Mullins’ win in Pennsylvania wasn’t quite as easy as he’s grown accustomed to, however, as factory Husaberg rider Mike Lafferty challenged Mullins in the rough and rocky terrain. The eight-time national champ won two of the six tests – the first and the fifth – and was just six seconds behind Mullins entering the final test of the day. Mullins was up to the task, however, winning the final test by five seconds over Lafferty, giving him the overall win by an 11-second margin over the Husaberg rider after 65 miles of racing.
“I thought I threw it away in the first test of the day,” said Mullins. “I fell three times and I over-shot two corners, which wasn’t a good start to the event. We changed the front tire before the second test and I kind of settled down and got back into a groove.”
Lafferty was pleased with the runner-up spot, although he would have liked to have won the race.
“At least we know we’re on the right track and kind of back in the mix,” said Lafferty.
Third went to Radiant AirGroup Racing’s Nick Fahringer, who needed a strong final test to steal the final podium spot away from Am Pro Yamaha’s Jesse Groemm.
“I never really felt comfortable today,” said Fahringer. “I just wasn’t feeling that fire until the last two sections. I think I was trying too hard to be smooth at the cost of any kind of aggression. I knew I was behind Jesse at the end and I stepped it up in the final two tests and just barely squeaked by.”
Groemm held on for fourth, disappointed at missing the podium.
“I kept it upright all day except for one incident and I think I had a good day overall,” said Groemm. “However, I think I was a little too conservative in that final test, I was a little nervous, and I might have given too much away.”
Grant Baylor, brother of defending champ Stu Baylor, finished fifth on a KTM, edging Obermeyer Yamaha/Raines Racing University/Offroadviking’s Brad Bakken by 24 seconds.
Colorado KTM rider Ian Blythe finished the day in seventh, with Shenandoah Honda’s Thad DuVall taking eighth 50 seconds back.
Ryder Lafferty, nephew of Mike Lafferty, claimed his first top-10 national finish with a ninth, while Paddy Holloway did the same on his Radiant AirGroup Racing Husaberg.
The Rekluse AMA National Enduro Series returns to action on July 28 in Cross Fork, Pennsylvania, for the Rattle Snake Enduro. For more info on the series go to www.nationalenduro.com.
1. Charlie Mullins (KTM)
2. Mike Lafferty (Hsb)
3. Nick Fahringer (Hsb)
4. Jesse Groemm (Yam)
5. Grant Baylor (KTM)
6. Brad Bakken (Yam)
7. Ian Blythe (KTM)
8. Thad DuVall (Hon)
9. Ryder Lafferty (Hsb)
10. Paddy Holloway (Hsb)