The actual Funky Chicken – Ben Baucum brings us for the Big K Farm in Elkton, And the AMA Traditional western Hare Scrambles Championship Collection.

Story And Photos By Ben Baucum

There were several Pros that would envy Ross Neely's spot at the start.

There were several Pros that would envy Ross Neely’s spot in the beginning.

The best K Ranch within Elkton, OR was the fifth venue for the AMA Traditional western Hare Scrambles Championship Collection. Though the ranch is covered with livestock the race is commonly referred to as Funky Poultry. Organized and managed by the dedicated crew of the ETRA (Emerald Trail Riders’ Association) who obviously recognize the significance and scarcity of national quality events in the Northwest and puts forth plenty of effort to cater for the riders’ encounter. The course is actually laid out over the hillsides of the Central Oregon Coast Range and also the topography of the area is a mix of rolling to rigid elevation modifications. Well before race day the ETRA crew braved groves of toxic oak and blackberry bushes to put in a lot of new trail for 2015.

Saturday night on top of the hill at the Big K Ranch.

Saturday night on top of the hillside at the Big E Farm.

The actual weeks leading up to the race had been unseasonably warm and dry for the area, cooking the pure clay ground to a color and consistency of rusty chalk. The actual 14-mile course would guide riders through a selection of conditions with technical and heavy speed sections. The grass hillsides would allow riders to tap into top gear, but would also bend into off-camber and decreasing radius slow spots. In the woods racers would face high elevation change with crucial braking and acceleration factors. The older trees and shrubs allowed for higher speeds and better presence, while the young growth eclipsed almost all the natural light and in a few sections, were hardly spaced farther compared to handlebar width. Revealed roots were another obstacle given all the trees and elevation change. Fortunately the baked clay ground would prevent rut formation. There is hardly any rock to the ranch, however there is an large quantity of chop square edge hack that gives feedback like riding a street bike on railroad tracks. With all the obstacles which lie in wait, there is none a lot more bountiful than dust. Small particulates dangling like a curtain and concealing like a turtleneck hiding the hickey.

Alex Dorsey rode a consistent race and finished a solid third.

Alex Dorsey rode a consistent race and finished a solid third.

In the starting line within the Pro race there have been several contenders eager for the BatteryStuff. com holeshot. Steven Godman on the two-stroke YZ250 was the first for the turn, however it was Ross Neely aboard the Dick’s Racing WR450F which was able to guide the way from the grass track and into the woods. KTM driver Alex Dorsey was in close pursuit and had this to say about the very first lap. ”I didn’t think the dust would definitely be which bad, but as I headed within the trees powering Ross I quickly transformed my mind. After we headed to the dark tree sections I couldn’t see anything; I could barely see the front side fender on my bicycle. Dust is definitely a common part of a race, but the Funky Chicken this year was an extreme situation. ”

Ross Neely takes the road jump in route to second overall.

Ross Neely takes the road begin route to 2nd general.

Along with one lap finished Neely had a clean air filter, apparent vision and accumulated one minute gap more than Dorsey. The next positions were pretty tight. Godman got settled into the third spot and was being hounded by the dirty faces associated with Jon Seehorn (SXS KTM) and Rory Sullivan (Pro Caliber Motorsports Kawasaki). The actual train of riders which followed looked like they were from the Ok panhandle fleeing the Dust Bowl.

Rory Sullivan has a flare for the dramatic. He moved from fifth to first and captured his second win at the Funky Chicken.

Rory Sullivan has a flare for the dramatic. This individual moved from fifth to first and captured his second win at the Funky Poultry.

After that next couple of laps saw some shifting in position among the top riders. Godman got slid down a few spots whilst Seehorn and Sullivan filled in the vacancy. It wasn’t a long time after when Seehorn’s day would finish with a big accident in the grass area due to a flat front tire. At the same time, the distance in between Neely and Dorsey was reducing.

Keith Sweeten feels right at home with in a log section.

Keith Enhance feels right at house with in a log area.

The actual course didn’t alter a lot during the race because of the hard-packed ground and there was absolutely no breeze to help apparent the dust from air. The actual ETRA crew members made efforts to help the ones that had trouble to the trail, fixed ribbon and even put water down at the base associated with 100mph Hill to provide riders visibility of the takeoff and having the road jump.

Steve Godman kicks up a cloud of brown powder.

Steve Godman kicks up the cloud of brown powder.

The actual battle for the general changed significantly within the last two laps. Rory Sullivan got by Alex Dorsey within the woods after which picked off Ross Neely within the pits. Sullivan took the victory at the 2010 Funky Chicken and was in the perfect placement repeat with the guide going into the final lap. The remainder of his race wasn’t without its issues though. Sullivan explained, “On the final lap I accident three times along with lapped riders (its alright these are racing too). I would personally come up allowing them know I had been there with a few shouts then pass with a loud thank you. Sometimes this scares people and so they don’t acquire the best techniques. One rider looked back and then rode into a woods. His bike then blocked the trail and I hit it a good speed. ”

Thankfully KTMs have a very supportive front fender and can stand on their own without a rider.

Thankfully KTMs possess a supportive front side fender and can get up on their own with no driver.

Regardless of the collisions Rory was able to ride to victory on a difficult course with tough conditions. He continued to say which, “This might be the dustiest event I’ve ever ran. The course was obviously a great combo associated with tight and fast and I really enjoy the Oregon woods. It feels great to get my third National win and anytime Inde i race my heart for three hours and win a fresh rad sensation. I hope I can repeat my 2010 win at Big Sky in August. Thanks to Pro Caliber Motorsports, Bell Powersports, Smith optical technologies, Novik Gloves Virus Intl, Evo Ind, Devol Eng, Beinhaltet Co and Fusion Graphixs for helping me out. ”

Ross Neely snagged the 2nd position whilst Alex Dorsey held to the third spot. Dorsey who is still healing from a broken hands, was glad to be a competitor. He said, “I was happy to be on the podium and secure 2nd place in the Nationals for this yr. ”

  1. Rory Sullivan, Kawasaki
  2. Ross Neely, Yamaha
  3. Alex Dorsey, KTM
  4. Steve Godman, Yamaha
  5. Jerr Matheney, KTM
  6. Ryan Turner, Honda

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