While several series take their traditional summer breaks, Thor/Parts Unlimited riders Mike Brown, Mike Lafferty, Destry Abbott and Charlie Mullins all sit well within striking distance of their respective championships.
Brown has been a revelation since making the move into the World Off-Road Championship Series (WORCS). Through six rounds of racing, Brown has finished in the top five in every race aboard his Factory KTM including one win at Racetown 395 in Adelanto, Calif. He holds just a slim one-point lead over rival Bobby Bonds, but the former motocross champion boasts a worst finish of fifth and thanks to his years of experience is fully prepared to attack the final four rounds of the season when the WORCS series resumes on August 1-2 in Olympia, Wash.
For the past 14 years, Lafferty has been the most dominant figure in AMA National Enduro competition. His eight championships have made him synonymous with this particular form of off-road racing and if he can capture the 2009 title, he will become the winningest rider in AMA Enduro history. Through it all, the Factory KTM rider has quietly amassed one of the most impressive careers in the sport of dirt-bike racing. This season, he is in the midst of a heated battle with rival and teammate Russell Bobbitt in a head-to-head showdown that has provided edge-of-your-seat competition for the past three seasons. Through seven races, Lafferty has won three while Bobbitt has claimed the remaining four. He sits just six points out of the lead with three rounds remaining, the next coming July 18 in Blain, Pa.
Reigning AMA National Hare and Hound Champion Destry Abbott has had a difficult season by his standards so far in 2009. The veteran competitor and five-time Hare and Hound National Champion has captured just one win this season, coming in round three at Superstition OHVA in El Centro, Calif. He currently sits second in the standings, 12 points out of the lead after five rounds. Abbott is hindered by a season-low ninth-place finish at the second round, but top three results at the four other races have kept him in the thick of the title chase and an opportunity for championship number six with three to go. The series returns to action from its summer break on September 26 in Wendover, Nev.
While most of the action has been focused on the West side of the Country, FMF/Makita Suzuki’s Charlie Mullins has been holding it down back East for Thor and Parts Unlimited in Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Racing (GNCC). The talented young rider kicked-off the 2009 season with a win at the Parts Unlimited River Ranch GNCC in River Ranch, Fla. To date, it has been his only win this year, but Mullins has not finished worse than fourth through nine rounds in 2009, including six podium results. He currently sits third in the standings, 17 points out of the lead and just four points out of second behind teammate Josh Strang. Four rounds remain in the 2009 GNCC season and action resumes from the annual summer break on September 12-13 in New Berlin, N.Y. at the infamous Unadilla Sports Center.