It’s been a long year for Charlie Mullins. In his first full year on the Rekluse/AMA National Enduro circuit, the Obermeyer/Am Pro/FMF Yamaha rider established his presence early by winning the opening round on the schedule, but then fell behind in the series standings when he DNFed the third round in Florida. Urged on by enduro great Randy Hawkins, Mullins kept the faith and came back with a vengeance, winning the next five rounds. At a wet and slippery series finale in Indiana, Mullins clinched the title with a second place finish behind Cory Buttrick.
Enduro series rookies dominated the Muddober’s National Enduro in Indiana as Cory Buttrick, Charlie Mullins, Thad DuVall and Glenn Kearney swept the top four positions. Mullins took the early lead in the 73-mile event, winning the first three tests, but FMF/KTM’s Cory Buttrick picked up the pace in the final two tests, nipping Mullins by a full minute at the finish to take the win. It was the second win of the year for Buttrick and it moved him into the runner-up position in the final series standings.
Charlie Mullins has been on a rollercoaster ride this year to say the least. The Ohio-born racer kicked off the year with a surprise win in the tight woods of South Carolina – quite unusual for a GNCC regular to do so well in the tight stuff. Mullins fell out of contention when he burnt up a clutch in the deep sand at the Alligator Enduro in Florida, however he never gave up and reeled off five-straight wins in the ensuing rounds to put himself back at the top of the order.
Riding his very first national enduro, GNCC contender Thad DuVall looked fast and confident, winning the fourth test en route to a third place finish. The West Virginia Am Pro/FMF/Yamaha rider fell in the second test and lost some time but soon found his “enduro legs” and finished up like a veteran. “I didn’t really know what to expect going in the first section and I ended up with the third-fastest time,” said DuVall. “But I think the pressure got to me after that and I fell a few times in the second test. I settled down and decided to just have fun and it worked out for me.”
Glenn Kearney matched his best finish of the year with a fourth in Indiana. The factory Husqvarna rider benefitted from a new 310cc kit on his 250 XTC, which he said, “gave the bike a lot more bottom end.” “The last two test were good for me,” added Kearney. “I started out a little cautious, the first two tests were pretty slick and I lost a fair bit of time being too cautious. But I think the 310 made most of the difference. I could really lug the bike in a higher gear in that slick stuff.”
Defending series champ Russell Bobbitt had what he considered a bad day, finishing sixth and dropping from second in the final standings to third. Like Mullins, the FMF/KTM rider has had an up and down year, struggling early on with a shoulder injury he suffered at last year’s ISDE and then reinjured at mid-year. Bobbitt got his first and only win of the year at the penultimate round in Maine, and still had a slim chance at winning the title if the right things happened in Indiana, but they didn’t and Bobbitt admitted it was time to start thinking about 2011.