Lucerne Hare and Hound
Round 1 of the AMA National Hare & Hound Series at Lucerne, Calif., is in the books, and with it are pages of stories that the NHHA community will be talking about for months.
David Pearson started the year out right where he left off, and mixed results meant that the season is going to be a little bit tougher then everyone originally thought for both the returning champ Kendall Norman, and the new guy in the mix.
The new guy in the mix, Kurt Caselli, made it look easy for most of the race. Leading off the mass bomb-run start, the Factory FMF/KTM rider looked effortless as he held off the charge of the second place rider, only a few hundred yards behind.
Unfortunately for defending champion Kendall Norman, things wouldn't come as easy for him as the JCR Honda racer would go down hard at mile marker 8 and would be left a little bloodied and unable to continue on the 85-mile course.
With Norman out of the mix, things were looking up for privateer racer Justin Morrow. The past 125cc national champion was ripping through the course well ahead of Factory Kawasaki rider Destry Abbott. Morrow was passed somewhere midway through Loop 2, and Destry Abbott took over the final podium spot heading into Loop 3.
Jacob Argubright and his Off Road Support KX450 pushed his way from 20th overall to 5th at the start of Loop 2 and would sit in this position until halfway through the third and technical loop where he would make a pass on Morrow, working his way into 4th place.
The big shocker of the day however, came when the crowd watched as Kurt Caselli and his KTM came to a screeching halt just one mile from the finish line. Capitalizing on the misfortunes of the rider whom he had literally trailed by just yards all day long, David Pearson piloted his Purvines Racing Honda to a first overall finish, and his first win of the 2011 season.
Abbott was next over the hill and was able to pass Caselli, who was still pushing his bike, to take second on the podium.
Argubright and Morrow crossed the valley virtually side by side, but it was the orange helmet of Argubright that could be seen in the lead when they finally crossed the finish line for third place. Morrow was happy at the finish with a fourth, but stated that he would be back in three weeks for his turn on the podium.
In his true competitive spirit, Caselli pushed his bike across the finish line as the first five riders had created a big enough gap for him to remain at 5th overall, much to the disappointment of his fellow competitors who know that a DNF would have been much more rewarding to their hopes of a 2011 championship.
On the Vet Pro side of things, favorites Paul Krause and Chilly White both had struggles of their own as their made their way around the track. Chilly was held up with a poor start on Loop 1 and played catch up for most of it.
Krause made it out on Loop 2 with a good margin, but a crash on Loop 3 left him without a petcock, and he spent the final 5 miles filling his float bowl just enough to make the bike run before having to stop and fill the float again to keep moving.
Dan Capparelli of Sparks, NV had enough to hold off his closest competitor, David Fry of Purvines Racing, and took the win as the first Vet Pro Class winner at an NHHA event.
As the afternoon wore on, it was all about the woman as a guessing game developed over who would be first female to the finish line. Nearly two hours after leaving the pits, word came in the Sarah Kritsch had broken down and was stuck across the valley.
Rumors started to spread over what could have happened, and all focus shifted as the finish line (and race announcer George Antill on the NHHA Podium) began to look for Blais Racing Services rider Shayla Fulfer, who had been leading since the first pit stop. Fifteen minutes later and the first woman was spotted from the finish line. Sarah Kritsch had gotten her bike running after making repairs on the trailside, and cruised into the finish for the win.
Fulfer followed in second place, limping across the finish line with a broken front brake caliper and a whole new outlook on the Desert MC National. Within the next forty-five minutes, national champion Joanna Kaczmarek finished despite running out of gas just two miles short of the finish line.
The ATVs raced one loop, and 19 out of the 20 that had started, finished without little if any struggle. Kyle Penner started things off right where he left off, with another NHHA win on his freshly built Blais Racing Services engine, and with a five minute margin over second overall of Bill Markel, Kyle took home a pair of Flexx Handlebars from sponsor Fasst Co for his win. On top of that, he hole-shotted the quad row through the banners at the end of the bomb run, and will be seeing Travis at TBT racing for a free suspension service some time soon.
Kyle Penner taking the ATV win on his Honda TRX 450R. Photos by Grumpy.
Round 1 had over 12 prizes to be awarded at the finish line and here is a list of people who will be receiving certificates and/or product:
B Class Holeshot- Cody Klein wins a $100 TBT Racing Gift Certificate
C Class Holeshot- David Rickaby wins a $100 TBT Racing Gift Certificate
Quad Holeshot- Kyle Penner wins a $100 TBT Racing Gift Certificate
1st B Class 3-Looper - Michael Allen wins a pair of Alpinestar TECH 8 Boots
1st C Class 2-Looper - Colton Jones wins a pair of Dirt Tricks/Ironman Sprockets
1st 60+ - Dale Parriott wins a $50 off from Fastway/Pro Moto Billet
1st Woman A/B - Sarah Kritsch wins a $50 off from Fastway/Pro Moto Billet
1st Woman C - Brittany Sligh wins a $50 off from Fastway/Pro Moto Billet
1st 250 Overall - Morgan Crawford wins a free BRP Triple Clamp set-up
1st Quad Overall- Kyle Penner wins a set of Fasst Flexx Handlebars
1st 250 B- Michael Allen- 1 Gallon of Oil from MadJack/Amsoil
1st 50+ B- Steve Guyse- 1 Gallon of Oil from MadJack/Amsoil
1st 250 C- Randy Garrett- 1 Gallon of Oil from MadJack/Amsoil
1st 40+ C- Lawrence Leyva - 1 Gallon of Oil from MadJack/Amsoil
Kenda Kash awarded at the finish line of each round:
Morgan Crawford- $50 Kenda Cash for running Kenda Tires
Kevin DeJongh- $50 Kenda Cash for running Kenda Tires
Chilly White- $50 Kenda Cash for running Kenda Tires
Billy Courtney - $50 Kenda Cash for running Kenda Tires
Round 2 of the AMA National Hare and Hound series takes racers north just about 50 miles to Red Mountain in the Spangler Hills OHV Area, just south of Ridgecrest. Join the NHHA as the stars return yet again to try their luck in the California Desert. With Kendall DNF'ing Round 1, he is already 30 points behind and will need a strong finish if he wants to keep his Championship hopes alive.
Visit NationalHareandHound.com for series updates and information on points, results, and anything else regarding the AMA/Kenda National Hare and Hound Championship Series.