Dozens of RVs and trailers descended on Panaca Aug. 23-24 for the eighth annual Muley Run Hare and Hound motorcycle race, hosted by the Silver State Trailblazers Motorcycle Club.
As the racers began the process of preparing their two-wheeled wonders, the smell of oil and gasoline filled the air and alluded to a common yet competing goal: to win a race.
This year’s race was unique for a variety of reasons. Firstly, the people at the Motorcycle Racing Association of Nevada and American Motorcycle Association pride themselves on safety, and this event took it to a whole different level. Safety experts gave riders the lowdown on what to expect and the track itself was overhauled from previous years based on feedback from riders.
Another differentiating factor for this year’s event was its size. Approximately 250 racers participated, a number that included locals Axel and Russel Pearson and professionals such as Jacob Argubright, Joe Watson and Dalton Shirey.
Two races were held at 8 and 9 a.m. that catered to younger riders and the less experienced. The main event, the Hare and Hound Race, was held near the main parade grounds. Across the highway, behind the dump and along a twisting dusty path, the starting line was marked by colorful flags that helped differentiate where racers would begin based off their experience. While there was some general confusion about where people should be, racers eventually took their places.
The objective of the race was to chase down and pass a single rider, the “hare,” played by well-known local Russ Pearson, wearing two cardboard bunny ears hilariously attached to his helmet.
Like a traditional race, the second circuit would begin once the first person crossed the finish line.
As the racers filled the starting lines just south of the parade grounds, it was apparent how many people had shown up to participate. Dozens of riders waited for the signal to start, and after Russ Pearson shot off, his trail of dust seemed minuscule when compared to the storm that followed him 60 seconds later. The squeal of engines filled the air as the wall of racers attacked the proverbial prey, and the race was underway.
Unusually in this race, no one caught the hare. Russ Pearson, who has been riding motocross since he was old enough to lift his leg over the seat of a bike, entered the pit without ever being tracked down. Since the hare outran the hounds, the cash prize for catching the rascally rabbit was forfeited. Nevertheless, the common objective still remained winning the race.
Joe Wasson took the crown, with Jacob Argubright coming in second and Axel Pearson landing in third.