Though he had no chance of retaining the number-one plate on his CRF450X, Johnny Campbell Racing Honda's Kendall Norman showed that he certainly could have been a contender for the title had a knee injury not kept him off the bike earlier this year. The defending series champ led from start to finish at the So Cal Motorcycle Club National, round eight of the AMA Racing/Kenda National Hare & Hound Championship Series, at Lucerne Valley, California, October 9, marking his second victory of the season.
But race runner-up Kurt Caselli of the FMF/KTM Factory Off-Road Racing Team had the most to celebrate. By finishing ahead of Purvines Racing Honda's David Pearson, Caselli clinched the 2011 series championship with one round still to run, mimicking Norman's feat last year.
Monster Energy Kawasaki's Destry Abbott finished a strong third followed by Kawasaki of Simi Valley's Jacob Argubright and Pearson.
After nabbing the holeshot, Norman enjoyed a nearly dust-free race.
"I just rode really consistent and smooth, and just rode my own race," he said.
"Kendall was riding good," Caselli said. "I'd catch up to him then he'd pull me a little, I'd catch back up, and we were going back and forth.
"I'm happy to get the championship - not just for myself but for KTM as well."
Norman's JCR Honda teammate Quinn Cody, Purvines Racing Honda's Justin Morrow, JCR Honda's David Kamo, Zip-Ty Racing Husqvarna's Nick Burson and KTM-mounted Ivan Ramirez rounded out the top 10. The final race of the series takes place back in Lucerne on October 23.