Rocky Mountain ATV/MC’S Justin Morgan had another solid showing, finishing a season-high seventh in the West Hare Scrambles series at the fifth round in Panaca.
The fifth round of the West Hare Scrambles series, held in Panaca, NV, provided a mix of terrain for the riders – some silty sections, sand washes, rocky trails, and even a few sand dunes – but one factor remained constant throughout the twenty-five mile loop: thick dust. According to Rocky Mountain ATV/MC, Precision Concepts, Maxxis Racing’s Justin Morgan, the dust was so thick off the start that in some sections the riders were coming to a stop to make sure they were still on course and heading in the right direction.
The dusty conditions made a good start hyper-critical, but Morgan wasn’t able to get off the line as good as he’d hoped, stating, “…[my start was] horrible again. I started in neutral, thinking it would fire quicker, but no. I was able to take the inside [in a couple corners], then the outside [in spots] to avoided some of the dust and get by a couple guys.”
Justin had worked up in to the top ten by the end of the first lap, but he found it difficult to make much further progress after things began to spread out, with most overtaking coming down to the pits. Said Morgan, “[The dust] made it all pit strategy…and I pitted the first lap because I was unsure of making it fifty miles with the sandy conditions. I was just behind Ryan Smith [who would go on to finish fourth] and he went for two laps and made it, so I went for two laps after that. I closed up and was able to get ahead of him [after Smith came in for gas] and I tried to gap him because I had to do one more pit and he didn’t.”
The extra stop allowed Smith back by, as Justin came out of the pits in seventh, just behind Travis Coy. A fall in one of the siltiest sections of the course on the final lap would cost Morgan any chance of closing up towards the top five and he summed up his feelings by saying, “It was frustrating.” He went on to add, “but I’m very confident at the next few rounds I’ll be inside the top five. They’ll be more my style, places I’m more familiar with. I haven’t been to any of these [previous WHS rounds] rounds before, so I’m learning and progressing, and my confidence is getting a lot higher.”
Justin’s next event will be the fourth round of the National Hare and Hound Championship, June 11th in Plymouth, UT.
Results - Top 10 Finishers:
1. Axel Pearson
2. Nick Burson
3. Cory Graffunder
4. Ryan Smith
5. Ian Blythe
6. Travis Coy
7. Justin Morgan
8. Justin Bonita
9. Tuffy Pearson
10. Steven Godman