Cody Webb Wins Picacho Creek Challenge WHS

Cody Webb gets back to his roots and wins rhe 2017 Picacho Creek Challenge AMA Western Hare Scramble in Coalinga, California.

With nothing else on his schedule, Cody Webb prepped his well-used practice bike the day before and dominated in the challenging conditions to win the Picacho Creek Challenge. PHOTO BY MARK KARIYA.

Like almost everyone who starts racing dirt bikes, Cody Webb can thank his father for getting him into the sport. One of the top observed trials riders in the country in the 1980s and early ‘90s, Kip Webb took young Cody to local riding spots in his van and served as Cody’s coach/mechanic as the youngster learned the ropes.

So it was a bit of deja vu when the Webbs (Cody, mom, dad and one sister) rolled up to the Picacho Creek Challenge, hosted by the Salinas Ramblers Motorcycle Club outside of Coalina, California, round two of the Kenda/SRT AMA West Hare Scrambles Regional Championship Series. He had no factory mechanic, no FMF KTM Factory Off-road Racing Team van and just the well-used KTM 300 XC-W he’d used to get second overall a few weeks ago at the opening round of the AMA ISDE West Qualifier Championship Series, as well as torture it while training for the King of the Motos extreme enduro the week after.

But Webb did more than just ride around for the experience. He reveled in the challenging, sloppy conditions and dominated the event that wasn’t originally on his schedule.

“I did this race in 2010 and 2011, and both of those were mudders and I haven’t done it since—I just had other stuff going on,” Webb said. “I’m not doing Super Enduros this year so I’m trying to do as many [other] things as I can, and this is right down the road so I prepped my practice bike yesterday and drove down and gave it a roll. [I] got a great start and got by Max [Gerston] maybe a third of the way into the first lap and then pushed real hard and got a gap on everyone.”

J.T. Baker smartly skirts a rut en route to winning the FMF Pro 250 division for the second consecutive round. PHOTO BY MARK KARIYA.
The strategy worked as Webb proved untouchable, with all the close racing taking place behind him. At first, it was round-one winner Joey Fiascanaro keeping Webb in sight, but that lasted only two laps for the former FMF Pro 250-class champ on his new Gas Gas.

“I was right behind Cody and after two laps, Cody just started slowly pulling away,” Fiasconaro said. “He was riding really smooth, especially through the rocks.”

A crash later forced Fiasconaro back into the pits to reposition the pipe onto the exhaust flange, and he would end up fourth behind a spirited duel between NorCal regular Jason Hurst on his Mom and Dad-backed YZ250X and Purvines DA8 Racing Yamaha YZ250FX-mounted Axel Pearson, who had to rebound from some off-trail excursions due to the slick conditions.

“He never actually passed me, but he was on me and showed me a wheel one time,” Hurst said. “He was just putting the pressure on me the whole time but never got me.”

They ended up 42 seconds apart at the finish after Pearson tried to EnduroCross it around lappers in a tricky rock section, the line costing him more time and energy than expected, so he settled for third.Fiascanaro, SRT KTM’s Steven Godman, Beta’s Max Gerston and Michael Aranda on a KTM came in next, all under three hours.SRT Husqvarna riders Trystan Hart and J.T. Baker were next through the finish chute, Baker the FMF Pro 250 winner for the second round in a row. Justin Bonita and his new Six Five O Husqvarna TX 300 rounded out the top 10 overall ahead of defending series champion Nick Burson, the Purvines DA8 Racing Yamaha rider getting a decent start but having one of those days when things didn’t seem to go right for him and his YZ250FX. FMF Pro 250 runner-up Dillon Sheppard and third-place Patrick Garrahan were next across the line.

2017 Kenda/SRT AMA West Hare Scramble Championship
Salinas Ramblers Motorcycle Club
Picacho Creek Challenge
Coalinga, California
Results: February 19, 2017 (Round 2 of 10)

1. Cody Webb-KTM (first Pro/AA)
2. Jason Hurst-Yam
3. Axel Pearson-Yam
4. Joey Fiasconnaro
5. Steven Godman-KTM
6. Max Gerston-Bet
7. Michael Aranda-KTM
8. Trystan Hart
9. JT Baker (first Pro 250)
10. Justin Bonita
11. Nick Burson-Yam
12. Dillon Sheppard-Yam
13. Patrick Garrahan-KTM
14. Cole Conatser-KTM
15. Cole Marshall-KTM (first A 250)
16. Calum Campbell (first A Open)
17. Austin Tavares-KTM (first A Vet)
18. Lochlan Campbell-KTM
19. Tyler Brumit-KTM
20. Zachary Fitch-KTM