AMA Racing Kenda National Hare & Hound Championship Series, Round 6

Apr. 25, 2011 By Mark Kariya
After a lackluster first two rounds, defending series champ Kendall Norman skipped the next three. What many didn’t know was that he’d been nursing a knee injury. Following the downtime, he returned to the series and battled with Kurt Caselli before winning.

Kurt Caselli’s win streak in the AMA Racing/Kenda National Hare & Hound Championship Series finally came to an end after four in a row.
But it wasn’t David Pearson or Destry Abbott or even Jacob Argubright who beat the FMF/KTM Factory Off-Road Racing Team star at the Vikings Motorcycle Club’s 25th Virgin Voyage at the Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Area east of Lucerne Valley, California. Instead, it was Kendall Norman, the Johnny Campbell Racing Honda rider who’s the defending series champ but has been MIA with a knee injury since round three.

Jacob Argubright rebounded from a disappointing fifth at the snowy round five in Utah to claim a strong runner-up at Lucerne.

Previous Hare & Hound Races:

Round 5

Round 4

Round 3

“I wasn’t at 100 percent and we were having some issues [earlier in the season],” he revealed. “Definitely, to come back out here and prove to myself that I can do it feels really good.”
At first, it appeared as though it might be five in a row for Caselli. Though Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Abbott got to the bomb first, Caselli powered past just before dropping into a narrow, downhill sand wash and took control as they sprinted across a long valley.
Kurt Caselli (66) goes around Destry Abbott (14) just after the bomb to take the lead, followed here by Jacob Argubright (orange helmet) and David Pearson. Caselli would stay out front until crashing late in the race and settling for third.

Before long, though, Norman worked his way into second and watched Caselli’s every move, Argubright settling into third. The more technical second loop would be the decider.
“I felt pretty good going into it,” Caselli said. “I just had a little mistake and went down. It wasn’t that bad, but I ended up right in some cactus--I got some cholla in my arm. It was not a big deal. Kendall got by me right there, and I was kind of riding crappy after that. Jacob got around me, too.”
Last year’s series runner-up David Kamo has had a rough time this season, DNFing four of the five previous rounds with strange bike maladies. He finished this one in eighth place.

Norman sailed to the finish to win comfortably. Though he’s out of the picture for the championship due to missing three rounds, he could certainly play the role of spoiler and returns to the role of potential race winner as long as he remains healthy. Caselli remains atop the points, of course, unofficially boosting his total now to 157 while Purvine Racing Honda rider Pearson, who was fourth on the day, holds second at 141. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Abbott finished off the box for the first time this season with his fifth place, though he’s third in points at 125, unofficially, with Argubright closing the gap on him at 121.
Podium (from left): runner-up Jacob Argubright, winner Kendall Norman, third-place Kurt Caselli.

Norman’s teammate Colton Udall survived a big crash to finish sixth followed by Pearson’s teammate Justin Morrow. Eighth went to Zip-Ty Racing Husqvarna’s David Kamo--only his second finish of the season--with Concours Auto Body Kawasaki’s Robert Underwood coming back from a crash after the bomb to place ninth. John Burr Cycles YZ250-mounted Chris Morrow rounded out the top 10 and won the 250cc A division.

1. Kendall Norman (Honda CRF450X)
2. Jacob Argubright (Kawasaki KX450F)
3. Kurt Caselli (KTM 450 SX-F)
4. David Pearson (Honda CRF450X)
5. Destry Abbott (Kawasaki KX450F)
6. Colton Udall (Honda CRF450X)
7. Justin Morrow (Honda CRF450X)
8. David Kamo (Husqvarna TXC 511)
9. Robert Underwood (Kawasaki KX450F)
10 Chris Morrow (Yamaha YZ250) Newsletter
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