AMA Hare & Hound Video
Round 2 of the AMA/Kenda National Hare and Hound Championship Series at Spangler Hills, Ridgecrest, Calif., has come and gone.
Kurt Caselli (KTM) has brought himself right back into the game with his first win of the season. The battle for the remaining spots behind him was the true race to watch, however Caselli stole the show at Round 2 and literally looked like he was just cruising to the end of the race
Over 370 riders took to the start line for the Four Aces annual Moose Run event, and with three loops to race totaling 90 miles, the riders got their fair share of seat time as they covered literally every inch of trail space in the Spangler Hills OHV Area.
Getting the jump early and first to the end of the bomb run was none other then the reigning NHHA Champion, JCR Honda’s Kendall Norman. Leading up and through check one, Kendall looked good as Caselli tried feverously to keep up in his dust. Somewhere around mile marker 11, however, Norman would go down and Caselli would take over.
With a four minute lead at the end of loop one, the FMF/KTM of Caselli poured on the gas and literally gapped some of the fastest riders in the country. David Pearson and Destry Abbott would eventually get around Norman to round out the podium, but it was all Caselli as the leader finished nearly 7 minutes ahead of Pearson and his Purvines Honda in second.
Destry Abbott rode his Monster Energy Kawasaki to a respectable third overall making it two podiums in a row for the seasoned racer. "It feels good to get up here on the podium, I need these to have a shot at the podium, but I think Kurt rode harder than any of us today. He really deserves this win." Destry explained to George Antill on the NHHA Podium post race. Norman held on for fourth place while Off Road Support’s Jacob Argubright finished in 5th.
In the Vet Pro Class, David Fry and Dan Capparelli left off right where they started at Round 1, as the two Vet Pro riders battled it out through the finish. This time, however, Fry would have the edge and hold off the Round 1 winner of Capparelli.
With one win each, they are now tied atop the Vet Pro Class at 55 points each. Paul Shafer road well yet again to take third place and the final spot on the Vet Pro Podium, while Zach Dodson and Steve Roberts rounded out the Top 5 in the Vet Pro Class.
Senior racer, Paul Krause, finished a respectable 6th Vet Pro keeping himself in the hunt with 8 rounds remaining. Absent at Round 2 was Chilly White who was home sick and hopes to make up some points in El Centro, CA at Round 3.
The woman took to the course with fury and although they were only required to go two loops, they battled up until the end with eager eyes wondering who would come home victorious. Sarah Kritsch and Shayla Fulfer jumped out to the early lead trading positions all the way through the alternate gas area where Fulfer would take over the lead without needing to stop.
Off Road Support’s Kritsch followed closely in second but couldn’t pull it together before the pits and loop two. With a 2-minute gap, Shayla and her Blais Racing Services KTM 250XCF were gone before Kritsch could stop for her pit.
One mile in on Loop 2, one of the toughest hill climbs of the day stuck Shayla first as she found herself paddling to stay upright. Kritsch saw her mark and powered past Shayla who was working to pick up her bike.
Photographer Mark Kariya was perhaps in the most important spot of the day as the girls made their way through the carnage and up the hill. With a fire lit beneath her, Fulfer remounted the bike and followed Kritsch through the desert and home into the finish.
Taking first and second place overall for the two-loopers, Sarah and Shayla finished one-two as they had done at Round 1, and after two rounds of racing, it is evident that this season will not be an easy victory for either of the two woman. Past Woman’s Champion Anna Cody held on for third place on the day followed by Kelly Barbosa and Olivia Rich who rounded out the Top 5.
On the ATV side of things, Andy Lagzdins became the first rider to dethrone the champ as Kyle Penner was beat for the first time this season.
Taking the win ahead of Bill Markel, who will surely be in the running down in El Centro, Lagzdins took away a win that could have meant a perfect season for Penner. At third overall quad and second in the A class, Penner was understandably disappointed and stated that he knows what is necessary to win in El Centro.
With the abundance of 4-wheeled races south of the High Desert, there is a potential to have well over 40 riders lined up come the first Sunday in March, and Penner knows that he wants to be back on top at Round 3.
It wasn’t all about the pro’s, however, as a whole list of prizes were awarded to racers at Round 2. The FMF banners were easily visible atop the hill at the end of the bomb run, and two lucky riders where the first to reach them on both the B and C lines. Both Thomas Gross and Colton Jones will be attending Round 3 with brand new exhaust systems courtesy of FMF. Also taking home prizes from BRP are the first overall B, first overall C, and first overall 60+ racers.
Austin Aube and Colton Jones will both be awarded a new BRP Chain Guide while Dale Parriott, Sarah Kritsch, and David Fry have each earned $50 off at www.brpmoto.com. Kenda Kash was also awarded and Ryan Kudla was the first Pro to cross the finish line with $50 cash in his pocket as the set of Kenda’s he mounted the day before helped to earn a little return on his investment. Other Kenda Kash winners were Kevin DeJongh (Blais Racing Services), Steve Roberts (Vector Powersports), and Russell Landfield.
Round 3 is now three short weeks away and the NHHA will head south to the Southernmost stop on the circuit. El Centro, CA and the Superstition mountain range will play host as AMA’s District 38 pulls out all the stops for their annual National Hare and Hound hosted by RoadRunner Off Road Racing.
Look to NationalHareandHound.com for updates on prizes and the ATV class give-a-ways that are to come as the 1-Loopers at Round 3 will get to race 60 miles. Ivan Ramirez missed the Top 20 by only a few spots, but the Baja Ace says that this will be his round and anything is possible as the racing continues to heat up!