Kawasaki KX500-mounted Destry Abbott raced to the overall at round one of the AMA National Hare and Hound Championship Series in Lucerne, California, on January 23. Abbott, who finished runner-up in the series last year to teammate Brian Brown, passed Brown for the lead on the tight-and-technical second loop. After losing the lead, Brown completed the 80-mile course in second place.
Montclair Yamaha’s Ty Davis finished third, but only after receiving a push start at the beginning of the event. Davis’ YZ426 refused to ignite when the banner dropped, requiring his pit crew to push start the number-three machine. In extremely dusty conditions, Davis raced to a remarkable sixth at the halfway point and then used his National Enduro Championship-winning experience to climb to third during the gnarly second loop. He finished approximately 90 seconds behind Brown.
Davis’ teammate Russ Pearson rode his YZ426 to fourth, just ahead of KX500-mounted Doug Chiapuzio. American Honda’s Johnny Campbell raced his XR650 to sixth, making the top six finishers all contenders of the premier Open class.
Topping all Vet class entrants and finishing seventh was KX500-mounted Abe Baumann. Baumann finished just ahead of Paul Krause, who rode to a steady eighth place on his YZ426. Reigning 125cc National Hare and Hound Champion Kurt Caselli, continued his stranglehold on the 125cc class by finishing ninth overall while 10th-placed KX250-mounted Shane Esposito took 250cc class honors.
Many series regulars stated that the second loop of the event was the toughest that they’d ever seen at a National Hare and Hound. Round two of the nine-round series is scheduled for March 26 at the same venue