FMF/KTM Factory Off-Road Racing Team’s Kurt Caselli played a patient waiting game perfectly, taking advantage of a loop two spill by Johnny Campbell Racing Honda’s Kendall Norman to run to his fifth win in the AMA Racing/Kenda National Hare & Hound Championship Series. Norman, the leader for most of the race and the winner of round six, settled for second while Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Destry Abbott put in another podium performance for third.
Unlike round five run a few miles east, conditions for the 51st Annual Cherry Creek National on May 21, hosted by the Sugarloafers Motorcycle Club, couldn’t have been much better. Rain most of the week leading up to race day left the two loops in prime condition with minimal mud and a slight breeze to carry away what little dust cropped up.
At first, it appeared that Norman was on his way to his second consecutive triumph since returning to the series following a knee injury earlier in the season, as he built up a sizable lead over the mostly fast 65-mile first loop. The more technical 45-mile-long second loop higher up in the trees would prove pivotal.
“I knew it was going to be kind of a long race and maybe these guys would get a little tired at the end,” Caselli said. “I came up to a check and they told me I was only 15 second behind Kendall. I think in the pits, I was about a minute or less [behind]. So I caught up and was just trying to ride patiently and eventually caught up to Kendall. He made a little bobble and I was able to get around him.”
Caselli’s win strengthened his hold on the series points lead, giving him 187, unofficially, while Purvines Racing Honda’s David Pearson–fourth after a tough day–remains second with 159, unofficially. Abbott made up a little ground but remains third at 146, unofficially.
Concours Auto Body’s Robert Underwood stormed to fifth followed by Zip-Ty Racing Husqvarna’s Nick Burson, Northland Motorsports Kawasaki’s Jeff Truelove, 250cc Expert winner Lane Buchert, Purvines Racing Honda’s Carl Maassberg and Utah’s Preston Hannifin.