10-18-2020 - Greenvile, MA - Rd 8 AMA East Hare Scramble Championship Series
Story by Keny Held and Photos by Melissa Stanwood
. This being the final round for 2020, there were many class championships still not settled. Including the #1 Grand Champion. What made this round even more intense is that both top racers were both flying the same Beta Flag.
Last years #1 plate holder, Kyle McDonal needed to win the event and this years challenger, Thorn Devlin needed to simply finish. I interviewed both racers prior to the race and both said they were going for the win this day and for year end. There was no parley expressed or implied. Friends since their 65cc battles in South Jersey, the 2 racers have a great respect and admiration for each other. 20 NETRA, JDay, P27 and AMA East AA/Pro regulars would show up at this "Months in the making" event. This would also be Knox Trail Riders 1st AMA sanctioned HS in over 10 years. Welcome Back!
A 7.2 mile extremely technical trail was laid out for the average 200 rider turn out however 375 would be unloading their bikes this day. A welcomed surprise for the club. 2" of rain were delivered for dust remediation on Friday. This was great for the track but not too good for parking. The club ordered 4 truck loads of gravel and put 3 skid steers to work insuring no rigs would stay stuck. On race day however the conditions were a "10". So lets get to the race!
The 2020 final "10 Seconds" was announced and the flag dropped. It was KTM's Jonathan McDougal with the hole shot. Immediately after the 1st turn there was a step down into a session of lefts and rights old school moto track. Following the AA/Pro lines, the rest of the A and B lines would all get off without a glitch. Following the old school moto track, the racers were sent into some up and down 6' wide virgin trails. The club did a phenomenal job with the arrows and ribbon.
After the 1st woods section, the racers would be put through an Enduro-X and then 4 miles of Single Track. After 17 minutes I 4 stroke could be heard emerging from the last uphill just below the scoring area. It was none other then New England favorite, Ben Kelley aboard his KTM. Back about 10 seconds was PA native and AMA East regular Thorn Devlin aboard his Beta. Less then a minute back was Beta mounted Kyle McDonal. Well they meant what they said when they were "Going for the win". Sherco's Gavin Simon and KTM's Mike Bloom would round out the top 5. On lap 2 there were not many changes. Kelley was cutting faster lap times while Devlin and McDonal would keep up the pressure. Lap 3, 4 and 5 would deliver the same with the exception of Kelley putting more and more real estate between 2nd and 3rd. On lap 6, Devlin would hit a tree and re-injure his shoulder and collarbone from a previous race which would not allow him to hold on any further. He was forced to retire early but not before securing enough laps to hold onto the championship. Also falling victim to lap 6 was McDonal who would suffer a mechanical. His hopes for a 3 year sweep would come to an end. Meanwhile the hole shot kid, McDougal would start to make a final lap push securing a spot in 2nd. The surprise of the day to everyone was the low profile, no fanfare, multi time Enduro champion Mike Lafferty aboard his KTM who was launched from the A Open line.
Unless you were glued to the scoring monitor you did not even know he was there. Lafferty would settle into 3rd position on the white flag lap. In the end it was Kelley, McDougal and Lafferty.
Mike Lafferty - KTM
Gavin Simon - Sherco
Matt Roberge - KTM
Brayden Nolette - KTM
Mike Bloom - KTM
Graham Medas - HUS
Payton Preve - KTM
Cole Bain - KTM
Click Here for Full Results
In the Morning C event Schoolboy 2 racer Andrew Veit aboard his KTM would take the early lead in his class and hold off all challengers from the 7 rows behind for the Overall. 2nd place would not be settled that easily. Schoolboy 1 racer Patrick Callahan aboard his KTM would start an adjust time battle between Schoolboy 2 Olin Daniels. This would not be settled til the final lap giving the 2nd step to Daniels.
In the Youth Main, South Jersey's and AMA East regular Robert "ACME Rocket" Weiss would take the early lead from the 12-13 Super mini (2nd row) aboard his Weiss prepped HUS. He would hold this lead for the entire 1.5 hour race. This would also secure his 12-13 AMA East #1 plate. 2nd place was also AMA East regular Harvey "Raging" Bull from the 14-16 Super Mini Class. The surprise third position would come from New Englander Jiggs Fustini also aboard a KTM but Fustini would launch from the 4th 9-11 85cc row. Kudos to that fine young lad as there was no shortage of talent in the 3 rows ahead of him.
In the Pee Wees the pace was set early on by Overall finisher Jack Ford - KTM with his KTM Co Horts AJ Verdile in 2nd and 3rd place Nick Ignachuck. Notable mention goes to 4-8 50cc girl Sadie Weiss for her win and 2020 Championship in her 1st year racing.