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Mid-South Championship Winter Hare Scramble Series
Doug Blackwell Digs Deep
Round 4: The Big Stripper
Doug Blackwell was hot on the Big Stripper trail at the fourth round of the Mid-South Championship Winter Hare Scramble Series. His game plan was simple. He wanted to quickly move out front and keep a good distance from the Mid-South riders. He knew the Lynnville, Indiana, track was known for tight sections and lapped traffic and with that as a combination, any lead could quickly be lost.
Off the start his strategy immediately went into play with the seventeen AA riders. The multi Mid-South and National Hare Scrambles Champion said, “I got off the line first and basically just tried to run away and hide. I knew it would be difficult once we got into lapped traffic, so I pushed myself on the first lap.”
As planned by the end of his first lap, Blackwell had a thirty-six second lead on KTM mounted, Scott Plessinger. Blair Bersano, P.A. Allen, and Jeff Cregg followed. Then his lead was quickly brought to a halt as he got into his first bad bottleneck.
Mid-way through the second lap, Blackwell got stuck behind two lappers who were struggling on a bridge. He was caught on the bridge directly behind them with time ticking. Lappers were in front and AA riders were at his rear. He was unable to go anywhere.
He said, “Everybody caught me, and I sat there and watched my lead go to nothing. Actually P.A. wheelied across the water hole and went from fifth to first and took the lead right there. Not too long after that, the guy on the bridge finally got out of the way.”
He said, “The club did a super job. They had a lot of guys out there watching the track today and the couple of sections that got bad, they were ready to reroute. That keeps the race going and keeps everybody moving, and that makes a better day for everybody.”
During the last two laps, Bersano and Allen kicked it in high gear for a good second place battle. They passed back and forth at least ten times with Smith / Sport Optics / Lowe Racing Suspension sponsored Bersano taking the final lead. They were two seconds apart at the finish and twelve seconds down from Blackwell.
“It was good racing, and it was fun,” said Bersano. “My main goal today was to beat P.A, so I’m happy with second. I’ve never won a Mid-South Championship; I’ve been runner up two times. This year I’m pretty focused, and I really want to win a championship. If I want to win this championship, then I have to start beating him.
“He did have the hot line at the creek though. Blackwell, me, [Charles] Mullins, and [Scott] Plessinger were all just sitting there on this bridge, and he comes out of nowhere an WHAaah – wheelies through the creek and gets by all of us.
“It was funny. One guy was in the creek, and another was in the creek on the other side. One guy was half way on the bridge and instead of trying to take his bike all the way off; he was trying to put his bike back on. I think we all thought the same thing because we were all just waiting for a turn to go.”
“I loved the competition today,” said Team Green Kawasaki / Sarge’s Cycles / Pro Action of KY / Oakley / GPR supported Allen. “I had no idea I went from fifth to first though. When I got to the creek, I just floored it because I don’t like to sit and wait. I had some good lines but I also had some bad. For a brief second, I had the line to get back second place but didn’t take it. Blair’s fast, but I’m up for the challenge because this was fun today.”
Team Green / Bloomington Power Sports / Maxima / Twin Air / IMS backed Cregg also tried to pass everyone at the creek, but it didn’t work out quite the same. After twisting the throttle, he took the big dive and ended up lying in the creek. Cregg finished the race in fifth place and is currently in second in overall points.
One minute ahead of him was Scott Plessinger on a brand new KTM EXC 250. He said, “This was the first time back since seven months ago when I broke my back. Everything went well. I was in the front with Blackwell for a while and everyone passed me the second time I got gas.”
Misprint: Sorry! Blair’s sponsor is Lowe Racing, not Blow. P.A. misinformed me on that one and is still laughing about it.