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Blais Racing Owner Patty Blais takes the Overall ATV Win at HBMC

District 37 HBMC Dual Euro Scrambles
Johnson Valley OHV

By: Patty Blais, ATV A

Not having raced in Johnson Valley in over 3 or more years, I still knew what to expect. It's a pretty rough, but really fun area to ride and race in. My hubby and Ben helped me prep my quad and make some adjustments for my race. A couple weeks prior, they had installed a new 41mm carb that I got from JCR. I was excited to test it out! 
Skyler, Harry & myself headed out to Cougar Buttes on Friday afternoon to get some riding in and test out our machines. Ben & Brendan were busy all day helping get the kid's courses all set up for Saturday's races. I went on my way and rode for about 1.5 hours, making small adjustments to my newly rebuilt rear shock. My new carb was working flawless - all I can say is WOW! My quad was working perfectly and I was so excited for Saturday! Of course we had a team dinner and some Jacuzzi time Friday night and I was ready to race, or so I thought. 
I was excited all week long, and on race morning, I started to get really nervous - OMG!! Skyler, Harry & I headed back out to the Buttes on Saturday morning. We were all getting ready for our races - Skyler & Sam would race at Noon and I would race at 1:30pm.
 I had some nice alone time for about an hour before my race but now I was really getting butterflies. I geared up and went riding around a little so I could calm down, haha. Got to the start line and finally started to see the other racers pull up, many of my old friends that I've been racing with for a long time! 
The banner went up and I had my sights on my line all the way up to the top of hill where the end of the bomb run was. The banner dropped and off we went into the dust bowl. Of course I could see nothing in front of me - I was about 5th off the start out of 8 or 9 of us. After the hill, we dropped down into a long valley where I would head over to the single-lane bike trail that was much smoother. I was able to pass two people in the first few miles so now I was in 3rd overall. 
The whole first lap, which was 9-miles long, I would be right behind my old friend, Ryan Wilson. We came into this narrow canyon where the club had to have an alternate route for the quads, so they pointed us up this rock hill and we got to race on some Moab-style rocks for a few hundred feet. We would drop back down into a gully before hitting the open desert again. My team members were up on the rocks cheering me on every time I came thru this area. It made me smile so much to see my guys there! 
I was eating Ryan's dust for way too long. It was starting to really annoy me, haha. So as we headed out on Lap 2, I was plotting my pass on him. He stayed on the ribbon where the trail was really rough and I was to his left on the bike trail where it was way smoother but sketchy as I was running over bushes the whole time and not knowing if there may be hidden rocks in them. Just as we went up a hill, I made a sweet pass on him (his words) and I got right in front of him. Now it was my turn to dust him out! During that whole lap, I was in front of him until I got a little too excited about being out front and missed the ribbon. I ended up getting lost for a minute but turned around to see where his dust was. I noticed I was way off the course and headed back over to where Ryan was. Now I'm behind him again! I thought, "Okay, I'll just have to pass him again!" 
 I can't quite remember where I passed him the second time, but all I know is I was trying with all my might to keep him behind me. I kept thinking he was "right there" so that I would keep pushing even though I was getting tired from pounding the huge G-outs and ruts which my body is no longer used to doing. 
 For the entire third lap, I was out front. It was the best feeling! I kept telling myself "Don't blow it, don't blow it, pay attention!" As I approached that last rock canyon, I could see my team members (Sam, Harry, Skyler) jumping up and down, dancing and cheering for me! They were so excited which made me so excited! I headed to the finish in 1st Place Overall with Ryan about 1.5 minutes behind me. It was a great battle and we were all exhausted!
I want to thank my hubby for always keeping good ole "Black Betty" in tip top shape - my '06 Honda 450R! And to Ben and all my team members including Doreen and her parents for sticking around to cheer me on! That meant a lot to me. Thank you HBMC for a great weekend in the desert and for all the cheers. Thank you to our awesome friends/sponsors who also help me out too: Fasst Co, Troy Lee Designs, FMF, Fastway/PMB, Teixeira Tech, IMS, Earl Shuler Suspension, Maxxis, FAH-Q MC! Until the next one....
By: Skyler Howes, Hwt A
Friday morning I made the trip down to sunny California for a weekend of racing and suspension testing! Saturday marked Day 1 of racing. I went out and walked the bomb with my teammate, Sammy, and decided we had a good shot. I was lined up right next to Nick Burson in hopes I could get the jump and hold the line. When the banner dropped I got an awesome jump and held that KTM all the way to the throttle stop! To my left I heard the Beta 4-stroke creeping up. As we reached the end of the bomb, Nick was able to edge me out for the holeshot. We hit the course and the dust was thick. The "A" loop we were racing was 9 miles long that we did 4 times. After loop 1, Nick had opened a demanding lead and I settled in to a comfortable pace on this fast, extremely choppy race. We sure did pick a great race to test suspension on! It was feeling great thanks to the hard work from ESR Suspension and Race Tech! Thanks to Flexx Handlebars for keeping the arm pump and fatigue down on this course! I raced on into a 2nd Place Overall! 
After that race, Sammy, Harry and myself found a good spot on course to cheer on Patty who was racing the quad race. After being stuck in the dust on the bomb, we expected her to be caught up behind everyone. Sammy poked his head up and said "no way that's Patty!" She was in 2nd Overall right on the guy in the lead! The next loop came around and she had a huge lead and kept that all the way to the finish! We were so pumped! After that we headed over to help out the kids event. Ben and Brendan really put a lot of work into it and did an awesome job! Harry and myself got to drop the banner for one of the events and we hung out after to hand out all of the awards. After a night of watching Supercross and eating Fajitas, I got some sleep.
Sunday! Boy I thought Saturday's course was rough! This course had a lot more technical spots which was great but the valleys were even more rough from all the previous races creating a lot of square edges! Lined up right beside Ryan Smith and Nick Burson, we were all shooting for a great start on this line. The banner dropped, Ryan and my self got a great jump, he peeled right and I kept left. Nick made a fast pass on the bomb and I followed his line to the end for another second place start. Into the technical sections I could feel some needed suspension clicker changes. I waited it out till the end of the first loop. After slowing to make a couple clicks, Chance Wylie made a pass on me in one of the valleys. Back around for another loop, I felt the need to change a few more clicks, this allowed Ryan Smith to make a pass on me putting me back to 4th overall. After slowing to make the changes, things felt awesome! I picked back up the pace and started a good battle with Ryan where I made a pass stick back on him coming through a valley. The charge Ryan and I put on caught us back up to Chance. I took his same line that he passed me on and put the pass back on him to bring me back to 2nd overall on the last loop! I did what was planned and made sure everything is feeling great for the next national and came home with a 2nd Overall for the weekend. I am pumped! 
I really want to give a big shout out to Earl at ESR for giving me some great suspension. It definitely has saved me many times from being ejected! Thank you to all of my sponsors: 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. 
By: Sam Bangert, 200 A
Coming up to this weekend, I didn't decide to race until a couple days prior. Saturday morning, I drove out around 7:30am and picked up some breakfast. When I got to the Buttes, I went and signed up for the 1 hour race. My teammate Skyler Howes and I rode over to the bomb and walked the line we thought was the fastest. I went back to our camp area, got fueled up, and headed back to the line.
The flag went up and the butterflies came flying into my stomach. It dropped and my bike fired up but for some reason I was way back in the pack. By the end of the bomb, I had one of the worst starts this year. Right out of the gate me and fellow competitor, Dalton Shirey, were right next to each other. The course was one of the most rough courses I've ever raced. 
By the end of the lap one, my wrist was killing me. Dalton slowly pulled away and I just tried to keep a good pace. The course went by very fast considering it was 9 miles long. Seeing the white flag was glorious. The last lap, my wrist was giving out and I was getting a little squirrely so I'm glad I finished! Congrats to Skyler on his 2nd and to Patty on her 1st OA!!! I ended up 2nd Place in my class and 7th overall. 
I had the privilege to help with the Blais Racing HBMC kids race. I was stoked to see our teammate, Cole Timboe, killin it!!
I want to thank my sponsors: Blais Racing Services, Fasst Co, Amsoil, Notoil, Rad, Vonzipper, FMF, Asterisk, Troy Lee Designs, Fastway, IMS, KTM, MuscleMilk, my parents and God. Also want to thank the Walker Family. Till next time... Yee Yee! 




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