The grand finale of the 2016 AMA National Hare & Hound series took place over the weekend in Lucerne Valley, California, where Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory racer Jacob Argubright claimed 2nd overall in the Championship. Conditions changed slightly the night before the race, bringing in heavy cloud coverage from a brewing storm. With little to no wind until the end of the day, this would play factor as dust would sit heavy over the valleys. After what is notably Argubright’s career-best season in the National series, he sat second overall in the championship coming into the final event. His shot at the Championship would come only if the overall points leader DNF’d or finished 8th or worse.
Hosted by 100’s Motorcycle Club, the notoriously difficult course consisted of three separate loops spread out over 90-miles. At the drop of the banner Sunday morning, Argubright drag raced to the start of the course coming out in 3rd. Over the next 36-miles, he strategically paced himself into the first pit closely behind the leaders in 3rd place. On loop two, he put the hammer down to pass the 2nd place rider and build a gap of over 2-minutes and 30-seconds. On the hunt for the overall leader, Argubright raced across the increasingly difficult 38-mile rocky terrain to close the gap. In due time, Argubright came through the final pit in 2nd place, less than a minute behind the leader. With just 15-miles to go to the checkered flag, he increased his pace in the most challenging leg of the race, further edging in on the lead to completely close the gap. Eventually the lead riders were wheel to wheel as they descended down the final technical hill, but unfortunately heavy dust prevented Argubright from keeping pace with the leader into the finish as he came in just 17-seconds behind.
Finishing second overall on the day, Argubright easily secured his second place standing in the overall championship. Just after the race, Argubright stated, “Today was a good day for me. The course was exciting, and I felt really strong all day.” He went on to say, “While I am grateful to have finished second overall today, the win would have been much sweeter. This year has been really educational for me. I’ve learned so much about myself and my capabilities, and the progress we have made as a team has really made a difference. This is all just part of my journey to earning my first AMA National Hare & Hound Championship, and I am prepared to claim it in 2017.”
NHHA Round 7 Results: Pro 1. RICKY BRABEC HON 2. JACOB ARGUBRIGHT HSQ 3. GARY SUTHERLIN KTM