Kendall Norman wrapped up the AMA/Kenda National Hare and Hound Championship Series title with one round remaining on the schedule by taking a determined win at round eight of the series at Johnson Valley OHVA near Lucerne Valley, California.
The win was the fifth of the year for the JCR Honda rider, and it gave him an insurmountable lead in the series standings.
"It's a great feeling for me, the team, and all of the sponsors," said Kendall. "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."
Norman's win came at the expense of his two top title rivals - Monster Energy Kawasaki's Destry Abbott and FMF/KTM's David Kamo - each DNFing the 90-mile race after suffering crashes.
Meanwhile, second overall went to FMF/KTM's David Pearson, who capitalized on a great start and led at the end of the bomb. Once Norman took the lead, Pearson stayed close, maintaining about a 15-second gap to the finish. The finish was good enough to bump Pearson into third in the points standings.
Kawasaki of Simi Valley's Jacob Argubright rounded out the podium.
"This is my first time up here at a local National, and it feels great," said Argubright. "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."
JCR's Quinn Cody came from way back to claim fourth place, just a few minutes behind Argubright. Meanwhile, the Zip Ty Husky duo of Nick Burson and Bobby Garrison were fifth and sixth, followed by Kawasaki riders Ryan Kudla and Brett Saunders in seventh and eighth.
Overall Results -
1. Kendall Norman
2. David Pearson - KTM
3. Jacob Argubright
4. Quinn Cody
5. Nicholas Burson
6. Bobby Garrison
7. Ryan Kudla
8. Brett Saunders
9. Jeff Truelove
10. Robert Longenecker