Charlie Mullins wins Sandlapper National Enduro
March 04, 2013
Story and photo by Shan Moore
Charlie Mullins claimed his second win in as many starts in the Rekluse AMA National Enduro Championship Series, after turning in a dominating performance at round two in Pelion, S.C. In all, the FMF/KTM rider won five of the six tests and finished the tight and sandy 65-mile race with a 50-second advantage over second-place finisher Mike Lafferty.
“I started strong and other than going down twice in the last test everything went pretty good today,” said Mullins. “I wanted to win all six tests, but I’m happy with how things went and it’s a good start to the series. Hopefully I can carry this momentum into the next round in Texas.”
Mullins made the decision during the off-season to ride a 350 XC-F in Enduro competition this year instead of the 450 he rode last year and the switch seems to be paying off.
“I felt a lot more comfortable on the 350 today and I think it was the right choice,” added Mullins.
Meanwhile, Lafferty turned a few heads when he showed up in South Carolina on a Husaberg 350FE instead of the 250 two-stroke he’s ridden for over a year. Like Mullins, the change must have agreed with the eight-time champ as he came out on top of a very tight, four-way battle for the runner-up position.
“I felt great and I’m definitely happy with my decision,” said Lafferty. “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous about the decision, but it all came together.”
Third went to Shenandoah Honda/USWE Honda’s Thad DuVall, riding a CRF250R. DuVall finished just six seconds behind Lafferty and tied with Russell Bobbitt for the fastest time in the final test of the day.
Bobbitt, in just his second national competition on a Husaberg, was fourth overall, five seconds behind DuVall.
AirGroup Racing’s Nick Fahringer rounded out the top five, and sits tied for second in the series standings with Lafferty.
Sixth place went to Grant Baylor, the 15-year-old brother of 2012 Rekluse AMA National Enduro Champ Stu Baylor. Baylor was riding a KTM 250 two-stroke backed by FLY/Ride PG/Genuine Dirt Racer Products and WP.
In seventh was FAR Husqvarna’s Andrew DeLong, while eighth went to Brad Bakken on the Obermeyer/Raines Riding University Yamaha.
Husaberg-mounted Kyle McDonal and KTM rider Ian Blythe rounded out the top 10.
With two rounds in the books, Mullins has a perfect score of 60 points and holds a 19-point lead over Lafferty and Fahringer, who are tied for second place with 41 points each. Bobbitt is third in the standings with 39 points.
The series now moves to the desert plains of west Texas for round three of the series in Blackwell, Texas, on March 24th. For more information on the Rekluse AMA National Enduro Series go to www.nationalenduro.com.
1. Charlie Mullins (KTM)
2. Mike Lafferty (Hsb)
3. Thad DuVall (Hon)
4. Russell Bobbitt (KTM)
5. Nick Fahringer (Hsb)
6. Grant Baylor (KTM)
7. Andrew DeLong (Hsq)
8. Brad Bakken (Yam)
9. Kyle McDonal (Hsb)
10. Ian Blythe (KTM)