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Blais Racing Services NHHA Round 1, 2014 Race Reports

ROUND 1, NHHA - Hosted by DMC Johnson Valley, 1/26/14 By: Skyler Howes, Open Pro We arrived to the wonderful, smooth Bessemer Mine Rd. first thing on Friday morning and got to do a little photo shooting with newest Blais Racing teammate, Harry Lyles. After some photos and testing, we ate some good grub and reviewed the photos and let me tell ya, I am pumped on them! Saturday morning came and we were ready for the Youth NHHA races. Two of our other newest recruits to the Blais Racing crew would be shredding it, Cole Timboe on his 50cc and Braydon Bland in the Supermini class. Cole got a killer start and rode awesome to a great finish, pumped for you dude! Braydon's race came around and I had him a solid fresh line mapped out for him. The banner dropped, he crushed the holeshot and took the lead. He came through the pits just seconds ahead of 2nd place. It was shaping up to be an awesome race. Braydon rode so solid all day, not even phased by the pressure. He opened up a solid lead by the last lap and brought home the win! That night was the “slow your roll for R3” slow race. I took the win last year and after missing the start of the event I decided to sit it out. Both teammates Sammy and Harry went 1 and 2 in the event and kept Blais Racing on top! Race day! I mapped out my line on Saturday and was so confident with how straight and wide open it was. I ran my line once and settled in. The banner went up, dropped and my KTM 300XC fired off the line with a great jump. Justin Morrow was directly to my right and we were fighting for the same line. Gary Sutherlin quickly powered in to my left and I became a sandwich. They both out powered me and pinched me off in the dust. I let off the throttle then rider after rider came hair balling through the dust by me. Again, one of the best lessons Kurt taught me was to be patient. After losing position after position in the dust I found my groove and settled in to a pace. As soon as we hit the first technical section, riders started dropping like flies with crashes and bike issues. I kept motoring on picking off riders through the technical, rocky course. I got a lick of clean air just before the dry lakebed but somehow missed the markings and veered off course. As I took a look back, I saw my good buddy, Tallon Taylor fully tucked on the lake bed on course so I pinned it back just in front of him. As we crested the next rocky hill, I pushed him wide but ultimately made me miss the corner; he snuck in and made the pass. The dust was so thick I didn’t have a chance to put the pressure back on so I just settled back in. Back into the more technical sections, I made a pass on a few more riders, just trying to keep close to Tallon. As we came down this section, the course looked like it obviously kept in the ravine so Tallon kept in and I followed. As Tallon got to a tough section, he had to dismount his bike and push and I thought that couldn’t be right so I took a look back and saw ribbon all the way back up the hill. I wheelie turned around and blasted up the rocks to the course without losing a position. I put the hammer down with more fresh air and made a few more passes. Coming into the main pit, Anthony gave me an 8 which meant I was running in the top ten, I was really surprised with that! It ultimately put more fire in me. I got an awesome fast pit from Blais Racing and was back on my way. Right away I lost ribbon again! I saw some dust in the distance and headed towards it picking ribbon back up on my way. Heading into the next boulder field I closed in on Nic Garvin, made a quick easy pass on the inside and kept motoring on. For how technical this course was, I was feeling really good! My bike was feeling awesome thanks to ESR Suspension. I kept chugging through the rocks and came to one of the final King of the Motos sections. Getting hung up on a few big boulders, this allowed Ryan Smith to close right in on me. I finally got through the tight boulders and set my sights for the finish. I kept my pace in the rocks and in that last valley; I opened her up and kept it pinned. I passed the checkered flag and was instantly so stoked! I quickly noticed that Ivan Ramirez just won his first National Hare and Hound. I came home with a 7th overall, which I’m pretty stoked on. I rode a virtually mistake free race (except for losing ribbon so many times) I’m safe, and the bike is in good shape. DMC is usually one of the hard races and most stacked. I really want to push hard to get up on that podium but you know, gotta be patient. KC66 Big thanks to all of my sponsors in 2014 making things possible. Blais Racing Services, Fasst Company, KTM, ESR suspension, Race Tech, RAD Mfg, Freegun, AMS OIL, Alpinestars, Kenda, Pro Moto Billet, Fastway, FMF , Rekluse, HBD Motografx, Regina, TLD, BRP, Bullet Proof, DirtTricks, Eline, IMS, No Toil, Acerbis, Muscle Milk, Xbrand Goggles, A'ME Grips and Bike Week Radio. - with Skyler Howes and FasstCompany Flexx Handlebars. By: Sam Bangert, 200A Expert For Round 1 of the AMA National Hare and Hound Series, I would begin the fun weekend by going out Friday for the team photo shoot. The photo shoot is always a great time - so much fun just messing around with some buddies. Friday night, we hung out as a team by the fire until about 1 a.m. (at least Ben and I did)! Saturday would be filled with races. Three kids races and the “Slow your Roll” race Saturday night. The Blais team had two racers in the kids races. Cole, a 50cc rider and Brayden in the Super Minis. Ben and I rode sweep so we got the best views of anyone during the fun kids course Erek Kudla set up. Cole finished 4th and Brayden took 1st in his class. After the super mini race, I got to interview Braydon and his fellow competitor Jerrett Megla. (Thanks Ryan Sanders for this fun experience. I may have found my Plan B). That night, teammates Harry Lyles, Ben Meza and myself would compete with other riders for the slow race, a fundraiser to benefit Rescue 3 and the Kurt Caselli foundation. It was a tough battle between Harry and I until the end but I came out with the win! Sunday morning I got up at the crack of dawn to practice the bomb and eat breakfast. I thought I had a good line until I realized Ivan and Nick were going for the same one. My start was decent. I was probably top 40 which is good considering how big the expert line was. I ended up right with my teammates at the end of the bomb. I just started chipping away at the competition. After a series of gnarly single track just before Check 1, my front brakes locked up sending me over the bars! That one hurt! It was tough to keep going after that! I kept pushing until I thought I saw a blue Yamaha 125 up a head. I kept my pace hoping to close the distance between us. All of a sudden I clipped a rock and got shot totally sideways hitting my back and face pretty hard. I got up already feeling really sore and with a bloody nose so I was a little out of it. After the crash I came into the pits about 15 minutes down from the other 200A rider. I kept going hoping to reel him in and then.....we entered the King of the Motos territory. It was so gnarly! My Fasst Co handlebars and Race Tech suspension definitely soaked up the bumps and saved me from taking the impact. The best sight I ever saw was the main campsite. With my back hurting and my wrists aching I made my way to the finish! I arrived to see my Dad and Gandpa and Blais Family waiting for me. This was not my best ace but I ended up getting 2nd Place in class and 20th overall. I can’t thank the people that have helped me get this far enough. My mom, dad, grandparents, Blais family, Skyler, Nic, Jacob, Ben, Brendan, Austin, Kurt, the Walker family, and all my sponsors: Blais Racing, Fasst Co, Amsoil, Rad Mfg, Vonzipper, Racetech, Asterisk, ESR, Kenda, FMF, Notoil, Troy Lee Designs, Alpinestar, Fastway, & AME Grips. By: Ben Meza, 250A Expert The 2014 NHHA Season kicked off with the first Lucerne round hosted by Desert MC. Going into this round, I was more prepared then I had ever been! I put in a lot of solid days over the break training on and off the bike. I knew my fitness was right where it should be, I just had to put myself in a good spot during the race. I headed out to the staging area late Thursday afternoon with teammate Brendan Crow and team manager, Chris Blais. We wanted to get away and just mentally prepare for the race. On Friday we had a team photo-shoot with the whole Blais Team. It was awesome to see the new guys with their bikes all decked out! Saturday we helped out with the NHHA Youth Series running sweep and helping the kids out! Finally race day came along! I woke up at 5:45 in the morning and went to choose a line on the bomb run. I found a solid spot and set my bike on it. I was ready to go! Iwent back to camp to get some food and just wait for the start. I headed over to the start line 30 minutes before start time. The banner went up and then it was all business! The banner dropped and my Blais Racing KTM 250 ripped off the line! I was wide open and riding really well. By race mile10 I had worked my way into the Top 20. I had my mind set on a Top 10 and went to work! I was passing guys right and left and worked my way up to the Top 15 when something horrible happened. My bike died. I immediately hopped of the bike to figure out the problem. After about 5 of the longest minutes of my life, I realized the fuel line was torn. I got to work and after about 15 more minutes, I rigged something up to at least get me going again. I had lost countless positions but made my way to the pit. In the pit they got me all dialed in and told me to just ride smart and at least get a finish. I put my head down and got on the gas. I started passing guys through someof Johnson Valley's toughest terrain and eventual got to the finish. I was extremely disappointed with how my day went, but I did my best and got an eventual 8th 250A. I was raised to never give up, and I want to thank my parents for that. I kept trying even after tragedy struck. It's a long season and I can only improve from here. I want to thank my team for backing my efforts as well as everyone of my sponsors: Blais Racing, Fasst Co., Dirt Tricks, Bullet Proof Designs, AME, FMF, ESR, Racetech, KTM,TLD, BRP, Alpinestars, HBD, Fastway,Kenda, Sensational Productions, Asterisk, HBMC, my parents, and The Lord for always being with me. I'm looking forward to the remainder of 2014 and my future with the NHHA series! By: Brendan Crow I had been anxiously awaiting the first round of the 2014 NHHA series since the end of the 2013 season. I spent most of winter break from my college schedule (6 weeks) living with the Meza family in Apple Valley. The sole purpose was to be as prepared as possible coming into the nationals, and be a contender for the Open A championship at the end of the year. Other than the bicycle accident I endured at the beginning of this year, I was more prepared than any other start of a race season. I anticipatedthat this round would bring a lot of racers out because of the recent military takeover, and the first round tends to have a very large attendance. The whole Blais team headed out early and we spent Friday taking photos of the team’s amazing new look (thanks to HBD graphics)! Friday night was spent relaxing and enjoying the company that surrounds our camp, and then the team spent Saturday at the youth race (both racing and helping). As Sunday morning came along, I was ready to race! Prior to the start I tried to stay relaxed, and remind myself to stay smooth while making sure I got to the finish. As the banner went up, I was ready. The expert line had a massive showing, and I knew with the extra dry dusty conditions the start was going to be critical. I had a decent jump, but I quickly locked on to the rear wheel of my teammate Skyler and tried not to fall in his dust (all while eating massive amounts of roost). Through the bomb it was extremely hard to see through all the dust, and until the loop split it remained the same way. I was excited to almost immediately hit the technical trails, because I was able to make a lot of passes while everyone was still bunched up from the start. Around mile 15 we came out of the first set of technical trails and ran across a lakebed, where I was able to wick up my Blais prepped KTM 300 and fly by 3 more people. Coming into the pits at mile 40, I was beginning to realize how tough this race was going to be to finish strongly. After fueling up I settled into a pace that I knew I could ride for the rest of the race, making sure I kept constant forward momentum and not to take any big chances through the long rocky sections. The single track through the rocks was unrelenting! I had put on a new set of Dirt Tricks rotors (first time using them) to start off the season, and was glad to have all that new braking power down the steep and slippery downhills! I was having a fun riding through all the technical rocks, but I was becoming mentally drained as it felt never-ending. The second half of the race went smoothly, as I maintained my pace and did not run into any trouble. I was happy to come across the finish in 19th overall and 3rd Open A, a great start to the season! I want to thank all of my wonderful sponsors who help me reach for my goals, as well as my friends and family for the immense amounts of support they give me. Also, thanks to the Meza family for their hospitality while I spent time with them over the last couple of weeks. Going to be a wonderful season! National Youth, Round 1, Johnson Valley 1/25/14 By: Braydon Bland, Age 14, #2 Super Mini Coming into Round 1 of National Youth Hare Hound was pretty exciting for me because I got chosen to be on the Blais Racing team. As Saturday came, I was watching my teammate Cole Timboe start and race. By that time I started to get nerved up but as it came to the third race, I geared up and walked my line. Banner dropped and the race was on with a perfect hole-shot line thanks to Skyler Howes. As the course went on after the start it got rockier and then faster and then rockier and then faster. At the end of the 9-mile loop, there was a super gnarly rocky hill that I worked my way up to finish the first loop and came to the very last corner of the loop. I hit neutral and I hear this screaming two stroke behind me. As my bike shifted in gear I looked back to see the champ, Jarett Megla, right on me. We came into the pits side by side. The battle then continued like that for many more laps. Then by the end of the race I came through the checkered for a 1st Place Overall. Thanks to NHHA for putting on such a great race/course. Also like to thank My sponsors, Blais racing, Rekluse Motorsports, Fasst Company, and my mom and dad. Best way to start off 2014! By: Cole Timboe, Age 6, 50cc Pee Wee These are his own words... Friday I got to meet my new Blais Racing team. It was awesome! I hung out with Chris, Harry, Sam, Ben, Skyler, Brendan and Brayden. I got to get my new number plate, and the guys put new graphics on my bike. Later I took pictures with Harry. He had me ride through a section and I was wheelie-ing through it. When it was time to leave we couldn’t find the truck keys. We found them later when we got home. They were stuck to an old piece of graphics that my dad had thrown away. It was a really fun day! Round 1 was awesome, and I really liked it. The sand section was hard. I had a good start; I think I was first or second off the line. My bike ran really good and I liked the number 1 plate and my Blais Racing graphics. I didn’t fall during lap one at all and stood up most of the time. Lap two was cool, but the sand section was really hard and I crashed like four times, no maybe two times on lap two. Lap three was good but I was tired and it was hot. I tried to rail through the sand section but it didn’t really work and I crashed a few more times. I am going to work hard in the sand to be ready for the next race. I’m excited to race Round 2. I would like to thank Blais Racing, Chris and Miss Patty, all of my teammates who cheered for me, FMF, IMS, Troy Lee Designs, and my dad and mom for taking me out there. Also my little sister and brother for cheering me on.

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