Round 8 of the AMA/Kenda National Hare and Hound Championship Series drew to a close Sunday afternoon, and with it a new champion was crowned. For the first time in many years, it was not a Kawasaki or a KTM rider.
With over 90 miles featuring some of the most physically demanding terrain that Johnson Valley had to offer, So Cal MC set the stage for what might be the most memorable race in Kendall Norman’s racing career. The JCR Honda rider poured on the gas and never looked back en route to another NHHA Overall Victory, and a points lead that physically cannot be matched by any other.
“It’s a great feeling for me, the team, and all of the sponsors.” Kendall explained alongside his Father and number one supporter. “This title means a lot more to me than any of the other championships I have earned, and being in the presence of such great desert racers just makes it stand out even more.”
The Championship was won by not only finishing in the lead, but also by a streak of bad luck for two riders who still sat in contention for the title. Both Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Destry Abbott and FMF/KTM’s David Kamo crashed out before the finish; Kamo taking the worse end of the stick. Bike damage
from two separate incidents meant that the two ISDE competitors would not have the chance to tackle the third loop juggernaut that led into the finish.
David Pearson was back on the gas and had his FMF/KTM out to its usual position, leading at the end of the bomb, and was able to hold on for a second overall finish, good enough to bump him into third in the points standings. Another rider, Kawasaki of Simi Valley’s Jacob Argubright was able to prosper from the misfortunes of Abbot and Kamo and for the second straight round sat on the podium in third.
“This is my first time up here at a local National, and it feels great. When I passed Destry he was cheering me on, so I knew that I would have to give a good showing for Kawi with him out of the mix. I just rode hard and planned to save the bike for loop three, and it worked – one of the hardest loops I have ever ridden, but it reminded me of Endurocross, so it was awesome” Jacob explained.
JCR’s Quinn Cody faught his way from back in the pack to make three passes on loop three and finish in fourth place, just a few minutes behind Argubright. Following Cody, the Zip Ty Husky duo of Nick Burson and Bobby Garrison at 5th and 6th. Ryan Kudla led Brett Saunders into the finish both on Kawi’s at 7th and 8th, the best finish to date for Kudla, while the P1 machine of Arizona racer Jeff Truelove finished at 9th in his first ever NHHA event. Robert Longenecker finished at 10th overall and first Vet while Lan Burchert finished 12th as the first 250.
Sarah Kritsch got things going in the woman’s class, only having to race two of the three loops, and finished 5th overall in the two-loop class, 1st place woman. Her win, the second of the season, puts her into third overall in the woman’s championship points chase. The local number one plate holder fought off the charge of Idaho’s Shayla Fulfer (second in championship points) and local fast girl Kelly Barbosa. All the while holding the reigning number one plate holder, and current points leader Joanna Kaczmarek at bay. The second loop was a challenge, but each of the girls worked their way through with little trouble. Fulfer, in her first Southern California National explained, “It was difficult, like I was told it would be. But it was fun and I can’t wait to get back out here in two weeks!”
On the amateur side of things, Holeshot awards were issued to the first riders to the end of the bomb run in both the “B” and “C” classes. Cody Klein led the Amateur B row to the end of the bomb and won a pair of Flexx Handlebars with a vet racer from the Novice C row also winning a pair (rider being verified). Cole Townsend from Fasst Co. donated two pair of handlebars and will surely be meeting with the winners at Round 9 for the install!
Finally, after starting at nearly 11:30 due to delays at the start line, current National Champion Kyle Penner got things rolling in the ATV class. With an impressive holeshot, Penner took home a set of Kenda rear tires provided by Blais Racing Services, and continued on to win the race overall. With an even more impressive overall victory in the ATV
division, he now sits first in points and looks to take home his second straight title with a finish at the 100’s MC National, the final round. The combo of Andrea and Rachel Bosemer kept it in the family, and took home the overall ATV honors in both the “B” and “C” classes respectively. With a little bit of trash talking at the finish line, the sisters are set to beat up on the boys again at round 9 in two weeks.
NHHA Racing comes to its final stop in just two short weeks with the 100’s MC and its 43rd annual Johnson Valley Championships on October 24, 2010. For more information on the race, or any NHHA Related questions, visit NationalHareandHound.com.