AMA/Kenda Hare & Hound
Round 6 of the AMA/Kenda National Hare & Hound Championship Series in Lucerne, Calif., finally saw the beauty of desert racing at it’s finest after two previous rounds of not-so-pleasant weather.
A sunny, warm race day brought out some of the fastest and toughest off-road racers in the country to battle in the California desert, yet again, for the championship.
In Jericho, Utah, FMF/KTM rider Kurt Caselli worked his way to the top of the points lead and Purvines Racing Honda rider David Pearson was set back to second. The consistent Caselli was on a win-streak, but that was about to change.
Women Pro rider Shayla Fulfer of the Blais Racing Services Team, has been on a win-streak and on her way to the championship. Behind her in points are Off Road Support’s Sarah Kritsch and Olivia Rich. Another weekend surprise was Anna Cody, who was also on the line with hopes of a win.
On Saturday, April 23 at 10 a.m., the Vikings banner was up, engines were dead and kick-start levers were prepped. On the line as a surprise to many, after a knee injury, was JCR Honda’s Kendall Norman, focused on making this race his own. Kurt Caselli, David Pearson, Destry Abbott, Justin Morrow, Colton Udall, Jacob Argubright and the other top desert riders were zoned in, with the same vision in mind.
Off the bomb, Abbott, Caselli, Argubright, Udall and Pearson were off first-kick and shot into the open desert. Coming to the end of the first loop, Caselli was (to no surprise) in the lead, with Norman on his tail.
After a bad start, Norman pushed his hardest to get to the front and successfully took the lead after a spill into a cactus from Caselli on the second loop. Norman would dedicate his win on the podium to fallen, long-time Desert MC member, Wes Finkle, who passed away one year ago on the morning of the Vikings MC race.
In another outstanding performance by Off Road Support’s Jacob Argubright, he created a gap of his own in a smooth chase for the lead. Passing Caselli as Norman had, Argubright made the move for second leaving Caselli, Pearson and Abbott to round out the top 5 all the way to the checkers awaiting them in the valley.
Being Argubright’s second, second-place overall finish, this moves him closer to the top 3 in the points chase by just four points away from Abbott.
Shortly after the HWT Experts began to funnel in, Women Expert rider Anna Cody was the first of the women’s class to see the checkers, followed by Fulfer and Kritsch.
Vet Pro riders Zach Dodson, Dan Capparelli and David Fry earned well deserved places on the podium as well as Chris Morrow in the 126-250cc A-class taking first, and finished at an impressive 10th overall. Another incredible finish was by #M1 Super Senior 50+ Expert rider, Steve Williams, who finished 28th overall!
On the ATV side of things, Andy Lagzdins completed the race in first followed by Kyle Penner, who also won the Kenda Kash prize for ATV’s.
The next round, Round 7, will be a point-to-point race in Reno, Nevada on Sunday May 8th, presented by the Cheaters Motorcycle Club. There will be no bomb run, but a chance to walk the start. In a 3-part format, the first loop will be 45 miles, followed by 35 mile and 50 mile parts, accumulating to a 130-mile race, the largest of the season yet.