshot contest on Saturday, Jacob Argubright (911) found himself unable to beat John Levie who’d go on to win Vet A on Sunday. Argubright had to settle for second overall on Sunday behind Wasson, which was enough to keep the point lead after three rounds.Mark Kariya

Wasson’s dominating performance got him five points closer to Argubright after three rounds, the score now 85-76. The winner of the first two rounds, Argubright was disappointed to have his win streak stopped, but overall was satisfied with his day.

Zane Roberts
Zane Roberts found the terrain in Idaho similar to what he’s used to in northern Nevada. Comfortable in those conditions, he not only won Pro 250 for the first time this season, but he got on the overall podium as well with his third-place overall.Mark Kariya

“I’m stoked I had a good day,” Argubright said. I’m bummed because I lost five points, but we’re ahead. I was like eighth or ninth [at the bomb] and, by the time I got around everyone, Joe had about a minute on me already. I just kept chugging along the whole day making it up, [but] he was riding really good. Everyone was hauling because the dirt was the best [after last night’s rain].”

While Wasson’s previous best overall on his 250 was fourth, Roberts went one better by winning the class and finishing third overall after finally getting a decent start.

Morgan Tanke
After a slow start to the season, Morgan Tanke found her groove in Idaho. Second at the main pit after the first 65 miles, she passed Rachel Stout on loop two to win Pro Women for the first time and complete a Beta sweep of all three Pro class victories.Mark Kariya
Ricky Brabec
It wasn’t a good day for Ricky Brabec and a worse day for fellow Honda rider Kendall Norman. Brabec flew on Friday from Mexico, having won the Sonora Rally that day, but the two-time H&H champ called it a day after the first loop, citing shoulder problems. As for defending series champ Norman, he crashed out on the bomb run after colliding with Wasson.Mark Kariya

“Mainly, I just want to keep working farther and farther up in the overall,” he said. “I wasn’t really shooting for [an overall] podium today, but it presented itself in the last two miles. I stayed close [to Purvines Racing Yamaha teammates Tyler Lynn and Nick Burson]. They were definitely going fast that last [35-mile loop], but I guess they came together a few miles out from the finish and went down. I was able to capitalize on that.”

Asked how much of a disadvantage his 250 was compared to the 450s, Roberts answered, “Surprisingly less than I [expected]. It was actually in the faster sections that I was better than the 450cc guys I was around. It was in the tighter stuff that I was kind of falling over and stuff. This is a lot like where I live in Nevada so it’s kind of familiar terrain and I’m used to riding in sagebrush, so it was a lot of fun for me.”

Otto Pearson
A large contingent of riders came out for the Youth National on Saturday. Otto Pearson left the rest of the field in the dust en route to second consecutive Big Wheel victory.Mark Kariya
Jett Lessing
Despite feeling a little under the weather, Jett Lessing rode a great race and captured Mini 85cc 12-15, about two minutes behind Junior Mini 85cc 7-11 winner Jack Williford.Mark Kariya

It wasn’t so fun for Lynn and Burson. Burson held third for much of the race, but had to settle for fifth when he and Lynn tangled not far from the end. Their teammate Axel Pearson earned sixth ahead of Beta USA’s Chance Fullerton, who was third at the bomb.

Brennen Watson
Brennen Watson drops into a canyon while dominating the combined Mini/Girls race. He finished almost two minutes ahead of runner-up Caleb Tate for his second series win in a row.Mark Kariya

Chidester Transport Racing/Buchanan Trucking Yamaha’s Tuffy Pearson, KTM-mounted local Jared Schlapia, and Pro 250 runner-up Daemon Woolslayer rounded out the top 10 overall.

Allie Stambaugh
Second at the series opener, Colorado’s Allie Stambaugh missed round 2 in Texas, but stormed to the Girls win in Idaho.Mark Kariya

To complete the Beta sweep of the Pro classes, Morgan Tanke took her 250 RR to the top spot in Pro Women after passing Stout Racing KTM’s Rachel Stout on the second loop. Chidester Transport Racing/Buchanan Trucking Yamaha’s Sharon Mowell rounded out the podium.

2019 Idaho Hare & Hound National Overall Results

Position Rider Brand
1 Joe Wasson Beta
2 Jacob Argubright Kawasaki
3 Zane Roberts Beta
4 Tyler Lynn Yamaha
5 Nick Burson Yamaha
6 Axel Pearson Yamaha
7 Chance Fullerton Beta
8 Tuffy Pearson Yamaha
9 Jared Schlapia KTM
10 Daemon Woolslayer Yamaha

2019 Overall Championship Point Standings

Position Rider Brand Points
1 Jacob Argubright Kawasaki 85
2 Joe Wasson Beta 76
3 Nick Burson Yamaha 46
4 Zane Roberts Beta 42
  Chance Fullerton Beta 42
6 Ricky Brabec Honda 39
  Axel Pearson Yamaha 39
8 Tyler Lynn Yamaha 36
9 Kendall Norman Honda 31
10 Preston Campbell Honda 26