Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1980's

Cycle News 1983 02 16

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

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Page 38 of 39

(Left) Class 21 ' co-winner Kent Pfeiffer storms past the dejected Husky pits as Dan Ashcraft waits in gear for news of his partner. (Above) Bruce Ogilvie and Chuck Miller had a rough first loop. but pulled off the big w in. SCORE/Pernod Parker 400 H .onda and Husky, head-on with Lady Luck ' By Jim Bowman PARKER, AZ, FEB. 5 American Honda's Bruce Ogilvie and Chuck Miller teamed up on a production XR500R four-stroke and went head-on with Team Husky and Lady Luck to win the overall motorcycle honors at th e 10th annual Parker 400 desert race held in Ca lifornia and Arizona today. The overall race hon ors 14 were taken by Marty Letner in a Class I single-seat buggy. The big news of the day centered around the Honda and Husqvarna teams that were made up of a n umber of seasoned desert racers. Besides the overall bike winners, Honda also had Lee Scheffers and Tom Kelly on another XR500R, Class 21 (250cc) winners Kent and Scott Pfeiffer on a CR250R and the second place Class 20 (125cc) entry of Peter Postel and Kevin Hopkins on a CRI25R. Husqvarna countered the Honda onslaught with Dan Ashcraft and Dan Smith, and Larry Roeseler and Scot Harden, all on two new XC500s. It was shaping up to be quite a battle. Thanks to Lady Luck. however, the battle would not be won easily and would raise and d rop the spirits of many of the racers during the day . Flat tires would take their toll as would broken shift levers and seized motors. One American Honda entry wou ldn 't finish th e California loop and another would finish crippled. Team Husky wou ld establish an early dominance and, with problems undefined at press time, would suffer the biggest disappointment. Chuck Miller wou ld say of his win with Ogilvie la ter, "We had our breaks and they had theirs, it will be neat when they don't break and we don' t either. That's the best racing." The battle began at 6:30 a.rn. as the first of 64 motorcycles left the line. The bikes were released one at a time at 30-second intervals and timed at check one and at the finish of the I IO ile California loop. -m Classes 22. 21 and 20 Harden rode the first bike into check one and Roeseler took over the lead with no idea how they were doing. Elapsed time is the name of the game here and the fact that Harden was the first bike through wasn 't much of a clue. As it turned out, Smith beat Harden 's time by a minute and Kent Pfeiffer arid Kent Miller were tied aboard their 250s six minutes back from Smith. One minute further back was the eventual Class 20 co-winner Kurt Pfeiffer, running a 1982 YZI25 without factory support. Chuck Miller had already broken a shift lever and changed a flat and was running seven minutes behind the leaders. The Ca lifornia loop was generally considered to be the harder of the two. Due to a great deal of rain , including some today , there was no dust but it was awfu lly co ld. The riders that took over at check one felt the cold the worst because they had the long fast ride up Thunder Alley to chill them. It was here, when things were going so good, that Team Husky first ha d their p ro blems. Roeseler began having troubles-on Thunder Alley when the bike seized. It was running lean, but they had plenty of time on the bikes and didn't expect any troubles. Ashcraft picked up some time on Roeseler here, but Larry p icked up the pace again when the terrain changed. Ashcraft was astounded, "I never got out of shape. 1 was going fast - it felt so goodl It was hard for me to believe he pulled so much time." The luck looked like it might have turned as Roeseler finished the California loop II seconds faster than Ashcraft, with both Huskys eight minutes a head of Kent Miller's 250cc Husky. Scott Pfeiffer brought in the second 250cc two minutes back and Donnie Morrison brought in the first 125cc for partner Kurt Pfeiffer one minute behind Kurt's brothers. Other than Kent Miller passin g th e Pfeiffer brothers, the lead didn' t change much in any of the classes. A lo t of bad luck was striking the bi kes though. Kelly was one of the first to meet Lady Luck as he took the XR500 from Scheffers at check one and had the engine quit a couple of miles later. Kelly said later that they thought they had tried to soup up the engine too soon. Ogilvie had taken the other XR500 from Chuck Miller and like Miller, he picked up another flat at Turtle Mountain, now I I minutes behind Team Husky. As if Honda's luck wasn't bad enough, the aluminum tank on the PostellHo p kins CRI25 had split and a radiator was damaged during repairs; they would start the Arizona loop with a stock tank and only one radiator, three minutes behind the Pfeiffer/Morrison team. At the start of the first of the two 90-mile Arizona loops, it looked like Team Husky had sewn things up with runaway wins , but a lot would happen in the first loop. Harden's bike was the first to quit and did so within earshot of the start. Frantic repairs cou ld n 't get the bike running a nd it sudden ly look ed like Smith would take the win, which was the next best thing as far as Harden was concerned. Kurt Pfeiffer pulled a minute ahead of Hopkins in Class 20 action and Kent of the Pfeiffer brothers team repassed Kent Miller and pulled a four mi nute lead by check two. For all the bad lu ck on the California loop, th e P feiffer brothers now had their 250cc in second overall! Smith had gained another minute on the Pfeiffers at check two and excitement was high in the Husky pits as all prepared to prep the bike and send Ashcraft out for the final loop. The excitement reached a peak and then heads began to tum and listen as the stopwatch ticked on and began to speak trouble. The first bike to come through was ' the roaring four-stroke with ' Ogilvie at the controls. The excitement was immediately transferred to the Honda pits. The XR500 was prepped and Miller was ou t ofthe pit before anyone could tell . him that Da n Smith was parked at the road crossing coming into the finish. Ogi lvie had shaved three minutes off Kent Pfeiffer's time and Chuck Miller was now running first overall ahead of Scott P feiffer by two minutes. If Postel could overcome the four points between himself and Donnie Morrison, American Honda would sweep all three classes an d the top three spots overall. Miller set a blistering pace on the last loop to try to stay ahead o f the dreaded Husky team. After being soaked in the rain, he gave the bi ke to Ogilvie, reasoning that a fresh rider with clean clothes and goggles might be able to hold off the pair of Da ns. Meanwhile, Scott Pfeiffer set an equally fast time trying to pass Chuck Miller for the overall. Both teams finished at the same two minute mark that separated them before, but their pace carried them another six minutes ahead of the Kurt Pfeiffer/ Morr ison team. Postel was having a good ride, but drifted off a cliff past the Swansea ghost town and finished down five minutes and in a daze of shock. He loosened up a little whi le later and looked to be OK. Postell Hopkins finished second in class, sixth overall. . Kent Miller finished fourth overall , second place 250cc bike after riding the entire distance aboard his Husqvarna and finished only three seconds behind the Kurt Pfeiffer/ Morrison team. The second p lace Open bike was that of Bill Boyer and Steve Gildea, who finis hed 10th overall after Bo yer ran out of gas o n the first Arizona loop . Dave Chase and Steve Zollinger brought in their Husky for third 250cc honors and the rest of the top 10 spots were filled by the vigorous Class 30 riders. ,

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